If you are looking for an Island getaway on your next holiday, Malaysia has beautiful islands to offer with each island being distinctively different from the other. If you are planning a relaxing island escape, give REDANG ISLAND a thought - and the beautiful stretch of white sandy beach, humble islanders and crystal clear waters will not disappoint you. Your trip can ideally be between 3 to 4 days.
REDANG (a.k.a Pulau Redang is a small group of island located in the South China Sea at the eastern segment of Peninsular Malaysia. The tropical island of Redang has an array of resorts befitting your budget and requirements. Located at a 45km distance off the coast of Terengganu, the only way into the island is a boat/ferry ride from the jetty. A note of caution though, it is advicable to avoid travelling during Winter (November to February) as the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia is usually affected by the northeast monsoon resulting in resort closures and restricted ferry schedules.
Daily flights are available to Kuala Terengganu and departing from Kuala Lumpur, you will find yourself at Kuala Terengganu in an hour. You may also choose to drive yourself there but regardless of your mode of arrival, a compulsory marine park fee (RM5) is levied on all visitors to the island. Transfers from the airport/jetty to the island can be arranged via your preferred choice of service providers and ferries are scheduled from Merang Jetty or Shahbandar Jetty.
The boat/ferry ride will take approximately 1 hour 15 minutes with tickets priced around RM55 (adults) and RM30 (children) per way. It is also safe to note if the ferry departure coincides with your arrival times to avoid disappointments and again most resorts have their activities for day 1 in the afternoons. Hence boarding the later ferry/boat rides may lead to missing out on the activities. You are allowed to bring food into the ferry/boat and they can be obtained at the jetty or on board (limited options). The seats and interior are comfortable and ferry/boat is fully air-conditioned.
AND SO THE ADVENTURE BEGINS....
The ride on the ferry ends approximately 1 km from the shores of Redang Island and you will be transported to the shores via an open air speedboat/smaller boats. The breathtaking view is indeed a sight to behold! Soak your senses with the caress of the ocean breeze, smell of the sandy beach, taste of the droplets of salty sea water against your skin and the postcard sight of the crystal blue waters. Arriving on the shores, you will be greeted by your respective service providers and then transported to your accommodation in a creative cart - unlike the bullocart - this looks like a semi lorry-cart equipt with wheels and a shade.
Our group of 3 choosed the REDANG PARADISE and we had our cart already awaiting our arrival. The islanders are really helpful and will assist in loading your luggages onto the cart. Spoiler alert - first timers - you will be spellbound by the beauty surrounding you! Personally I was so captured that I started clicking away.
Having lived in the island of Penang, and visited several other islands like Langkawi and Pangkor, each island has its distinctive features but Redang is definitely a Gem.
Our resort had a rustic wooden concept to it and we were greeted by Frankie the Resort manager. The reception was at the lobby cum dining and we were pleasantly surprised at the dinner menu the resort had to offer. We had a choice of ala carte buffet for the first day and a BBQ Steamboat dinner on the second night. And to top it off, everything on the menu, except the seafood is bottomless - eat all you can! Taking a few moments to choose our dishes for the night, we moved to check our rooms out!
As we arrived slightly later than the first activity of the day, we had missed the ride and we decided to fill our evening with a turtle point trip which incurred a minimal RM35/person. The journey took a good 20 minutes and as the sun was setting, the mesmerizing view was indeed a humbling experience. Riding in the middle of the South China Sea, with the sun setting on the horizon, it was an exhilarating journey. We had friendly and cheeky seamen and guides on board with us and we felt rather safe considering the ratio was 2 guides to 3 of us. Strap yourself in the safety jacket and be careful with those cameras as the ride on the open sea can get bumpy!
Arriving at turtle point, our experienced guide took a plunge into the sea while the other stayed on board explaining to us in detail of the place and its significant attraction as well as hazards. As our guide in the water began whistling and washing the squids he brought along, from our boat, we could slowly see shadows emerging from the bottom of the ocean - meet JOJO and Friends! These turtles began feeding on the squids and swimming close to the surface of the water and around the guide. It was then our turn to take a dip and I must admit that it can be rather intimidating as the thought of jumping off a boat into the sea was something I had my doubts about. Nonetheless, after settling in, I must say that it truly was an amazing experience watching the turtles swim so close to you and they are a lot more bigger under water than they seem above! Watching them up-close, their shell so smooth and fins so strong, a memorable encounter is an understatement.
