Redang Island

Travel Guide Asia Malaysia Terengganu Redang Island

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Introduction

Sunset at Pulau Redang

Sunset at Pulau Redang

© Wardsan

Redang Island (Malay: Pulau Redang) is a popular resort island off the coast of Terengganu state in Malaysia. Most guests on the island are from Malaysia or Singapore, due largely to their proximity and the popularity of resort style packages there. The backpacker scene of Malaysia tend to prefer the less developed Perhentian Islands, about 40 kilometres further north.

The majority of the resorts are along Long Beach (Pasir Panjang), and this is also where all the discos and karaoke can be found. If you are after a quieter retreat, there are a few options along Kalong Bay (Teluk Kalong) which is not far away. Alternatively you can choose to stay at the Berjaya Redang Beach Resort, which is the only resort at Deep Water Bay (Teluk Dalam), and according to many has the nicest beaches on the island.

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When To Go

Redang beach

Redang beach

© lmiscay

As Redang Island is situated on the east coast of Malaysia, it is susceptible to bad weather in the form of monsoon rains from October/November until March/April. Resorts start closing in September and they are all closed by the end of October. The season opens again in March. The best time to visit Redang is from June to August when the weather is good and the sea is calm, offering great diving and snorkelling opportunities. Clearly, this also means increased prices, more visitors and limited lodgings.

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Sights and Activities

Redang is very low on sights and most visitors spend their time lazing on the beach or exploring the corals. There's some fairly active wildlife, though, including inquisitive monkeys (don't feed them), energetic squirrels and large monitor lizards.

Snorkeling is the number one activity on Redang and rightly so as the coral reefs are quite spectacular. Many resort packages include snorkeling tours by boat to nearby islands, but there are some decent reefs right off Pasir Panjang. The best of the lot is at the southern end next to the aptly named Redang Reef Resorts, and the small hill/island in the middle of Pasir Panjang is a nesting ground for baby sharks. It is very important to be conscious while snorkeling if you are using fins as it can take many years for the coral to re-grow. The snorkeling is quite protected making the water quite calm and fins are not necessary.

Running a close second in the popularity contest is scuba diving. The waters around the island are usually crystal clear - although visibility can drop dramatically after a storm - and home to a host of sea creatures including turtles and reeftip sharks. While Redang caters to divers of all levels and is a popular place to complete a diving course, some of the sites further out can have fairly strong currents. More or less every resort on the island has its own dive shop, but it may be worth looking beyond the house shop as quality varies considerably.

Other available sports options include beach volleyball and sea kayaks, but jet skis and water skis are mercifully absent (banned to protect the coral). Fishing within the marine park is not permitted, but fishing boats can be hired for excursions beyond the 3.2-km (2-mile) park limits.

Underwater cameras also available for rental at RM30 per day with pictures burnt to CD at the end of the day. Walk in to Redang Pelangi to enquire for more.

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Getting There

Most guests arrive at Redang by way of one of the ferries from the mainland or in the boats operated by the resorts. There is also an airport on the island, which primarily serves the Berjaya resort (the only airline flying there is Berjaya Air).

By Boat

Kalong Bay in the afternoon

Kalong Bay in the afternoon

© Wardsan

The traditional way to get to Redang is by boat. The main jetty is at Merang, 30 km north from Kuala Terengganu. From Merang, the trip to Pasir Panjang takes about 40 minutes on comfortable, large speedboats and ferry boats with prices are more or less standardized at RM40/80 one-way/return.

In season (March-October), there are also ferries directly from the Shahbandar Jetty in central Kuala Terengganu to the Berjaya Jetty on the south side of the island, with approximately 1 hour 15 minutes journey.These are operated by and intended primarily for guests of the Berjaya resorts, but they'll take non-guests on board if there's space available. Ferry Fare (two-way) is chargeable at RM100 per adult and RM50 per child aged 2-12 years. Resorts can schedule onward travel and can accommodate early departures from the resort area.

There are no scheduled ferries between Redang and the Perhentian Islands, however day-trip and dive boats are constantly travelling between the two, particularly during high season, so a relatively economical transfer can usually be arranged if you have the time, inclination, patience and flexibility to ask around and wait for a boat that's departing with seats still available. Where a day-trip is not available, it should be possible to arrange a trip from with a local boat owner on the Perhentian Islands. A boat will typically cost around RM400 for up to 6 people, with the journey taking approximately 60 minutes.

By Plane

Most visitors to Redang will fly into Sultan Mahmud Shah Airport (TGG) in Kuala Terengganu on one of the many daily flights from Kuala Lumpur operated by either Malaysian Airlines, Firefly or AirAsia. Since 2009 there is also a direct flight from Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) to Kuala Terengganu on Firefly. From the airport head towards one of the jetties to catch onward transport to the island.

There is also an airport on the island, near the Berjaya Beach resort. It is only serviced by Berjaya Air, and most passengers are staying at the affiliated resort, but you can sometimes get a seat on the plane if it isn't full. Flights directly to Redang depart from either Subang Airport (SZB) in Kuala Lumpur (flying time of 1 hour and 15 minutes) or Seletar Airport (XSP) in Singapore (flying time of 1 hour and 25 minutes).

