When you imagine a luxurious tropical paradise surrounded by pristine white beaches and exclusive seaside resorts, Redang Island should never be far away from the mind. The ultimate beach resort destination is starting to attract travellers from all over the world, and it’s not hard to see why.
Beautiful soft sands on a sunny beach, a true paradise!
Redang Island is the biggest out of nine islands that form the Malaysian Marine Park. This 7km long, 6km wide tropical haven is located in the Kuala Nerus District in Terengganu which is also a part of the South China Sea. Redang Island was believed to be discovered by Buginese settlers from Celebes, Indonesia. Up until recently, Kampung Air (known also as ‘water village’) on the island housed a population of about 250 fishermen along with their families, assumed to be the progeny of the founding Bugis settlers. The once booming fishing industry has now been left behind and instead, many have turned to the tourism industry as the breathtaking island becomes more popular over time.
Over 55 species of corals and 100 types of fish inhabit the reefs of the Redang archipelago and are protected by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE). It really is no surprise this is one of the best holiday destinations in Malaysia. Go check out more at CNN: 10 Best Islands for a Malaysia Holiday.
There are a few ways to get to the island but no matter your choice of transport, you are required to pay a small marine park fee (RM5) to visit the island. If you choose the traditional way of boat to get to Redang Island, you can access through them from Shahbandar Jetty (15-minute walk from Kuala Terengganu bus station) or Merang Jetty (40-minute drive from Kuala Terengganu bus station).
The distance from Merang to Pasir Panjang is a journey of an estimated 40 minutes. For a one-way/return trip, it will cost you around a standardised rate of RM40/80 for a ride on large, sufficiently comfortable speedboats and ferry boats. If you are coming from Shahbandar Jetty, it will take you an approximate of 1 hour 15minutes to reach the Berjaya Jetty. It is primarily arranged for Berjaya resorts guests and the ferry fare for two-way is priced at MYR 110 nett per adult and MYR 60 nett per child from ages 2 to 12 years of age.
The easiest way to reach Redang Island would be to fly indirectly by services provided by Berjaya Air from either Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (Kuala Lumpur) or from Changi Airport (Singapore). Make sure you make arrangements with your resorts for transfers from your airport or jetty to the resort itself as the only road on the island is only from the Kampung jetty on one end to the Berjaya resort on the other end, passing by the only village on the island and the airport.
Nothing like sunshine and crystal-clear waters to take your mind off work!
Redang Island like most islands on Malaysia’s east coast has a tropical climate. The temperature year round is approximately 30 °C (86 °F) with constant casual thunderstorms. During the monsoon season between October and March, most resorts and ferry transport schedules are strictly restricted from operating their services for the safety of the travellers.
Beautiful resort like the Laguna Redang Island Resort provides a luxurious stay!
Redang Island, known for their white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and abundant marine life swimming across the various reefs, an exciting adventure waiting to be explored. Compared to the neighbouring islands, Redang Island has a more upmarket image where a majority of the accommodation on the island is resort based. So, you can definitely expect a more luxurious vacation on this paradise island.
Amazing Leatherback turtle's nest on this beautiful beach
A popular tourist activity that is enjoyed on Redang Island is turtle-watching. The prime location to watch this phenomenon is at Pasir Chagar Hutang where turtles come to copulate and lay eggs. Over time, Redang Island has become an important conservation site for sea turtles as the extensive economic mistreatment of turtle eggs have resulted in a decrease in turtle nesting on the island. Hence, the Terengganu state government came up with the Koperasi Setiajaya Pulau Redang in 1989 where the aim of the corporation is to develop and manage socio-economic programmes that could help advance the standard of living of the locals on Redang Island without endangering the natural resources as well.
