Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed

Diving in Malaysia’s breathtaking coral reefs

Only1invillage dedicates this whole page to the breathtaking and colourful marine life you will see when diving in Malaysia. The Malaysian coral reef is teeming with life. You will see an amazing variety of colourful hard and soft corals. Swimming around them are plenty of turtles, sharks, sting rays, parrot fish and an abundance of other marine life.

Quick Index

breathtaking corals diving in Malaysia
Breathtaking hard and soft corals await in Malaysia. The wavy coral is part of a species called octocoral.
You can compare the Malaysian coral reefs to the Great Barrier Reef. Trust us, we go to both to dive and snorkel.
You can compare the Malaysian coral reefs to the Great Barrier Reef. Trust us, we go to both to dive and snorkel.
brightly coloured Malaysian coral reef diving in Malaysia
Malaysian coral reef is bright and colourful. Not known as a diving destination….until now!

Malaysia is an unknown diving and snorkelling paradise. If you love clown fish, you will find it particularly rewarding. We’re talking many different types of clown fish, not just the orange and white one called Nemo! If you love these fish check out our related post  here.

clown fish everywhere Malaysia
If you love Finding Nemo, you’ll love Malaysia. These orange and white cuties, are everywhere! How many can you count here?
orange fin clown fish diving in Malaysia
The orange fin clown fish is not the famous fish in Finding Nemo. Clown fish are everywhere in Malaysian waters.
Diving in Malaysia amazing coral reef and spectacular marine life
Not all clown fish are like in the movie Finding Nemo. This is a stripey clown fish.

                                              

Diving in Malaysia

Parts of Malaysia that Only1invillage visits, rivals the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.

Giant clams are squashed in against giant brain corals. A common sight when diving in Malaysia.
Giant clams are squashed in against giant brain corals. A common sight when diving in Malaysia.

Giant clams, clown fish, turtles, black tip reef sharks, giant wrasse and angel fish are common sightings in Malaysian waters.

Diving in Malaysia amazing coral reef and spectacular marine life
Titan trigger fish often swim on their side. They grow up to 75 cms. You’ll always see two or three when you snorkel or dive.

Not only that, but Malaysia has white sand beaches to rival those of the Maldives! Don’t believe us? Click here to see some beach pics of our Malaysian travels to islands of paradise. Our top 2 diving and snorkelling destinations don’t even need a boat to get out to the reef from the shore.

Diving in Malaysia amazing coral reef and spectacular marine life
The marine life is just off amazing beaches like this in Malaysia.

We are not kidding. The following pictures of the marine life have all been taken within a 100 metres from the shore.

titan triggerfish
This titan triggerfish is in knee deep water off the island of Redang, Malaysia. Look at the clarity of that water. It’s warm too!
Diving in Malaysia amazing coral reef and spectacular marine life
This Malaysian bad boy puffer fish (it’s probably female!) is swimming just 100 metres from white sand in the Perhentian Islands.
Diving in Malaysia amazing coral reef and spectacular marine life
5 feet (1.5 metres) black tip reef sharks can be spotted under 100 metres from the shore on Redang Island, one of our favourite diving and snorkelling destinations in Malaysia.

We reveal why you must make Malaysia your next underwater adventure. We will tell you where the easiest spots for beginners are. How to get there and the best time to go.

                                              

How expensive is diving in Malaysia?

Snorkelling and diving in Malaysia are a quarter of the price compared to Australia and most other western countries.

1 dive with full tank and all equipment is around 140 to 150 Malaysian Ringitt.  (Around 55 AUD, 28GBP, 35USD and 32EUR)

2 dives with full tank and all equipment is 260 to 270 Malaysian Ringitt.

A recent trip to the Great Barrier Reef for 2 dives cost us 350 AUD! (185GBP, 240USD and  215EUR). You can go diving in Malaysia  4 times for the price of 1 dive in Australia.

If you decide to do your PADI certification, some places offer free accommodation. It is still about a third of the price of getting certified in the West.

                                              

Is diving in Malaysia safe?

Diving in Malaysia is very safe. Tanks, wet suits, flippers and masks are well maintained.

diving gear in Malaysia
Going diving in Malaysia is very safe. Equipment is well maintained. Qualified divers are on hand for all diving levels.
diving costs in Malaysia
Diving is fun! Your oxygen tank is filled with beer! Just joking!

The boats you travel on vary from 8 people boats to dozens (for snorkelling).

diving boats
Boats that take you diving and snorkelling in Malaysia. Some boats are quite small, carrying up to 8 people. Most resorts have their own boats or hire local boats in the busy, dry season.
jellyfish
Jelly fish are not common in Malaysian waters. This jelly fish is just too pretty not to include!

                                              

What marine life will I see when diving in Malaysia?

Turtles are very common in Malaysian waters, especially on the Eastern coast. You often don’t need to dive to see turtles off Redang and the Perhentian Islands. The turtle below hangs out just 50 metres off the beach in Redang. He, or she, often takes a lunch break between midday and 2 pm!

If this is a female turtle, she will return to this beach and lay her eggs. Turtles are known as the navigators of the sea. They are cute and need space. Please don’t stress them by chasing after them, or, swim too closely. Admire them from a distance and use your zoom, please!

turtles are common in Malaysian waters
The green sea turtle is not really green! More brown than green, don’t you think? There are plenty of turtles to see when you go snorkelling or diving in Malaysia.
Diving in Malaysia amazing coral reef and spectacular marine life
The giant clams and sea urchins are just spectacular. This photo is a snorkelling picture, taken in shallow waters. You don’t have to be able to dive to see amazing marine life and corals in Malaysia.
black and blue clown fish
We’re clown fish too! Black and blue clown fish swim out to defend their anemone off Rawa Island, Malaysia.
lizardfish
Look at me, look at me, I’m a lizard fish. I will wait on rocks to catch my prey. See you in Malaysia!
bumphead parr
You will have to be lucky to spot these giant fish in such a big group. Bumphead parrot fish are shy. They are responsible for making the powder soft white sand. They do this by bumping against coral, eating and then spitting it out!
stingray fish
The blue and yellow stingray resembles a metal detector. It likes both shallow and deep water. It camouflages well and can be difficult to see.
two barred rabbit fish and damsel fish
The stripey fish are damsel fish. The yellow fish on the right are two barred rabbit fish. The damsel fish is one of the most common ‘plain’ fish you will see in Malaysia. This also shows how clear the waters of the NW coast of Malaysia are.
pennant bannerfish
Pennant bannerfish are notoriously difficult to get a good side shot.
squirrelfish large eyes
We love ticking off fish when we go diving. These large eyed squirrel fish love to hang out in big schools. They are usually nocturnal, so we are lucky to spot them during the day.
The colourful blue barred parrot fish
The colourful blue barred parrot fish must be the inspiration for the famous children’s book The Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister.
honeycomb grouper
The honeycomb grouper likes to roam on the sea bed. This shot is from the Perhentian Islands.
Mars Fusiliers
Check off another fish when snorkelling or diving in Malaysia. Mars Fusiliers have a distinctive yellow stripe. They are swimming happily with a rabbitfish and a blue parrotfish.
golden rabbit fish
Get up close and personal to golden rabbit fish when diving or snorkelling in Malaysia. They’re not shy! They swim right up to your face.
diving in malaysia
There are lots of needle fish that swim just below the surface of the water.
red banded wrasse diving in malaysia
Look to the bottom left for the red banded wrasse. The titan triggerfish wants to take centre stage!
unknown fish diving in malaysia
We don’t know what this fish is called. Any ideas? Get in touch, we would love to know! (Perhentian Islands)

We like this guide that helps us identify the many fish we see. For photo identification, we found this site useful. It’s also one of our favourite Malaysian island destinations, Redang.

jackfish
Another fish we’re not sure of. Maybe jackfish? We can’t decide using our two guides above.
giant barracuda
Often seen swimming alone the giant barracuda. Tick that one off the list.
sea cucumber
It’s not a giant white poo! Sea cucumbers are usually brown or black, in Malaysian waters. This is rare to see a white one.

