Perhentian Islands: When to go And When To Avoid!

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The crystal-blue waters, warm sands, and relaxed atmosphere make the Perhentian Islands one of the top places to visit on Malaysia’s eastern coast. The two main islands are known as Besar and Kecil. There are also a few smaller islands in the area. All the islands offer pristine beaches and clear waters that are ideal for snorkeling and diving.

But to get these little gems of islands at their best, it’s important to know when the best time to visit Perhentian Islands Malaysia is!

Perhentian when to go

You might be wondering about the best time to visit Pulau Perhentian. The islands are hot year-round, but there are two distinct seasons. When considering when to visit Perhentian Islands, you’ll need to take the time of year into account to work out Perhentian Islands – when to go so that you can avoid the monsoon season Perhentian islands have.

In this article, we explain the best time to visit Perhentian Islands and why. We also share the pros and cons of each of the two seasons: dry and monsoon. If you’re wondering when is the Perhentian Island best time to visit I’ve got you covered in this post. I’ll explain the Perhentian Islands weather patterns and how to plan accordingly for your trip to the Perhentians.

Perhentian Islands: When to go And When to Avoid!

The year-round tropical climate is what draws so many backpackers to the islands. When trying to determine the best time to go Pulau Perhentian, you’ll need to consider your goals. In general, the Perhentian Islands best time to visit is the dry season which lasts from April to September.

The remaining months are monsoon season, and in this part of Malaysia, that’s something to take seriously. Rains can be heavy, and most tourist activity comes to a standstill from October to March. Finding a boat to take you between the island and the mainland will be difficult, and so you will likely want to avoid the Perhentian Island monsoon season for your visit.

Turtle Sanctuary Beach - definitely not Pulau Perhentian monsoon season 2021!

Some guesthouses do remain open during these months, but you might struggle to get outside and enjoy the beach when it’s so rainy. If you do choose to travel during monsoon season, be aware that you might get stuck on the island for long periods of time while you wait for an available boat. Also be aware than the exact start and end of the monsoon season can vary.

The best time to go to Perhentian Islands is between April and June. It will be dry season, but you won’t have to deal with as many other tourists as you would during August and September. However, these months are popular for a reason. They’re the best time for diving. If diving is the reason you’re visiting the islands in the first place, it makes sense to travel during the peak season.

Perhentian Island Weather

The year-round weather is warm and tropical, with May being the warmest month and January being the coolest. November is the peak of monsoon season and should be avoided at all costs. Even if finding accommodation isn’t an issue, you still might get the blues from all the rain.

The Perhentian Islands During Dry Season

resort long beach Perhentian

Dry season begins in March and continues through the middle of October. The average temperature is usually between 30 and 32 degrees Celsius. The daily weather is hot and sunny, and the calm seas offer perfect diving conditions.

Speed boats do many daily runs between the islands and the mainland throughout the dry season. All the resorts, backpacker guesthouses, diving centres, and restaurants are open.

This is far and away the best time to go Perhentian Island. If you want to get even more specific and know the best month to visit Perhentian Island, then my tip would be to go for April, May or June – when you should have great weather but can avoid the busiest of the Perhentian Island season and hopefully get some discounts on your accommodation as well. This is also the best time to snorkel in Malaysia.

The Pulau Perhentian season reaches its peak in July, August and September which is when the islands are at their busiest, accommodation prices are highest and you’ll find more in the way of crowds, because the diving is best during these months. But summer months are still the Pulau Perhentian best time to go if you don’t mind sharing your spot of sand with plenty of fellow travellers.

Perhentian Islands During Monsoon Season

If you’re looking for the Perhentian best time to go, then your first objective will be to avoid the Perhentian monsoon.

Monsoon season begins mid-October and continues through the end of February. The average temperature is between 28 and 30 degrees. You’ll be able to find a place to stay during these months, but your options will be limited. The monsoon is pretty predicable each year, so whether you want to know when the Perhentian monsoon 2021 is or any other year, the answer is the same.

The main ferry service will be closed as well as this is Pulau Perhentian close season. There are boats available, but they run less frequently, and the rough seas can make rides miserable and risky. You won’t be able to dive due to low visibility and the dangers of choppy waters.

February is the driest month of the Perhentian monsoon season, so if you do want to travel during that part of the year, it might be best to book your trip then. This is especially true if you’re more into exploring the inland areas than you are diving.

However, unless you’re a passionate adventurer with plenty of travel experience, it isn’t recommended that you visit during monsoon season.

Snorkel the Perhentians

The Best Time for Diving in the Perhentians

During the monsoon season in the Perhentians, dive centres are closed and the water gets churned, making for poor visibility even if you have your own snorkelling or diving gear.

The best time for snorkelling in the Perhentians or going scuba diving is during the dry season, and especially during August and September, when the sand has fully settled following the monsoon. These months are also the busiest time to visit the Perhentian Islands, though – so if you want diving without the crowds, I recommend coming a bit earlier in the year, when the conditions are still good.

Final Words About the Best Time to Visit Perhentian Islands

For the average backpacker who simply wants to explore the islands or lounge on the beach, the Pulau Perhentian best time to visit is between April and June. You’ll avoid the crowds and make the most of what the islands offer plus be able to avoid the Pulau Perhentian monsoon.

If you’re wondering about the Perhentian Island open season 2021, generally the islands open up in early March each year.

If you’re planning a diving trip, you’ll be better off visiting in August or September. The waters will be clear and beautiful, offering the diving experience of a lifetime.

You can find our full travel guide to Perhentian Islands here and our list of things to do in Perhentian Islands here.

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon is an Australian who has fallen in love with Malaysia! She explores Malaysia multiple times a year, often with her kids, and has previously lived in Penang.