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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Perhentian Islands During Monsoon Season
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 main ferry service will be closed as well. 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 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.
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.
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.
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.