                                              

How does diving in Malaysia compare to nearby Thailand and Indonesia?

The reefs, corals and marine life are far superior to those of Thailand and Indonesia. Also, on a recent trip to the Great Barrier Reef we found that the health of the corals and the marine life are very similar. 

Malaysian coral reef
The Malayasian coral reefs compare well with the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. This is a diving shot off Redang, Malaysia.
coral in Malaysia better than Thailand and Indonesia
The coral in Malaysia is in our opinion healthier and more diverse than in Thailand and Indonesia.
giant brain coral
It’s easy to spot giant brain coral off Lang Tengah, Malaysia.
giant clam brain coral
Is this not breathtaking? The colours of the reefs in Malaysia will astound you.

                        

Best time to go diving in Malaysia

The dry season will offer the clearest visibility. After it rains, visibility is always reduced for divers and snorkellers. The dry season on the NE side of Malaysia is April to July. The dry season on the NW side of Malaysia is November to March. This is very similar to popular Phuket and Krabi in Thailand. 

blue queen angel fish
The best time to spot the blue queen angel fish is from June to August, the dry season on the west coast of Malaysia. Their electric blue ring and stripes are unmissable.

                              

Best diving spots in Malaysia

Sipidan – Difficult to get to though and has had some safety concerns recently. 

Borneo – Half of Borneo is shared with Indonesia. You can also visit orangutans after you have had enough of beautiful marine life.

Perhentian, Lang Tengah and Rawa Islands – Easy to get to and day trips possible from Perhentians to Lang Tengah and Rawa Island.

Redang – Our personal favourite island to go diving from. 

Tioman – An East coast contender. Best time to go diving is March to May.

Langkawi IS NOT a good diving spot. There is no diving around Langkawi itself. You have to go to a marine park called Pulau Payar. The west coast of Malaysia is not as good as the East coast for diving.

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Diving in Malaysia's breathtaking coral reefs 4

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Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed

Redang Island the Malaysian Maldives 

So what’s your favourite place that you have visited? A common question that is hard to answer. For us when it comes to beach destinations around the world this is it! Redang Island Malaysia is a tropical paradise! Beautiful sand, crystal clear warm water, spectacular scenery, amazing marine life and largely unknown. Keep reading and discover why we call it the Malaysian Maldives. 

Quick Index Redang Island

                                                    

Why Go to Redang Island?

Redang Island secret paradise only1invillage
Oh No! Our secret is out! Redang Island is our Malaysian Maldives destination.
Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Redang has spectacular, colourful reefs which rival the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Diving is also a quarter of the price.

We are not joking! You don’t even have to dive to see giant bumphead parrot fish, angel fish, giant clams and the clown fish are everywhere!!! Black tip reef sharks, turtles, puffer fish, red breasted wrasse and titan triggerfish are common sightings.

Redang Island secret paradise revealed only1invillage
This is “our” resident turtle. Please don’t go too close, admire them from afar. Never try and touch one, it really stresses them out and please don’t chase them! He usually takes a lunch break between mid day and 2pm!
Redang Island secret paradise
These amazing giant and colourful clams are plentiful on Redang. As you glide over them, they snap shut to protect themselves.

If your idea of paradise involves palm trees, frangipanis, sitting with your toes in soft, white sand, crystal clear warm water, amazing fish life and serious relaxation, you know what to do……..keep reading!

Redang Island secret paradise
Frangipanis, coconut palms and blue skies. Is this your idea of paradise? It’s definitely ours!
Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Amazing water clarity in Redang! It’s warm too.
Redang Island Malyasian Maldives fantastic coral and marine life
Life is much better where it is wetter, under the sea! Snorkelling in the Malaysian Maldives of Redang! Just breathtaking.

We know, we know, you want to go to the Maldives, but, trust us, the Maldives is a huge rip off. Do you enjoy paying $US5 for a 330ml can of Coke? Do you like getting your feet cut on sharp coral? Do you enjoy going for a 1 hour snorkel and seeing one grey coloured fish?

Redang Island secret paradise only1invillage
You don’t need to spend $400USD a day to find Nemo in Redang! Malaysian reefs are teeming with various species of clown fish.

Is your idea of paradise worth $US400 a night for a 3 star resort? Unless you go to exclusive resorts which charge in excess of $US800 per night, the sand quality is not better in the Maldives. To us, Redang is the Malaysian Maldives!

Compare these photos. Can you tell which one is Malaysia and which one is the Maldives?

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Malaysia or the Maldives?
Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed The Malayasian Maldivess
Maldives or Malaysia?

You can see where we’re heading can’t you? Malaysia has everything the Maldives has but on a budget! Train your brain to say Redang Island is my next dream destination. Forget about the Maldives. Malaysia or the Maldives? See, they are even beginning to sound similar!

                                                    

Where is Redang Island?

Redang Island is part of Malaysia. The island itself is located in the South China Sea. Redang Island is NE of the capital Kuala Lumpur. It used to be a plane ride away, but the runway closed in 2016. It is a bit of a transportation collective to get to Redang Island, which makes it less popular than Langkawi. Yes, Langkawi is beautiful too, but far more crowded. We like the fact that it’s difficult to get to Redang. A plane, a taxi and then a boat ride from KL, makes Redang Island quieter. Redang is close to our other dream destination in Malaysia, thePerhentian Islands.

                                                    

When is the best time to go to Redang Island?

Redang Island weather is tropical. Redang Island has three seasons. Bloody wet and hot, bloody hot and dry and monsoon season. Best time to go is non monsoon season. June, July and August offer the calmest seas and best water clarity. Many places close on Redang Island from November to February. Always check in advance. The crossing over can be very rough in the monsoon season. Some boats may not operate at all. So the best time to go depends of what type of weather you like!

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
July weather is hot and dry on Redang. It’s the perfect time to escape the southern hemisphere Winter. Not a bad view, if we do say so ourselves!

April is a good time to go to Redang too, but tidal waves bring in some rubbish from wherever all that plastic comes from. When we come in April, we spend a lot of time cleaning the beach.

Redang Island secret paradise
April weather is right at the beginning of the season for holidays. It’s really quiet and you’ll definitely be the Only 1 in the village!

It is however, nothing like the nightmare of rubbish you see on Indonesian beaches. September still has plenty of sunshine. Even in October, when you might get downpours of H2o, it doesn’t last long! Basically Redang is an escape for the southern hemisphere experiencing Winter.

