DSF to Perenthian Islands

Sea of the Perenthian Islands in Malaysiac

We go out of our adventures in the Malaysian jungle. We now need something calm and restful for the next days. The ideal place for that? The Perenthian Islands in the northeast of the malaysian peninsula. After 8 h of crazy bus and a poor sick Dutch, we find some rest in a small cabin near the water.


Which island to choose?

There are indeed 2 small islands that compose the Perenthian: Kecil and Besar.

According articles we have read and advice given by the inhabitants, Besar island is apparently more recommended for families or honeymoon, because quieter than its neighbour Kecil, where backpackers come to party in the beach bars.

Finally, to moderate this, we remind that we are in a Muslim country, in the month of Ramadan. “Partying” as we understand it is not much on the program.

We choose Kecil for two reasons:

  • Except on the Long Beach beach where in fact, the party seems a little more noisy than on the rest of the island, it is very quiet, especially if you cross from East to West. Coral Bay is a lot quieter and that suits us
  • On Kecil, accomodation prices are far more affordable than on Besar. And yet, arriving at the hotel that we spotted, we are announced a cost already well above our budget. But fortunately, with Ramadan, as many shops are closed, we get a small cabin overlooking the beach for half price.

Islands Perenthian in Malaysia

What to do on the Perenthian?

Here comes the DSF. No no it’s not a political party, nor a safe position. It simply means: diving / snorkeling / farniente. That’s all about the activities on Kecil island.

It’s great for us who want to make our first dive. It seems that the waters of the Perenthian are the best in Malaysia. We hope it will be true.


Snorkeling day

Let’s start with a bit of snorkeling. We leave fairly early direction different snorkeling spots. We go first in the “Coral Garden”, literally the garden of corals to get confident. 5 Malaysian people are accompanying us, and they are not all comfortable in the water. So, it’s a good start.

snorkeling in the Islands Perenthian in Malaysia


We then sail to the spot of the turtles, where we are a little shocked by the number of tourists who try to touch the animals while the guides tell us to leave them alone. But the experience is magical! We have the chance to swim next to a turtle.


We continue our ride to the spot in the black fin sharks. They are harmless and we quickly realize that they are more afraid of us than us of them. We did not see them much as they were hidden in the seabed, in the middle of the corals.

After the lunch break, we move on to a final spot to see beautiful small tropical fishes swimming among the coral. We can see that here also, corals begin to whiten, but they are much more beautiful than at our last snorkeling trip in Vietnam, on Phu Quoc island.

End of the day on the “romantic beach”,  the beach for lovers. We have fun with our 3 guides and 5 malaysian friends. We do not see the time going and leave later than expected, but that’s okay, we enjoy a maximum!

swimming at the Perenthian

romantic beach on the Islands Perenthian in Malaysia

Group of snorkeling in the Islands Perenthian in Malaysia

First dive

As we felt confident and safe with our guides, we decide to retry the experience with the “dive master”, who brings only the two of us for a morning of diving.

We first learn the basics on the romantic beach, in the water to get comfortable. Everything seems simple enough until now. It is after that it gets complicated.

We ventured to the bottom of the sea. And we don’t realize it, but we go down very quickly. There are more than 11 meters deep and there I panic a little. I have lots of condensation on my mask (yes I have not yet fully acquired the technique of the “breathe through your mouth!”) and could not see much. So, I want to clean it up, but I’m afraid of removing the device that allows me to breathe… But eventually, we get there, the instructor calming me down beside him. And the ride becomes immediately much more pleasant as I can see again.

Results of this first experience: we have seen plenty of fishes of all colors and beautiful corals, as well as a magnificent ray (stupid jokes prohibited). 😉 Even if many people later told us that we are often afraid on the first dive and that you get used to it, we remain more comfortable on the water, than underneath.


In order to recover from our emotions, we decide to spend the rest of our stay quietly installed on the beach. One chance to make a bit of snorkeling on ourselves, sunbathe on the small pontoon planted in the middle of the sea, and enjoy the moment.

Coral Bay on the Islands Perenthian in Malaysia

Coral Bay on the Kecil Island to Perhentian of night

Coral Bay on the Kecil Island to Perhentian of night


Five days have already passed when we decide to move, in order to enjoy what we have to see in the rest of the country. So we take another boat, then a night bus to go to Melaka, a historic town located completely in the South of the country. The program there: walk and explore this city on the UNESCO heritage list. Go to the next article to make the visit with us!