Thread 1 - 9 Sept 2006
We are planning to travel to Malaysia February 07 (4-5 weeks). Our childrens age: 3and half years and 15 months old. As the children are this small we think the best way is to fly from KL to Kota Baru. Stay there for about 2 days for acclimasation and then head to the Island. Who is experienced to travel with small kids? Where did you stay? What is important to think about? Any good place to stay for small children? Cooking facility? Safe around Bungaloos, shallow water,....ect....We will not make big steps, means we will not travel around much as we don't know how the kids will manage the change of everything.Thanks for any information!
Reply from others..
Reply 1 - I dont think there will be a big difference between Kota Bahru/KL/Perhentians. Perhaps Perhentians is more similar to KL than Kota Bahru.If u are going to redang instead, u can actually fly! redang
Reply 2 - The main consideration about the Perhentian and small kids is that if you are still using a buggy, the terrain is not conducive.For instance Long Beach, Kecil, is literally a long beach with jungle behind and accomodation and restaurants between thus making buggy use all but impossible. However there are some resorts which are more accomodating. The other issue is that the boat ride from Kuala Besut is over an hour long and I must admit I personally found it a little harrowing in places (probably because I'm a big whimp!).Also I was unaware of any cooking facilities, however I could be wrong. The water is quite shallow (between knee and thigh height) to quite far out and South China Sea is extremely bouyant.The mosqito situation on the Perhentians is extreme, I got bitten there more than Thailand, Penisula Malaysia or Indonesia.
Reply 3 - Hi there, be aware that you may find yourself in the midst the rainy season on the east coast. It can sometimes stretch to March and at its worst you are likely to find many bungalow places closed, and no ferry service. We travelled to Malaysia, including Sabah, with a 6 year old and it was great fun. The Perhentians are wonderful, but as i say you may have to rethink/avoid the east coast at this time. Contact me for more info if you wish. Paul
Reply 4 - agreed with #3. look out for the rainy season from nov-feb. march is usually a better month (if the weather is good) and this is when the islands start to become lively again cos of the better weather.
Reply 5 - Yeap.. it's still rainy season and the monsoon is not over yet... so, all the resorts in those island are practically off.... the better month to these islands is from April onwards.. which May is the best season and peak seson due to school holiday..Well, for children, i think it's a bit of problem cause from the jetty to those island, it takes min 45 minutes (depends on what kind of boat you are taking...) speed boat, as you can imagine, it's uncover and you really have to sit still otherwise, you will be fly out from the boat.. :)In Kota Baru, there is no interesting places to visit and it is a Muslim state which they are kind of conservative in all means, this is including clothing.... and they will give you a funny look if you are wearing a short with spagetthi... so, i think to put a night in Kota Baru is not necessary... probably you may want to stay over in KL and from KL take domestic (cheap... you may book now, having promotional price) flight, check : www.airasia.com.my .... Or you may go through some local agent for the package as it is a very common package and the price is quite reasonable... the package will normally inclusive of return flights, accomodation, foods and snorkelling trip..... There will be no cooking utilities in the island... basically, it is some sort of chelats or resorts which they will provide food (inclusive in your package)...
Reply 6 - Kota Bharu is not a good place for kids. The traffic can be chaotic, the streets and markets are not very clean, there's not much to do for kids, and because it's not a major tourist spot e.g. the restaurants serving western food are scarce, as are e.g. shopping malls. I think it's more interesting than KL, but if I was travelling with kids, I'd probably spend a few days in the capital (where you can get all the western-style services/goods/food you might want) rather than in Kota Bharu. If you decide to go to the Perhentians despite the rainy season, the big island (Besar) is probably more family-friendly with more upmarket resorts that have good services, paved path etc. I saw lots of families there, although not many with very small children. Check Perhentian Island Resort - it's the most expensive and probably the best, with a great location.
Reply 7 - Thanks all for your replies!Who has really be there with own children at this age? Remark: We all are used to aisan food. We carry our chidren on our body (We are not a bugy-travelling family) We know how to travel (clothing) in muslim and asian regions. Used to live in a asian country. We don't want to find the european lifestile there....of course with children it must be little more confortable/clean as we are used when traveling without kids. That is why now I ask again: Who has stayed there with their children? Tank you for your reply. Bye
Reply 8 - Hi, I haven't travelled with young kids, but lived on Perhentian for 6 months, it was a while ago and some things have changed.Firstly though if you can organsie to gt yourself out to the islands straight away rather than stay in Kota Bahru I would do that, it is far more humid and hot in Kota Bahru than on the islands.Long beach on Kecil has the better beach for the kids, it is shallow and last time i was there it had a net on it, mostly for the boats - not any other reason.As far as I know there are no self-cater facilities on either of the islands, although food is quite cheap. There is also a couple of shops and you can get a taxi/boat around to the villiage (Kampung) to stock up on bottled water etc.Moonlight, Matahari and chempacca (sp) were the best places to stay but again things can change, all have rooms with or without private facilities. Moonlight is close to the rocks though so could be a problem.February will be very quiet on the island as most people are only just returning after Monsoon and cleaning up, The crossing may be a little bi rougher than normal, you may want to look at going a bit later. Take heaps of RID for the mossquito's and maybe some antiseptic soap and wipes as the fishing boats clean there catch in the waters not far from the island and the water (ocean) has a fair bit of bacteria due to the temperature enabling things to grow.
