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A Trekkers Paradise: Hiking in Perhentian Besar Island

My recent post gave you the perfect hikers day’s itinerary on Perhentian Kecil, complete with fun, thrills and world-class views. Jungle trekking on Besar is also nothing short of an adventure and like its sister island, offers some cracking highlights.

The first leg will have you clambering down a rocky terrain with protruding tree roots and then emerging onto a long, quiet snorkelling beach.

The second leg will take you deep into the mystic jungle and have you awing over dusky leaf monkeys, before entering one of the best snorkelling beaches on the island.

The stunning viewpoint overlooking Perhentian Island Resort beach (Teluk Pauh) will then lead you to a tasty lunch spot, finishing off with a massage overlooking paradise.

Do you want to own the best hiking day trip on Besar island? Check out my 1-Day itinerary 🙌

Hiking map for Perhentian Besar island.

Overview:
  • Stage 1: Walk around the beach path from Tuna Bay to Teluk Keke beach (approx. 10 mins) *plus optional snorkelling
  • Stage 2: Hike through the jungle from Teluk Keke beach to Arwana beach (approx. 40 mins) *plus optional snorkelling
  • Stage 3: Hike from Arwana beach to Perhentian Island Resort (PIR) (approx. 50 mins)
  • Stage 4: Take a dip in the stunning PIR snorkelling beach .. trust me, you’ll need it after the steamy hike! (approx. 20 minutes)
  • Stage 5: Walk around the beach to The Barat Perhentian for lunch (approx. however many minutes you like)
  • Stage 6: Walk back to the PIR viewpoint for a massage overlooking paradise (approx. 1 hour)

Stage 1-4 approx. hiking time (minus lunch and massage) : 2hrs – 2hrs 30 mins

Hiking Difficulty: Moderate – but harder than the Kecil hike!

Preparing for the hike
  • Layer on the sun-cream then douse yourself in mosquito repellant (jungle strength if you have it.)
  • Take your swimmers for a dip at the end and maybe a change of clothes for afterwards (unless you’re happy to get back into your sweaty slacks.)
  • Wear proper hiking shoes or trainers, they will be much more comfortable and safer on the rocks than flip-flops.
  • At least 1 bottle of water each
  • A sweat band and a cap comes in handy
  • Snorkelling gear if you fancy it
The Route

Stage 1: Walk around the beach path from Tuna Bay to Teluk Keke beach (approx. 10 mins)

Jungle trekking route in Perhentian Besar island.

-Take a left at Tuna Bay resort, head down the beach past Abdul’s Chalet and around the staircase. Walk down the beach past the first jetty.

Jungle trekking route in Perhentian Besar island.

-Head up and down the second staircase, onto Teluk Keke beach.

Jungle trekking route in Perhentian Besar island.

-Go just past the second jetty, the campsite and ‘No Tresspassing’ sign on the left to enter the the track that will lead you onto your jungle path.

Not sure where the private property is, but it’s not on the hiking route.

(Note: If you see the blue sign about throwing away plastic then you’ve gone too far! Back up to the turn.)

Jungle trekking route in Perhentian Besar island.

You’ve gone too far if you see this!

* Optional * : The end of Teluk Keke beach is meant to be a great spot for snorkeling if you don’t mind getting wet before the hike!

Jungle trekking route in Perhentian Besar island.

Optional snorkelling at Teluk Keke. If you’re lucky, you’ll be the only ones here!

Stage 2: Hike through the jungle from Teluk Keke beach to Arwana Resort (approx. 50 mins)

– You will see a campsite washing area in front of you with a large concrete cylinder. (Before we took the turn we had to wait for a group of local men to finish washing!)

Jungle trekking route in Perhentian Besar island.

The turn you’ll need to take from the beach, at an al fresco washroom!

– There is a left turn right after that leads you onto the track. You soon pass a dilapidated house on your left. Keep following the path.

Jungle trekking route in Perhentian Besar island.

– You then go up a path with huge rocks which is quite challenging (the path steers slightly left when you get to the top. Just follow your instincts!)

Jungle trekking route in Perhentian Besar island.

– Head back down, over more rocks with a ton of petruding roots. Be careful not to loose your footing (if you’re wearing flip-flips then you’d wish you had hiking shoes about now!)

– Take a right at the bottom of the path and voila, you’ve reached the beach!

Jungle trekking route in Perhentian Besar island.

This beach is nice and quiet, low-key and quite local. There were two hikers on this leg who came to snorkel on Arwana Beach, which is meant to be good. You may wish to do the same ☺

– Turn left when you reach the beach and head all the way to the end of it. Arwana resort is on the left.

Stage 3: Hike from Arwana beach to Perhentian Island Resort (PIR) (approx. 50 mins)

-When you reach Arwana resort, you’ll understand why there appears to be no guests… it looks nothing short of a dump. Anyway, take a left and go through the resort just before the big blue Arwana sign and head straight until you get to the pool.

Jungle trekking route in Perhentian Besar island.

-Take a left and you’ll see the ‘Jungle Trekking’ wooden sign on the tree. Go through the fence, over the wooden plank and bear right. You’ll see another wooden ‘Jungle Trekking’ sign’. Walk past and it will lead you onto the path.

Jungle trekking route in Perhentian Besar island.

-The path begins through lots of long, wavy grass. Continue ahead, then the path gets a little watery for a bit where some pipes are.

Jungle trekking route in Perhentian Besar island.

-You’ll be ducking or climbing over some fallen trees and can enjoy the peacefulness that the jungle brings.

Jungle trekking route in Perhentian Besar island.

Don’t forget to keep a look out for the dusky leaf monkeys! We saw a large barrel of them grazing happily on leaves. A fun fact for you: they eat 2kg of food per day but only weigh 5-9kg!

Jungle trekking route in Perhentian Besar island.

-Continue along the path and you begin the descent. There is a right turn that leads you to PIR, with a sign pointing you in the right direction. Continue down the path and you reach the resort, going through an iron fence at the end.

Jungle trekking route in Perhentian Besar island.

Take the right turn to PIR.

Jungle trekking route in Perhentian Besar island.

Watch out for the huge buttress!

-Head out onto the beach and enjoy paradise!

Stage 4: Take a dip in the stunning PIR snorkelling beach (approx. 20 minutes)

-We only took a quick dip in the ocean to cool off, but you may want to stay for longer to snorkel. It is supposed to be one of the best spots on the island for off the beach snorkelling and spotting turtles.

Teluk Pauh beach in Perhentian Besar.

Teluk Pauh beach, in front of PI resort. Nothing short of beautiful.

Stage 5: Walk around the beach to The Barat Beach resort for lunch (approx. however many minutes you like)

-Turn left at the beach and up the steps (where you’ll see the Ahmed’s massage joint with beautiful views) and down the steps. Go around Coral View and past Belinda café until you reach The Barat.
-This is a peaceful stop for some western and asian food and an ice cold beer. The service is great and the staff are very friendly.

The Barat Perhentian in Malaysia's Perhentian Besar Island.

The Barat Perhentian resort

Stage 6: Walk back round to the PIR viewpoint for a traditional Malay massage overlooking paradise (approx. 1 hour)

Ahmed's Massage Parlour in Perhentian Besar,

Ahmed’s Massage Parlour, such a cute setup!

-Head back the way you came to Ahmed’s ‘best seat in the house’ spot for an hour of bliss. (The massage cost RM100.)

Vista from the massage parlour, whilst listening to the sounds of the sea.


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Hiking in Malaysia's Perhentian Besar island.

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