Our time spent in Malaysia consisted of visiting some really cool places, including the likes of the lush jungles of Taman Negara and the bustling atmospheric city of Kuala Lumpur. However, my favourite spot in Malaysia was the idyllic Perhentian Islands, hands down. Why was this, you may ask?
To put it quite simply, this small grouping of islands situated off the coast of Northeast Malaysia are absolute postcard perfect paradise.
As our little long tail boat drew into to the shore of Perhentian Kecil (the more ‘backpacker-esque’ of the islands so to speak), I drank in my surroundings. The water was a spectacular bright blue hue, the stretch of golden white sand was lined with tiny hippy-style shops and bars and alluring clusters of coral could be seen peaking above the waters. I knew straight away that this island getaway spot would be a place I would enjoy.
I was actually lucky enough to spend my 23rd birthday in this beautiful location and me and my friends spent the day snorkelling in the translucent blue waters. It was perhaps the best snorkelling I’ve ever done to this day, as we were able to swim with turtles and lots and lots of blacktip reef sharks – definitely a birthday first! The rest of the day was spent being treated to massages and tequila sunrises on the beach – relaxation at its prime.
Since the diving in the Perhentians was so fantastic, we took advantage of taking our PADI open water diving course there and had a wonderful experience learning with Panorama diving centre. The instructors were extremely helpful and knowledgeable so if you’re thinking of diving in the Perhentians I would definitely recommend them! Exploring the sugar wreck dive after completing our course was a real highlight of our time there – the 90-metre cargo ship sank in 2000 and exploring it underwater felt like some sort of surreal aquatic dream.
If you’re not into snorkelling or scuba diving then admittedly things to do on the islands are quite limited. However if you’re partial to some laid-back chill time, then perfect! As well as our underwater activities we spent a lot of time simply beach-bumming, watching gorgeous orange sunsets and gauging on delicious beach barbeques. It really was a very relaxing time during our travels, so if you take a trip to Malaysia don’t hesitate to make a stopover at the Perhentians!