Perhentian-Islands - Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands

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Overview | Bus | Flight via Kota Bahru | Flight via Kuala Terengganu

How to get from Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands?

The Perhentian Islands are a small group of islands in Kuala Terengganu, off Malaysia’s east coast. They are famous for their coral-sand beaches, turquoise waters, amazing underwater life, and lush jungles. Located 330km from Kuala Lumpur, there is no direct way to reach the Perhentian Islands. As a result, they receive relatively fewer tourists compared to other islands in Malaysia!

You have 3 options when travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands: an 8.5-hour bus and ferry; a 3.5-hour flight (including transfers) via Kota Bahru; or a 4-hour flight (including transfers) via Kuala Terengganu. All options include a ferry ride from Kuala Besut to the Perhentian Islands. Fares range from 75 MYR ($18) to 293 MYR ($70).

3 ways to getfrom Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus8.5 hours75 MYR ($18)Check Bus Tickets
Flight via Kota Bahru3.5 hours149 MYR ($36)Check Flights
Flight via Kuala Terengganu4 hours293 MYR ($70)Check Flights

The bus and ferry is the cheapest option when travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands. Day buses are available, but it’s better to take a night bus if you want to transfer to a connecting ferry within the same day of arrival at Kuala Besut. Combined fares start from 75 MYR ($18).

There is no airport on any of the Perhentian Islands. The nearest airport is located at Kota Bahru. Although airfares from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bahru can be quite cheap, this option involves several transfers. Fares start at 149 MYR ($36) for the 3.5-hour journey (excluding the waiting time at the airport) from Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands via Kota Bahru.

An alternative option when taking the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands is via Kuala Terengganu. Airfares are even cheaper for this option, but you’ll need a longer and more expensive land transfer from Kuala Terengganu to Kuala Besut Jetty. Total fares start from 293 MYR ($70).

All ferries bound for the Perhentian Islands depart from Kuala Besut Jetty. These are available daily from 08:00 to 17:00. At the jetty, non-Malaysia citizens are asked to pay 30 MYR ($7) conservation fee. For Malaysians, it’s 5 MYR ($1.20).

The Perhentian Islands

The Perhentian Islands are made up of 7 islands – the 2 main islands being Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil. All accommodation options can be found here as the other 5 aren’t inhabited.

Besar, with its more high-end lodgings, is perfect for honeymooners or families on holiday, whereas Kecil is more for the backpackers and party-goers, with cheaper accommodation here.

Booking accommodation on Kecil isn’t the easiest either, as the majority of accommodation don’t advertise online. You’ll be able to book a select few in advance, however a lot of places only take walk-in bookings, which can be quite risky in the busy summer months.

Wherever you’re staying in the Perhentian Islands, you’re sure to have a great time underwater. Snorkelling and diving are the most popular activities, but just swimming in its clear waters is enough to give you a tropic boost.

We also highly recommend trekking through its jungles. Just watch out for the occasional venomous spider, monitor lizard or gecko!

Itinerary from Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands

bus icon

Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands by Bus


Duration: 8.5 hours
Cost: 75 MYR ($18) 

Travelling by bus from Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands only takes you up to Kuala Besut. From here, you’ll need to take a ferry to complete your journey.

Step 1: Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Besut by Bus

Duration: 7 hours 48 minutes
Cost: from 40 MYR ($9.50)

When taking the bus from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Besut, it is better to travel by night so you can make it in time for an early morning ferry connection to the Perhentian Islands.

Ferry departures are available only from 08:00 to 17:00, so if you take a day bus, you have to arrive within that time. Otherwise, you’ll have to spend a night in Kuala Besut.

Malaysian roads are generally in good condition and travelling by night is very common here. With night travel, you can also save a night in accommodation.

Ticket prices start from 40 MYR ($9.50) and travel time is around 8 hours. Below are our recommended bus schedules from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Besut:

Bus CompanyScheduleDurationCosts
Moraza Express00:30-08:18
22:45-06:33
23:15-07:03
7 hours 48 minutes54 MYR ($13)
Queen Express21:40-05:28
22:00-05:48
7 hours 48 minutes40 MYR ($9.50)
Ekspres Mutiara21:30-05:187 hours 48 minutes52 MYR ($12.50)
Perdana Express10:00-16:00
22:00-05:48
6 hours
7 hours 48 minutes
52 MYR ($12.50)

Check Bus Tickets with BookAway

All buses depart from Kuala Lumpur Bus Terminal (TBS), located 13km south of the city centre. They arrive at Kuala Besut Bus Terminal. From here, it’s 800m to the jetty. That’s a 15-minute walk or a very short taxi ride (if you’re carrying huge luggage).

