A week in paradise: The Perhentian islands

After our short stay in  Kuala Lumpur, we flew to Kota Bharu, took a taxi to Kuala Besut and a boat to the Perhentian Kecil, or small perhentian, where we settled in for a week. We had originally had planned to stay here for 4 days and get our Scuba diving qualifications, but we fell in love with the peaceful and beautiful island and kept extending our stay.

We signed up for the Scuba course with Quiver Diving, on Coral bay, and we absolutely loved it. Coral bay is very small, with a few resorts, some beach front restaurants and a few dive shops, but you can easily access the larger long beach with a ten minute walk across the island. Our timing was ideal, a week before monsoon season started, and while the weather wasn’t great, we had the bay almost to ourselves. Our diving class was just the two of us and we had an absolutely fabulous instructor.By default we stayed at the Shari-La resort for about $13 a night for a private room with cold shower and AC. It’s right off the jetty and adjacent to Quiver, so it was extremely convenient, but a little dirty, and we were pretty sure that a rat shared the room with us.

Other than Scuba diving, our days here were filled with reading books, delicious BBQ and fruit shakes, snorkelling, and waiting out the early monsoon storms in our only slight sketchy hotel room. Of all the islands we have visited on this trip, this was one of our favourites. We loved it because it was quiet, no vehicles, no touts, and no partiers and the diving was amazing. You could walk right off the beach and find coral in a five minute swim. It was the perfect place to learn and I hope to return someday and check out the dive sites when I’m not so concentrated on remembering to breath.

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