Want to go snorkelling on the Perhentians?!
DON'T go to the Symphony Village, nor to Lucy's beach stand. You will gt ripped off!
When we arrived on the Perhentian Island Kecil, we took one day to relax and arrange a snorkelling trip for the next day.
We read that the best arrangements could be made on the Longbeach, while we were on the Coral Bay side (Go to Shari-La, it's the best!!).
So we went to the Long Beach and asked around, checked the prices, quality of English speaking guide and our feeling with it. First a 'taxi-driver' (A speedboat-taxi, for there is no infrastrucure on the small island) offered us a snorkelling trip for RM 35. Yet the man was acting a little crazy and the fact that a taxidriver was offering snorkelling trips didn't feel right to us.
Therefor we arranged the trip at he Symphony Village. It felt good, for it was at a sleepingfacility, which could 'ofcourse' not rip you off! So we paid MR45 for:
-a boat with a roof;
-a well English speaking guide, who would be present the jet morning at 9 a.m. already;
-a group of at least 7 people, for 5 others would have signed up already;
So the next morning we arrived at 10 a.m. as promised. The boat would leave at 10:30.
No of the other people showed up and at 10:30 we were told to pay off the rest and go with another guy, for he would bring us to he group.
Instead, we came at Lucy's place, got the bad English speaking Taxidriver as 'guide', his ubersmall speedboat without roof and only two other (Malaysian) tourists.
When we came backat the Symphony to complain, the guy was gone. We paid RM45 p.p. for a trip worth RM35.
So we went snorkelling in he BURNING sun, while all the other tourists had a sunblockin roof above their heads. Our 'guide' made strange noises all the time and the small speedboat made us feel seasick.
Only in the evening the Symphony's owner (or he owner's son, as he said) he finally was at his small hut and we demanded at least our RM20 back. The man was not open to any reason and finally started ignoring us, saying he would have dinner. After putting on a challenging face, 10cm's from my nose.
Because of all this and all the stress it delivered us, I'd call everyone not to arrange anything at the Symphony Village, nor at Lucy's beachstand, for the way they both treated their guests!
You better go to Bubu's, more expensive, shorter trip but it looked soooo well!
I am compelled to write this review because there are so many reviews on the Perhentian islands that entirely conflict. No resort seem to get any consistent reviews and so I hope to at least provide some current information on the experience of an average American family. We stayed at the Perhentian Island Resort for five nights in October, the tail end of the tourist season.
The resort's biggest advantage is that it has an amazing beach. The resort is tucked away in its own cove and the beach is quite expansive. On both flanks of the beach there are coral reefs that are easily accessible, and I was able to see black tip reef sharks, green sea turtles, rays and an abundance of common parrot fish, clown fish and the like. The coral begins about 20 feet from the shore so it was quite to swim to and it was even easy for my toddler to enjoy the experience. In the middle of the beach about 200 ft off shore is a grazing area for green sea turtles and a number of tourist boats will ply the waters trying to spot them before unloading their snorkeler cargo. Even still, the beach was never crowded (perhaps this is an October thing).
The resort's layout is nice. The cabins are basic and not particularly special - has A.C., no tv, small porch. The running water was yellow and, I'm taking a good guess, not potable. I was able to book a cabin for about 45 dollars a night - it was tucked in the back but still just a 4 minute walk to the beach. I think the cabins at the adjacent Coral View resort were probably the nicest and actually had some charm but overall quite similar. The restaurant at the Island Resort was more spacious with a great view, however the menu was pretty limited. The food was good but relatively expensive compared to other places (example 1.5L water is nearly 7 ringitt, while Watercolors is only 4 ringitt, dishes ranged from 18 to 40 and upwards). Of course you can go to other places to eat, which we did. Other restaurants are just a short ten minute walk along some stairs and a path. You quickly notice that beaches elsewhere are just lackluster.
The resort offers rental kayaks and the normal snorkeling / diving trips which every hotel seems to offer. Prices seemed about the same. The staff seemed pleasant and I didn't notice any of the problems that are mentioned in other reviews.
The resort has a small pool which no one ever used since the beach is incredible. The biggest advantage was obviously the beach and the proximity to the coral reefs which were largely intact, although signs of damage were evident.
if you're travelling on a tight budget plus looking for a well maintain place with a clean shower & toilet, i would strongly recommend lemongras chalet. rm40 for a hut or rm45 if you'd like an add bed, a small hut with two single bed and a fan, is enough for a simple person like me who's fine with bathroom sharing. One thing you should know is, most of the chalets on the island provide electricity only from 7pm to 7am in the morning, so don't be too picky when it comes to acco cuz its all the same.
- nearer to the beach compare to other chalets.
- located on the left side of the beach which is much more fun compare to the other side. (there's a jetty construction going on plus fyi, the left side till the middle of the beach is the most happening side at night, & the boat operator normally park their boat in the middle of the beach which is not a good spot for swimming).
- banana pancake with honey... u have to try it at the restaurant... the best on the island..
The Maya Chalet has 12 bungalows on the beach, some with sea view and some with garden view. I have tried many places on Coral Bay and this one is definitely my favorite.
The price goes from RM 40 to 80 depending on the season (low or peak) and on the type of bungalow (facing the sea or not). The bungalows are very basic but they all have a fan (no air con), a private bathroom with cold water, and a hammock (in those facing the sea). The electricity is only available from 7pm to 7am.
In the garden, there is a kind of terrasse with a TV and some chairs.
