Pulau Redang is one of the islands off the State of Terengganu in West Malaysia. Only a 45 minute flight followed by a 40 minute boat ride from Kuala Lumpur, it is still relatively undeveloped and unspoiled. This island provides excellent opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving and jungle trekking to keep you occupied or just relaxing along the glistening white beaches.
The largest of Terengganu’s archipelago, Pulau Redang is the centre of a large-scaled marine park. As one of the few marine parks in Malaysia, Redang and its underwater inhabitants are protected by the Fisheries Act of 1985. This means that no fishing is to be carried out within a 3.2 km radius of the island. Collecting coral and aquatic life, even as souvenirs, is also prohibited
The Terengganu Marine Park is a protected zone 26 nm north of Kuala Terengganu whose reefs burst with the largest assortment of coral species that peninsular waters have to offer. The waters surrounding the 9 islands of Redang form one of the richest marine habitats that await you to explore. Under the crystal clear water are splendid coral gardens filled with corals both hard and soft, foliose and gargonian in the shallower regions – along with a captivating variety of fascinating tropical fish, unspoiled reefs and many types of sea creatures.
We dove with the Coral Redang Beach Resort Dive Center. The park’s abundance of well-scouted dive sites offers divers the opportunity of choosing what they want to see, almost like dishes from a menu. Among the most popular sites are the “Big Mount”, a large coral pillar. Expect to find numerous cowries, spider shells and a large aggegration of Christmas tree worms carpeting coral rocks, damselfish, butterflyfish, chromis, wrasses, rabbitfish, parrotfish and lionfish inhabit the coral garden. “Picture Wall” is a small coral facade brimming with sea fans and corals. “Cathedral Arches” a magnificently varied canyon network.This boulder terrain presents itself for exploration; canyons and crevisses are patrolled by huge groupers. “Turtle Bay”, at the northern end of the island, is a good place to spot large groups of sea turtles. “Mini Mount” is a perfect spot for night diving. Divers are awaited by abundance of night creatures foraging for food around the reef. Plan to dive around 15m of dept, inspect under the fold of soft coral for cowries with its mantle fully extended, banded shrimp, crabs, sea-cucumbers, colourful sea urchins, spiny lobsters and the occassional octopus.
Apart from snorkeling and diving, one can trek around the trails in the northern part of the island and visit the fishing village on stilts at the estuary of the Redang River.
There are quite a few choices in accommodation. We stayed at the Coral Redang Beach Resort but there is also quite a few other resorts to choose from whose websites are mentioned below, all of which have offices in Kuala Terengganu.
When to Visit Redang Island
The climate is tropical, influenced by the NorthEast Monsoon (Nov.-Feb.), daily temperatures are from 22C to high noon temperatures of 33C.
Getting to Redang Island
One can set off for Pulau Redang either from Kuala Terengganu or Kampung Merang. There are daily flights via Malaysia Airlines from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu. (By road Kuala Terengganu is 490km from Kuala Lumpur). At the Kuala Terengganu jetty in Jalan Hiliran, you have to take a 1 1/2 hour boat ride to Redang.
Malaysia Airline System (MAS) operates daily services direct from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bharu. The journey takes about 45 minutes.
Express buses and outstation taxis offer regular services from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu. The trip takes about 7 hours.
There are many buses, coaches and taxis commuting from Kuala Terengganu to various other places within Terengganu, i.e. to Kuala Terengganu harbour, Merang Jetty, Besut and Marang.
Visitors can reach Pulau Redang, Pulau Pinang, Pulau Lima, Pulau Ekor Tebu and Pulau Lang Tengah from the mainland using vessels from the Kuala Terengganu Harbour or from the Merang Jetty. The journey takes about one hour from the Kuala Terengganu Harbour and about 30 minutes from the Merang Jetty.
From Kuala Besut, a town at the border of Terengganu and Kelantan, there are vessel services available to and from Pulau Perhentian Besar, Pulau Perhentian Kecil and Pulau Susu Dara. The ride takes about 2 hours. The nearest point of depart for Pulau Kapas is Marang. The journey by vessel takes only about 20 minutes.