Malaysia’s stunning Perhentian Islands sit off the north east coast of the mainland and are a true tropical island idyll. Despite often being associated with higher costs than other parts of the country, it is still possible to visit the gorgeous Perhentian Islands on a budget. Dazzling white sandy beaches meet the sparkling and clear blue ocean, and the islands are fringed by beautiful corals that are home to an abundance of sea life. Life is relaxed, and after incredible water sports there is not much to do except enjoy blissfully relaxing days on the beaches, laze in a hammock with a great book, and mingle with other travellers who have also had the good fortunes to make it to this little slice of paradise.
Some top tips for enjoying the Perhentian Islands on a budget include:
Lots of the accommodation on the islands cannot be booked in advance online. Many people turn up hoping to find a decent bed at a great price when they arrive. That’s okay, if you go there early! If you go later on in the day it is likely that you will find all the best spots have already been snapped up, and so you end up forking out for more expensive digs, or staying in cheap but shabby places. Try and get the first ferry of the day across if you can. If you arrive at the ferry port too late in the day it may be worth your while spending another night on the mainland before heading across. If you do go over late and have to settle for a less than ideal option, it might be worth your while scouting around a bit to secure accommodation for your remaining nights and changing after just the one night.
Yes, Bring Your Own. Alcohol, that is. If you want to enjoy a drink or two in the sunshine, or later on after the sun has gone down, it is worth knowing that there are few options for buying alcohol on the islands. And the places that do sell it often hike their prices up quite a bit. Enterprising sellers know that if people want a drink they will pay the hefty prices; they may grumble, but ultimately they will pay. Don’t waste money unnecessarily, and stock up before you leave the mainland if this will be an issue for you.
Be Restaurant Savvy
Whilst there are plenty of places to eat on the main beach of Long Beach, the costs can be almost double of what you would pay if you walked a short way to Coral Bay on the other side. The places are less crowded and offer similar kinds of dishes but for lower the price. If you plan on eating dinner at Coral Bay you should plan on going fairly early though as many places stop serving food in the early evening.
A major draw to the glorious Perhentian Islands is the excellent diving and snorkelling. There are many operators on the islands, and prices can vary a fair bit. Why pay more when you don’t have to? Make sure that you check out a few places before sealing the deal.
Follow these four tips to enjoy the Perhentian Islands on a budget and make your money go further.