By Train

There are no trains to Kuala Terengganu, making the nearest option that is serviced by KTM (Malayan Railways) at Tanah Merah, Kelantan. From there it's another 90 minutes by taxi to Merang jetty.

By Road

Berjaya Resort beach

Berjaya Resort beach

© Sam I Am

  • Approximately 7-8 hours from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu.
  • Approximately 12 hours from Singapore to Kuala Terengganu.

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Getting Around

In a word, you don't get around Redang much. Roads on the center of the island connect together the airport, Berjaya's jetty and two Berjaya resorts as well as the southern fishing port, but provide no connectivity elsewhere, and there is no public transportation along them either. While the main strip of Pasir Panjang is easily covered on foot, travelling from one beach to another will require either chartering a boat (there are no organised water taxi services) or clambering across the 1½-hour jungle trails (actual crossing time is 30-40 min) leading from Pasir Panjang north to the Berjaya Beach Resort and south to Redang Kelong Resort.

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Eat

Every resort has its own restaurant, serving up burgers, pizza and bland local food at outrageous prices (at least by Malaysian standards); a few better options can be found lurking in the gaps.

Redang Laguna Food Court, Pasir Panjang (at Redang Laguna Resort). Don't be put off by the name, this is a simple full-service restaurant offering the some of the most authentic local food on the island. The menu covers the usual Chinese and Malay favorites, but throws in spicy Thai-style salads (called here kerabu, RM10) as well as Terengganu's state dish, the fish sausage keropok lekor (RM2). Still, the best deal here is the curried fish heads, a huge bowl of which costs just RM8 and feeds three (reservation 24 hr in advance required). Open for dinner only.
Sandfly Cafe, Pasir Panjang (next to Redang Bay Resort). Serves up basic local fare at half the price of the hotel restaurants as well as a limited Western menu, and the second-floor seating is pleasantly breezy. Try the beehoon ikan masin (fried rice vermicelli with fish, RM5) and the ais kacang (shaved ice with syrup and goodies, RM3.5). Open all day.

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Drink

Tap water is salty and not drinkable. Bottled water is widely available at around RM3 for a 1.5L bottle.

Unusually for Terengganu, alcohol is widely available both in convenience stores and the resort restaurants (probably because most resorts are run by chinese businessmen), although it's not exactly cheap. A can of beer purchased at a store starts at RM7.8 and a flask of cheap Malaysian vodka at RM15, but the restaurants will happily gouge you over RM100 for a bottle of wine. Self-catering aside, nightlife on Redang is limited to resort bars offering blinking lights and Chinese tour groups belting out karaoke.

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Sleep

Redang does not have any backpacker accommodation. Most resort charge about RM200/night, always quoted for two people staying together, but steep discounts are available if you book a package or visit in the off or shoulder seasons.

Redang Pelangi Chalet (formerly Ayu Mayang Resort), Pasir Panjang. A basic operation offering simple but functional chalets with air-con & hot water. Friendly staff with basic service. Ideal for snorkeling and diving packages. Contact: +609 6242 158 or reservation@redangpelangi.com.
Redang Pelangi Resort, ☏ +60 9 6242 158, ✉ reservation@redangpelangi.com. Full board accommodation in wooden rooms with air-conditioning and attached bathroom. Package includes accommodation, meals, snorkeling trips as well boat transfers from Merang Jetty to Redang. A cozy and friendly staff to provide a home away from home services. Ideal for snorkeling and diving packages.
Redang Lagoon Chalet, ☏ +60 9-6665018. Offers simple wooden rooms in traditional malay arhitecture with built in bathrooms and air-conditioning at RM100-150/night. Food can be bought at the canteen at ~RM10 for an all-you-can-eat buffet meal (halal food only). Package of 3 days 2 nights start at RM315 per person including air-conditioned room with attached bathroom, 8 meals, return boat transfer from mainland, 3 snorkeling trips and rental of snorkeling mask and lifejacket.
Redang Bay Resort. Reasonable rooms with air conditioning. It's a bit like a Butlins resort, with announcements made on a speaker system. Mostly caters for package deal snorkeling trips for Malaysians. They fill boats with up to 30 snorkelers in life jackets. Food at the canteen is reasonable, though it offers no choice.
Berjaya Redang Beach Resort, ☏ +60 9-630-8866. Located in Teluk Dalam Kecil, this Malaysian-style resort offers a wide range of recreation activities. Better rates available during non-high season.
Coral Redang Island Resort, ☏ +60 9-6920110. Pasir Panjang. A small 40-room operation offering comfortable beachside chalet accommodation with a pool. The perfect place for a quiet island getaway. Food is reasonable. One of the better locations for snorkeling as it's between the two areas accessible from the beach, the water is protected by land mass on either side and therefore extremely calm here and free of beach debris.
Laguna Redang Resort, ☏ +60 9-6977888. Pasir Panjang. The largest and one of the newest of Redang's resorts with 212 rooms, pleasantly done in a pseudo-Thai style, and with good access to the beach. Rooms are very clean and comfortable, all are set in large 2-floor wooden buildings and some are quite a distance from the beach. Pool, jacuzzi, three restaurants, Internet cafe. Due to the large size of the hotel, all organised activities (especially snorkeling and dining) can feel very overcrowded. Can be quite noisy due to night activities. Rates from RM440/night.
Sari Pacifica Hotel, Resort & Spa - Lang Tengah, ☏ +60 3-89428888. The resort is built in local traditional Malaysian “kampung”-style architecture. The principal reception and restaurant building enjoys glorious views of the setting sun as it descends over the peninsula. All resort villas feature king-size beds while some rooms come with double queen beds. Best rates on official website start at US$350.
Redang Beach Resort, ☏ +60 3 2031 5079. Pasir Panjang. Redang Beach Resort offers basic and comfortable accommodation of 120 chalets, with both standard and deluxe rooms for your choices. All rooms are air-conditioned with attached toilets and bathrooms. These rooms are specially designed to cater the needs of family, couple and individual trips. Room rates around RM310/night.On the main beach of Redang island, next to Laguna Redang resort.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafés are available in cities and major towns. Wi-Fi hotspots can be found in shopping malls, restaurants, food courts and cafés. Many of these hotspots are provided free-of-charge. Internet cafés can also be found in cities and towns.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Malaysia is on the GSM 900/1800 and UMTS (3G) mobile network. If you have an "unlocked" GSM band mobile phone, you can buy a prepaid SIM card and use it with your phone here for cheaper rates instead of roaming here. Prepaid mobile SIM cards are available cheaply at mobile phone shops and 24-hour convenience stores.

