How to safe money on the Perhentian Islands!

Normally in Asia prices double when moving from the mainland to an island. The small Perhentian Island or Pulau Perhentian Kecil is not a exeption, but who wants to relax at the beaches of this nice island don’t has to necessarily pay too much. Here I have some tips how to cut off some expenses while staying on the island.

  1. The ferry ticket to get to the island is the first part you’ll have to spend money. They range from 50-80MYR for a 2 way ticket (open return) and in the end everybody lands on the same boat. So don’t let the agencys scam you and look for a place that sells the ticket for 50MYR (~11€). If you arrive late in Kuala Besut try to negotiate for a combined room with ticket – I got a single room with the ticket for 70MYR!
  2. Avoid Credit Card Fees! On the island you’ll find no ATM, although alot of shops accept credit card they will charge you an additional 3-5% and depending on you credit card your bank usually charges another 1-3%! So you can save up to 8% when you withdraw some money as long your in Kuala Besut. There is a ATM around 10min walking from the pier so do this walk (look it up on google maps or ask locals).
  3. It sounds weird but to safe money go diving! If you plan to do diving do it on this Island. I did Fundives there that were cheaper than on Koh Tao (known as the cheapest diving place in the world!) and had FREE ACCOMMODATION included!
    A Dive is 75MYR and at Ohh LaLa Divers I got a package that included 8 fundives for 65MYR(~14€) each and 4 nights in their Dormitory for free. If you just do a dive per day you pay just 25MYR instead of 50MYR for a Dorm there.
    So watch out for Dive and Accommodation packages.
As a bonus you get free sunsets at the beach! I had this wonderful view from the hangout area of Ohh LaLa Divers.
As a bonus you get free sunsets at the beach! I had this wonderful view from the hangout area of Ohh LaLa Divers.
  1. Drinks! If you arrive thirsty at the beach you will see that they want 4MYR for a 1,5l bottle of water! Don’t sounds much but imagine you stay for 5 days and drink 3l per day it adds up to 40MYR (~9€) just for water. In addition everywhere on the island are “Save the planet, use less Plastic” signs but you have to buy a new bottle every time you need to drink.
    If your fine with filtered water walk once or twice a day to the Rock Resort on the right side (looking to the ocean) of Long Beach and refill you water for FREE!
    If you want to drink some beer or other Alcohol you know it’s not cheap in Malaysia and even more expensive on the Perhentian. So no low budget here …
  2. Food! Essential after a exhausting dive you’ll have to get some food. Everything is more expensive the on the mainland but there are some cheaper places.
    Between Turtle Divers and OhLaLa Divers on long beach is a small restaurant where all the locals go to eat. They have Sandwich’s (4 slices of toast) for 6MYR and Roti with Cheese for 5MYR. In the Morning you’ll also find some Nasi Lamarck for 5-10MYR there and around lunch they have fried Vegetables (enough for lunch!) for 2MYR. Downside of this place is that it closes at 5pm and opens after 9am what might me too late for early dives.
    Another option are the 5MYR burgers for a small snack in between.
    For big portions you can go to a restaurant in between of Long Beach and the other side of the Island. There is only one on the way and they have big portions for around 10MYR.

Check my GPS Track from the 16.09.16. the walk into the island is the walk to this restaurant.

So plan around 20-25MYR (~5€) per day just for food.

For more information on what to do on the Small Perhentian Island visit Jones blog. He has some more tips about activities you can do there.

I hope I help some travellers with this tips – if so feel free to let me know in the comment section! If you have some more tips or know something new let me know. I hope you enjoy your time there as much as I did.

Cheers Lukas

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