Heading back, we were full of stories of our new friend JOJO and arriving in time for dinner, this resort is the ONLY resort that serves up the hot-plate BBQ Steamboat around Redang Island, and if you're a fan - remember to drop in the resort as they allow walk in customers to dine in.
The meals serve at the restaurant on both nights we nothing short of exceptional. Taste was good - bottomless refill on selected dishes were a BONUS! Calling it a night after a scrumptious meal, we lazed by the hammocks available by the seaside and watched the moonlight accompany the happy waves. You can also opt to take a scroll down the beach and visit other resorts as a couple of them have live bands and did I forget to mention - most resorts in Redang Island do not serve alcohol. While it's a NAY for some of you, do check with the resorts if they allow you to bring them on your own.
Rise to the sound of waves washing the shores! Be treated to a delightful breakfast before heading out to sea. The smell of the ocean welcoming you coupled with the excited boatmen awaiting by the shore promises a start of a wonderful day ahead. Depending on your travel group and if you are seating in with other guests of the hotel, the ride through the open sea is a feast to your adrenaline.
Surrounded by nothing but the deep blue sea, with salty seawater splashing occasionally on your face, the ride can get bumpy but otherwise, is an adventure by itself. The friendly boat crew usually share their experiences and stories that will captivate you and sometimes distract your mind from the journey.
Your first stop will be the marine park. The tickets will already included in your ferry purchase or be obtained at the venue. Be mesmerized by crystal clear waters and get your camera's clicking! The crew will inform you as to how long your stay at the marine park will be and they will guide you to a gathering place. Take my word for it that, unlike the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park in Sabah, this park is beautiful in its purest form - and you will be amazed with the various types of fishes you will come across. The further you head out from the shore, the more beautiful you find the fishes.
You may also purchase bread prior to leaving your hotel, where you can use them to feed the school of fishes around you. Head for lunch to fill those growling tummies and the boat will take you to Kampung Redang - where lunch is provided (usually included in your room package). Food is usually served buffet style and you may take a walk around the town to digest up before you head to your next island exploration.
After lunch, head to your next island pitstop! Be mindful however, that the sun would probably be scorching above your heads, and for some, after the hearty meal, would rather skip the island for a nap. Nevertheless, brace yourself till the last island for the final island at Lang Tengah is the icing on the cake. The most beautiful of all three islands and although we did not want to soak into the second island, we could not resist temptations over the third island close to Lang Tengah.
By the time you arrive at the last stop, the heat of the afternoon coupled with the sight of clear blue waters, is a guaranteed temptation for a DIVE! You will not regret your decision, for the beautiful fishes beneath those waters will not disappoint you.
We stocked up on our fish food (bread) this time around and had a splashing time feeding those fishes. You may hire the crew to catch your photographs and later purchase them from him for a small fee. Your next stop for Tea break will be the nearby Lang Tengah island, famous for its Scuba schools. Take a quick nap and grab some snacks by the nearby cafe before you head back on a long journey back to your hotel.
The exhaustion will begin to set in as you arrive at your resorts but the satisfaction of having had a day well spent is priceless. At our resort, we had earlier anticipated our hunger and informed the cafeteria to prepare our BBQ (walk ins available) steamboat at 7.30pm. Hence as the sun was setting, we took turns to freshen up and met for dinner. Again, our dinner was buffet and poultry were refillable for FREE! now after a long day out at sea, what else would you look forward to?
After our delicious meal, we found it very hard to move about! But we were also in luck as the moon was full and shone brightly over the waves. Treat yourself to romantic walk by the sea or just laze around on the hammock while the cool breeze and live bands nearby entertain you through the night. We met our crew to collect our photos taken earlier in the day and it slowly started sinking in that we will have to check out as the sun rises!
We checked out the next morning and boarded the ferry for our journey back. This time around you may find yourself sandwiched among the crowd of holiday makers checking out at the same time. We arrived at the jetty and for the rest of you who would want to call it a trip, you may proceed with your airport transfer from the Jetty while for those who would want to hang around another day to check Kuala Terengganu out - feel free to walk around the town, grab some good seafood, taste the meals served on food trucks nearby and importantly get a taste of the famous 'nasi dagang' Kuala Terengganu is known for. You can get them at the Pasar Payang just beside the Jetty you arrived!
We have arrived at the end of our journey of Redang Island and Kuala Terengganu. Do feel free to leave your comments and share your experience with us! Till the next trip, SENYUM SOKMO!
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