We set off from mainland Kuala Terengganu towards our first destination – Redang Island, with promises of pristine blue waters and beautiful white sand at the end of our journey. Known as Asia’s Paradise, there are eight other neighbouring islands from Redang Island which are, Lima Island, Paku Besar Island, Paku Kecil Island, Kerengga Besar Island, Kerengga Kecil Island, Ling Island, Ekor Tebu Island and Pinang Island.
Malaysians calls this island as just “Redang”, this island is one of the largest islands off the east coast of Malaysia. Redang Island is different than the famous Perhentian Islands where almost all the accommodation in Redang is resort-based. Hence why the influx of visitors here are minimal in comparison to Perhentian Islands. There are many resorts around Redang Island, about a dozen beach resorts at Pasir Panjang, Teluk Dalam and Teluk Kalong.
Our ferry ride took about an hour and a half where we headed straight for Pinang Island or Pulau Pinang (not to be mistaken with the state of Penang), for a dip in the clear blue waters and to soak up some sun at the Marine Park.
Redang Marine Park, Pinang Island
The Redang Marine Park is located at Pinang Island, a favorite snorkeling spot for underwater-lovers. With 500 species of reef-building corals, 3000 species of fish and more than 1000 species of bivalves, it is no surprise to find many visitors in red and orange vests trying to spot the many species and fishes and corals underwater. Diving in full gear is not allowed here unless you’re a free diver.
There is a shipwreck nearby the Marine Park and the more adventurous can swim and dive at that location.
You can also find turtle hatch area here where hatchlings are mostly the Green and Hawksbill Turtles. The hatch area are protected so please do not enter the enclosed area, unless you want to be prosecuted. This marine park is announced as a full marine park under the Establishment of Marine Parks in Malaysia. The marine protected area covers 3.2km radius.
If you’re not swimming, the picturesque scenery is a heaven for photographers – just like how I enjoyed taking dozens of pictures on the island. Did I say I stepped on a few fresh and fat sea cucumbers as I was trying to get a nice picture of the clear waters? I couldn’t describe the feeling of stepping on them but let’s just say I’m dodging clear of fresh and fat sea cucumbers for the time being.
Restore Calm at Redang Resorts
There are a number of resorts located in Redang Island, a few dozens on the north, east and south but the one that we went to was the Laguna Redang Island Resort, Coral Redang Island Resort and Redang Beach Resort which is at Pasir Panjang.
As we stepped on the Laguna Redang jetty, we have two choices to either wait for the buggy ride (more like a tractor ride) or just walk for about 5 minutes to the resort. The private beach at the resort is a sight for sore eyes. The minute you look at that sparkling aquamarine waters, all your worries are lifted off your shoulders. It is a beautiful sight to behold, with fine white sand stretching in front of you before the clear blue waters.
There is a diving site nearby Laguna Redang so you can rent a diving gear, put them on and dive to your heart’s content. Swim with the turtles? A definite yes! Not to mention the many species of fishes available here for you to swim with. The waters are slightly shallow so only small boats can enter the laguna area, which are mostly private boats for the use of the resort dwellers.
Since all three resorts are next to each other, you can visit other resort’s restaurants or shops too – provided you pay for the services yourself. The beach, on the other hand, is free so yes, you may swim whenever you wish.