The Perhentian Islands, located to the east of mainland Malaysia, are untouched gems that are known for world-renowned scuba diving. The Perhentian Islands’ crystal blue waters, plentiful dive sites within twenty minutes of the islands, and plenty of scuba instructors, make the Perhentian Islands one of the best places to dive in Southeast Asia. To make the most of your stay in this hidden oasis, enjoy comfort and convenience at Ombak Dive Resort.
Perhentian Kecil and Perhentian Besar make up what is known as the Perhentian Islands. Perhentian Besar houses the luxury resorts and travelers. Perhentian Kecil is known for being more laid-back and catering toward cheaper accommodation and backpackers, although plenty of families enjoy Perhentian Kecil as well. For a casual and social place to stay, just steps from a scuba school, book your stay at the Ombak Dive Resort on Perhentian Kecil before you arrive!
Ombak Dive Resort's location is ideal for sunset
Perhentian Kecil has two main beaches: Coral Bay and Long Beach. Ombak Dive Resort is located towards the end of Coral Bay. Coral Bay is dotted with other hotels, hostels, and restaurants; however, it is the quieter of the two beaches. Although Coral Bay is a wide beach with beautiful white sand, most islanders head to Long Beach to lay out and swim because you can rent umbrellas on Long Beach. The island is very small so it takes less than ten minutes to walk between the two beaches along an unpaved pathway that runs directly next to Ombak Dive Resort.
Although Long Beach is the most popular beach to enjoy during the day, many visitors prefer staying in Coral Bay because its west coast location is the best place to enjoy a gorgeous Malaysian sunset.
Scuba dive to your heart's content
Scuba diving is the main activity on Perhentian Kecil. Since scuba diving is what brings most visitors to Perhentian Kecil, why not stay at a resort that has a scuba dive school on site?
The dive school, Ombak Divers, is just steps from your hotel room. To encourage you to stay at Ombak Dive Resort, you can book a room and dive package that makes both the room and the dives cheaper. Packages and room rates differ depending on what time of year you visit: normal or peak season. Peak season runs from June through August, and also includes public holidays and religious observances throughout the year. Room rates during the normal season range from 150 - 450 MYR (36 - 108 USD). During peak season, room rates range from 250 - 450 MYR (60 - 108 USD).
Ombak Divers is a PADI dive center, which provides all levels of scuba diving certification. For those visitors that are already certified, Ombak Divers has three set dives a day at 8am, 12 noon and 3pm. Depending on how busy they are, you can sign up for a dive that morning. The best part is that diving in Malaysia is extremely cheap! One dive at Ombak Divers costs 30 USD during the peak season without a room and dive package. You can expect to see a wide range of sea life, including blacktip sharks, sea turtles, eels, rays, and large fish, such as triggerfish, snapper, and grouper.
Comfy, casual rooms that are perfect after a day diving
The rooms at the Ombak Resort are fairly bare bones. There isn’t anything fancy about the rooms but the beds are very comfortable and bathrooms are en suite. Unfortunately, the Wi-Fi is not connected throughout the entire resort and therefore doesn’t reach the hotel rooms.
It is also important to note that not all of the rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, which is fairly common in Southeast Asia. When you book your room, be aware of whether you are selecting a room with air-conditioning or with a fan. You will almost definitely want an air-conditioned room with the hot and humid Malaysian weather. Since Perhentian Kecil is so small, it is advised to book your hotel room before you arrive on the island so you know you have somewhere to stay!
The amenities make Ombak Dive Resort unique
Not only is the beach-front location and the in-house dive center amazing, but also Ombak Dive Resort has the best restaurant on the island. The restaurant is partially covered but also has outdoor seating overlooking Coral Bay. It serves both local Malaysian and Western fare. However, the higher quality of the food compared to other restaurants on the islands can be seen in the higher prices. An entree and a beer will likely set you back fifteen USD. The restaurant is also the only place where Wi-Fi is available in the resort so most everyone can be found here at some point during the day. It’s a great place to grab a beer and meet some new friends during your travels. Ombak Dive Resort’s restaurant also attracts travelers from other hotels every evening. A large screen is set up nightly for a free movie night. Perhentian Kecil is a sleepy island with few late-night spots so Ombak’s movie nights are always popular.
Getting to Perhentian Kecil
The closest airport to Perhentian Kecil is in Kota Bharu, which is roughly an hour away from the jetty. Grab a 40-MYR (10-USD) taxi at the airport that will take you to Kuala Besut, where the jetty is located. You may buy a round-trip boat ticket at the jetty, which costs 70 MYR (17 USD). In addition to the ferry ticket, you will have to pay a 5-MYR (1-USD) conservation fee at the dock. The ferries take thirty minutes from the Kuala Besut jetty to either island. They generally don’t depart from the jetty at any set time. They leave whenever there are enough people to fill a boat or whenever the captain feels like it. When you are leaving the island, tell your hotel to book a spot for you on the return ferry the day before your departure. Ferries depart the islands at 8am, 10am, 12 noon, and 4pm daily.
If you do not want to fly to Kota Bharu, or you are starting your journey to the Perhentian Islands from within Malaysia where there isn’t a close airport, you can also chose to take a bus to Kuala Besut or Kota Bharu. The buses in Malaysia are extremely nice and comfortable, have air-conditioning, and are well priced. For example, a bus from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu costs 44 MYR (11 USD) and takes roughly nine hours.
Enjoy the gorgeous Perhentian Islands with a stay at Ombak Dive Resort.