Long Beach, Perhentians – Diving in Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands

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The Long Beach, Perhentians is one of the most beautiful places to go diving in Malaysia. But the Perhentians are not only an ideal place for divers. They are also perfect for a relaxing beach holiday in Malaysia. If you have the chance to visit this little piece of paradise, you should absolutely go for it!

The Perhentian Islands include two main islands – the little island Pulau Perhentian Kecil and the bigger island Pulau Perhentian Besar – and three small uninhabited islands (Susu Dara, Seringgi & Rawa). They are located in the Northeast of the Malaysian peninsula.

Even though some bloggers have been unhappy with their visit to the Long Beach, Pulau Perhentian, we were really happy on this beautiful beach. I guess, there is a reason why CNN honored the Island with Numer 13 of the best beaches in the world.

In this post, you can find everything you need to know about your Holidays on the Long Beach, Perhentian Islands: How to get there, where to stay and what to do.

Perhentian Islands Facts

  • The Perhentian Islands are also called Perhentians or Pulau Perhentian
  • Belongs to the Pulau Redang National Marine Park
  • The name Perhentian can be translated with Stopping Point
  • That’s why during the English Colonial times, they also got the name Station Islands
  • During the Vietnam War, the islands were used as a shelter for Vietnamese refugees

How to get to Perhentian Islands

Getting to Perhentian Islands is quite easy: They are located around 19 km from the next town Kuala Besut. There is no airport on the Perhentians and therefore, the only way to get there is by speedboat from Kuala Besut. 

How to go to Perhentian Islands from Kuala Besut

Duration: ca. 40 Minutes

Price: 40 RM (ca. 8,30€/ $10) or 70 RM (ca. 14,50€/ $17,85) (Back and forth)

Schedule from Kuala Besut: 09 am – 05 pm without fixed departure times

Schedule from Pulau Perhentian: 08.00 am, 12 pm and 04 pm

In Kuala Besut are several companies operating between the Kuala Besut harbor and the Perhentians. The speedboats and ferry to Perhentian Islands will departure as soon as there are enough passengers.

Just tell the driver the name of your accommodation or simply tell him to leave you at the Long Beach, Perhentian Kecil.

How to get to Perhentian Islands from Kuala Lumpur

There are two main options of how to go to Perhentian Islands from KL: By Bus or by airplane. While the bus is the cheaper option, the airplane is much faster.

Bus from Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands

Duration: ca. 7 Hours

Price: 44 RM (ca. 09,12€/ $11,22) + 40 RM (ca. 8,30€/ $10) for the boat

The busses are departing from Kuala Lumpur several times per day. It may be advisable to take a night bus. This way, you are able to take the first boat in the morning to the Perhentian Islands Beach.

You can find information and schedules here. Anyway, I’d recommend you to buy your ticket on-site as it can be possible to negotiate a lower price.

Flight from Kuala Lumpur or George Town (Penang) to Perhentian Islands

Duration: 1 Hour + 90 Minutes Bus

Price: from 10€ (Flight) + 6 RM (ca. 1,24€/$ 1,53) (Bus) + 40 RM (ca. 8,30€/ $10) for the boat

AirAsia offers flights between the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur and the nearest airport in Kota Bharu at pretty low prices. If you are taking a flight from KL in the morning you usually have enough time to take a bus (#639) or taxi to Kuala Besut and catch a speedboat to the Long Beach, Pulau Perhentian Kecil.

You might be able to save a lot of money by booking your flight in advance. Skyscanner usually shows you the best price. (Click to find the best deals on Skyscanner)

Bus from Penang, Georgetown to Perhentian Islands

Duration: ca. 6 Hours

Price: 58 RM (ca. 12€/ $14,80) + 40 RM (ca. 8,30€/ $10) for the boat

After spending around 3 days in Penang, you can take a bus directly to the station of Kuala Besut. We recommend you take the night bus and take the first boat to the Perhentians in the morning. It might be worth it to buy a combination ticket, including the boat (back and forth) in George Town, to save some more money. We paid 120 RM (ca. 24,90€ /$30,60) for it.

More Beaches in Malaysia?

Make sure to also check this post about 3 tropical islands in Malaysia you probably didn’t know about from Passport Symphony.

Best time to visit Perhentian Islands

One important thing to know when visiting the Perhentian Islands: When to go. The Pulau Perhentians are accessible for tourists only from February until October.


July & August

High Season

April-June, September

Low Season

February, March, October

Closed for Tourism (Monsoon Season)

November – January

Personal experience

For us, the best time to visit Palau Perhentian was definitely at the end of the low season, i.e. a short time before the islands close for tourism in the beginning/middle of October. The waste that other bloggers complained about was mostly gone and most tourists as well. Instead, the Long Beach, Perhentians offered us crystal clear water and enough space to relax without being disturbed by anyone. It was simply the best time for us for diving in Malaysia.

Where is the Long Beach, Pulau Perhentian located?

Long Beach, Pulau Perhentian on map
Source: Google Maps

The Long Beach is located on the Pulau Perhentian Kecil, which is the smaller of both main islands. You can see its exact location well in the Pulau Perhentian map above.

Where to stay in Long Beach, Perhentian Islands

accommodation at Long Beach, Palau Perhentian Kecil

Many of the accommodation in Perhentian Kecil Long Beach are just bookable on-site or on their website. Just a few of the Perhentian Islands’ Hotels are bookable via the usual booking websites. The ones you can find on booking portals are often fully booked pretty fast.

