To get to the Perhentian Islands, you'll have to take a boat from Kuala Besut Jetty.
I would recommend the fast boat which will cost you RM60 for return trip. The boat ride will be approximately 20 - 30 minutes long.
There are a few counters at the jetty that can help you make the arrangements. One of them is Anjung Holidays.
The first boat will usually depart from the jetty around 7.00 am and the last one will be around 6.00 pm. Sometimes the boatmen still provide boat service after 6.00 pm. But that depends on the weather and you will be charged a higher rate.
There have been cases where tourists were tricked into going to Tok Bali Jetty instead. Try to avoid that and insist on going to Kuala Besut Jetty. The boat ride from Tok Bali will take more than one hour and they will still charge you the same rate.
If you are coming from Kuala Lumpur, the fastest way to get to the jetty would be by flights.
For budget travellers, you can get flight tickets from KLIA with Air Asia Airline for as low as RM29.99 (usually if you do early booking) one way to Kota Bharu, Kelantan. This is the closest airport to the jetty since the jetty is close to the Kelantan border.
Please also note that for Air Asia, the flights will now depart from the new low cost carrier terminal (LLCT) which is about 20 minutes away from KLIA. There are buses that provides transport service between KLIA and LCCT. The cost is RM 1.50 one way.
The flight is about 50 minutes long and once you arrive at the airport, take a cab to Kuala Besut (jetty). The cost will be around RM 56 per cab.
There's a special counter at the airport just outside the arrival hall which can arrange for your cab to Kuala Besut. The cab ride is about 1 hour long.
If you catch the morning flight which is at 7.40 am, you can be at the jetty by 10.00 am and catch the 11.00 am boat.
For those who wants to save up on the transportation cost, you can take an express bus from Putra Station, Kuala Lumpur to Jerteh, Terengganu.
I would recommend the Express Budaya First Class which will cost you RM30 one way. They offer wider seats that can recline and are also clean and well-maintained.
However, be prepared for a long journey, coz it's going to take you about 8 hours to get to Jerteh. I usually just sleep on the bus.
The bus will leave daily at 9.00pm from the Putra Station, KL and will arrive at Jerteh around 5.00am.
Be warned that it will be pretty cold in the bus and there will only be one stop during the journey at around 1.00 am. So try not to drink too much water and have a sweater or a blanket ready.
From Jerteh, you can take a cab to the Kuala Besut Jetty for about RM10 per person, which will take you about 20 minutes. If you are lucky, you can catch the first boat to Perhentian Island at 8.00am
There are also Mahligai Express and Mutiara Express that will stop directly at Kuala Besut Jetty. Although the seats are not as big and comfortable as Budaya Express, these buses might be more convenient since you don't have to take a cab from Jerteh.
Since both of the Perhentian Islands do not have any roads, the fastest way for you to get around the two islands would be via the Taxi Boats.
These taxi boats are available at all the occupied beaches around the islands. Some chalets and resorts will arrange the service for you upon request.
At Long Beach, these taxi boats are scattered along the beach and it won't be a problem for you to find one.
Make sure you ask around for the rates before chosing a taxi boat coz there can sometimes be some price difference.
Mostly, the rates are pretty fixed but it doesn't hurt to double check. For example, rates for a ride from Long Beach, Perhentian Kecil to Perhentian Island Resort at Perhentian Besar will cost you RM10 per person.
The boat schedule organised by our resort from Kuala Besut to the island are as follow
Going - 9am, 2pm, 4pm (depends on the sea conditions)
Returning - 8am and 12pm.
The journey to the island takes about 30-40 minutes. Depending on how many stops the boat is gonna make.
The schedule mention about are just guidelines. They defer sometimes but not to far from these schedules.
The price of these ride is included in my package. But for thoese who arrive there without prior booking, it may cost about US 10-15 dollars.
Mind you when i said 'speedboat'. it's speedy esp when there only 4 of us in the boat. I can't remember my bum touching the seat. I way floating all the way.
Well, the easiest way to get here is a ferry ride from Kuala Besut, but being that we were on Pulau Redang, this option wasn't available.
We hired a boat in Pulau and chartered it for the day, mostly for diving, but also to see around Pulau Perhentian a bit.
Certainly not the cheapest option, but it gave us the freedom to do as we pleased for the entire day...
Also on the ride over we were treated to a display of flying fish launching out of the boat wake and cruising just inches above the surface of the water.... (Quite amazing how far (and fast) they can fly...)
The only way to get across from the Big Island to the Small Island (and vice-versa) is via Water taxi. The prices vary, depending on where you want to go, and are more or less fixed.
However, you can try your luck with persuading the boatman to lower the price. Everybody loves to bargain :-p
See my Perhentian Besar Transportation Tip for transport to the jetty at Jerteh.
To get to Perhentian Kecil, the boat ride will depend on whether you take the slow boat of the speed boat. The speed boat is fast. The standard price for a return ticket on speed boat is RM60 per pax. You can bargain down the price though. I paid RM50 for my return speedboar ride. If you book a package from the resort, transport is usually included.
As the boats cannot go in further to the beach, we will need to get on to another small boat which you need to pay RM2 to get to the beach of Perhentian Kecil. I am referring to Long Beach here.
Going back is the same. There is a boat taxi stand just outside Matahari Chalets. Just wait there at the stipulated return time and your boatman or person-in-charge will let you know when the boat comes.