Redang Island secret paradise the Malaysian Maldives
Want endless blue skies, white sand and warm water? Escape the southern hemisphere Winter. June, July and August is peak season on Redang. This is the best time to come and get that beach life!

If you’re bored of crowded European beaches in June, July and August, come on over to the Malaysian Maldives, of Redang! The sun shines all day long, the water is warm and clear and the sand is soft.

                                                    

How to get to Redang Island

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Air Asia the low cost carrier flies from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terrenganu 6 times a day. Malaysia Airlines, Malindo and Firefly also have direct flights.

Option 1  – Getting to Redang Island

The nearest airport is Kuala Terrenganu. Kuala Terranganu is a 50 minute flight, from the capital of KL. KLIA2 and Air Asia offers the most number of flights to KT daily. From KT airport (Malaysians love acronyms) a 50 minute taxi ride takes you to Shandabhar Jetty. From there, a public ferry takes 90 mins to cross the South China Sea to our no longer secret paradise island.

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
The public ferry takes 90 minutes to get to Redang from Marang. It is air conditioned. The boat leaves Syahbandar jetty at 9:00, 10:30 and 15:00.
Redang Island secret paradise
This transfer boat pulls up alongside the public ferry to disembark. The hull of the public ferry will ruin the coral, so this flatter bottomed boat takes over. This boat is upposed to only take 64 passengers. However, it can sometimes be overloaded with 200 people. Health and safety Malaysian style! The process of unloading the passengers and their luggage can take 45 minutes.

Option 2 – Getting to Redang Island

You can also go to Merang Jetty and wait for a boat to fill up to get to Redang Island. Don’t confuse Merang with Marang, which is totally different. The letter e makes all the difference. There is no jetty at Marang. You must go to Merang. Click here for the boat times from Merang Jetty to Redang. Note, we only use this for the return from Redang. We cannot vouch for the accuracy of the times going to Redang from Merang Jetty. Also, we have never booked online, we always pay cash.

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Merang Jetty boats are smaller and faster. Journey time to Redang is 50 minutes. Boats generally leave at 8:00, 9:30, 10:30, 13:00 and 15:00.

However, the boats can be more crowded and you may have to wait for one to fill up.

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Alamein Boat Services go from Merang Jetty to Redang Island. It’s a bit more crowded and slightly less comfortable than the ferry. But, it’s a lot faster to our secret paradise!

Buy your tickets here to go to Redang if you turn up at Merang Jetty. Your accommodation can also buy your ticket in advance along with your taxi transfer from Kuala Terrenganu. Don’t forget, you will also have to pay a small jetty access charge and the marine park fee. Have to preserve paradise! It won’t put a dent in your budget. It’s 30MYR for non Malaysians, 15MYR for children and senior citizens. That’s the same fee for the Perhentian Islands marine park fee. If, like us, you go to Redang, from the Perhentian Islands, you don’t have to pay twice!

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Buy your ticket at the Merang Jetty ticket counter. You also have to pay the Marine Park entrance fee.

Option 3 – Getting to Redang Island

If you love a bumpy, hold onto your bones boat ride for 50 minutes, you can also get to Redang Island from the Perhentian Islands! On arrival at the Perhentian Islands, we always go to Ayumni House, which is behind Tuna Bay resort and ask the lady there to arrange a boat transfer. The cost is MYR100 per person.

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
While you’re on the Perhentians, buy a ticket from the lady who runs Ayumni House homestay. The cost is 100MYR per person and it saves you going back to the mainland.
Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Hold on to whatever you can! This fast boat will whisk you between Perhentian and Redang in 50 minutes! Warning – It’s a rough crossing! There are 4 rows of padded seats. Boat transfer Malaysian style.

At least 6 people have to go to make it worthwhile for the ‘taxi’. That’s why you need to enquire at least 3 days in advance. In our experience, it’s easier to island hop from Perhentian Besar to Redang Island and not the other way around.

If you’re staying at the Taraas Beach Resort or Laguna Redang Island Resort, they will arrange all transfers for you. This includes a meet and greet at the airport in Kuala Terrenganu. Enquire with your accommodation. 

                                                    

What’s there to do on Redang Island?

The things to do on Redang Island are all outdoors. This is not a tropical paradise where you want to stay in your hotel room. Some accommodation comes without TVs in the room, which we think is a great idea. How will you catch the moon rise? Yes, there is such a thing. Even massages, morning and evening yoga are an outside activity. 

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
The snorkelling and diving is world class in Redang. Look at those colours. We spend at least 3 hours every day under the sea!

It’s all about the ‘s’ words. Sun, sea, sand and snorkelling! There’s also some hiking, massage, reading and yoga. A few places will rent out kayaks and stand up paddle boards. Believe us, it’s exhausting from dawn until dusk fitting everything in.

Only1invillage's secret paradise Redang Island revealed 5
We’ve got eyes on you, Mr Stingray. These colourful fish are very common in the shallow corals off the beaches in Redang.

The snorkelling and diving is some of the best in Asia. The diving is also very cheap and the equipment you get is of a good standard. Diving instructors are knowledgable. If you’re thinking of getting your PADI license, why not do it in paradise? It really gives Thailand, where J got certified a run for its money. 

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Malaysian humour! You have to come and dive in Redang. Why not get your PADI certification?
Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Of course we are going to show you the other half!

Redang is an underwater paradise. Every day, we are busy spotting resident turtles, clown fish, angel fish and rare sightings of bump head parrot fish.

Redang Island secret paradise Malaysian Maldives bumphead parrot fish make the amazing white sand
OMG OMG a school of bump head parrot fish. These huge fish are responsible for all that white sand. Google them.
Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Blue Ring Angel fish are not rare in Malaysian waters.

Not to mention giant wrasse, titan triggerfish, black spotted cod, moray eels and sting rays!

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Well hello there, Mr Black Spotted Cod. Spotted you!

 

Almost forgot about the schools of black tip reef sharks which smile at you as they glide past!

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Want to swim with the sharks? Common just 2 metres from the soft, white sand of Redang Island. Some are up to 5 feet in length! Don’t panic, they’re quite friendly. Well, so far they have been!

There is also pristine jungle, like on the Perhentian Islands.

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise i
Feeling adventurous? You can hike on Redang. Bring plenty of mozzie repellent though! It’s a jungle out there!
Redang Island secret paradise
Don’t be alarmed when you see monitor lizards on your jungle walk!
Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island
You get this white sandy beach all to yourself, after the jungle trek which starts at the back of Coral Redang Island Resort and finishes at this beach next to the 5 star Taaras Resort.
Redang Only1invillage secret paradise i
You will be like this too after your jungle trek. Trying to dry out on the granite rocks. Maybe next time, don’t wear a long sleeved top!

Redang Island is, for us, the perfect mix of not too isolated and not too busy.

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Cheers to having so much sand to yourself! It’s about midday and there’s hardly anyone on Long Beach.

Nightlife consists of live bands at the various resorts. Thankfully where we stay doesn’t have a band at all. Also, Sari Pacifica doesn’t do live music, which means it is possible to sleep at 10pm.

Redang Island secret paradise
It’s pretty quiet at night on Redang. You’re going to have to make your own entertainment!

During the day, you often have the powder white sand to yourself and 10 other western tourists. Asian tourists avoid the sun from 10 until 4. Your peace will be interrupted 3 times a day when the snorkelling boats come in and out.

