I love Southeast Asia obsessively. It’s crazy and it’s beautiful and it’s just so damn affordable. (And coming from a South African, that’s saying something). After traveling through Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines – and, of course, Thailand and Vietnam – I can honestly say they’re all worth a visit. But I recently visited a group of secret islands that are just magical. I almost don’t want to tell you about them because then they’ll stop being so secret. But I’m nice like that, so…
Here’s why I think Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands take the cake as Southeast Asia’s best secret islands.
P.S. Read all the way to the end for a chance to win $300 (that’s like R3800 right now) to put towards your trip!
#1 | Seclusion
Feel like reliving your very own version of Cast Away? Easy. Hop into a water taxi (how cute?) and let your captain take you to a secluded beach of his choice. You’re almost guaranteed your own stretch of coastline. Yes, I mean it. Even in the heart of bustling Southeast Asia you can experience truly secret islands.
#2 | Snorkeling
Whilst Tom Hanking on the shores of your secluded beach, be sure to pop your mask and fins on and swim out for the best snorkel of your life. Or, better still, join a day tour to over 5 incredible spots around the islands. If you’re an amateur like me you might walk on water at the sight of the child-sized Bumphead Parrotfish (Google it, please).
#3 | Nightlife
Although the islands are remote and, for the most part, quiet, you can still get a taste of the legendary Southeast Asian nightlife. Beach bars and late-night fire dancing shows can be found on vibey Long Beach (Kecil Perhentian) – and bring your own drinks if you want to save money, as most of the restaurants will let you BYOB.
#4 | Cost
Although the Perhentian Islands aren’t as cheap as the rest of Malaysia and its neighbouring countries, you’ll still get seriously good value for your money. For clean, secluded islands and beaches, world-class snorkeling and beach bars with the best views, you can budget under 80 USD per day (including all activities). Okay, seriously, why are you still reading this? Go pack them bags.
And before you go…
Besides the usual “pack sunscreen” and “Google the place” advice, I suggest you consider spending a night or two in Kuala Lumpur to break the long trip to the Perhentians. It’s a great way to use your ENTERTAINER Malaysia to score some fab deals and see what the city has to offer.
OKAY, NOW FOR THE COMPETITION I PROMISED!
All you need to do is book a holiday – local or international – through the ENTERTAINER getaways portal on your ENTERTAINER app, and you could WIN $300 in cold, hard cash. Any bookings made between 1-30 June 2018 count. (The booking needs to be for accommodation between now and 31 December 2018, just FYI).