We are in the process of planning a trip which will probably have us spending a week or so on Perhentian Kecil during ramadan. I remember reading on a blog somewhere that it was impossible to find a place to eat on the island before dusk. I was just wondering if there are places run by non-muslims which would be serving food during the day because fasting all day after working up an appetite swimming and snorkerling doesn´t sound so great! We also like to kick back with a beer or two in the evening, will this be possible?
I´m also curious about eating in Kuala Terengganu and Cherating during ramadan as we may be passing through there as well. I´ve read that in the bigger cities you can always find Chinese and Indian places open but in smaller places......
Ramadan 2010: 10/11 august to 9 September.
Quote from Ramadan Dates
Umm! Looks like I will be in Malaysia for Ramadan this year too. Hopefully, since Malaysia is such a big backpackers destination, everything will be open. Does anyone reading this know for sure, if this is the case?
There's the good news & the not so good news. Traditionally, Ramadan will be a so call 'low period' for most resorts & hotels in Malaysia. So the good news you might get a good bargain during Ramadan. Now comes the not so good news. Being a liberal islamic nation, most of the malay/muslim food place will be closed during lunch time so you might have some difficulty during lunch.
Don't worry if u survive lunch then you will be enjoy your early dinner. Coz normally the malay/muslim will break their fasting during sunset & the food will be served with additional variety compare to normal.
Enjoy ur trip.
Specifically on the Perhentian Islands - you'll be fine.
Though the staff might seem a little unenthusiastic about bringing out your lunch.
Opposite to the mainland - dinner times can be pushed a little late! - the staff break fast at sunset - about 7pm and nothing much gets done until they've finished.
We were on Perhentian Kecil towards the end of Ramadan last year and didn't have a problem getting food for lunch. Yes the staff were a little slow but they were at night too for the evening meals!
We did have a problem on the mainland though, we had a flight from Kota Bharu airport and it was completely shut down except for a little supermarket place selling biscuits, chocolate and crisps. I think because the Perhentians are such a big tourist destination it's a slightly different set up. On the mainland we would say that the Malay/Muslim owned restaurants would be closed but Chinese owned restaurants would be open.
Thanks for the useful info, slow service is better than none.
did any of you have encounters with triggerfish? those buggers look aggressive!
Will shops and market stalls be open during the day everywhere, to buy things like fruit and water?
We were in Indonesia for Ramadan and were worried about eating too but it was fine. If the worst comes to the worst McDonalds are always open! (although they do have a curtain around the windows!)
We were always careful about eating on the streets in front of people though as some can get a bit funny about it but you'll always get food.. just don't plan to eat at sundown as you'll generally find all the restaurants packed out... people get there about 1/2 hour early to get a seat and are literally sitting with forks & spoons poised ready to go which is quite funny to see!
Mell, most (if not all) shops and market stalls were open in the areas we visited and they weren't all huge tourist areas too so you'll be fine.
We were always careful about eating on the streets in front of people though as some can get a bit funny
Looks like my usual Sunday travel habit of having lots of breakfast, lunch and dinner is not on then....
Hopefully, my 9 year old daughter will be exempt from these expectations.
I usually avoid Muslim countries during Ramadan, but I somehow thought Malaysia with its diversity of culture would be different.
In Pehrentian you'll be fine... They live out of tourists and they need money. We've been there not long ago (not in the Ramadan) but I don't think that they would not serve food for you and let you starve. Working during the Ramadan is not prohibited - so they can still cook for you and serve beer. And it's the cheap...
Otherwise - go for fishing and cook it for yourself
I was just kidding.
Have a lovely time and enjoy. Pehrentian is beautiful, specially the diving and the snorkeling....