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“Redang is an island you should not miss,” said one Malaysian tour guide to me. I did not pay much attention to it till I visited the island in July 2000. It is indeed a beautiful island. Tourists are flocking to this island in large numbers. I wonder one day it will become like current Tioman – too commercialised !!!
From Lankin bus station in JB, we took a overnight coach ride to Kuala Trengganu(KT). It took about 10 hours. The super VIP coach tickets were sold out. For any long ride, I would advise to go for the super VIP seats. You pay more, but, it is certainly worth it. Overnight coach ride can very cold, so bring warm clothing for it.
When we reached KT bus station, the tour operator was no more in sight. I did not blame him because we were not on time for the picking up appointment. A telephone call and in less than 15 minutes, we were picked up and brought to the tour office. After all the necessary issue of the ferry and resort tickets, we went for our breakfast. I read in the Internet that one coffeeshop was selling very good “Marmak” mee – something like our mee goreng but in wetter version. Unfortunately, I could not locate the shop,and had to make do with another one.
Our ferry trip to Redang island was 10.30am. We were fetched to Shanbandar Jetty to await for our ferry. I noticed that there were many tourists – Redang is indeed a very popular island resort. Peak season is from April to October. It took about 2 hours to reach Redang. In our ferry, there was a group of rowdy holidaymakers who talked loudly and did not respect other passengers’ presence. This, I think, was unruly behaviour. Yes, you were on holidays, but, be decent and respectful!
If you must have the facilities and luxury of a 5 stars hotel, go for Berjaya Redang Beach Resort(BR) situated along the Pasir Panjang beach. As far as I know, Berjaya is the only international resort in the island. It was packed to full capacity when we were there. When we reached the jetty of BR, there was resort bus to take us in. It was too far to walk anyway. Along the way, I saw some seafood eatries. I guess some enterprising villagers are just banking on the influx of tourists coming to BR.
BR has a private beach in front of the chalets. It was very clean with crystal clear water. Near the reefs of the beach, there was abundant of marine fish. It was very beautiful. Imagine coconut trees swaying in the breeze, white sandy beach and blue emerald waters with marine rich coral garden. No wonder ‘Summer Holidays’ was filmed on location there.
One morning, with some bread for the fish, we decided to walk further down the beach to explore. We were joined shortly by an amicable Japanese woman, who was as thrilled as us. We had a jolly good time viewing the beauty of the underwater world.
In the evening, we had an enjoyable grilled dinner. It was so packed that we had to share table with a Malysian family of brother and sisters. Luckily, they were a likeable company. Second night, we tried the steamboat dinner at RM38 per head. It was worth it. Sometimes, it is not just the food – the ambience counts too.
On the second day, we joined the snorkelling trip to the marine park It was about 15 minutes boat ride away. Visibility of the water was all right. But I was not impressed. I was very disappointed to find some garbage lying on the other side of the beach in the marine park. Isn’t a shame to litter on this beautiful island ?
Note : I have found the following websites which provide lot of information of this beautiful and enchanting isand. I hope you will find them as useful as I do :