Pulau Perhentian Besar (bigger Perhentian island) which suitable for family with kids, honeymooners, older tourists and people who willing to spend more as it is much expensive and quieter
Pulau Perhentian Kecil (smaller Perhentian island) which carter much for backpackers, singles (or couples), younger travelers and have lower budget than those who opted for bigger island.
Both islands has no road, no vehicles, no chain-stores, no supermarket, no cinema, no ATM/banks (cash advance via credit/debit card service available at bigger resorts/dive centers at between 5-10% charge, so bring enough cash if possible before you hit the islands), no electricity (electricity generated by diesel-pump generator which resulted most of the chalets, guesthouses, resorts only have power supplies at night except for the expensive options) and don’t worry about water supplies as the government already installed the clean water piping since 2011.
Surrounded by many other smaller islands like Pulau Rawa Kecil, Pulau Rawa Besar, Pulau Susu Dara Kecil, Pulau Susu Dara Besar, etc. Also houses so many beautiful dive sites like Tokong Laut @ Sea Temple, Batu Nisan, D’Lagoon, Sea Bell, Sugar Wreck & Ship Wreck (for wreck diving), etc. And also spectacular snorkeling site like Light House, Shark Point, Turtle Point, Romantic Beach,Fish & Coral Gardens, etc. And there’s also a semi-modern local fishing village situated on the smaller Perhentian island.
The Perhentian Islands is more likely envisioned the likes of Koh Tao, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samui to be more than a decade ago, before the tourism is out of control in Thailand. It is just beautiful, barely developed (although now on Pulau Perhentian Kecil there are walkway made to connect between Coral Bay and Long Beach), crystal clear clean water, white powdery sandy beach, amazing coral gardens, dazzling array of sea life (turtles, sharks, barracuda, clown fish, etc etc etc) and very laid back beach life.. In another word – paradise on earth. To be honest, it’s almost impossible to talk about the Perhentian Islands without descending into holiday-cliche like mentioned above but that’s the reality, that’s just the Perhentian islands!
True, nearly every beach destination claims most of these things, but the Perhentians do the dive/snorkel beach holiday better – and cheaper – than just about anywhere. The sea is clearer and the beaches whiter than Koh Phi Phi or even around the Great Barrier Reef; the travelers are less obnoxious than in Koh Pha Ngan or Bali; the diving is cheaper than Koh Tao; food and accommodation are basic but cheap. Diving in the Perhentian Islands is top-notch for the money. With single dives as cheap as RM70 (USD $23), getting under the water for an afternoon is a great way to shake off last night’s party.
It’s nothing like much-hyped Koh Tao – a so-called divers paradise in south Thailand – small islands with more than 50 dive centers/schools. Unfortunately, with a literal fleet of dive boats sputtering around the reefs there for decades – as well as leaking petrol into the water… The Perhentians are far less dived, so no need to battle for parking at dive sites, and friendly shark encounters are that much easier to find.
Dive centers on bigger island – Alu Alu Divers/Watercolors/Sea Horse Divers
Dive centers on smaller island – Angels Divers/Ombak Divers (on Coral Bay area), Panorama Divers/Matahari Divers (on Long Beach area).
Snorkeling centers on bigger island – Alu Alu Divers/Flora Divers/Watercolors.
Snorkeling centers on smaller island – Ombak Divers/Yellow Station (on Coral Bay area).
Budget accommodation on bigger island – Flora Resorts and few others.
Budget accommodation on smaller island – too many!!! Highly recommended:-
Fatimah Chalet, Ewan’s Chalet & Cafe, Tropicana Inn, Panorama Chalet, Matahari Chalet, Mohsein Resort, Bintang Chalet
High-end accommodation on bigger island – Perhentian Island Resorts/Alu Alu Divers Lodge/Awana Resorts/Tuna Bay Island Resorts and well, many others.
High-end accommodation on smaller island – Bubu Resorts/Shari-La/Ombak Resorts/Senja Bay Resorts.
F&B on bigger island – Tuna Bay Island Resorts/Perhetian Island Resorts.
F&B on smaller island – Ewan’s Cafe/Amelia’s/Mama’s/Ombak/Oh La La/Bubu
**(for RM20, you can get an awesome BBQ dinner (consists of rice, baked potato, seafood, fruits, banana cake, choice of sauce & a glass or cordial juice) at Amelia’s or Mama’s on Coral Bay area).
Note: PERHENTIAN ISLANDS IS OPEN FOR PUBLIC FROM MID FEBRUARY – MID OCTOBER. THE ENTIRE ISLANDS WILL COMPLETELY SHUT DOWN FROM ANY BUSINESSES DURING MONSOON SEASON WHICH IS FROM MID OCTOBER TO MID FEBRUARY, EVERY YEAR.