This is the smaller of the two islands, located west of Perhentian Besar. The Fishing Village on Perhentian Kecil, is the only settlement on the Perhentian Islands. It is on the eastern shore, facing Perhentian Besar and consists of a cluster of wooden houses, a school, a police station, a clinic and a mosque.
Accommodation here is more geared towards the budget traveller and the backpacker scene, especially along the idyllic Long Beach (Pasir Panjang). A ten minute walk through the jungle takes you to Coral Bay (Teluk Aur), which is smaller and quieter, while also predominantly catering for budget travelers. The other resorts on this island occupy their own private beach coves and are priced in the budget or moderate category. There are also a few uninhabited, secluded beaches scattered around the island.
Coral Bay (Teluk Aur) is a small, quiet bay on Perhentian Kecil. It is one of the few places where you will be able to catch a glimpse of the setting sun. The sand is light in color, dotted with pieces of broken coral and there is good snorkeling around the Shari-La resort at the end of the bay.
The bay is lined with a handful of resorts, dive centers, restaurants and small stores selling clothes, souvenirs and essentials. There are also canoes for rent, a laundry service and a small book exchange stall selling and exchanging second-hand books. If you need to go elsewhere or if you are looking for a fun outing, there are a few boat operators offering sea taxi services, snorkeling outings and trips to nearby islands.
Pasir Panjang, as Long Beach is also known, is the Perhentian Islands’ most famous and popular beach – especially for backpackers. Its popularity is understandable: a long stretch of almost-white sand, shallow, crystal-clear water and an abundance of budget accommodation, restaurants, bars and friendly travelers.
The entire beachfront is lined with chalets, restaurants, dive center and small stores and Various services are available, including Internet, batik painting classes, snorkeling and other outings, sea taxi, massages and canoe rental.
Note that boats are sometimes unable to land here due to rough sea conditions, which may mean that you need to disembark at Coral Bay and walk 10 minutes to Long Beach.
Besar means “big” in Malay and this is the larger of the two islands, located to the east of Perhentian Kecil. The major part of the island is uninhabited and undeveloped, apart from the resorts on its western and south-western beaches.
These resorts mostly cater for families and also for avid scuba divers. The northernmost, nicest bay is called Teluk Pauh and is where you will find the Perhentian Island Resort. A walkway connects you to the main west coast beaches facing Perhentian Kecil, each with a cluster of resorts, dive center and restaurants and separated by rocky headlands. The southern beach, Teluk Dalam has a wide curve of sand, a handful of resorts and is the quietest beach on this island.
On the south western side of Perhentian Besar, Teluk Dalam is one of the quieter beaches. It has a wide, curved bay, lined with palms and causarina trees and the water is quite shallow, especially at low tide. There are a few resorts and dive center as well as a handful of restaurants. Small convenience stores are located in some of the resorts.
The main beach of Perhentian Besar stretches down the island’s western shore for around 1 kilometer, interrupted by rocky headlands. The beach has fine white sand, scattered pieces of coral and is lined with coconut palms. In some places, especially at high tide, it is necessary to follow the footpaths inland to cross over from one part of the beach to the other.
Most of Perhentian Besar’s resorts are found along this stretch and range from simple scuba diver’s accommodation to air-conditioned chalets, ideal for families.