$ Budget Accommodation Perhentian Islands, Long Beach

Rock Garden

$ Luxury Accommodation Perhentian Islands, Long Beach

Bubu Resort

Bubu Villa

Withdrawing Money on the Perhentian Islands

Make sure to bring enough cash with you when visiting the Perhentians as there are no ATMs. Although in many diving centers and hotels in the Perhentian Islands you can pay with a credit card, you should anyway bring enough cash. Just in case.

Internet connection on Pulau Perhentian Kecil

During daytime diving and relaxing in the sun and in the evening working from our balcony: That was our plan. But we didn’t know about the miserable Wifi-connection on the island. Most of the cheap accommodation in the Perhentian Islands doesn’t offer free Wifi. Some restaurants officially provide Wifi but often, it works just super slow or not at all.

If you can’t go without a working internet connection, make sure to either hang out at Bubu Resort or Bar (Be aware that they change their Wifi password daily) or make sure to get a Malaysian sim card with mobile internet beforehand.

Things to do in Perhentian Islands, Long Beach

Long Beach is one of the most popular places on the islands among backpackers. But also if you are more into luxury travel you will most probably not be disappointed by it.

Here, you can find many Diving Schools, accommodations, bars, and restaurants directly at the beach. There are Perhentian Islands activities for every kind of traveler.

Perhentian Islands Diving

diving at Long Beach on the Perhentian Islands, two divers

A big highlight of our trip was diving – Malaysia is just perfect for diving.

We decided to finally do an Open-Water course and the Long Beach, Perhentians turned out to be a perfect choice.

Most diving centers are located directly on the beach so that you don’t have to take long walks or drives in order to get to your boat.

Diving in Malaysia, coral, clownfish

Another thing that you won’t need when doing a diving class on the Perhentian Islands is a pool. You can do all your exercises directly in the shallow water of the sea. That’s perfect in order to get used to the conditions in the open-water. That can help to prevent panic when you are diving in the sea the first time.

Another huge benefit of the Long Beach is that many of the diving sides are actually pretty near the shore. That means you don’t have to spend much time on the boat in order to get there. For people that get easily seasick just like me, that is a big positive point. Furthermore, the shorter the time on the boat the fewer are the odds that you overheat in your swimsuit.

Our two diving recommendations on the Perhentian Islands

Police Wreck, Perhentians

For us, it was just an incredible experience. Three police wrecks have been sunk here in order to create an artificial habitat for the sea dwellers. And it worked. The wrecks are full of amazing marine life.

Which sea dwellers can you find here

  • Kuhl’s Stingray
  • Scorpionfish
  • Anglefish
  • Spotted Boxfish
  • Clownfish
  • And more

Batu Layar, Perhentians

A really nice place for diving. Here, you can find a lot of different kinds of cool fish. Definitely recommended! We have been extremely impressed by the Bamboo-Shark and the Green Sea turtle.

Which sea dwellers can you find here

  • Bamboo-Shark
  • Green Sea turtle
  • Spot-Face-Moray
  • Spotfin-Lionfish
  • Blue-spotted Fantail Ray
  • Shaded Batfish
  • Yellowtail Baracoda
  • And more

Perhentian Islands Snorkeling

snorkeling on the Perhentian Islands, Long Beach

When it comes to snorkeling Perhentian Islands are just perfect due to their crystal clear water. Even without your goggles, you can see a lot of fish.

If you like you can just go snorkeling by yourself with your own goggles having a look at the colorful marine life of the Perhentians.

Anyway, it might be worth it joining a snorkeling tour. Just have a look along the beach – Many diving centers and tour agencies offer different kinds of snorkeling tours around the Perhentians.

Relaxing on the Long Beach

Long Beach, relaxing,, Bar, Perhentian Islands

If you are not a fan of water activities you can as well just relax on the beautiful beach. Some places offer sunbeds and umbrellas for the guest, e.g. the Bubu Lounge. (You just need to purchase something from their menu)

You can as well sit on one of the terraces and enjoy the view of the sea.

The Long Beach is simply beautiful and the turquoise clear water is warm, but still refreshes. Thus, perfect!

Watching the Sunrise at the Long Beach

Long Beach offers another highlight every morning for all the early birds among you: The sunrise.

Since we visited at the end of low season, it was cloudy every morning, though. Anyway, at least we had great weather during the whole day.

For everyone that visits during other months than October, you will probably have the chance to see some mesmerizing sunrises.

Island hopping on the Perhentians

Long Beach, Perhentian, Palau Perhentian Kecil

If you get bored just staying on one island you can as well have a trip to the bigger Island Palau Perhentian Besar or even to one of the non-inhabitant islands around.

There are different options of how to get to the other islands.

One option is to take a water taxi which can give you a ride to a fixed price. The more people you are the cheaper it gets, so you can try to find some more people to join you. The benefit of using a water taxi is that you are more flexible with times and places you want to go.

Another option is to join a tour. The places you will be visiting are usually fixed.

Perhentian Islands Nightlife

While we visited at the end of the low season shortly before the island was closed for monsoon season there was not much party going on. Some bars were playing music in the evening and you could sit on the beach and relax while watching some fire shows. For us, it was perfect since we were not looking for party. But still, you could find entertainment when having a walk at the beach after dinner. You can just sit on a beach with a cocktail or beer.

However, during high season there is more party going on at the beach and you can go out every night if you feel like.

Everything packed?

Find out what you should definitely have in your backpack when going to Southeast Asia in your ultimate Packing list for Southeast Asia for her and him.

Where to next?

Check out this great guide to Ipoh.

More diving?

Read more about how to find the perfect liveaboard.

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