The Perhentian Islands are the ideal place to relax and forget about your cares and most people that visit here laze away their days in the sun. However, if you are tired of waiting for coconuts to drop, there are still some things that you can do to keep yourself occupied.
These islands have been gazetted as a marine park and as such littering, fishing and collecting of any marine life (whether dead or alive) is strictly prohibited. As it is a marine park, this also means that the rich diversity of aquatic life has been preserved and it is beautiful to experience.
Apart from walking, the only way to get around is by sea taxi. Expect to pay around RM 10-25 per person for 5-15 minute transfers.
Various operators and resorts offer snorkelling outings around the two islands, ranging anything from one and a half hours to a full day. Trips cost RM 35-60 per person, depending on the duration, stops and whether equipment rental is included or not.
Some of the popular spots for snorkelling are Shark Point, Teluk Pauh and Tanjung Basi. If you are lucky, a combination of these stops may mean that you see a turtle, some black tip reef sharks and an abundance of colourful coral all in one trip.
The sheer amounts of visitors and careless practices have resulted in damage to the coral and consequently the marine life around the islands. To ensure that you keep yourself safe and do your part to contribute to the conservation of these incredible ecosystems, keep the following in mind:
- Touching or standing on coral damages or even kills them and re-growth takes years
- Control your buoyancy carefully. Use a life jacket and only use fins if you are completely confident that you will not accidentally touch the coral.
- Do not litter. Some animals (like turtles) may mistake plastic bags for food and choke to death.
- Stay within the designated areas so that you do not cross boat paths and get hit
- Do not touch or disturb any marine life in any way. You may hurt them and some of them may hurt you. Keep your distance from Triggerfish as they may be aggressive, especially when guarding a nest
- Keep yourself protected from the sun
- When renting equipment, ask for assistance and tips from your resort to ensure a good fit (especially of your mask