Between the Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil, there are water taxis that ply the routes. Rates double after 7:00 p.m. Fares between the small and big island are about RM8-10.
There are some paths on both islands. On Perhentian Kecil, you can go between Long Beach and the other side on a fairly well-worn path in about 15 minutes.
On Perhentian Besar, there are two trails. A very challenging one goes between the jetty at the very south of the island about 15 minutes after Abdul's to Flora Bay and Teluk Perhentian Dalam, taking about 40 minutes. It is steep and not very well kept but manageable. The other between Teluk and Perhentian Island Resorts is better and takes about half that and is not nearly as demanding. Then you can walk through the beach and climb rocks to get back to the Abdul's side although this latter path is a bit treacherous and can take about 30 minutes.
There are also taxis and organized trips to D'Lagoons and the fishing village.
Get off at Jerteh (if you are taking a coach), walk along the passageway between the 2 rows of 2-storey long shop houses and turn right up along the road at the end of that passageway. There is a bus station as well as a taxi stand to. It's only a short walk of about 150m. The taxi there charges RM10, which is the standard published fee.
If you hop on to a taxi where the coach stops, is more expensive, usually RM15-20.
From Kuala Lumpur - via Kuantan - Kuala Terengganu :
i) Follow Route No: 2 & 3 - via Kuala Lumpur / Karak Highway / Kuantan / Kuala Terengganu
(approx. 455 km)
From Penang - via East West Highway - Jertih - Kuala Terengganu :
i) Follow Route No: 4 - via Penang / Sungei Petani / Baling / Grik / East-West Highway / Jeli / Jertih / Permaisuri / Kuala Terengganu
(approx: 460 km)
From Johor Bahru - via Mersing - Kuala Terengganu :
i) Follow Route No: 3 via Johore Bahru / Mersing / Pekan / Kuantan / Kuala Terengganu
(approx: 534 km)
From Johor Bharu - via Segamat (Tun Razak Highway) - Kuala Besut :
i) Follow Route No: 12 via Johore Bharu / Yong Peng / Segamat (Tun Razak Highway) / Kuantan / Kuala Terengganu
(approx: 562 km)
From South Thailand - via Sg. Golok - Kota Bharu - Kuala Besut :
i) Follow Route No: 3 via Sg Golok, Thailand / Rantau Panjang / Kota Bharu / Jertih / Permaisuri / Kuala Terengganu
(approx: 198 km)
From South Thailand - via Padang Besar - East West Highway - Kuala Besut :
i) Follow Route No: 4 - via Padang Besar / Alor Setar / Sungei Petani / Baling / Grik / East-West Highway / Jeli / Jertih / Permaisuri / Penarik / Merang / Batu Rakit / Kuala Terengganu
(approx: 598 km)
The Transnasional Express runs a service from and to Singapore and Kota Bahru
Buy your tickets from Kallang Basin Interchange, opposite the Singapore Casket. Book a one-way ticket to Kota Bahru at around SGD 35. Be sure to book a day in advance.
Bus leaves at the evening daily around 7.30pm, and you have to request to stop at JERTIH, 15 kilometers from KUALA BESUT before the journey's final stop - Kota Bahru. You will reach JERTIH at 5.30 am in the morning (If the bus left Singapore at 7.30pm).
There is 1 company at Goldenmile that has direct Super VIP to Kuala Besut jetty. Is more costly though.
The jetty to Perhentian is located at Kuala Besut. Besut is located about 18 km from the town of Jerteh and 36 km from Pasir Puteh. From Kuala Terengganu, there are direct buses leaving at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and arriving about 2 1/2 hours later. It is best to try to catch the earlier one. Alternatively, you can bus to Jerteh which leaves every 2 hours starting from 7a.m. from the local bus terminal. From Jerteh, you can take a direct bus leaving every 40 minutes to Besut and taking 30 minutes. Alternatively, taxis to Besut cost RM10 per person.
From Kota Bharu, you can either take an RM8 taxi ride or take a bus (leaves every 30 minutes) to Pasir Puteh and then another bus to Besut leaving every 40 minutes. The cost difference is about RM4. On the whole, the journey will take about 2 hours from KB to Besut.
Slow boat RM25/person (one way transfer) and RM40/person for return transfer AND fast boat /speed boat RM35/person (one way transfer) and RM60/person for return transfer.
It is better to book your accommodation before you arrive the jetty. There are resort offices at the jetty area. Usually, ferry transfer is available.
