Sunsets and Storms on Malaysia’s Perhentian Kecil

I have seen a slew of stunning sunsets during my trip, but none as achingly beautiful and consistently colourful as those from my 2.5 weeks on the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia. An easy trip from Kuala Lumpur, the Perhentians were a perfect place for me to rest after summiting Gunung Agung, since I was still losing toenails as a result of the climb.

I stayed at Senja Bay, the only place on Coral Bay with free WiFi and nasi lemak for breakfast. Also drawn to the interwebs were friends Chloe & Dennis and Sandra & Jeroen, all of us happily seduced by the sun, sand and storms on Perhentian Kecil. High season was ending, and on the cusp of the monsoons came nightly storms that barreled toward the island, bringing hard, angry rain and a carpet of dark clouds.

Fiery sunsets on Perhentian Kecil

I never was a big beach person, and growing up I tended to avoid vacations that involved water. I do love sunsets, though, and the consistency of this beautiful beach nightly with its many changing weather patterns was truly a treat. I’ve written about how within the long travels you do need to make sure you stay positive and rested, and this island was an ideal opportunity for me to just do that.

In part I was healing up my mangled feet, but in part it was a place to also contemplate what was next for me and where this site and my life were headed. What was supposed to be a 1-year trip was turning into more, and it got me truly thinking about why I quit my job in the first place, as well as the things that long term travel just cannot fix. I might have not grown up with beaches, but as I started this big journey they have become a place to sit and to think and to wonder. I suspect that was probably what I was missing about them all along.

All of the pictures below were taken from Coral Bay on Perhentian Kecil, the smaller of the two islands.

Sunset on Perhentian Kecil
Sunset on Perhentian Kecil with Plenty of Clouds

Sunset Kecil Malaysia

Perhentian Kecil Sunset 1


Perhentian Kecil Storm

Sunset on Perhentian Kecil

Sunset in fire, Perhentian Kecil

Coral beach in Perhential kecil

Coral beach in Perhential kecil

Of course: daytime on the Perhentian Islands wasn’t hard to stomach either:

Coral beach in Perhential kecil

Update: Here is a video I took as the biggest of the storm sat on the horizon. Gives a 360 view (a bit wobbly – sorry!) of Coral Bay and the crazy clouds:

More to come on this idyllic island getaway next week!


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