Friday, August 10, 2012

Redang Island

Redang Island, Pulau Redang, is one of the most beautiful holiday spots Malaysia offers for both local and international tourists. This 7 km x 6 km island is 45 km off the coast of Kuala Terengganu, and is the largest of nine islands dotting South China Sea off the Terengganu coast (the other islands are Pulau Lima, Pulau Baku Besar, Pulau Paku Kecil, Pulau Kerengga Besar, Pulau Kerengga Kecil, Pulau Ling, Pulau Ekor Tebu and Pulau Pinang (Pulau means island in Malay language).

The island is a skuba diving, snorkelling and swimming heaven with its magnificent corals and marine life, crystal clear waters and clean white sandy beaches. The island and its immediate surrounding is a Marine Park which allowed Malaysian Government to protect the environment as much as possible. The island has only 3 roads all connecting to the airport and other than these roads, there is no transportation connectivity on the island by road. In that sense it is like popular Tioman Island, you basically go to your resort, travel around by boat and if you are adventurous, take jungle walks on the island. But the main activity here is snorkeling, and taking a snorkeling tour is a must on the island.

The most popular stretch of Redang Island is the 800 meter Long Beach. It has one large resort and many smaller chalets lining the shore.

Must do activities in Redang Island
  • Snorkeling at the Marina Park (Do not forget to rent an underwater camera! Check availability with the place you are staying)
  • Diving (there are 31 diving sites around the island. Best time to dive in the East Coast is March to October)
  • Walking along the Long Beach
  • Swimming
  • Beach volleyball
  • Jungle walk to see monkeys, squirrels and birds 

Getting There

Redang Island Berjaya Air from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur
Berjaya Air flies to Redang Island directly from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur
The easiest way to get to travel Redang Island from Singapore is to take a  turboprop plane operated by Berjaya Air between Singapore Changi Airport and Redang Islands recently opened an airstrip near Taaras Beach and Spa Resort (you can view the other hotels near Redang Airport here). The flight takes 55 minutes from Kuala Lumpur (Subang Airport) to Redang and 1 hour 15 minutes from Singapore. 

The traditional way to arrive Redang Island is by boat. during the peak season  of March to October, you can take ferries directly from the Shahbandar Jetty in central Kuala Terengganu to the Berjaya Jetty on the south side of the island. The journey takes 1 hour 15 minutes. Although the ferries are operated by Bejaya Resorts and they are for their guests, they'll take non-guests on board if there's space available on the boat. The main boat departure point for Redang is main jetty at Merang ( 30 km north from Kuala Terengganu). You should talk the boat alternatives with your resort before heading to Redang.

The waters around Redang Island offers perfect skuba diving locations and almost all resorts on the island have diving shops.
Redang Island diving locations map
Redang Island diving locations map - Source : Life at UGL Malaysia

Hotels in Redang Island
Most of the redang hotels are lined up along 800m Long Beach (Pasir Panjang), the most popular stretch on the island and arguably one of the best stretches of beach in all of Malaysia. The stretch offers many accomodation alternatives from large resorts to chalets.

Here are some places to stay on Redang Island:

Laguna Redang Resort is the largest and one of the newest of Redang's resorts. It has 212 rooms with pseudo-Thai style. Rooms are all set in large 2-floor wooden buildings and some are quite a distance from the beach.

The Taaras Beach and Spa Resort offers 191 luxury suites and rooms plus a 5 bedroom Private Villa overlooking the ocean and resort from a cliff. The hotel is closed to the dive sites of Big Mount, Pulau Paku Kecil, and Boulder Dash. The resort has the location, view, service but is one of the most expensive on the island starting from 280++ USD per night for rooms.
"This tropical island resort, located 45-kilometers off the coast of Terengganu, is close to 30 popular dive spots. Guests will enjoy a tropical ambience that is unique to Redang Island. The location offers guests unprecedented access to a myriad of amazing natural recreation areas, including one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world, ideal for sport divers. Within a close proximity of the hotel are the dive sites of Big Mount, Pulau Paku Kecil, and Boulder Dash. The hotel also features a vast selection of on-site dining choices that offer a compilation of international and authentic local dishes in a romantic ambience. The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort is the perfect property for travelers who want sensuous tropical atmosphere, a vast selection of on-site facilities, and a myriad of recreational areas near by."
Berjaya Redang Resort, a Malaysian-style resort, is located in the town centre and offers a wide range of recreation activities.

Other island resort escapes from Singapore:
Dive with giant turtles in Tioman IslandParadise Island just 3 hours away from SingaporePrivately owned paradise Nikoi Island

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