Step 2: Kuala Besut to Perhentian Islands by Ferry

Duration: 35 minutes
Cost: 35 MYR ($8.50)

Ferries from Kuala Besut dock at both of the main islands, but you have to indicate which island you’re heading to before you board the ferry. Ticket prices start from 35 MYR ($8.50) for the 30 to 40-minute journey.

You can buy your ticket at the jetty, but we highly recommend booking online to be guaranteed a seat. Below are the schedules and corresponding booking links.

Top-tip: The ferry to Kecil docks on Long Beach, which is convenient for people staying on this beach. However, if you’ve decided to stay on Coral Beach, the other main beach on the opposite side of the island, you’ll either have to get a boat taxi or tackle the jungle path across the island.

Ferry from Kuala Besut to Perhentian Besar

Ferry CompanyScheduleDurationCosts
Aina HolidaysEvery hour from 08:00 to 17:0030 minutes35 MYR ($8.50)
Mieha HolidaysAlmost every hour from 09:00 to 16:0035 minutes37 MYR ($9)
DTY Transport & ServicesEvery hour from 08:30 to 15:3035 minutes46 MYR ($11)
Perhentian Trans HolidayAlmost every hour from 08:00 to 17:0040 minutes35 MYR ($8.50)

Check Ferry Tickets with BookAway

Ferry from Kuala Besut to Perhentian Kecil

Ferry CompanyScheduleDurationCosts
Aina HolidaysEvery hour from 08:00 to 17:0030 minutes35 MYR ($8.50)
Mieha HolidaysAlmost every hour from 09:00 to 16:0035 minutes37 MYR ($9)
DTY Transport & ServicesEvery hour from 08:30 to 15:3035 minutes46 MYR ($11)
Perhentian Trans HolidayAlmost every hour from 08:00 to 17:0040 minutes35 MYR ($8.50)

Check Ferry Tickets with BookAway

plane icon

Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands by Flight via Kota Bahru


Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 149 MYR ($36) 

If you must really take a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands, we recommend that you take one via Kota Bahru.

Flights bound for Kota Bahru are available at both Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport. Since it’s normally cheaper to depart from KLIA, we’ll focus on that route.

Step 1: Kuala Lumpur City Centre to Airport

Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Cost: from 12 MYR ($2.80)

First, you’ll have to travel around 55km south of the city centre to Kuala Lumpur Airport. You can take the train for 50 MYR ($12), the bus for 12 MYR ($2.80), or a taxi from 75 MYR ($17.50).

Travel time is 30 minutes to 1 hour and you can check out our page on Kuala Lumpur Airport for more details.

Step 2: Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bahru by Flight

Duration: 1 hour 05 minutes
Cost: 71 MYR ($17) 

The nearest airport to Kuala Besut is located some 55km north at Kota Bahru.

Air Asia often offers the cheapest flights from Kuala Lumpur Airport to Kota Bahru, with tickets from 71 MYR ($17). Malaysia Airlines is also available although their ticket prices are about $30 more expensive.

Flights depart from Kuala Lumpur International Airport and arrive at Sultan Ismail Petra Airport. The journey takes a little over an hour.

Check Flights with Skyscanner

Step 3: Kota Bahru to Kuala Besut by Minivan or Taxi

Duration: 1 hour 
Cost: 31 MYR ($7.50)

From Kota Bahru Airport, you’ll then have to travel south via minivan or taxi to Kuala Besut Jetty.

The minivan is the cheaper option at only 31 MYR ($7.50). They pick you up from the airport and take you straight to Kuala Besut Jetty, making it a really good option if it matches your flight’s arrival time.

Below are the minivan schedules:

Minivan CompanyScheduleDurationCosts
Perhentian Trans Holiday08:00-09:00
11:00-12:00
15:00-16:00
1 hour31 MYR ($7.50)

Check Minivan Tickets with BookAway

Alternatively, you can also take a taxi. Fares start from 105 MYR ($25) for the 1-hour journey.

Step 4: Kuala Besut to Perhentian Islands by Ferry

Duration: 35 minutes
Cost: 35 MYR ($8.50)

Finally, you’ll need to take a ferry from Kuala Besut to the Perhentian Islands. Fares start from 35 MYR ($8.50) and travel time is around 35 minutes.

See below for the ferry schedules and booking links to the two main Perhentian Islands.