You will need to board a boat at the Kuala Besut Jetty to cross over to the perhentian islands. Just buy your ticket from the operators near the jetty.
1) Fast RM60 return (30 mins)
2) Slow RM40 return journey (90mins).
Recommend: speedboat ride... fast & EXCITING!!!
If your resort doesn't provide any speedboat connection for you, don't worry, you can get speedboat tickets at RM60 (return) from many agencies near the jetty in Kuala Besut.
If the sea is calm, it takes about 30 minutes to get to the island. If the sea is rough, expect to spare at least 45 minutes on a scary boat ride!!! Grab the metal bar tightly!
The fares on these Water taxis are more or less the same as it is pretty competitive. Use them to whizz across the Big and Small island. Nearly all chalet operators have their own fleet of water taxis ... prices are put up on notice boards there.
However, its still alright to negotiate prices if you do want the boat for an entire day or a few hours or whatever ... all up to your negotiating skills !!
When you jump off the train at Tanah Merah, some local taxi drivers will approach you. Most of their taxis are actually cars or vans, so don't expect any meters. Just agree a price before getting into any one. We paid RM40 for an air-conditioned (so-called) van to the jetty at Kuala Besut though the driver asked for RM50 at the beginning.
You have first to reach the port of Kuala Besut (between Kota Bharu and Kuala Terengganu) by bus. Boats leave from there for the Perhentians; usually you are invited to decide in advance the resort where you'll stay, in order to get off the boat in the nearest location and to make an advance reservation (advisable during peak seaon).
You are going to need boat like these to get you to Perhentian. The boat will pick you up from the jetty, Kuala Besut, to Perhentian islands (can be Kecil or Besar, depends on which one you're going.). The boat will need close to 30 minutes to get to the island. Round trip to Perhentian should be about RM60.
Although the train is famous for its delay, it's a great experience to ride on it. It departs from JB at around 20:55 daily and schedules to arrive in Tanah Merah at around 08:00 the next day. However, we experienced a big delay and we arrived in Tanah Merah at 10.30!!! Anyway, the scenery outside the window was awesome. It's other name - the Jungle Railway - can tell!
You can reserve your ticket online and pick them up at JB on the day of departure.
It's much cheaper to start from JB than from S'pore!!!
The islands do not have an airport. Kota Bahru is the nearest airport. The best way to reach Perhentian islands is from Kuala Besut Jetty in Terengganu state. There are regular high speed ferries available from the Kuala Besut Jetty, which takes around 30 minutes to reach the islands. The sea is not very rough between March and October months. Kuala Besut Jetty is well connected by road to major cities in Malaysia. There are direct bus services from all major cities in Malaysia. Alternatively, one can take a flight from KL to Kota Bahru. From Kota Bahru, taxis are available to take visitors to Kuala Besut Jetty. We went from Singapore in Train and details can be found in the transportation section.
As stated earlier, the only way to reach the islands is by means of ferry from Kuala Besut. High speed ferries are available from Kuala Besut from 9 in the morning till 5 in the evening.
We took a train (Express Timuran) that runs between Singapore and Tumpat (in Kelantan state, north of Peninsular Malaysia). We had booked the train tickets online thro the Malaysian Railway website KTMB.com.my. You have to register first on the website.
While going to Perhentian, we boarded the train in Johore Bahru at 18:57 hrs. The train arrives at Tanah Merah Railway station next day morning at around 7:15 AM. Kuala Besut Ferry terminal is located 45 KMs east of Tanah Merah railway station by road. Cabs are easily available at Tanah Merah railway station that will take you to Kuala Besut Ferry terminal for RM 60. The cabs take 1 hr to reach Kuala Besut Ferry terminal. The condition of the road is good. While returning, we took the train again. The return train to Singapore is at 8.59 PM (at Tanah Merah Station) and reaches Singapore at 10:15 am the next day. Be reminded that since this is an International train, the Immigration inspectors will check and stamp your passport at Johor Bahru station (last station in Malaysia). After this station, the train enters Singapore. At the Singapore entry point (called Woodland check point), you will have to get down with all your bag and baggage. You will have to proceed to clear your Singapore immigration. So keep your passport and immigration document ready. Once you have cleared your immigration, you are expected to board back the train again. The train then proceeds to Tanjong Pagar Railway station in the heart of Singapore (called Singapura railway station). The last leg of the journey may take arounf 30-40 minutes.