The Perhentian Island Group consists of the islands of Susu Dara, Perhentian Besar, Rawa, Perhentian Kecil, Serenggeh, and Susu Dara Besar. All islands are located about 20 km from the continent. Diving operators are located at Perhentian Kesil and Perhentian Besar. These twin islands are on the outskirts of the Redang Island Conservation Area and are surrounded by coral colonies. Perhentian is a paradise for divers, watersports enthusiasts and anglers. In addition, this is one of the few places where giant leatherback turtles breed.
According to simplyyellowpages, Perhentian Kechil Island is more focused on economy tourism (there are many inexpensive eateries and guest houses), while Perhentian Besar, on the contrary, has a more developed infrastructure and offers high-level accommodation. One way or another, there are chalets, hostels and campsites on both islands.
How to get there
From Kuala Terengganu (the capital of Terengganu) or Kota Bharu (the capital of Kelantan) there is a bus or taxi to the city of Kuala Besut. And already from the Kuala Besut pier to the Perhentian Islands, a ferry departs daily, usually from morning to noon, the journey takes about an hour.
The more developed Perhentian Besar has chalets and campsites. More comfortable accommodation is offered by the Coral View Island Resort or Perhentian Island Resort 4 * (102 rooms; tel.: 03-244 8531, in Kuala Lumpur: 010-903 0100, 010-903 0106). There are also camping sites on some of the smaller islands. Diving trips should be organized through tour operators.
Diving in Perhentian
Local reefs combine many varieties of hard corals interspersed with soft dendrooil corals and sponges growing on boulders. The currents around the reefs are moderate, getting a little faster as you go deeper. The best places near the islands are marked with mooring barrels.
Tokong Laut is an island of rock located northwest of Perhentian Kesil. You can get there in 30 minutes by boat. The slopes of the blocks gradually decrease to 30 m, large marine fish and whale sharks ply around. Here you can meet sea bass, kingfish, barracudas, nurse sharks and black-finned sharks.
Of interest are the islands of Susu Dara Besar and Susu Dara Kecil (Pulau Susu Dara Besar and Susu Dara Kecil), where colonies of hard and soft corals thrive. It is better to start the descent at the island itself and then drift along the reefs, which descend to the sandy bottom at a depth of about 18 m. Diving is interesting because of the transparency of the water and the abundance of reef fish. Sea world: barshne fish, triggerfish, wrasses, moray eels.
Terumbu Tiga, together with Tokong Laut, is considered one of the best islands in Perhentian. Terumbu is located to the east of Perhentian Besar and is good for drift diving. The rocky area reaches the sandy bottom at a depth of about 20 m. Visibility is 5-15 m. The boulders are overgrown with various types of soft corals and gorgonians. Sea world: shoals of fusiliers, groupers and barnacles. On the outside of the reef, you can sometimes see black-finned sharks.
Redang is the largest island in the archipelago of the same name, which consists of 9 islands. It is 7 km long and 6 km wide. Redang seems to be a lost, unexplored and terribly distant island, where you can intersperse games of Robinson with amazing diving (read all about the dive sites of the island in the article ” Diving on Redang “). This calm resort has only 2-3 decent hotels, but there is a marine park with one of the best beaches in Malaysia.
How to get there
Redang is located in the South China Sea, 45 km from the city of Kuala Terengganu on the East coast of the Malay Peninsula. To get to the island, you must first fly from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu (50 minutes), then get by car to the pier, and from there take a ferry to the island (1 hour on the way). Boats also depart from Merang Pier (50 minutes on the way).
Entertainment and attractions in Redang
In between dives, you can go fishing, windsurfing or go boating and canoeing. Only here it is impossible to catch fish within a radius of 3.2 km around the island, water skiing and motor boating are also prohibited. However, this also has its advantages: the water here is unusually clear, and extraneous sounds do not disturb the peace and quiet of the inhabitants of the island.
Diving in Redang
Redang Island will find something to impress even the most experienced diver, especially if you dive on the local reefs at night. Also known is the largest single coral “Mashroom Coral”, which has the shape of a mushroom, a height of 20 meters and a 300-meter diameter!
From August to September, the migration of giant shellless turtles takes place in coastal waters – an amazing sight. It is also home to hawksbill and green turtles, barracudas, rays, whale sharks, tiger sea urchins, lobsters, as well as black, red and white corals, gorgonians and sponges. There were also wrecks: at the service of curious divers – two sunken warships at once, Prince of Wales and Repulse.