The East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia has some of the best Island destinations in the world. The best time the visit these amazing Island destinations is early and mid of the year when there is lesser rain and clear sunny days. The most popular way to travel to these islands is to book packaged holiday tours with local operators. A typical tour includes boat transfers to the Island, accommodation, local tours, and breakfast/lunch.
1. Pulau Perhentian near Kuala Terengganu
The Perhentian islands are a group of islands where Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil Islands. Both Islands offer accommodation and beach activities. Perhentian Besar is more popular with budget-conscious backpackers. A number of hostels and budget resorts provide basic accommodation. This Island has an active beach life with bars and restaurants.
Perhenitan Kecil is suited more for a family-styled holiday. This island is more popular with honeymooners and family holidaymakers.
Several ferry operators are available on the jetty. The timetables can vary and depend on the weather condition. The average travel time is 45 minutes and a one-way ride costs an average of RM 35. Book in advance to avoid last-minute queues during the holiday season or long weekends.
What is the best time of the year to travel to the Perhentian Islands?
The best time to travel to Perhentian Islands is from February to April as the weather is relatively dry compared to the rest of the year.
Where to stay in Perhentian Islands?
If you like more activity and like nightlife, Perhentian Besar is the right place for you. Here is a list of popular mid-range resorts:
Pulau Perhentian Besar Accommodation
- Perhentian Island Resort ~ RM 300/night: A three-star quality resort offering easy access to Perhentian Beach and Flora Beach. A return airport shuttle & ferry ride can be arranged for an extra fee. Check Rates
- The Barat Perhentian Resort ~ RM 180/night: a three-star resort offers quality accommodation at very reasonable rates. Check Rates
What are some of the best tours in the Perhentian Islands?
Depending on your time availability, here are some recommended tours in Pehentian Islands:
- Half Day Diving Tour from Perhentian Islands from Kuala Terengganu. Check Rates Online
- Three Day- Two Nights Perhentian Islands Tours - Check Rates Online
- Private Transfer from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Besut - Check Rates Online
- Ferry Ticket from Kuala Besut to Perhentian Islands
- Transfer from Kota Bahru Airport to Kuala Besut Ferry
2. Redang Island - near Kuala Terengganu
Redang Island in Terengganu is another very popular destination for holidays as it offers a unique Island holiday experience. Redang Island is popular for its white sands and blue pristine water which is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and plenty of watersports for all age groups. Redang Island has a number of luxury as well as mid-range resorts offering quality accommodation. Packaged tours are popular that include airport transfers, ferry rides as well as a number of activities during the stay on the Island.
The most popular tour packages to Redang Island are 3 days and Two Nights.
What is the best time of the year to travel to Redang Island?
Redang Island tours are popular only at certain times of the year because of the monsoonal activity in the region.
The best time of the year to travel to Redang Island is between April and October. The early part of April to August attracts the most number of visitors as the temperature is moderate.
How many days should I spend at Redang Island?
Normally travelers to Redang Island book a 3D2N Package which includes ferry transfers, basic tours, accommodation, and other fees, etc.
Arriving at the Island in the peak season without a booking at a hotel can be a challenge and is not recommended because of the distance of the Island from the mainland.
Packaged Holidays are definitely the best way to travel to Redang Island in Malaysia.
What are some activities at Redang Island?
Like most Island destinations is a great place for a family holiday as the clear white sand and shallow pristine water near the beach offer fun activities for the entire family and all age groups.
The most popular activities on Redang Island include:
1. Snorkelling and Scuba Diving are the two most popular activities on the Island that can be booked through a number of operators on the Island. The clear water gives an amazing opportunity to explore amazing marine life including turtles, string rays, and sharks.
2. Sea spots include kayaking, water scooters, water skiing, and parasailing is available on the island.
3. The beach offers an ideal opportunity to enjoy scenic walks, sunbathing, and swimming.
4. Boat tours to nearby Islands are also a popular activity to explore some hidden spots for swimming and exploring. The local boat tour operators have useful local knowledge that can help you design your customized tours.
5. The Island also offers nightlife with a number of bars playing live music through the late hours of the night.
Note: The ferry prices from Merang Jetty to Redang Island are approximately RM 55 to RM 100 and can vary based on your baggage and diving equipment (if any)
Useful Links for Redang Island:
3. Pulau Kapas - Kapas Island near Kuala Terengganu
Pulau Kapas is one of the most popular Island destinations because of its proximity to Kuala Terengganu. I stayed at a hotel south of KT and the driving distance to Marang Jetty (as compared to Merang Jetty) is around 20 minutes.
A number of tour operators offer a drop-off and pick-up at the Island the costs around RM 20 per person. The boat operator will give you 3-6 stopovers and will pick you up from the jetty near the Island.
The boat rides from Merang Jetty to Pulau Kapas is approximately 20 minutes. The Island is relatively small with a number of lodgings and cafes on the waterfront. As you walk along the beach a walkway along the rocky waterfront takes you to a relatively deserted beach with crystal-clear water that is ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
I enjoyed snorkeling the deep water near the beach and went along some 50 meters into the ocean. The water was clear and I could see the surface of the ocean with some coral growth and a number of multi-colored fish swimming along with me. The experience was amazing.
I highly recommend exploring this Island if you are staying in Kuala Terengganu.
There is a staircase and walkway that leads you to the other side of the Islands with a clear view of Jem Island and a number of shallow water sports ideals for swimming. The Island is also a great spot for jungle trekking.
Pulau Kapas is ideal for a day trip from Kuala Terengganu. Make sure to start early to make the best out of your day on the Island. You can rent kayaks on the Island or enjoy beach volleyball. Alternatively, relax at one of the cafes on the beach enjoying cool drinks.
The East Coast of mainland Malaysia is definitely home to a number of amazing and unique Island destinations for a resort-style holiday or a honeymoon. Make sure to keep an eye on the weather when planning your holiday. The operators will quote you prices on the early season, peak season, and shoulder season as the peak holiday season brings plenty of traffic to these Islands and it is very difficult to get a booking.
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