The beach paradise of Redang Island
By Elaine Ling
Redang Island or Pulau Redang (Malay) is one of the largest islands off Malaysia’s east coast. It is located 45km offshore from Kuala Terengganu and is about 7km in length and 6km wide.
Redang Island is the largest of the nine islands that comprise the Marine Park in the Redang Archipelago. This archipelago also includes Lima Island, Paku Besar Island, Paku Kecil Island, Kerengga Besar Island, Kerengga Kecil Island, Ekor Tebu Island, Ling Island and Pinang Island. You can reach Redang Island by speedboat (30mins) from Merang Jetty.
Redang Island is renowned for its abundant diversity of marine organisms and spectacular beaches. If it’s your first time to visit Redang, you will be dazzled by the perfection of the island. The seawater is so clear you can see schools of fish swimming past. Redang Island not only serves as a perfect spot for snorkeling and scuba diving, but its impressive panoramas have also made it a choice spot for honeymooners.
Under the swaying coconut trees there are two spectacular beaches that are known locally as Pasir Panjang (Long Beach) and Deep Water Bay (Teluk Dalam Kecil). Most tourists stay in these two locations so there are plenty of resorts and restaurants here.
You could easily spend your days basking in the warm sunshine on these beaches – don’t forget to apply sunblock! Or you could enjoy strolling along the fine sandy beach and looking at the multi-coloured fish swimming by. When it gets warm in the heat of the day enjoy a cup of fresh juice or even a fresh coconut drink to help you cool down.
Redang Island is also fringed with 100 species of fish, 50 species of coral and various kinds of turtles. Colorful reef fish such as parrotfish, angelfish, and other marine fish such as tuna, barracudas and spot jack fish can be seen during your snorkeling and scuba diving adventures. The best dive sites are Batu Che Esa, Terembu Putih, Black Coral Garden and Tanjung Tokong, while the most popular spots for snorkeling are Tanjung Tengah, Tanjung Mak Cantik and Pasir Chagar Hutang (Turtle Bay). A lot of the resorts and dive centres lend underwater cameras so you can capture memories beneath the water as well.
However you don’t always have to get in the water to see turtles. Visitors have reported seeing turtles come ashore to lay eggs, or have even seen baby turtles hatching and entering the sea for the first time. Redang Island is actually a conservation site for sea turtles.
If you love nature it’s possible to go jungle hiking on the island and come across other animals like monkeys. In the inner part of Redang Island there is a mountain called Bukit Besar (Big Mountain). From the peak, 359m, you can get a view of the whole island that will take your breath away; sparkling turquoise water fringes the island meeting the clear azure sky so it looks like there’s no horizon.
In the evening most people like to watch the sunset, particularly couples seeking romantic moments. There is plenty to do at night as well. Many resorts have camping sites with barbeque pits and chairs for tourists to grill their own food! If you don’t feel like doing barbeque, you can have your meal at your resort. After your meal there’s karaoke (8~11pm) at the open-air restaurant bars at Redang Reef and Redang Pelangi Resorts. Resident jazz bands or singers provide live music every Friday and Saturday night.
Another popular activity at night is to search for the “Blue Sand”. This tiny blue luminous sea creature or sea lice can be found along the beach if you have a flashlight. Shine your light around and you should see it shining in the dark.
The great thing about Redang is that there is accommodation for all budgets. The Taaras Beach Resort is the top ranked resort in Redang, followed by Laguna Redang Island Resort. There are other more affordable resorts such as Amannagappa Resort, Redang Kalong Resort and Redang Reef Resort. Some of the resorts also have spa treatments.
Find accommodation in Redang Island to suit your budget at Agoda.com
About the author…
Elaine Ling (Malaysia)
Elaine is a Malaysian student who studies and travels with passion. She first traveled abroad when she was a three-month-old baby, and hasn’t stopped since. She loves to write about her travel experiences. When she’s not traveling Elaine lives and studies and South Korea. You can follow her travel adventures at her blog: elainesapphire.blogspot.com.