Pulau Perhentian Besar - Getting Around

Date Links: Sun 05/06 │ Mon 06/06 │ Tue 07/06

Accommodation: Cocohut Chalet

Access to the Perhentian Islands is by ferry from Kuala Besut, which is usually reached from either Kota Bharu or Kuala Terengganu. 

Ferries have previously run from a jetty at Tok Bali, and for a short while direct from Kota Bharu, but both have now been discontinued. There are no ferries to neighbouring islands, but reasonably priced direct transfers to Redang are possible if a day-trip or dive boat has free seats - enquire with travel and dive shops.

From the main ferry terminal at Kuala Besut there are effectively three options:

  • Speed boats - usually small fibreglass boats with two or three outboards which take 30-45 minutes, charge RM70/person for to and fro and RM40/person for one way, and depart according to demand (4-5 times a day). Some are enclosed, some have a fabric roof, some are completely open. If the sea is choppy expect a bumpy ride and in the case of the latter two types expect to get very wet. There is no safe space for electronics, you might want to wrap anything that will not survive being wet in plastic beforehand. If you don't want back problems do not sit in the front part of the boat — large swells combined with the driver going as fast as possible will throw you up in the air and smash you down hard.
  • Air-condition ferry services= 45 seaters ferry with air-condition wchich take 35-45 minutes, charge RM70/ person return and RM40/person for one way. Depart according demand. Comfortable seat and less bumpy. (no more back problem...) Reservation call 601-7960-8716
  • Slow boats - usually wooden fishing boats with some seats on the deck which take 2-3 times as long as the speedboats, only available if you book in advance at around RM300/boat/way. Maximum 12 pax per boat.

All ferries take their passengers directly to their destination, wherever it may be on the islands. Passengers may be charged an extra RM2 to get a small boat from the ferry to the beach at Long Beach. Elsewhere, jetties are springing up and enable people to get off the ferry without the need for an additional small boat ride to shore and without getting their feet wet.

All travellers to the islands must pay a marine park conservation charge of RM5, valid for the length of their stay.

On the islands

While there are some trails around the island, the easiest way to go from beach to beach or island to island is by boat. Chalet owners can arrange a taxi boat. From island to island, the trip costs RM10 per boat, and a jaunt from one beach to another on the same island usually costs about RM8. Prices double at night.