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise Malaysian Maldives
Seriously empty white powder soft sand beach. Usually between 11 and 4pm, you will have the beach mostly to yourself. Asian tourists like to keep their skin fair, so are not out until dusk! You’ll only see mad dogs and English men, out in the mid day sun! Come to think of it, there’s no dogs on Redang, unlike Thailand. Another reason why Redang is our Malaysian Maldives paradise!

Apart from that you can only hear waves, gently lapping against the shore. Oh and course people’s conversations about the amazing fish!

Redang Island secret paradise only1invillage
Helping out with the fresh coconut delivery! If you’re missing the gym, get a work out with nature.

                                                    

What’s the food like on a tropical island?

One of the things to do on Redang Island is to eat and eat and then eat some more. The Malaysian food is better than the western food. Eating out doesn’t break the bank in Malaysia and Redang Island is no exception. 

Redang Island secret paradise revealed only1invillage
You can have your cake and eat it on Redang Island!

You’ll need great coffee to go with that cake. Forgot to add the latte pictures! Here you go. You can get great coffee on Redang Island. OK, not Milan or Melbourne standard, but what else are you going to drink with your cake?

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise Malaysian Maldives
Coffee time! Would you like a stunning view with that?
Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealedMalaysian Maldives rival
If you can catch him, you can eat him! We’re only joking, there’s no exotic food on Redang. It’s great Malaysian and reasonable Western food.
Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Food on Redang always come with a great view. Here we are having some stir fried vegetables with seafood and plain rice.
Redang Only1invillage secret paradise i
Malaysian roti and vegetable curry. Gimme gimmee. The stretchy roti is a Malaysian speciality on Redang. One is never enough!
Redang Only1invillage secret paradise i
Western food is widely available on Redang. However, it’s not the best for authenticity, but look at the view. Our advice, stick to Asian food on Redang.

                                      

Where we stay on Redang Island

Redang Island secret paradise
The open air reception greets you at Coral Redang Island Resort.

Our secret island paradise is out, so we might as well share where we stay. Our favourite place to stay on Redang Island is Coral Redang Island Resort. This is a 3 star resort.

Redang Island secret paradise
Coral Redang Island Resort is always our number one choice. A relaxed vibe which is popular with Europeans. A comfortable open air lobby, a great place to work on that all important travel blog!

Good value and modern with a prime position on the beach. What we like about Redang Island is that even though the hotels are built on the beach, they are well camouflaged. They are also about 20 metres back from the water. 

Redang Island secret paradise only1invillage
Coral Redang Island Resort is set back from the beach. Here is the decking area that you can bring your own drinks to, for a small charge.

The service is good and the restaurant is the best option for western food. We have tried every restaurant on the island. The organisation of transfers to and from the island is very good. Visa is accepted for paying the final bill. You cannot book via booking.com or expedia. You have to book direct with the resort.

Redang Island secret paradise only1invillage
Coral Redang Island Resort will come and pick you up in one of these tractors from the public ferry jetty. They are excellent at arranging the ferry transfer and drivers from the airport at Kuala Terrenganu. They will also handle your transfer back, when you leave paradise.

There are two types of room available. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Deluxe rooms are more expensive, better decor and you only have one neighbour. Deluxe rooms are two storey stand alone buildings at the front  and centreof the property. The first 6 from the reception area have beach and water views.

Redang Island secret paradise
Deluxe rooms are fresh and decorated with neutral colours. Our top tip ask for an upstairs room, so you don’t hear your neighbours’ footsteps.
Redang Island secret paradise
The bathroom in the deluxe rooms at Coral Redang are spacious and modern. You also get a fridge and a huge safe.
Redang Island secret paradise
If you want a beach view at Coral Redang Island Resort, you need a top floor room at the front of the property.
Redang Island secret paradise
Always keep the windows closed. There are some very cheeky monkeys around.

Standard rooms are set further back from the beach. They are cheaper but are newer. They have a more plain decoration. The standard rooms don’t have a fridge. The showers are more powerful, however than deluxe rooms. You have more neighbours, especially if you are in the middle floor. Beds are newer and slightly more comfortable than in the deluxe rooms. We like both rooms and have stayed in both. Both rooms have a massive safe. The safes are big enough to store laptops, something quite rare. There are also family rooms. There is a block facing the pool which is ideal for 2 kids and 2 adults in a sort of adjoining room.

Redang Island secret paradise
Breakfast at Coral Redang in the open air restaurant.

Breakfast is included at Coral Redang Island Resort.

Redang Island secret paradise
Western options include cereals. The milk is UHT.

There is fruit, yoghurt, cereal, croissants and toast. There is also an egg station. Don’t expect poached, egg white omelettes or soft boiled eggs. The egg station is strictly for fried eggs and omelettes.

Redang Island secret paradise
The egg station at Coral Redang Island resort. Get your fried eggs and omelettes made fresh to order.

There’s always hash browns (English and Australian style), baked beans and some kind of starch like noodles or rice. On Sundays it’s roti bread breakfast day! Our absolute favourite flaky bread with a yummy curry sauce.

Redang Island secret paradise
Hot Asian options vary daily on a rotational basis at Coral Redang Island Resort.
Redang Island secret paradise
Food is kept warm in these silver serving trays. Hot breakfast options at Coral Redang Island Resort.
Redang Island secret paradise only1invillage
Croissants and DIY toast options available for breakfast at Coral Redang Island Resort.
Redang Island secret paradise only1invillage
Juice and water options. Juice is concentrate. Coral Redang is the only restaurant that offers free drinking water for lunch and dinner. Also as a paying guest, you can get filtered cold and boiling water on demand from a fountain on site.

Coral Redang Island Resort also have a very professional dive centre. Snorkelling and diving trips go out every day and the staff speak English, Mandarin and Cantonese in addition to Bahasa Malay. The equipment is modern and clean. If you have your own diving equipment, there is a small discount. So bring your oxygen tank, just joking! Waterproof cameras, masks and snorkels are available to rent. Life jackets, masks and snorkels are part of the snorkel trip package.  Kayaks and stand up paddle boards complete your water sports adventures. Thankfully there are no banana boat rides or giant doughnuts on Redang Island. 

Sari Pacifica click here to book

Redang Island secret paradise
Sari Pacifica has a prime position on the beach of Long Beach. It’s a 4 star resort. No loud music or karaoke here.

The beach view frangipani villas are the only choice here. You have well padded veranda lounges and a king sized bed. The food isn’t the best here. There’s no live music at night which makes this and Coral Redang on the quiet end of the beach. 

Redang Island secret paradise
The beach front villas at Sari Pacifica. Imagine waking up here!
Redang Island secret paradise
Back view of the frangipani villas at Sari Pacifica. Hmm wonder why they’re named frangipani villas???
Only1invillage's secret paradise Redang Island revealed 6
Secure your place on the day bed. Outside the beach front villas at Sari Pacifica on Long Beach.
Redang Island secret paradise
If you can’t afford a beach front villa, the lagoon view rooms at Sari Pacifica.

Laguna Redang Island Resort Click here to Book

Laguna Redang Island Resort is a big development. Even though it is large it blends quite well into the scenery. This is rated as a four star resort and caters mainly for tourists on a package, which includes daily snorkelling. During peak season, the breakfast buffet can be chaotic! 

