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perhentians? should i go?

Posted by dougs077 on 13/8/2010 at 17:54

Hey all,

I've read a few bad reports about the Perhentians - over-development, theft, drugs - I'm heading there mid-September and after reading these I am not too sure... Are there any Thai islands that they are roughly comparable to? Travelled widely there and am pretty aware you have to take the usual precautions wherever you go..

We are in our late 20s and looking to chill out in a few low-key beach bars and nice beaches.. my full-moon days are over.. would besar or kecil be best?


#1 dougs077 has been a member since 10/8/2010. Posts: 6

Posted by bronzedwarrior on 13/8/2010 at 19:01

Most definitely, yes.

Went there in April this year and loved them. Preferred Besar to Kecil ( Besar had the better beaches, snorkelling and accommodation in our view plus most of the annoying 'youths' never made it over to there from Kecil... Which was a bonus... ).

That's not to say Kecil is bad, it isn't and we certainly didn't encounter any issues with theft ( Drugs yes but that's the case the world over... ).

As for over development, I don't think you can levy that against either island. Besar is less developed than Kecil but neither are that offensive... Although I guess it depends on where you stay on Kecil. Long beach was pretty over populated and a little developed.

The one down side to the islands ( For us at least! ) was the scarcity of alcohol ( Muslim state you see ) but it's there, you've just got to look hard to find it! Expect to pay about 10 Ringitt for a not-quite-cold 330ml can of Tiger beer on either island...

#2 bronzedwarrior has been a member since 23/11/2007. Posts: 41

Posted by dougs077 on 13/8/2010 at 23:46

Cool thanks for the thoughts, I think we have to go, I've been wanting to go for ages..

Do you have any accommodation recommendations? on either besar or kecil?! thanks!!

#3 dougs077 has been a member since 10/8/2010. Posts: 6

Posted by bronzedwarrior on 14/8/2010 at 01:13

On Kecil we stayed in Coral Bay, which is a short walk through the jungle from Long Beach, at a place called Fatimas. It was cheap, 40 R a night... Which is all it was worth to be honest.
The room smelt of black pepper if I remember right?! Fine as a base though. Other places where much more expensive and not much better. Make sure you do the snorkelling trip, if that's your thing, you won't be disappointed.

On Besar we stayed at Mamas. Much better accommodation, 60 R a night. Not the best location but nice enough and once again, within easy-ish walking distance of other better beaches. Booze is cheaper on Besar than Kecil too. That was important to us!!

#4 bronzedwarrior has been a member since 23/11/2007. Posts: 41

Posted by Sparts on 3/9/2010 at 00:43

BOOK BEFOREHAND, and even at that don't expect them to keep your room.
It's not fun being stranded on an island with no rooms and no ferry back until the next day.

I wouldn't spend more than 4/5 days there, life is kinda slow which is cool, but you're at the mercy of the hoteliers who charge silly rates for what you get.

Pretty place, just the locals leave a bti to be desired in my experience.

#5 Sparts has been a member since 5/6/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 169

Posted by jpundek on 3/9/2010 at 03:13

Went to the Perhentians having visited the Thai Islands previously and yes, they are comparable. When the sun shines the PErhentians look like something out of James Bond, beautiful and very romantic.

In terms of drugs etc... I didn't see anything of the sort. I was on Kecil, and as a backpacker with other "youths" I didn't see any. Most people are quite happy with the simple pleasures of beach life! Theft - you're on a beach use common sense I'd say. Don't flash your cash and don't leave room windows open - but surely this goes for anywhere in the world?

In the Besar or Kecil debate Besar is more developed and has more Western-style resorts. Kecil now has some ok accommodation but is still known as the backpacker island. I heard the beaches on Kecil are better but I haven't been to Besar.

Agreeing with Sparts, 4/5 nights is enough. If you travel in July/August try and book ahead. Lonely Plant aren't exaggerating - it DOES get booked up!

#6 jpundek has been a member since 3/9/2010. Posts: 3

Posted by dougs077 on 7/9/2010 at 17:54

Thanks for the advice all, heading there in a couple of weeks and have booked ahead! You have put my mind at rest!!

#7 dougs077 has been a member since 10/8/2010. Posts: 6

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