During my stay at the Perhentian Islands, I was in Flora Bay, a non-touristy spot in the biggest Island: Perhentian Besar. Jungle treks in Perhentian Islands are worthy and will connect you to other beaches on the island.
There are two possible treks in Perhentian Islands from Flora Bay. One leads you to PIR Beach, and the other one to Tuna Bay two other places much more touristy than Flora Bay. You can see those treks on MAPS.ME
I didn’t do both treks on the same day because after the trek I was relaxing at the Beach it leads me to.
Exploring the treks in Perhentian Islands
To visit other corners of the island, there are taxi boats which I have not used. I preferred to explore the island on my own by venturing alone into the forest, following these trails. The treks in Perhentian Islands take about half an hour to complete, each.
I had no idea what to expect on the other side of the island, but it was waiting for me a much more touristy beach than the beach where I was. The treks in Perhentian Islands to PIR beach is easy to do, but I’m sure not many people do it. It doesn’t have maintenance so it was kind of hard for me to find the way in, but once you get in the trek there is no chance for mistakes. Trekking alone in the forest is always kind of stressful to me cause I don’t like insects or reptiles and the chance to see some of these animals is big as you are walking in their habitat. So that always stresses me a bit, but nothing too bothering. What I wasn’t expecting to see for sure was reptiles longer than 1,5m!!! YES, I saw a huge lizard while doing this trek! I was so scared as him that ran away as fast as he could once he saw me. That was a hell of a scare to me. I had no idea that lizards this big could be found here!!
It is extremely hot and I reach the beach exhausted and almost without water. Remember to carry with you a big water bottle. You will need it! I was so sweaty that my T-shirt was completely wet, so the first thing I do when I reach the beach is jumping into the water. I didn’t even look around haha I was desperate to get into that water! There are people in bikini and several foreigners in the water. In the area where I was staying, the maximum number of people I saw at the beach wearing a bikini was three. As Malaysia is a Muslim country, they do not take off their clothes to go to the water, nor do women take off their hijab. So at Flora Bay, where I stayed, people go to the water fully dressed, mostly in black. Children, men, women, everyone. But in Flora Bay if I walk a little bit away from the Hotel I can have the beach for myself, so wearing a bikini isn’t awkward.
So, after bathing and get refreshed, I’m glad I’m not staying at PIR Beach because the beach where I am is much more charming and beautiful. The beach is wide, and besides being way more touristy than Flora Bay, it is still a very peaceful beach and finding a place for your towel isn’t a problem at all. I go back the same way before sunset as I don’t want to trek in the jungle in the dark.
The second trek in Perhentian Islands leads me to Tuna Bay. The beginning of this trek is hidden behind leaves, so look to your GPS to make sure you are following the right path. It is just next to some houses at the beach where I also saw a huge lizard, again. I can’t avoid being scared again. This was the first trek in the jungle that I was able to see such big lizards so close to me. This trek is harder than the other one because you are climbing and there are some trees on the floor, nothing too hard to do, trust me. And this trek was also more rewarding than the other one. When I was already just a few meters from the beach, I hear a noise coming from the trees. OH NO, another giant lizard, I think to myself while walking very carefully. But, the noise is different and louder, like something is shaking the leaves on the trees. And it was actually doing it! It was a Gibbon!!! OMG, I was sooooo excited as I have never seen a Gibbon in the wild like that so close to me. I could see it clearly hanging on the tree. He was looking at me too but didn’t move, so I stopped for as long as I wanted, to stare at him. What a great reward after this trek. It made my day!
From this side of the island, you can access several beaches that are linked to each other. The most touristy is Tuna Bay. Once again I’m glad I’m not staying there. Actually, the extension of beaches here is wide, so I take about 1 hour to explore the whole length. It is a nice walk! More touristy than Flora Bay, but once again not very touristy but definitely way more foreigners here. Here I could go back by taxi boat as there are some services available at the beach and I was tired of walking, but, I did the treks in Perhentian Islands back to Flora Bay anyway. The only bad thing about Flora Bay is that you can’t watch the sunset here. It happens on the other side of the Island, so staying and coming back by water boat isn’t a bad idea.