"When we arrived at the ferry terminal at the end of the day we were very happy. Only on the ferry for 40 min and then we were on the island with its beautiful clear blue water and white beaches. When we were waiting for the boat we saw that everyone was putting their bags in plastic bags. It surprised us it was not raining and it was a ferry boat that went very often per day and not some strange boat. Unfortunately, we were wrong. It was a small boat that could hold about 10 people. On 3 benches next to each other. At the back of the boat, 2 speedboat engines were hanging over our heads and that was it. In itself to do well but there was just a storm and the water was still very wild. When we were on the boat, we also received plastic bags to cover our bags and ourselves."
The ferries to the Perhentian are not the boats that we are used to. They are open boats with a roof that protects you from the sun. They have outboard motor (s) and bring you in about 45 to and from the islands. The boats to the Perhentian depart from Kuala Besut. Make sure you have enough cash, because there is no ATM on the Perhentian and credit cards are sporadically accepted. Book your accommodation on the islands in advance, because they are very popular and often it is full. In the monsoon (rainy season) some accommodations are closed. There is a lot of rain and there can be storms.
The rainy season on the east coast is from November to February.
From the ferry terminal in Kuala Besut there is in fact one option: a speedboat. This is a boat with two to three outboard engines. There are reliable and unreliable boat operators. Buy your ticket at the ferry terminal and do not buy tickets for "a boat" to the Perhentian anywhere else, eg at a bus station, train station or airport.
The boats are made of fiberglass and will only take you to the Perhentian: the outward journey. For the return trip you must be at the reception of your accommodation. They warn the boat operators that the next day someone has to go to the mainland. The boat providers then provide the required number of boats. There are different departure times from the Perhentian. This is often at 08.00, 12.00 and 16.00, but you can get informed by the reception.
No ferries depart from Kuala Besut to other neighboring islands. Then you will have to travel to Merang (for Redang).
All travelers to the islands must pay a fee in advance for the maintenance of the marine park. It varies from 1 euro (Malays) to 6 euro (foreigners) The "ticket" of the marine park call is only valid for a few days, but in practice it is never asked for and is valid indefinitely. For the duration of the stay, this ticket is paid at the office in the departure jetty in Kuala Besut, so pay this BEFORE getting on the ferry.
Keep in mind that operators of speedboats are inclined not to comply with the safety rules. They often do not live up to the Malaysian legislation, and overloading the boats is very common. prevent more passengers from boarding than the maximum capacity of the speedboat. Usually the maximum number of people is 12. You should call the police number 999 in the event of a violation and do not forget to make documentation (photos, video).
Also avoid travel agencies / operators who are known for transhipping speed boats. Listen carefully to the stories of other travelers. With MD Travelers there was a speed boat to the island with 15 passengers instead of 12 and on the way back 21 (twenty one) + baby instead of 12. That is dangerous and you do not want to be the first victim of their irresponsibility.
Het personeel op de boot is soms ook dronken, ga niet aan boord van de boot en bel het politienummer 999. Klagen kun je over overbelasting op het politienummer 999 en het Maleisische ministerie van Toerisme om deze situatie te veranderen.
All ferries bring their passengers directly to their destination, anywhere on the islands. Passengers can be charged an extra amount if you have to transfer to the beach of (Kecil) Long Beach in a small boat, because there is no jetty. We are working on a jetty at Long Beach. You can ask to be dropped in Coral Bay, from where you can easily walk 10-15 minutes on a nicely paved path to Long Beach.
Apart from walking, the only means of transport are water taxis. Prices are negotiable. An amount is calculated for most hops from one beach to another, and a little more when crossing from one island to another.
And last but not least:
There is GSM coverage for mobile phones on both islands, as all three major operators (Digi, Celcom and Maxis) have placed their respective transmission masts (large red and white) on the islands..
Littering remains a major problem despite local regulations. Nobody seems to want to pick up the stuff. There are often waste bins in the inlets / bays. Use them!
Credit cards are accepted at a few locations. Some will charge an extra 3-6%. So first ask before you buy something.
Internet cafes can be found on both Kecil and Besar. Although some connections are slow and a bit expensive. Many resorts now install satellite broadband.
Perhentian - Have a close look where you want to stay
Shari-la Island Resort
Shari-la Island Resort is ideally situated on Perhentian Kecil; at one of the most popular beaches of the Perhentian. No less exceptional is the hotel's easy access to the islands myriad attractions and landmarks, such as Pulau Perhentian Beach.
At Shari-la Island Resort, every effort is made to make guests feel comfortable. To do so, the hotel provides the best in services and amenities. For the comfort and convenience of guests, the hotel offers 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour security, convenience store, daily housekeeping.
Guests can choose from 99 rooms, all of which exude an atmosphere of total peace and harmony. Throughout the day you can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the watersports equipment rentals, snorkeling, private beach, diving, fishing. Shari-la Island Resort is a smart choice for travelers to Perhentian Island, offering a relaxed and hassle-free stay every time.