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Perhentian Islands or Langkawi? Penang AND Melacca?

Travel Forums Asia Perhentian Islands or Langkawi? Penang AND Melacca?

1. Posted by Vlindertje (Budding Member, 5 posts) 8 Apr '11 00:13

Hello! :)

We're travelling to Malaysia in august but we're still thinking about the itinerary.

What would be the best island to visit for 2-3 days: Langkawi or the Perhentians??

I know Langkawi has a bit more of the expensive-type of accomodation (and it is duty-free), but I read that the Perhentians are nicer, with beautifull beaches. Although we do enjoy a day at the beach, we don't want to spend three days at the beach doing nothing but relaxing. Is there anything else to do at the Perhentians?
Langkawi has a part of mangrove forest you can visit and a very big aquarium. Has anyone visited these before?? Is it worth the trip?

We would also like to go to Penang and Melacca, but I heared from other people that we should not go to both places because they are much alike. Is this true? We will be spending two or three days in Penang and maybe one or two days in Melacca. Would it be better to stay one day longer in Penang and finally do a day trip to Melacca? Or... leave out Melacca and spend the extra days somewhere else in our itinerary?

And if somebody has a recommendation for a good hotel in Penang?? Thank you!

Greetings!! :)

2. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru, 1110 posts) 9 Apr '11 03:36

day tour to Melacca? Yes, but you know that Melaka is far away from Penang, which is an island off the coast of Butterworth?

Penang and Melaka have similar history, related to the spice trade. But Goerge town of Penang is larger, candy colored buildings and cobbled stones, then you have beaches... and since you are in Malaysia, you'll see skyscrapers, before you even set foot to Penang.

As Melaka it has the atmosphere of a small town, feels so laid back, and yet you know you are in a modern Asian country. The main attraction of Melaka is this Christian church, which they painted brick red, it looks good on photo, with its fountain and flowers... But if you really think about its just a small church, and should on the list of the least impressive chapels in the world. But for some reason I love Melaka. I like the people there and food is great.

3. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru, 664 posts) 11 Apr '11 04:47

Although we do enjoy a day at the beach, we don't want to spend three days at the beach doing nothing but relaxing. Is there anything else to do at the Perhentians?

Mostly the Perhentians is just about relaxing on the beach, they are very small islands but there is excellent snorkelling (some of the best we have experienced) where you will see a lot of big fish, reef sharks, huge turtles. The beach is far nicer than Langkawi's and in August it's much better weather on the east coast Perhentians than the west coast (which is in the rainy season).

Langkawi is excellent for exploring and activities, it's almost the complete opposite of the Perhentians - you can hire a car or a bike there are waterfalls, cable car with viewpoint and lots of other things.

With Penang and Melacca, I don't think there is much of a need to do both. There isn't that much to do in Melacca compared to Penang. We spent 2 nights in Melacca and were bored by the second night, with Penang there is just so much to do - temples, beaches (not brilliant), national park for hiking, spice farms, flower farms, we never got bored! Penang also has fantastic food. I would advise you to skip Melacca and add the time to Penang and maybe if you go overland to Penang from Perhentians you can fit in a couple of days in the Cameron Highlands - lots of tea plantations, jungle hikes and strawberry farms.

Also remember Ramadan is in August this year.