Redang Island secret paradise
The view from inside Laguna Redang Island Resort. It has its own dive centre and kampung style nightly restaurant for non guests.

If you want a pool for the kids and a jacuzzi for yourself you have to stay at Laguna Redang. Make sure you venture out between 11 and 4pm and you’ll be like J (see picture below!)

Redang Island secret paradise
Be the only 1 in the pool between 11 and 4 at the Laguna Redang Island Resort. Although very popular with mainland Chinese tourists on a package, they don’t come out until the sun goes down.

Popular with Chinese tourists on a package. However, most Chinese people stay in the shade between 10am and 3pm, so you’ll have the facilities pretty much to yourself during daylight hours. Beware as the temperature drops (by 2 degrees from 32 to 30) the vampires begin to come out and the peace will be shattered!

Redang Island secret paradise
Laguna Redang is a huge resort. It occupies the far corner of the beach next to Long Beach.
Redang Island secret paradise
Laguna Redang has their own private pier and boats. If you stay with them, they will handle your transfer from the mainland at Kuala Terrenganu. They also have a mini ‘train’ to get you from the pier to reception.

Redang Beach Resort Click here to book

Located just next door to the big complex that is Laguna Redang is Redang Beach Resort. Yes, the names all get a bit confusing! This is also quite a big resort. The sand in front is powder white and has a volley ball net set up for the 5pm games. Note: no one plays before then, it’s too hot! 

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Redang Beach Resort has wide beach in front of its property. It doesn’t have any lounging chairs. Bring your own towel and take shade under the coconut trees.

This is a 3 to 4 star hotel, depending on your tastes. The rooms seem comfortable enough and you get the usual tea making facilities. 

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Redang Beach Resort can be noisy because it has TVs.

The Taaras Beach resort Click here to book

Redang Island secret paradise
The Taaras Resort has a spectacular beach and the turtle spotting trips all stop here.

Expensive and posh for Malaysia. Read Tripadvisor reviews however, for the service. Commanding a whole white sandy bay all to themselves. The Taaras is a bit remote. Stunning location, definitely a mirror image of some Maldivian islands. Once there, you don’t have many choices for food or activities. It’s a place to stay if you want luxury and you don’t want to leave the one beach.

Redang Island secret paradise
Turtles just off the shore of the Taaras Beach Resort are huge. You can get really close to them, but, please, don’t touch them!

Turtle spotting happens just in front of this luxury resort. So you don’t have to pay for a boat trip, because this is where you end up. The turtles here are amazing! But, it is sad to see that the tour operators let people get too close. They also feed the turtles squid to encourage them to hang around. We don’t like this practice and prefer to see our resident turtles on Long Beach. 

Redang Island secret paradise
Big adult turtles hang out near the Taaras Resort on Redang Island. Please respect their space!

There is a beach right next door which has the same soft white sand. We trek across the island and it takes about 50 minutes of pure sweat through the jungle. Don’t bring anything valuable as there can sometimes be people ready to snatch your belongings. (see the jungle trekking pictures)

The beaches on Redang Island

Long Beach

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The view of Long Beach. The beautiful curved and sheltered beach is 800 metres long. This is where we stay at Coral Redang. Sari Pacifica is next door.

Coral Beach

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We call this beach Coral Beach. But, we don’t really know its name! It is around the corner from Long Beach and about 400 metres long. Redang Beach Resort and Laguna Redang are on this side.

Used to be a resort Beach

This is where we want to buy and develop a resort! After that we want to set up house on this island, our beautiful Malaysian Maldives. There used to be a resort here and it is a bit eerie exploring here. But, go through Laguna Redang Resort, past their private jetty area and into the back area to get to Delima Resort and you will arrive here! We are always the only people here. We don’t know what this beach is called. There are no facilities here obviously.

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We don’t what this beach is called! But there’s never anyone on it! Okay, if you look really carefully, you might see another person.

Well if we haven’t convinced you that Redang Island is the Maldives on a budget, you’ll have to go yourself and prove us wrong. We love it so much, we have been six times! Pop on over to the Perhentian Islands, our other fave Malaysian Maldives islands, while you’re in the area!

Redang Island secret paradise only1invillage Malaysian Maldives
Sunsets and sun rise on Redang Island are just stunning. Bye for now!
Redang Island secret paradise only1invillage
We hope you enjoy reading all about our no longer secret Maldives like destination! Any comments, feedback or improvements welcome. See you soon Redang! Love from Jason and Christina.

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Only1invillage's secret paradise Redang Island revealed 10

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Perhentian Island Beach

Only1invillage shares our dream destination the Perhentian Islands

Here, we reveal how the Perhentian Islands is just like the Maldives and why it should be your number 1 dream destination! We are regular visitors and this is our 5th trip to these amazing hidden gems. You’ll be kicking yourself in the nether regions, thinking “How come I’ve never heard of this place?!” Forget Thailand and Bali for beaches and sunshine, hello Malaysia! Malaysia is the new Maldives. Keep reading and start planning your first visit to the Perhentian Islands! You know you want to 🙂

Quick Index Perhentian Islands

                                    

Ask yourself these questions about a beach holiday destination.

Do you love to walking and lying on powder white soft sand?

Perhentian Islands your next dream destination only1invillage
You can be the only 1 in the village on Perhentian Besar, Malaysia. Looks just like the Maldives to us!

Do you love watching spectacular sunsets and sun rises?

Are turtles, clown fish and reef tip sharks your favourite ocean animals?

Perhentian Islands your next dream destination only1invillage
Is finding Nemo high on your list of dream destination activities? You’ll be bored stiff of seeing them after a day of snorkeling around Perhentian Besar!
Perhentian Islands your next dream destination only1invillage
Reef tip sharks are common on Perhentian Besar. Even in knee depth water they come really close to you. Don’t freak out, they’re harmless. Well…..so far so good!

Do you love days of clear blue skies and no rain?

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Endless blue Summer skies! Sign me up! Here we come Perhentians!

Do you love swimming in crystal clear, warm water?

Pehentian Islands dream destination only1invillage
Swimming and snorkelling in crystal clear, warm water. Don’t you just love it?

Do you love gorging yourself on fresh seafood and local delights?

Do you enjoy island hopping?

Is snorkelling in pristine coral reefs high on your agenda?

pristine coral reef Perhentian
Perhentian waters contain some big areas of pristine coral reef.

Are friendly locals an important part of your holiday?

Perhentian Islands your next dream destination only1invillage
A friendly reminder. Stick to the rules and you’ll be fine!

Do you like to gain some cultural knowledge of the place you’re visiting as a tourist?

Do you love getting a bargain on holiday?

 

Have you answered yes to all the above questions? Well, who wouldn’t? Maybe some of us don’t care too much about the last question, but, overall you say yes to the questions. That’s why the Perhentian Islands is your next dream destination.

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Welcome to Perhentian Besar (big Perhentian) Malaysia.

                                    

Where are the Perhentian Islands?

The Perhentian Islands are in Malaysia, south east Asia. They are on the Eastern side of the Malaysian peninsula. The Perhentian islands are south of the Thai border. Penang is on the western side, directly opposite the Perhentian islands, when looking at a map. From Kuala Lumpur in the south, the Perhentians are located in the North East.

