We set out sights on July 12 to head to Perhentian Island, Malaysia with the 2 Francis and 2 Rachelle. In order to reach there, we need to land on Kota Bharu airport, followed by an hour ride to the jetty and finally a 30 min boat ride to reach the destination. It is indeed remote place to be. Although Firefly have direct flight from SG to Kota Bahru airport, I did not fancy riding on a propeller driven plane so we opt to have a stopover to KL. We had to time it right since the last boat from the jetty leaves at 4:30pm. Good thing that there are a lot of budget airlines that flies to KL. Flights were inexpensive and about 231SGD round trip plus 70RM land drive. The boat ride was inclusive of the hotel package.
It was 1 SGD to 2.48 RM
We contacted Flora Bay Divers for 5 day 4 night accommodation inclusive with 6 dives in 2 days, land and boat transfer arrangement (land transport was paid separately). All in all is 725RM. There are several resorts in the 2 islands and you travel by boat taxi. The islands are divided into: diving, backpacking, family areas. We got the diving area (obviously) but if I had the chance for just leisure beach vacation, I would stay in the family area. The backpack area looks dirty but if you like parties…it’s a maybe. We bought dive insurance 22.10 SGD with NTUC (make sure to read the fine print if they cover scuba diving)
Our hotel is not a place I would recommend to stay but we had the best dive masters. They were detailed on the dive prep, friendly and fun to dive with. WiFi is free for divers while hotel guests need to pay for internet at the reception (which is ridiculous). The bed was ok but it was the bathroom that turned me off plus the fact that we cannot bring our towels to use in the beach (purchase beach towel – this is the 1st time I was asked to pay for a towel). The bathroom was to say bare minimum: tiny sink (no arm room), toilet bowl that turned yellow from I-do-not-want-to-know-why, no area to place the toiletries for showering. At least our room got heater, my friend wasnt lucky. I wouldn’t call this a hotel, more like backpacker hostel. Yes, I will whine in this paragraph even if you tell me to suck it up. To pay for the things I shouldnt need to (WiFi and extra towels) and not having a decent bathroom. I am a girl and I like to have at least a toilet that I can be comfortable sitting on and not cringe on discoloration few areas. And the aircon turns off at a certain time (dont ask me why – usually at breaking dawn) and you need to reset the timer to turn it back on.
Another thing we notice is the slow food service. The food comes after at least 30 mins of waiting and sometimes they gives you the wrong order or missed it out completely. It takes patience to wait as it is the same across the island. Yes, they serve fresh seafood picks but it sure takes a while to be served. There wasn’t much variety of food either.
Ok. I had enough whine (and cheese). The sand was white and soft. The water is clear. We could see the corals while we were on the boat. It is very good for snorkeling. The diving was decent. Our dive masters were really great. There were plenty of fishes and corals. We got to see bamboo sharks, huge school of yellow snappers, sea turtles, spotted sting rays. The visibility though wasn’t as good as Bali or Dumaguete.
I would say I would skip this place for a second time but if ever you are planning to get certified in diving, please check the dive crew here. They are gem.