Photo: Kayaking Langkawi's mangroves.

Malaysia forum

Perhentians or Tioman in October

Posted by lsgs on 16/9/2014 at 12:40

We are travelling in Malaysia from end of first week on October to end of first week in November. Although not an ideal time weatherwise, we would like to include an island stay during our trip.
Given that it is close to the start of the northeast monsoon season would it be worth our while to try and visit Tioman Island or the Perhentians around mid October?
Will the ferry service still be regular? Will there still be many accommodation places/cafes/bars open or will availability be limited as things start to wind down before the heavy downpour sets in?
Apologies if this is another ho-hum weather question?

#1 lsgs has been a member since 16/9/2014. Posts: 2

Posted by tezza on 23/9/2014 at 02:51

I hate unanswered question. So although the weather is an unpredictable feature, I'll give it a go:

Without trawling into weather stats. for both places (which you can do via Google) my thoughts are it's maybe not too much difference both areas. The Perhentians are more subject to the monsoon switch. Tioman is getting towards that equatorial zone where it can rain anytime - albiet (I always wanted to use that word), still with a NE monsoon influence. btw - I've never had a Tioman visit spoiled by rain.
Both islands these days have plenty of resorts which stay open all year. Perhentians has the advantage of being MUCH CLOSER TO THE MAINLAND meaning any rough weather crossings will be way shorter. Tioman has the advantage of BIGGER ferries which are less affected by rough weather (although they still rock and roll when the swell gets up).

I rate the 2 destinaions equal. I've always liked the way shifting from one island to another at the Perhentians seems a new destination. But you can achieve the same result on Tioman by shiftinf from ABC/Tekek to Salang in the north OR to Juara on the east coast OR to Paya/Genting in the south.

I reckon it might boil down to where you are coming from. If from southern Thailand, the Perhentians are easiest accessed. If from Singapore, Tioman is the deal. If from KL, both are pretty equal. If you can afford flights, Bob's yer uncle.

#2 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,345

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Posted by lsgs on 23/9/2014 at 09:18

Thanks for your very helpful reply tezza.
As we including Penang in our trip we are now considering going to Langkawi instead. Although probably a different experience than Tioman or Perhentians, we have calculated (??) as the nw monsoon is coming to an end around that time there might be a better chance of "beach weather". It's all in the lap of the gods!

#3 lsgs has been a member since 16/9/2014. Posts: 2

Posted by tezza on 23/9/2014 at 18:11

That's not a bad combination. Be aware that Penang 's forte is not as a beach resort. It is more a destination for shoppers/foodies/culture vultures/history buffs/colonial architecture nerds etc. I'm none of these but enjoyed my two stays on Penang.
Batu Ferringi is a nice enough beach but the water is not very clear. In its favour are some really nice hotels with cool pools many of which will be offering good deals in off-season October. There is some less expensive accommodation at Batu Ferringi and a host of accommodation in all price ranges in George Town.
The main street at Batu Ferringhi has a large range of good and inexpensive restaurants. Shopping aint bad. George Town has both in greater amounts.

Langkawi is a good destination. It is bigger than Tioman and the Perhentians and has better infrastructure - proper roads where you can hire a driver with car or taxi and check the island. The beaches are okay (actually Tanjung Rhu in the island's north-east is one of the most spectacular beaches in SE Asia - unfortunately it is isolated and the sparse accommodation nearby is very upmarket), the water not very clear, snorkelling off the beaches quite poor. But I reckon it has a bigger range of midrange and better accommodation and no shortage of cheaper stuff.

On my other thread I mention plenty of flights (Air Asia and Malaysian from KL and other areas, Silk Air from Singapore) into a pretty good airport. Note too there is a fast ferry between Langkawi and Penang but I'm not sure if this runs all year. Google is yer friend here.

I just read that Langkawi is partially shielded by Sumatra's mountains from the south-west monsoon. That's something I hadn't considered before and helps to explain why average rainfall totals increase as you move north along Thailand's Andaman coast. The Trang coast up near the Burma border is often the wettest in Thailand.

#4 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,345

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