I believe I have a tip on my Perhentian Besar Page.
In any case, water taxis by small speed boats are the only mode of transport if you want to get around the Perhentian islands. The charges will depend on where you are heading to. You can get to the other side of the Perhentian Kecil or even get to another island. There are many shops providing this service. Ask around should you need it. Bargain too.
If you would like to get here by bus and if you are from Kuala Lumpur, there are 2 bus company which going to Kuala Besut bus station directly.
K.L - Kuala Besut
1. Mutiara bus Express - only night time
2. Mahligai Bus Express - only night time
you can get the ticket at terminal putra near to PWTC.
K.Besut - K.L
The bus express Same as above but the bus time table is fixed 9am and 9pm.
if you cannot get the ticket to Kuala besut you can get to Kuala terengganu and after that get a taxi (RM50-RM60) or mini van (RM18) to Kuala Besut. it a bit costly but if you going with friends then better get a taxi rather than mini van.
Or you also can get a bus to Pasir Putih kelantan and then get a taxi to Kuala Besut which it only cost you RM20. which is not that bad...
If you get a ticket to perhentian island, basically the travel agency will get you a return ticket which cost you at RM60. and if you lost one ticket eg:return ticket, you have to pay the boat pilot around RM30. i guess it fair enough.
and basicaly the boat will not land at the beach, but there will be a taxi boat take place from the main boat and get you to the beach, it not costly, it only cost you RM2 only for one way, and if you would like to go to another bay, you have to pay around RM10 for one way trip or round trip, i am not sure but somehow you can ask.
This is a self-plan Perhentian Islands trip, not package tour or group tours. (Package tour cost RM290.00 if you like - 3 days 2 nights, at least 8-10 persons) We didn't go with package or group but only two of us, Sing and l_joo. Okay we start from KL's Putra Bus Station located next to PWTC and the Mall shopping complex. (Very important: Not Puduraya station anymore, only south bound passengers go to Puduraya). What you need is a ticket to Jerteh town that cost you around RM30. This express bus goes twice daily at 9am or 9pm to the last point of Kota Bharu City of Kelantan but we jump-off at Jerteh town about 60km before Kota Bharu (Please remind the bus driver to call you at Jerteh). The bus stops only once from 9pm to 5am, so make sure you don't drink too much of water and have some bread handy to eat. Jerteh is a small Terengganu town just 8km to the border of Kelantan. Once you get to Jerteh, everything is easy. To get to Kampung Kuala Besut (Jetty), take a taxi or a private car, pay about RM6 for two persons but this is only when the car has 4 passengers. If you want to explore Jerteh, just half an hour of walk by looking at the bus station and a small market with few rolls of shops. Our bus Transnasional dropped us right here on the main road in this small town but if you take the Mewah Express, they will send you directly to the Jetty of Kampung Kuala Besut with additional RM2.00 but the Mewah is not as good condition as Transnasional according to many locals because their bus’ air-con is actually ........
Read more in the main page of my Perhentian page
It can be convenient for those who don't want to spend a night in the bus...
1/ Taxi from KL to the airport LLCT (Low Cost Terminal) or SkyBus from KL Sentral Station to LLCT.
* 1 hour
* The SkyBus runs almost 24/7 and departs every 30 minutes
* RM 70 by cab or RM 10 by bus
2/ Take an AirAsia flight from KL to Kota Bahru
* 1 hour
* Around RM 100 one way if there is no discount.
3/ Take the cab from Kota Bahru Airport to Kuala Besut
* 1 hour
* RM 80
TOTAL COST FOR ONE WAY = RM 250 with the cab option cab; RM 180 with Sky Bus option
Boats to Perenthian islands (both Kecil and Besar) depart from Kuala Besut, a small village on the inland that can be reached North from Kota Bharu by 20 minutes taxi or South from Kuala Terrenganu with a longer ride. Frequency of service, either regular boats or speedboats, depends on the season.
Kuala Besut is a very small village and you won't find much to do once you have reached the departing jetty, therefore, if travelling in the low season, you may want to get information on hours of departure. In my trip, at the end of October, I was unlucky enough to miss the morning boat by few minutes and had to wait hours just sitting and waiting on the jetty. My understanding is that they have a schedule of rides and they make additional ones if there is enough people to fill extra boats; in my case there weren't enough and I ended up sitting on the jetty for 4 or 5 hours.
The speedboat ride, which takes about half a hour, is itself a kind of adventure. Packed with tourist with their backpacks and locals with their goods, it goes fast and bumps on the sea, and you may want to assess whether it fits for you. None was wearing lifejackets on my rides and I did not dare to ask for one. As alternative, regular boats take about one and half hour.
Speedboats stop at the jetty of the Perhentian Village, and eventually get to Long Beach. They don't drop visitors on the beach though. They stop about 200 meters off the coast (see picture) and a smaller boat will pick you up an drop you on the beach. This last ride will cost you additional few RMs. Same on the way back from the island. I don't know whether to consider this a trap or not (once there you don't have any other way around than paying this additional money to get to the beach), but be aware.
Go To My Perhentian Home Page
From Kuala Lumpur, buses leave from Hentian Putra [ near PWTC] and there are several bus companies to choose from.
To get to Perhentian island, the gateway is Kuala Besut and there are only two bus companies which runs this track - Mutiara and Mahligai
Alternative, take a bus to Jerteh and take a short cab ride to Kuala Besut.