Malaysia’s Besar (big) and Kecil (small) Perhentian Islands are known for diving schools, idyllic snorkelling conditions and isolated beaches. Despite lacking a thriving nightlife scene, tourists can still get a beer or cocktail at these beachside bars in the Perhentian Islands.
JUJA Bar is a recent addition to Perhentian Kecil’s nightlife. The wooden shack-style bar sits towards the end of Long Beach near the jungle trail that leads to Coral Bay. With a good selection of both canned beer and cocktails, this is among the more popular bars with backpackers in the Perhentian Islands. Either sit on the wooden stools next to the bar or enjoy your drink sitting on the sand. The bar is easy to find. Just stroll along Long Beach and head towards the music!
The not-so-creatively named Beach Bar lives up to its title on Long Beach. Small tables are spread across the beach overlooking the shore. Apart from its location, this is among our favourite bars for entertainment. The nightly fire shows attract customers and create a distinctive atmosphere. Sit back and enjoy the performance with a cold beer or cocktail and shisha.
OhLaLa hostel doubles up as a dive school with their own on-site bar and restaurant. Younger travellers and aspiring divers often spend their evenings here. Both Western and Asian (burgers and noodles) food as well as ice cold cans of beer feature on the menu. Crowds typically consist of PADI students and a sprinkling of other tourists from around Perhentian Kecil.
This beachside bar in the Perhentian Islands sits along Kecil’s Long Beach. Tables stretch across the sand where travellers can sit and enjoy a drink on the beach. Apart from ice cold beer and classic cocktails, it doubles up as a restaurant serving Western favourites. Friendly staff hang around all day chatting to customers, while backpackers fill the bar to witness the sunset. We recommend El Paraiso Beach Bar for solo travellers looking to have a sociable experience in the Perhentian Islands.
Perhentian Besar’s only bar sits on the southern coast of the island. Tables and chairs stretch along the beach within metres of the gentle lapping waves. Jim’s Bar lures customers for its views, ice-cold beers and cocktails. If you’re staying on Besar, head down to Jim’s for an evening drink and chat with the expat owner. Be aware that this bar in the Perhentian Islands doesn’t cater to backpackers or the more budget-conscious traveller.
Budget-conscious travellers might not want to splash out on the pricey drinks at the beachside bars in the Perhentian Islands. Alcohol tends to be cheaper in other parts of Malaysia.
Buying a few bottles of beer in Kuala Lumpur or in the duty-free on arrival could end up saving a fortune. Find a quiet spot on the sand and enjoy a cold beer listening to the sounds of the waves.
Some restaurants also allow tourists to bring their own alcohol in the otherwise dry environment. But always double and triple check beforehand. Some of the resorts have their own bars which offer a classier experience compared to the beachside spots too.
These recommendations were updated on July 24, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.