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Perhentian Island


The Perhentian Islands (Pulau Perhentian in Malay) lie approximately 10 nautical miles (19 km) offshore the coast of northeastern Malaysia in the state of Terengganu, approximately 40 miles (64 km) south of the Thai border.


South Beach, Perhentian Besar

The two main islands are Perhentian Besar ("Big Perhentian") and Perhentian Kecil ("Small Perhentian"). The small, uninhabited islands of Susu Dara (Virgin Milk), Serenggeh and Rawa lie off Kecil. The Perhentians belong to Pulau Redang National Marine Park, which means that fishing, collecting coral and littering are strictly prohibited. Like Besut, people here generally speak Kelantanese Malay.

Sheer beauty of Pulau Perhentian makes it the destination of tourists. Both the islands have palm-fringed white sandy beaches and turquoise blue sea. One can have a number of activities on its beaches and forests. Scuba-diving, snorkeling, and swimming are the most popular tourist activities here. On most beaches, the water is shallow with lots of rays, cuttlefish and parrotfish. For diving, there are dozens of divesites around both main islands, as well as several off-shore sites. Apart from these, you could also enjoy activities like camping, canoeing, fishing, jungle trekking, and banana boat riding. As for accommodation, most of it can be found on Perhentian Besar, the larger island. Hotels are usually aimed at budget travelers.

Tourism is the base of economic activity in Perhentian. However, owing to the Islands' protected status, the main tourist activities are minimal in environmental impact: sunbathing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and turtle and shark-watching.

Summer 2007, 2 wind turbines have been installed, still not connected to the network in October 2008, Thus the island's electrical power is still provided by diesel generators. A third turbine is being built. Electricity is 24-hour during high season. Fresh water is provided by springs. In this respect, the Perhentian Islands are prized by tourists as an 'escape' from the modern world.

As the state of Terengganu follows Islamic customs, the consumption of alcohol and wearing of immodest clothing are discouraged. In order not to offend local inhabitants, tourists are advised to consume alcohol discreetly and to wear one-piece bathing costumes. No penalties are imposed on tourists for 'breaches' of the local customs, however.


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