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The Perhentian Islands are off the coast of NE Malaysia, in the South China Sea. An hour’s flight from Kuala Lumpur, a taxi and then a boat will land you in what we call paradise!

                                    

How many Perhentian Islands are There?

They are two islands which on a clear day, you can see across the South China Sea. In Bahasa Malay, they are known as ‘pulau Perhentian’. Pulau means islands. Furthermore, Pulau Perhentian Kecil means ‘small Perhentian island’ and Pulau Perhentian Besar, means, ‘big Perhentian Island. It’s important to not that there is an island off the coast of Melaka, called Pulau Besar, so don’t confuse the two! 

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Small island is ‘kecil’ in Bahasa Malay and big island is ‘besar’. Travel between the two by taxi boat. No cars on either island. Note ‘Quite Beach’ should be ‘Quiet Beach’ although it is quite a beach!

                                    

How do I get to the Perhentian Islands?

To get to the Perhentian Islands you have to get a boat from Kuala Besut. Before you get to Kuala Besut, you have to get to Kota Bharu. International visitors will fly into Kuala Lumpur. From Kuala Lumpur, an internal flight is necessary. Air Asia, Firefly, Malindo Air and Malaysia Airways fly to Kota Bahru, one hour away. Air Asia offers the best number of flights per day. From KL, you can choose from 10 flights per day on Air Asia. The cost is usually about $US20, $GBP15, $AUD30, EUR18 one way before luggage and taxes. Air Asia is a budget airline. But for an hour’s flight who cares?

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Air Asia is one of four carriers that fly to Kota Bharu, the nearest airport to the Perhentian Islands. Malaysia Airlines, Malindo AIr and Firefly also fly from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu.
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It’s a 50 minute flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu, the nearest airport to the Perhentian Islands.

From Kota Bharu, you get a taxi to the jetty point of a little town called Kuala Besut. You can either get your resort to arrange a taxi, use your GRAB app (UBER for SE Asia) or get a pre -paid ticket at the taxi counter at Kota Bharu airport.

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Get a fixed price taxi – no need to haggle, at Kota Bharu airport to Kuala Besut jetty.

There is a public ferry, but we never take it. Time is of the essence when you need to get to paradise!

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Get your boat to paradise from Kuala Besut, a small village on mainland Malaysia.
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Kuala Besut Jetty is a 50 minute drive from Kota Bharu airport. It is the jumping off point for the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia.

We always hitch a ride with the Tuna Express, run by the Tuna Bay resort. They also arrange a driver from Kota Bharu airport and drop you off at their office on the mainland. The operation is seamless.

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Hitch a ride with the Tuna Express. Departures from Kuala Besut, three times a day. You have to stay with them to catch their boat! It’s not a ferry service.

They guide you to the departure point where you pay MYR30 per adult for the marine park fee and then onto their own boat. The boat ride is 45 minutes to Perhentian Besar. 

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On board with the Tuna Express and the daily supplies. This is boat transfer, Malaysian style! This is not a ferry service. It’s a private boat transfer.

                    

What’s the best time to go to the Perhentian Islands?

The tropical islands of Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil experience the dry season from April to August. Peak season is June and July. To escape southern hemisphere Winter, the Perhentian Islands are perfect for that dream destination getaway. Long days of sunshine make for perfect snorkelling and diving in June and July. On the cusp of dry season, March and September are months still worth going, as the rain is generally at night.

                    

What’s there to do on the perhentian islands?

Like the old saying goes, there’s 4 things to do on a tropical island. It’s sun, sea, sand and serious sandcastle building! Actually the snorkelling and scuba diving is pretty amazing. Crystal clear waters an abundance of sea life from turtles, reef sharks, sting rays, clown fish, parrot fish and plenty more make it an adventure every time you go in to the water! Jungle hiking and kayaking are also popular activities. Most resorts do not have a television which suits us just fine.

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Making sand sculptures hasn’t been banned on the Perhentian Islands, unlike on Boracay, Phillipines. Look at that powder soft, white sand!

                    

Jungle trekking on Big Island

The path is well signed for this short, but very sweaty little hike. Take mosquito repellent!

You actually start the walk from the beach after Cocohut Chalets. See picture below.

jungle trekking path Perhentian Besar
Get to this beach! It’s just after the CocoHut Chalets.
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Start the jungle walk on this dodgy looking staircase! Adventure, here we come!
jungle trekking path Perhentian Besar
Start the adventure here! This is after the concrete staircase.
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Keep following the signs, you can’t go wrong!
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There are a lot of trees and mosquitoes on the trek.
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Keep following this enormous pipe for orientation on the jungle hike.
jungle trekking path Perhentian Besar
The pipe is your friend! You’re half way there when you step over this pipe, on the trek.
jungle trekking path Perhentian Besar
You can see water through the clearing! You have made it through the jungle!

Oh there’s snorkelling too and high quality snorkelling at that.

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Huge triggerfish are a common snorkeling sighting.

To recap the Perhentian Islands activities are sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling, diving, sand castle building (unlike on Boracay, this has not been banned!) jungle trekking, walking, reading and island hopping.

Bring a good book to read Perhentian Islands paradise only1invillage
Bring a good book to read as most rooms don’t have a TV in paradise!
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Stop taking pictures of me swimming and sunbathing on this tropical island!

Throw in eating and sleeping and then press repeat. Yup, it’s a serious beach vacation on the Perhentian Islands.

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We forgot to mention meditating and practising yoga! Things to do on the Perhentian Islands.
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When you go jungle trekking on the Perhentian Islands, look out for these colourful lizards on the trees.

                    

How do I pay for items and services on the perhentian islands?

There are no cash machines on the islands! We repeat, you cannot get cash out! You need to bring a combination of Malaysian Ringitt and credit cards. Bigger establishments will accept credit cards. The water taxi boats accept cash only. The small shops on both islands accept cash only. If you like collecting foreign currency banknotes, some Malaysian notes are plastic. This means that even if you drop your money in the crystal clear waters of the Perhentian Islands, you can still use it! 

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Carry some cash for your island getaway. Boat taxis and shops on the two Perhentian islands only accept Malaysian Ringitt.

                    

Is there WI-FI?

The most important question! It’s an island in the middle of the South China Sea. Yes, WI-FI is available. Of course it can be unreliable in times of bad weather. If you need an uninterrupted connection it is better to buy your own SIM card at the airport. There are three outlets at KLIA2 and a few stands at KLIA. Tune Talk seems to be reliable and DIGI also sell good plans.

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Do not fear WI-FI is here! For reliable connectivity on the Perhentian Islands, buy a traveller SIM at a Malaysian airport when you land.

Prices are very cheap. MYR40 buys you 15 days and 25GB. Beware that if you don’t activate a top up message half way through your plan, your plan will stop in 12 days. You can buy Tune Talk before you go and pick it up at your arrival airport in Malaysia. For DIGI you have to go to the shop.

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Buy your Malaysian SIM at Kota Bharu airport. Don’t panic if you haven’t bought data in Kuala Lumpur. You can buy a SIM from the shop on the left of the picture, after you collect your luggage at Kota Bharu. PHEW!

                    

Is the food halal?

