Living in tropical region comes with many perks. One of them is the tropical islands. If you live in a country surrounded by oceans, you might have better chance to have them. Malaysia is surrounded by ocean and particularly Peninsular Malaysia, 80% of our border is actually coast line.

That brings me to the topic that I want to share with you guys this time around. Me and my buddy went to Perhentian Kechil Island located in the coast of Terengganu. The island is part of the Perhentian Islands archipelago (or not that big of scale). Perhentian Islands consist of Perhentian Kechil and Perhentian Besar Island. FYI, Perhentian Kechil is more touristy and always flocked by backpackers around the world. Perhentian Besar is more residential (village).


Right after graduation of my college preparation program in July, me and my buddy drove all the way from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Besut. Being young and curious, we did not waste our time to plan our trip. We planned to stay on the island for 3 days and 2 nights. With just small car, we drove with a little bit of our savings for 7 hours to Kuala Besut.

In Kuala Besut, we paid to a local travel agent on the spot for a boat ride to the island. At the town, you have to walk around and find the best deal. We got it cheap because we took a package of speed boat ride and   backpackers dorm.

Leaving Kuala Besut jetty
Boat to boat transfer along the way

As mentioned before, Perhentian Islands consist of Small Perhentian (Perhentian Kechil) and Big Perhentian (Perhentian Besar). Along the way, the boat made a stop at Perhentian Besar to send off local passengers to Perhentian Besar. After that, we continued the boat ride to Perhentian Kechil

Perhentian Besar jetty
Nice looking resort at Perhentian Besar. When I have more money one day, I will go there.

We finally arrived at Perhentian Kechil and went straight away to the dorm. The dorm was not comfy. Sand on the floor. However, it is appropriate with the cheap package. There are chalets that you could stay if you have more budget in your pocket.

Huge lizard wandering around


View from the dorm mid afternoon. It was so hot, I rather stay in the shades

Since we came in quite late. We did not have time to do any activities. Besides, the weather started to change to slightly cloudy later. So, we spent the afternoon looking for the best deal for snorkelling trip the next day.

On the next day around 9am, we went for snorkeling. According to the guide, the main highlight would be swimming with shark and turtle. Luckily for us, we did encountered all of them.

Shark wass not big. Do not expect too much. I would rather not encounter bigger shark.

Ready to swim in the open water
Brain coral
Fish and corals
Swimming with the fish. They were not afraid of human.
Just see the water depth. It reaches up to 10m

Then, we sailed to the turtle location. The  moment that I had been waiting for.

Boat stopped in the middle of the sea

The guide then jumped into the water to find the turtle and he caught one with his bare hands and brought her to the surface. Like that was amazing. (please do not touch the turtle as they are coated with algae that protects the shell).

The turtle was brought to the surface

After that, he let us jumped into the water and chased the turtle ourselves. She swam really fast and I was catching my breath just to take a good picture of the turtle.

The turtle swam freely

The day was amazing. We ended the trip and returned to the dorm. Since today was our last day on the island, we spent whole late afternoon playing in the water.

Silhouette of sunset

The sunset was mesmerizing. You have to come here yourself to witness the beautiful sunset.

Sunrise was even more awesome. On the day we were going to leave the island, we woke up early and witness one of the most beautiful sunrise.

Sunrise facing the island

Here is the catch. It was not hard if you want to leave the island. There are so many water taxis that could bring you to many speed boats that began the work early in the morning.

Ready to leave Perhentian Kechil
Fishing boat

That is all. The journey happened long time ago. I wish I have the opportunity to visit other islands in Terengganu. The state offers many jewels in the sea.