Reply 9 - You can stopover in Kota Bharu Town to see the beautiful temples ( one of the largest reclining buddha in south east asia at Wat Pothivihan .,the largest sitting Buddha in Malaysia Guiness Book of Record at Wat Pothivihan, the standing Buddha and the dragon Boat Temples at Wat SuwanKhiri..You can also visit the cottage industries to see the skilled workers drawing a beautiful designed clothing at the Batik factory or your kid can alos visit the kite making shops.others historical place to visits are the war memorial Museum ( to see the collections and history of the Japanese Invasion during the scond world war,Istana Jahar ( Royal Museum),Istana Batu ,Market place to seee the curtural of the Malaysia waman traders doing their businsess in the central market Siti Khadijah. If you need the comfortable place to stay in Kota Bharu Town:Lee Guesthouse is highly recommended.please check the following link: http://www.leeguesthouse.8m.com/ the guesthouse is very suitable for a family travellers:please read the comment by other travellers in trip advisor:-http://www.leeguesthouse.8m.com/whats_new.htmlN.B.I have no relationship with the owner of Lee Guesthouse,I got to know the place from surfing the internet Trip Advisor.My family has stayed there for 2 nights and it is clean ,friendly ,comfortable and enjoyable.
Reply 10 - I have not travelled to Perhentian with small children, but since I am planning a trip with quite a few of the kind (age 7 mnd to 6 years), I have done some research. Here is what I found after staying twice on Perhentian Besar, talking to families with children basicly the same age as yours;- Food is bougth, not cooked. Cheap and most of the resturants even make special food (even for you this would not be a requirement) for the children. As always in south-east Asia, children are treated like a treat, not a nuicance. - Water is shallow, and some of the families we talked with, were staying at Mama's place (haven't stayed there myself, but think it it is basic, clean and with some rooms with A/C, some with a fan. They do have familiy bungalows and a nice resturante. Paradise Island resort next door is sligthly more expencive, caters mostly to divers but has a truly exellent dinner-resturant), because the beach here is very shallow and you have to walk a LONG ways before it gets any deeper. This beach is not that nice, but only 200 m away there are a much better beach that made wonderful "familiy outings" when the parents wanted to. There are also nice corals out from this other beach, and I watched children down to about 2 years of age "snorkel" with just a mask, screaming "Mama, look at the little Nemos!" The water here is only about 30-50 cm deep when you can see tropical fish.- the trip out there is not always a pleasure, but as long as you have some travelling-experience, I can not see this as a big problem. Children react as their parents, and non of the parents I talked with(think I had longer conversations with three couples with smaller children, chatted briefly with two more) mentioned the trip as a problem. This was in late March, but WE as grown-ups found the trip out a little bit on the rougth side. ;->- All the parents mentioned the degree of safety they felt on the island, with few really dangerouse stuff their children could get into. There are no trafic, few animales (yes, there are snakes, there are scorpions living in little holes under stones and stuff in the jungel, but I gess you are not thinking of sending your children there unattended :-) ) Only real danger is some of the sea-animales, but they are in the sea in the whole region.-I intend to take "my" children to live at Coral View Resort, but that is just because for a lot of these people this will be their first trip to south-east Asia, and I want them to have a good time. And I have choosen Besar because I have absoloutly not desire to end up with people partying all around me (have done my share, and seem to vagely recall that taking parents with children into consideration late at nigth was NOT something I wanted to do), and even if it is not that bad, I think Besar would be best for the familiy scene. If going to Kecil, I would choose one of the more remote places. But that is ME, and not anything near the only thruth. I would have gone, but done the stop in Kota Bharu on the way in from the island. Always more fun with towns when you already are acclamatised...
Threads 2 - 25 November 2006
Hey, I was thinking of heading down to Malaysia in early December. Does anyone know if the Perhentian Islands have closed yet? I know they close for monsoon season, but I'm not sure when that begins...
Reply from others..
Reply 1 - I don't think the islands 'close'! But they will be very quiet. Some (if not all) diving operations do close, however, usually October.
Thread 1 - 9 Sept 2006