Malaysia is a Muslim country. There’s no pork available on the Perhentian Islands. There are several places on Perhentian Besar that serve halal food. These will be the Malaysian run places. If the restaurant or cafe is Chinese Malaysian owned, the food will not be halal. This is a generalisation. It is best to check before you order just to be on the safe side.

Food from Nia Cafe on the beach, next to Tuna Bay resort on Perhentian Besar serves halal food at great prices. 4 dishes and 2 soft drinks (no alcohol) only 60MYR.
Food from Nia Cafe on the beach, next to Tuna Bay resort on Perhentian Besar serves halal food at great prices. 4 dishes and 2 soft drinks (no alcohol) only 60MYR.

                    

What are the food options like on the Perhentian Islands?

Western and Asian food is widely available on both islands. Vegetarians always need to check if the food contains small bits of meat. Also oyster sauce and fish sauce are widely used. So, if you’re a strict vegetarian you must make sure you say so. Salad leaves are rare but cooked vegetables are plentiful. Malaysian style curries are fabulous. The roti bread on the Perhentian Islands is something else! Flaky and buttery, one is never enough!

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Western style food is widely available on both islands. Snapper with a beach view- we give this the double thumbs up!

Check out the size of those prawns. The fork is there for illustration purposes. Cocohut Chalet on Perhentian Besar provides the best value for huge prawns on their nightly barbecue. Size does matter in this case!

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OMG! Look at the size of those prawns! Prawns rear their heads for the nightly dinner menu on both islands.

For the best in Western cuisine we like Bubu’s on the small island. From Tuna Bay on Big Island it’s only MYR15 per person in a boat taxi.

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Head over to Bubu’s on Perhentian Kecil for fantastic Western food, with a beach view, naturally!

                    

Can you get alcohol on the Perhentian Islands?

You can get beer, wine and spirits on both of the Perhentian Islands. There are a few places that do not serve alcohol, such as Abdul Chalets on Perhentian Besar. Beer is available to purchase from the small shops on both islands. The most popular beers are Tiger and Heineken.

                    

How do I get around?

There are two options – your legs and boats. There are no cars or mopeds on both islands. Water taxis clearly display their prices for both islands and various snorkelling trips. There is no haggling as prices are very reasonable.

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Boats and your legs are the only forms of transport. No cars on the Perhentian Islands – yay! Taxi boat prices are fixed and very reasonable.

                    

The Beaches of Perhentian Besar

Tuna Bay Beach

Tuna bay beach best all rounder for swimming sand and snorkelling
Tuna Bay beach is just in front of the resort named Tuna Bay. This is the best for swimming, snorkelling and lazing around. The area is roped off to protect the coral. No waves and the coral is visible from your sun bed!

This is the best all round beach for sand, coral and fish life.

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Tuna Bay Beach is roped off to protect the coral. The sand is fine and white with some large pieces of coral. Head to the left, towards Abdul Chalets for more powder soft sand.

Here we see puffer fish, parrot fish, needle fish, titan triggerfish and wrasse. There is also something very special here. One bright neon pink anemone is in the crystal clear shallow waters. If you’re very lucky the resident turtle will make an appearance. If you’re really lucky, bumphead parrot fish will make an appearance. On our 6th visit here we see one! This is the beach that has the best coral. It’s just in front of the resort called Tuna Bay. There are some naughty small fish that like to take a nibble if you stand still in the shallow water.

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Conservation efforts include sinking piping to encourage coral growth. The puffer fish seems to like it!

The reef begins literally 1 metre from the sand. Please don’t wear fins when snorkelling. There is a sign that says fins are not allowed, but, this is unfortunately, largely ignored. There is some bleaching happening, but, overall, for snorkelling it’s pretty good!

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Bet you’ve never seen neon pink anemone before! On our 6th visit to the Perhentian Islands, this is the first time we have seen this amazing sight. Swim out about 2 metres on the Tuna Bay beach.

On our latest trip, we discovered a neon pink anemone! This is something we haven’t seen before on our previous 5 trips. There’s always something different to see. There is also some conservation work going on underwater. The marine park has sunk some frames, to encourage coral growth. Some of them are quite successful. The sand here has small bits of coral in it, right in front of the restaurant, but head further along and it’s powder soft. 

Abdul Chalets Beach

Abdul's Chalet beach
Powder soft white sand in paradise. The Malaysian Maldives! Abdul Chalets beach is good for swimming but not as much fish life, due to lack of coral.

Powder soft sand. It’s a continuation from Tuna Bay and on the other side of the pier. A couple of large granite rocks provide some snorkelling opportunities, but, not as good as outside the front of Tuna Bay. Better for swimming. This beach has no umbrellas and is generally used by the guests staying at Abdul Chalets. The water is of course crystal clear. It’s better for swimming at this beach.

The Barat Beach

When you jungle trek accross the pathway shown in the map above, you reach this part of Perhentian Besar. This isn’t really the name of the beach.

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Barat Beach with a view of the mosque on small island. The main village is on Kecil. There is a doctor, school and some small shops, on the other side.

When you get water taxis around you will notice the destinations are the accommodation names.

The Barat accommodation has a busy restaurant and a nightly BBQ of seafood delights.

Here you will also find Mama’s Place, Water Colour, The Reef and Coral View resorts. From here you get a view of the mosque on Kecil.

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Barat beach has fine sand with some small stones. A water taxi will drop you off at your accommodation on this jetty.

The beach here is made of small stones and fine sand. More a beach for sunbathing and getting your feet wet. No coral here.

Coral Garden View Perhentian Besar
No coral and fish life at the Beach where The Barat, Mama’s, Watercolours and Coral Garden View have accommodation. The sand here is grainy with small stones. The water is warm and clear.

 

Perhentian Island Resort Beach

Perhentian Island Resort beach out in front
No prizes for the name of this beach! A wide curved bay with lovely white sand.

Perhentian Island Resort pretty much has a sheltered bay and granite rocks at one end. This beach is a 50 minute walk through the jungle or a MYR10 ride in a water taxi from Tuna Bay. This stretch of white sand has the colourful pier on one side and ends with huge granite boulders on the other side. It is a lovely curved bay.

Curved bay and fine powdery white sand Perhentian Island Resort beach
The view of Perhentian Island Resort beach is a welcome sight after the sweaty jungle trek! Shouldered by huge granite rocks on either side, this beach is great for children.

Before you get here, there is a massage place on top of the hill offering spectacular views of this beach.

Fancy a hill top massage? Perhentian Island Resort beach
Fancy a hill top massage with magnificient view of Perhentian Island Resort beach?

Reef tip sharks love to swim near the pier in knee deep water!

colourful pier marks the drop odd point for Perhian Island Resort customers
Watch out for the sharks under the multi-coloured pier. It’s ok, they’re only reef tip sharks!

Powder soft sand with some coral the closer you get to the water. Chairs and umbrellas are reserved for guests only. There is however, some natural shade under the coconut trees. This beach has easy entry into the water along the sand. At low tide you might have to go 20 metres before you can’t swim. You can swim out to these floating square buoys for a break in between swimming.

take a break Perhentian Islands
Take a break from all that swimming and snorkelling. These buoys are about 30 metres out from the shore at Perhentian Island Resort beach. Getting up onto them is slippery work!

Perfectly calm without waves, it is great for children.