Below are the area codes in Malaysia:

01Mobile Phones (nationwide)
02Singapore (special access code to call Singapore)
03Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selangor
04Penang, Perlis, Kedah
05Perak
06Negeri Sembilan, Malacca
07Johor
080Brunei (special access code for use in Sabah and Sarawak only)
08xSabah, Sarawak (x determines the region)
09Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan
1-300Non-geographical numbers (local call rate)
1-800Non-geographical numbers (free call from landline, local call rate from mobile phone)

Area code is not required when calling a number of the same area code. However, it is mandatory when calling from a mobile phone.

There is no charge for receiving calls on any Malaysian phones. Only the caller is charged for the call made. However, if you're on mobile phone roaming service, you will also be charged for any calls received, by your operator.

To dial out of Malaysia, use the international access code 00 (zero zero), followed by the country code, followed by the area code (remove the preceding 0, if any), and finally the telephone number.
e.g. To call London, United Kingdom, dial 00-44-20-xxxx xxxx; or to call Dallas, Texas, United States, dial 00-1-214-xxx xxxx.
For mobile phones, the plus sign "+" can be used as the international access code.
e.g. Using the previous scenario, type +44-20-xxxx xxxx or +1-214-xxx xxxx and press the call button.

The country code for Malaysia is 60. To receive calls from overseas, that person will have to dial the country's international access code, followed by 60 for Malaysia, followed by the area code (remove the preceding 0), followed by the phone number.
e.g. If your prepaid mobile number is 012-1234567, and someone in the United Kingdom were to call you, the number to dial is 00-60-12-1234567. Those calling you from the United States and Canada will have to dial 011-60-12-1234567.

The emergency number is 999 and can be dialled from any phone, free of charge. The worldwide standard emergency number for GSM mobile phones, 112, can also be used on a mobile phone, even without a SIM card. Calls to 112 will be routed to 999 centres.

Post

Pos Malaysia is the national postal service of Malaysia. Rates for sending a standard letter locally is 30 sen (20 gram) to 40 sen (up to 50 gram). International airmail has minimum rates ranging from RM1.00 to RM2.00, depending on destination. It costs 20 sen to send a postcard or aerogramme locally, or 50 sen to send a postcard or aerogramme to anywhere in the world.

Expedited Mail Service (EMS), branded locally as Poslaju, is available for both domestic and international destinations. Domestic EMS has a next day delivery guarantee. International EMS guarantees mails and parcels to be delivered out of the country by the following day. The time required to arrive at its destination will depend on clearance by authorities and the postal service of the destination country. For most countries, delivery of documents can be done in 3 to 5 days.

If you need to receive mails or packages from home, there is Poste Restante service available at all General Post Offices (GPO) in the country. There is one GPO in almost every capital city of every state, and in all federal territories. Mails sent from Singapore and Brunei will be retained for one month while mails from all other places will be kept for two months, after which if unclaimed, will be sent to the Dead Letter Office.

Generally, post offices are open from 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Saturday, except the first Saturday of the month. They are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Electricity

Electricity voltage in Malaysia is 240V AC 50Hz. The UK 3-pin plug is the standard used in Malaysia. European 2-pin plug can also be used on the 3-pin socket by inserting a screwdriver (or any hard object that fits) into the earth pin hole to open the live and neutral shutters. However, this practice can be hazardous.

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as well as Sam I Am (13%), Hien (3%)

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This is version 13. Last edited at 9:01 on Nov 5, 19 by Utrecht. 5 articles link to this page.

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