Peter (or Pierre), an English guy, has taken over the place in 2006 and he transformed the place for good. He is really nice guy and very helpful. He will make as much as he can to make your stay very pleasant.
The place is often fully booked but if you arrive on the island with the first boat at 7am and go directly there, you might get a chance to have a room later in the morning.
staff are so-so.. food is good though.. there was a bon fire show after BBQ dinner... they have internet service (RM 15 per hour), 24 hours electricity, warm shower yes, shampoo lotion and body gel yes, towels yes, tissue yes, no TV, no refrigerator, no hair drier..
apparently i was welcomed by a small monitor comodo just few steps away from my room which is on the first floor.. imagine my key tends to get stuck at that time.. trying to get into my room..
I paid RM1337 for flights, land and sea transportation, accommodation, meals and snorkeling trip excluding snorkeling mask, fin and life jacket (RM10 for renting each item )
Clean room & Massage service.. Bon fire show after dinner.. private beach chairs..
I really enjoyed my stay here and you must get the Beach Front Chalet as it's right in front of the beach!
The beach front rooms are usually fully booked but you can informed the reception to let you know once there's an available room. I paid additional RM$50 for 1 night stay in the beach front room. There's aircon & fan and I think the toilet facilities are better although it's smaller.
I stayed 2 nights in the Sea Facing room which is still ok but need to climb stairs that can be pretty high up.. Lucky mine was not that high.. Saw some rooms further up the hill.. Can be quite troublesome if you wanna get up and down to the beach.. Suggest you request for low level room upon booking with them.. Even at lower level, you still have great view of the sea..
1. Great beach front room
2. Internet is available and cheap
3. Food is not bad
4. There's a Dive Centre too
Accomodation was a bit over-priced upon seeing the room but view from the room was good. Food wise was buffet style and there was a time allocation for meals.
We had to wait abt an hour before the taking the fast boat from Kuala Besut to Bubu. When the boat came, it was overcrowded. We were given all sort of excused instead of the truth. Called to complain to the KL office and finally something was done.
Matahari chalet really small chalet, its about a 1 mins walk from mohsin chalet and 2 mins to the beach. The room cost around RM40 - RM60, its a sharing bath room if im not mistaken, but the enviroment, its a village like. you might love it.
But at night, when a party night at mohsin, then you can hear the "doom.. doom" sound. haha, you wont sleep well... but it will make you going to the happening pub on the island.
This place is located at the hill top, and there is another one at the lower site, and it about 30 second walk to the beach... hahaha.. very close to the beach.
The price for 1 night is around RM30 to RM40 with sharing bathroom, if it in a high seasons, the price will be up to RM60 max.
ok the picture i show here is a bit poor, but there is another one, i dont have a picture for that.
As soon as i step my feet on long beach island, i walk to the very first chalet i saw, it says full for the 3 nights.. then walk to next, i heard it all full.. and then walk again to the next chalet... very small and it a same answer and then walk from one to another still the same answer, and i walk to the end, with my very heavy bagpack, then i met again with the french who make me wet on the boat and hurt my ear... they were at lilly, and manage to get a last room there, and he guide me to the the other chalet and tell me there is a room.
So i manage to get a room there and straight get 3 night stay, i paid RM45/night. that is simple room with bath room attach. there is a twin room with sharing bathroom, it only RM30.
The room has double bed and bathroom attach... that all. oh, they have small table and 2 chair at the tarrace. i love to sit there at noon and facing the beach with reading my book... i miss that.
I went to Coral View Resort and found the rooms to be poorly maintained. Bathrooms esp. Sand on the beds. Mgmt & staff are extremely complacent - poor service and unfriendly. For the kind of $$ they charge, definitely not worth it.
I took a package deal on triple sharing for 3 days 2 nights which includes 3 snorkelling, 2 breakfast, 2 lunch, 2 tea break and 2 dinner. The cost was only RM428.00 at a travel fair in mid valley. The room is pleasant with 2 queen size beds and a balcony to hang our clothes, towels etc on the railing. The only thing I don't like about the hotel is the lack of pipe water so we tend to track sand all over our room and on to our beds too. The plus point is we can wash our sandals at the bathroom before going to where the bed is. You still get san there as the sand in long beach is quite fine. There is no TV, refrigerator and cupboard in the room. You can charge you handphone on the only power point in the room.
Water rationing during the day. Friendly staffs. Only took breakfast from here and it the food was a lil disappointing.
I have been told of beautiful sunsets from here but during my short stay, weather was rather cloudy but still sunny, did not get to see a spectacular sunset but all was good with good memories and fun days...
Bubu Long Beach Resort is the only modern 3-story building on the island, but definitely NOT worth what they are charging. It costed RM 315 per nite and the facility is definitely NOT worth that amount. If you prefer air condition rooms, I would recommend the Moonlight Resort next to BUBU. For less than 1/2 the money, you can get a beach view air conditioned room!
I stayed at Watercolours Impiani resorts in Apr 2006. It was newly open...one month ago. Its RM150 per night (inc of 3 meals) I would say the meal here are the best of all. It's order from menu and the quality is very good. Friendly staff and spacious balcony.
Watercolours do have another resort called Paradise at the Big Island. Same operator and they do BBQ dinner every night.
This is fairly a small resort with about 20 rooms. If you are looking for privacy and less 'noise' for your vacation, this is the place. Thumbs up for the food quality. There is no pool.
Canoe is available for RM30...no limit on time; Snorkeling trip is RM30 per person.
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