Perhentian Island Resort beach Perhentian Besar
Sand quality is powder soft and white in colour at Perhentian Island Resort beach. Take shade under the coconut trees in paradise.

This is clown fish heaven. The little cuties are everywhere! You will also see different species of clown fish, not just the orange and white ones. This is the best beach for clown fish spotting. There are hundreds of the little orange and white cuties fiercely defending their territory. The anemone here is also pale white, pale green and the more common green colour. 

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Come and see Nemo and his family! This beach is the one where clown fish are everywhere. Perhentian Island Resort beach, Perhentian Besar.

KK  Beach and Teluk KK snorkelling point

This is a very, very quiet beach.

KK Teluk Perhentian Besar
KK Teluk snorkelling point has two beaches. This beach is just around the corner from the big sunken rocks of KK Teluk. You can walk here from Tuna Bay and Abdul Chalets.

Water taxis can drop you off or you can walk from Tuna Bay or Abdul Chalets. Warning, there is some broken jungle path along the way and a kind of bridge made from plastic pipes! There is one lady selling snacks here.

Teluk KK Perhentian Besar
Teluk KK beach is narrow and sandy. You can swim out to the deep sunken rocks and coral gardens of Teluk KK. The boat near the rock is where the snorkelling and diving trips drop you in the water.

The sand is powder soft, but the beach is narrow. It’s good to swim out to Teluk KK which is where snorkelling trips drop you off for half an hour. Due to its remoteness we saw some western girls go topless on this beach. Please don’t do this in a Muslim country. It is quite disrespectful. 

Turtle Beach

Guess what you can see on Turtle Beach? Erm…..yes you’re turtle-y correct. It’s a flippin marvellous sight to behold! The sand is lovely and soft here too. Granite boulders enclose this small crescent shaped beautiful beach. To be the only 1 in the village, you have to get there early before the boat loads of tour groups. Please, please don’t touch the turtles, it stresses them out. Of course the aquamarine clear water makes this beach a dream destination. What more do you need? White sand, tick, clear water, tick, turtles just offshore, tick and for an hour or so by yourself! Dream destination status secured in our humble opinion!

Quiet Beach

Although it’s often called Quite Beach, it’s really is supposed to be QUIET. Not many people come here as its name suggests. Reachable by water taxi.

                    

The beaches of Perhentian Kecil

Long Beach

Long Beach is the main attraction.

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Long Beach on Perhentian Kecil is the busiest stretch of white, soft sand. No coral or fish life here. It is serious sunbathing territory!

Many restaurants and cafes have put their chairs onto the sand, making the beach look a bit like Thailand. We guess due to rising popularity, the vendors don’t want to miss out. The sand is powder white and soft here. There isn’t any coral or fish to see here. 

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The sand on Long Beach, Perhentian Kecil is powder soft and glow white! It is best at either end of the bay. This end is at Bubu Villas.

Coral Bay

Coral bay is on the other side of Long Beach on Kecil. You can get there by a well maintained path starting from the glamping tents or  just before Bu Bu Villas. Look out for the signs! It is a bit of an uphill walk, but you can do it in about 25 minutes. The beach here is curved. It’s  mostly yellow sand with a few patches of large grainy sand. It’s not the prettiest view with many boats tied up in the water. The water is clear once you get out past the boats.

Coral Bay Perhentian Kecil small island oonly1invillage
Coral Bay Perhentian Kecil. You can trek across from Long Beach or get a water taxi.

Romantic Beach

If romance is on your mind, head to the aptly named Romantic Beach! You’ll be left alone! Ask your water taxi driver to come back for you!

There are more beaches which we will share next time! This should be enough to get you planning a trip to the Perhentian Islands. Remember the best time to go is between April and September. A perfect getaway from the Southern hemisphere Winter!

Walking from Long Beach to Coral Bay on Perhentian Kecil

If water taxis are too easy for you and you want to get your cardio exercise for the day, we suggest you do this little hike!

It will take about 25 minutes, going at a reasonable pace.

On Long Beach look for the Aina Garden Chalets or Long Beach tents.

Perhentian Kecil Long Beach to Coral Bay walk
Start the walk to Coral Bay from Long Beach from here.
Perhentian Kecil Long Beach to Coral Bay walk
You can also start the walk from here to Coral Bay on the small island.
Perhentian Kecil Long Beach to Coral Bay walk
The path is well signed to Coral Bay on Perhentian Kecil. 
Perhentian Kecil Long Beach to Coral Bay walk
The path is quite well maintained for a jungle path!
Perhentian Kecil Long Beach to Coral Bay walk
Go through the Ombak Resort and you have found Coral Bay on Perhentian Kecil.

        

Accommodation Options on the Perhentians

We always stay on Perhentian Besar. It is slightly more upmarket than Perhentian Kecil, which is mainly for backpackers.

We are loyal customers to Tuna Bay Resort because they offer a really convenient transfer service from the airport to the jetty and then the island. They use their own private boat which runs three times a day. Most of their rooms could do with a make over, but they have the best restaurant on Perhentian Besar. After years of lying on the hard wooden sunbeds, they have finally added padding to their sun loungers! Tuna Bay are not on any of the hotel websites, you have to book with them directly.

accommodation options on Perhentian Besar
We like to stay at the Tuna Bay Resort because of their transfer service to Perhentian Besar.
Accoommodation option on Besar are generally of 3 to 4 star quality only1invillage
Accommodation options on Perhentian Besar are generally in the  2 to 4 star range. This is a chalet facing the beach with Perhentian Island Resort. They will arrange your transfer via boat from the mainland.

Warning, there are not any 5 star establishments like in Thailand or Bali. It is altogether a more rustic kind of paradise.

Why the Perhentian Islands are your next dream destination 13
Coral View Garden Resort has a wide range of options.
Accoommodation option on Besar are generally of 3 to 4 star quality only1invillage
The beach front apartments at Coral View Garden resort have a plunge pool and a very expensive price tag. Perhentian Besar.

There are exceptions on Kecil such as BuBu Resort and a newly built hotel, MIMPI on Long Beach. The reason we stay on Besar, is also for the snorkelling. It is non existent on Kecil, it’s more for the sun part of your holiday.

Kecil caters more for budget travellers. There are tents and shacks with fans only. If you want air conditioning, you will have to pay a bit more.

Perhentian Kecil accommodation only1invillage
Kecil accommodation is more geared towards backpackers. Simple huts without air conditioning.

There is also free accommodation! If you do a diving course with some diving centres, they’ll throw in the accommodation for free. We have not inspected a room being offered, so we can’t comment on this offer.

free-accommodation-if-you-sign-up-for-a-diving-course-Perhentian-Kecil
Stay for free! If you book a diving course, many dive centres offer complimentary accommodation.

Well done for reading (or scrolling through!) our very long article on your next holiday destination in Asia. What are you waiting for? Paradise waits for no one. Get packing, Perhentian paradise is waiting for you! You too will be dreaming about this destination. Like us, you’ll be returning visitors. We even have another little Malaysian Maldives up our sleeves. Redang Island our favourite tropical paradise

Your next dream destination Perhentian Islands Malaysia only1invillage
Still day dreaming of lying on white sand and being the Only1invillage? Use our Booking.com link on our website for great Perhentian Island prices on accommodation. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for more travel inspiration and information!

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