The Marine Park Centre on the island is a hub for turtle research and conservation efforts where the management mainly commits to the protection of the delicate marine life and global ecosystems by limiting the negative impact from human activities. The research centre claims the abundant population of green turtles on the island are a result of reproduction of turtles from Philippines and Indonesia. You can even volunteer at the centre or just pay a visit to learn further about it through research. Adventoro's Redang Island tour offers a visit to the Marine Park Centre as well.
Colourful corals cover the ocean floor, providing a safe haven for local marine life
The number one activity that most tourists come to Redang Island for is snorkelling. Check out Adventoro's Redang Island Snorkelling Excursion. Even though many resorts offer snorkelling tours to nearby islands, you can choose to admire the extraordinary views of the coral reefs underwater right off Pasir Panjang as it offers the best snorkelling on Redang Island. If you head towards the small hill in the middle of Pasir Panjang, you will be able to catch sight of the nesting ground for blacktip reef sharks. You may even witness the green turtles feeding at this spot or nearby Redang Reef Resort. Do remember to keep off the corals to avoid damaging it as it takes thousands of years to regrow.
A school of Jack Fish swims quickly through the crystal clear waters
Another activity on our bucket list is to scuba dive into the clear blue waters and explore the beautiful home of the wonderful sea creatures. Whether you are an experienced diver or a complete beginner looking to complete a diving course, Redang Island is the place to be. Take a look at this diving adventure - Adventoro's Redang Island Diving Adventure, which offers a great diving experience. However, caution should be exercised as the currents may get stronger the further out you go at sea. There are many dive shops around but it is recommended to look beyond the house shop as quality may not always be guaranteed.
Immerse yourself in a magical underwater adventure as you swim among schools of fusiliers, humphead parrotfish, turtles, jacks and cuttlefish. If you’re lucky you may even catch sight of some whale sharks and manta rays!
Never a dull moment with an abundance of activities for you to enjoy!
Apart from snorkelling and diving, there are more exciting activities to accomplish such as trekking through the lush forests. Discover the unique wildlife and plantations as you breathe in the cool fresh air as you admire the beautiful surroundings. If you want more water sports or time by the beach, you can engage in a fun game of beach volleyball or even rent sea kayaks. You will notice an absence of jet skis and water skis as they have been banned to protect the corals. Within the area of the marine park, fishing is also forbidden but you can hire fishing boats for expeditions beyond the 2-mile park limits.
You don't get views like this every day
For a romantic time, couples can stroll by the beach and watch the sunrise or sunset paint the sky. The morning skies are exceptionally stunning as you see the spectacular sun peeking through the shrouds of clouds. As you allow the cool sea breeze in your hair, the gentle warm rays of the sun enveloping you and the sweet melody of the tropical island birds, the moments you share with your loved ones are nothing short of movie perfect. The best time to catch the sunrise is to be up by 4 am or 5 am. Then, head east and be prepared to gasp in awe at the mesmerising sight of the sinking sun in warm welcome of the night.
If you are not one for the romantic scene, go experience some local fun and chill on Long Beach. Known to locals as Pasir Panjang, this beach plays host to some of the highest rated resorts on Redang Island and is the life of the party on the island, offering restaurants, nightclubs, karaoke, discos and others.
These lights attract an abundant of squids, perfect for jigging season!
Every year, at the end of April, a festival is held to indicate the start of the squid jigging (candat sotong) season. It is now a recreational activity that can be enjoyed by tourists during this traditional event. Grab a small hand-held lure with hooks on one end and join in the squid jigging fun just off the coastal waters of Terengganu. It is quite an impressive sight when groups of lighted boats move out to sea like floating cities on the waters and the squid makes their way towards the light.
To wrap things up, Redang Island is now a leading travel destination in Malaysia that offers something for everyone. From a relaxing getaway to a thrilling underwater adventure, Redang Island is ready at your service. Just take a look at Lonely Planet’s article, Lonely Planet: Choose Your Own Malaysian Island Adventure, go ahead and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and start planning your own enchanting island escape! Check out Adventoro’s Redang Island Tour Packages and more at www.adventoro.com.