Perhentian Island is located in the South China Sea at the northern east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Since the island is under the protection of the Marine Park of Malaysia, it is well-preserved and unspoiled by human's development except for the building of the hotel resorts and the tourist attractions.
The Perhentians offer some of the best diving on the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia, with over 20 dive sites which cater to all dive levels. From island fringing reefs, pinnacles, submerged reefs, majestic coral gardens, manmade artificial reefs to amazing shipwrecks. Perhentian Island is a paradise for diving enthusiasts due to its great variety of marine life and fascinating underwater wonders, where most of these attractions can be found very close to the shoreline.
The underwater world in Perhentian is a world of magical colors. Each dive site is home to a vast array of marine life with different species of turtles, sharks, stingrays, moray eels, schools of pelagic like trevallys, barracudas, schools of snappers and bumphead parrotfish, lionfish, scorpionfish and even whalesharks once in a while can be seen.
If you love muck diving and looking for new creatures, there are a few places where you can find exciting macro life like seahorses, sea urchin crabs and shrimps, different types of nudibranchs, pipefish and maybe even a blue-ringed octopus.
So Perhentian has a bit of everything for everyone - you just have to find it.
Popular dive sites include The Pinnacle Tokong Laut (aka Temple of the Sea), a pinnacle jutting out from the sea bed,which received this name for the amount of fish and sea life that gathers there. Best time to dive it is early in the morning (the earlier the better it is!). And the Sugarship Wreck, an easily accessible 3500-ton and 80m long sugar hauler, which sunk on its way to Singapore. Don't miss the eerie Terumbu Tiga, a place with big boulder formations, beautiful corals, and fun swimthroughs!
The conditions for diving in Perhentian Island are relaxed and suitable for all levels. Amazingly it is also inexpensive. For divers who are looking for excitement, in some few areas the land descends to 30m deep (Secret Reef), but most dive sites are in an 18-23m depth. The pristine underworld landscaping and diverse marine life are unique to Perhentian. With an average water temperature of 29 C the waters around Perhentian Islands are perfect for recreational activities like scuba diving and snorkelling. The best time to dive is from March to October, however the visibility is very hard to predict as dive conditions may vary on a daily basis. The island remains clused during the monsoon months (November till February).
Competition for divers is fierce and consequently diving is quite cheap, averaging out to RM70-90 per dive depending on how many dives you do and whether you bring your own gear. All dive shops also arrange introductory dives (no training required) and PADI training.
Located at the north-eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia, about 21 km off shores the remote town of Kuala Besut, there are two lovely unspoiled island lie amidst exquisitely clear waters: Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian) and Perhentian Besar (Big Perhentian) comprise the Perhentian Island, aptly named after henti (stop) as fishermen from mainland Kelantan and Terengganu have, for centuries, stopped over at the island for a rest or to shelter during a major storm. A rocky virgin jungle provides hours of adventures for trekkers who may chance upon flying fox, long-tailed macaques and monitor lizards, while the underneath marine life shows off a splendid garden of coral.
Accommodation : Bungalow
Highlights : Idyllic paradise surroundings, crystal clear waters.
Average cost of a dive : $20
Dive Sites : 10+
Dive Operators : 2+
Getting there : Boat from mainland 1 hour
Off Season : Nov / Feb