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Love Island or Perhentian Kecil Island your ultimate heartbreaker?

Updated: Jul 16

Forget love island, Perhentian Kecil becomes the destination of our make or break date when it comes to our love affair to living out the Island fantasy.


So, we’ve all heard the saying that “hearts are made to be broken” and no doubt Love Island heart throbber Callum is the ultimate heart breaker on our touch screens.


But the biggest heart breaker is the effects of climate change on the very doorstep of our neighbouring islands.


Unfortunately, Perhentian Kecil Island in Malaysia was one of the major climate bombing sights. Like everyone, I once dreamed of diving deep into this alluring yet mysterious world.

Yet again like many, I was disheartened by not what I saw but most disturbingly what I lacked to see.

Snorkeling at D'lagoon Bay


“Yet again like many I was disheartened by not what I saw but most disturbingly what I lacked to see."

One of which was the coral, although they only cover 1 % of the earth’s surface, the coral is the lungs for the heart of our ocean. They are the ultimate life force structures, supporting 25% of marine species whilst maintaining biological diversity.


Healthy Coral at Sippadan, Borneo Depleted Coral at Perhentian Kecil Island



So how can you live out your island fantasy and still protect local marine life?

1) Support local eco-friendly dive shops, you can ask if they use Buoys instead of anchors (as anchors damage the fragile coral)


2) Attend plastic clean up sessions operated by some dive shops


3) Avoid using plastic as countries in South East Asia lack recycling systems


4) Avoid eating fish on the Island, it could possibly be caught by unethical dynamite or cyanide methods


5) Avoid buying coral souvenirs – but most importantly don’t touch or step on coral!


6) Get hands-on in an awesome eco-project such as the Perhentian Turtle Project https://www.perhentianturtleproject.org/?fbclid=IwAR3VFMrbVK6qYSDfbBXlBB7cFJ_0u-UtppbMQFSsQWdmfIefbi4rYmvvtr4


Endangered Green Sea Turtle at Turtle Bay (directly across from D'lagoon Bay)

Despite the climate bombing and lack of ecotourism, we somehow managed to try to make most of the remaining island gems left to discover.

So, if you're intending to still visit Perhentian Kecil Islands I’ve outlined a few hot tips to fulfil your island heart’s desires.

5 Hot tips to prepare for a stress-free journey!


1) Book your accommodation in advance! I cannot stress this enough, make sure you do your research prior to going, D’Lagoon was a nice and quiet bay to stay with cheap and great local food.

2) Beware of theft on the island, do not leave your belongings unattended.

3) For females travelling to Kota Bharu, I recommend covering yourself if possible to respect the Muslim culture in the area.

4) If you want to get your Scuba Diving license, I recommend doing thorough research as some places may not have the safest equipment.

5) Take cash before you leave! It’s not a tap and go friendly place, after all, it is a castaway island.


Finding Nemo at D'lagoon bay


But, where can I find marine life?


1) If you go to Perhentian main Island, directly across from D’lagoon, you can swim with local Green Sea Turtles.

2) ‘Temple’ (Tokong Laut )dive and Sugar Wreck dive which is a shipwreck dive.

3) Overall, there are many diverse offshore areas you can snorkel such as D’lagoon and Hope beach.


How on earth do I get to the middle of Island nowhere?


1) Get a flight to Kota Bahru then use either Grab Car app or a Taxi to get to Kota Bharu marina.

2) To get to Perhentian Kecil Island from the Marina, use one of the friendly local boat services. We used MD Boat Services both friendly, reliable and cost-effective.

3) The best way to move around the Island is to get local boat rides, it cost somewhere between 10-20 Ringgit, depending on the length of the journey.

Blowing bubble rings, Perhentin Kecil Island



Despite climate change becoming an evident factor in our reefs and dream islands, we can still continue to travel mindfully and sustainably whilst fulfilling our island fantasies.


So, are you ready to get your wet suit on and explore the down under of Perhentian Islands?


By Marika Suzuki


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