Ferry from Kuala Besut to Perhentian Besar

Ferry CompanyScheduleDurationCosts
Aina HolidaysEvery hour from 08:00 to 17:0030 minutes35 MYR ($8.50)
Mieha HolidaysAlmost every hour from 09:00 to 16:0035 minutes37 MYR ($9)
DTY Transport & ServicesEvery hour from 08:30 to 15:3035 minutes46 MYR ($11)
Perhentian Trans HolidayAlmost every hour from 08:00 to 17:0040 minutes35 MYR ($8.50)

Check Ferry Tickets with BookAway

Ferry from Kuala Besut to Perhentian Kecil

Ferry CompanyScheduleDurationCosts
Aina HolidaysEvery hour from 08:00 to 17:0030 minutes35 MYR ($8.50)
Mieha HolidaysAlmost every hour from 09:00 to 16:0035 minutes37 MYR ($9)
DTY Transport & ServicesEvery hour from 08:30 to 15:3035 minutes46 MYR ($11)
Perhentian Trans HolidayAlmost every hour from 08:00 to 17:0040 minutes35 MYR ($8.50)

Check Ferry Tickets with BookAway

plane icon

Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands by Flight via Kuala Terengganu


Duration: 4 hours
Cost: 293 MYR ($70) 

An alternate option when taking the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands is via Kuala Terengganu. However, this is located 95km south of Kuala Besut Jetty. Airfares from Kuala Lumpur are often cheaper, but the taxi ride from Kuala Terengganu to Kuala Besut is more expensive.

Step 1: Kuala Lumpur City Centre to Airport

Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Cost: from 12 MYR ($2.80)

Kuala Lumpur International Airport is located some 55km south of the city centre. To cover this distance, you can take a train for 50 MYR ($12), a bus for 12 MYR ($2.80), or a taxi from 75 MYR ($17.50). Travel time is 30 minutes to 1 hour.

To find out which is the best option for you, check out our page on Kuala Lumpur Airport.

Step 2: Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu by Flight

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: from 58 MYR ($14)

Flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu depart from both Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport. However, we prefer KLIA because airfares are normally 50% cheaper from there.

You can choose from 2 carriers: Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines. Airfares start from 58 MYR ($14) and flights arrive at Sultan Mahmud Airport after around 1 hour.

Check Flights with Skyscanner

Step 3: Kuala Terengganu to Kuala Besut by Taxi

Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
Cost: from 188 MYR ($45)

From Sultan Mahmud Airport in Kuala Terengganu, your best option to travel the 95km to Kuala Besut Jetty is a taxi. Fares start at 188 MYR ($45) for the almost 2-hour journey.

There is also an option to take a bus to Jerteh and take a taxi from there to Kuala Besut Jetty. However, travel time takes over 3 hours.

Step 4: Kuala Besut to Perhentian Islands by Ferry

Duration: 35 minutes
Cost: 35 MYR ($8.50)

For the last leg of your journey, you’ll have to take a ferry from Kuala Besut to Perhentian Islands. Ticket rates start from 35 MYR ($8.50) for the 35-minute ride.

Make sure you know which island your hotel is located! Below are the ferry schedules and their corresponding booking links.

Ferry from Kuala Besut to Perhentian Besar

Ferry CompanyScheduleDurationCosts
Aina HolidaysEvery hour from 08:00 to 17:0030 minutes35 MYR ($8.50)
Mieha HolidaysAlmost every hour from 09:00 to 16:0035 minutes37 MYR ($9)
DTY Transport & ServicesEvery hour from 08:30 to 15:3035 minutes46 MYR ($11)
Perhentian Trans HolidayAlmost every hour from 08:00 to 17:0040 minutes35 MYR ($8.50)

Check Ferry Tickets with BookAway

Ferry from Kuala Besut to Perhentian Kecil

Ferry CompanyScheduleDurationCosts
Aina HolidaysEvery hour from 08:00 to 17:0030 minutes35 MYR ($8.50)
Mieha HolidaysAlmost every hour from 09:00 to 16:0035 minutes37 MYR ($9)
DTY Transport & ServicesEvery hour from 08:30 to 15:3035 minutes46 MYR ($11)
Perhentian Trans HolidayAlmost every hour from 08:00 to 17:0040 minutes35 MYR ($8.50)

Check Ferry Tickets with BookAway

More routes to Perhentian Islands

Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands

More routes from Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur Airport

Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands

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Kuala Lumpur to Penang

Kuala Lumpur to Singapore

Kuala Lumpur to Taman Negara

Kuala Lumpur to Tioman Island

Most popular routes in Malaysia

Langkawi to Koh Lipe

Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands

Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu

Kuala Lumpur to Penang

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