Redang Island, Terengganu is commonly referred to as Pulau Redang in Malay. It is said to be one of the largest islands located off the eastern coast of West Malaysia. If you have seen pictures of crystal clear blue waters, white, sandy beaches (literally) in Malaysia, it is most likely that they are photographs of Redang Island. There are about 9 islands in this region and Redang Island is the largest.
Where and How?
Redang Island is part of the Terengganu State in West Malaysia. You can reach Terengganu from Kuala Lumpur by road or by air. whereas by air to Kuala Terrenganu from KL, the flight time is about 45 mins to an hour.
By road it takes roughly 7-8 hours (Google says the distance is about 470km), You can definitely drive from KL to Kuala Terengganu, to Shahbandar Jetty. You can park your car there at the Jetty and take the ferry (operated by Sejahtera Ferry Services or private resort ferries).
We took this option, since we did not want to tire ourselves out by driving the car. We took AirAsia to fly out of KL (and return). Took a taxi from the airport, prepaid taxi costs RM 30 now. The distance is approximately 30 km and takes roughly 20-25 minutes to reach the jetty. We took the Ferry run by Sejahtera Services, so about 1 hour before departure, try to reach the jetty, (so you too can settle) check-in with the operator, get your luggage tags. The ferry ride is about 1.5 hours long. The ferry we took was pretty clean, unlike the one we took during our first trip to Langkawi from Penang. This time we were better prepared, we ate light; we ate early and also took the vomit medications. So it was pretty smooth this time. The vomit medication can cause you to become drowsy, so the 1.5 hours went off pretty peacefully for both of us adults and our little girl.
Tip: Have a luggage tag to avoid your luggage getting lost or mixed up with others. I have a black luggage piece and it has been a worry all the time, that someone else might pick up my luggage instead of theirs.
I got these luggage tags custom made from SpecialEventKeys. Madeleine who runs this store was kind enough to incorporate all requests I had, we got special ones for S as well.
You can include your phone numbers, addresses at the back of the card. S loves it so much she even uses the tag for her school bag 😐 Do visit Madeleine’s store and have a look.
Upon reaching the Redang Island Jetty, the resort staff will be there to pick you up and take you to the hotel.
How we booked our stay in Redang:
Early in April this year, the first installment of the bi-annual MATTA fair event was held and it was the first time we made a visit. It is quite a mad rush for offers and tickets. MATTA fair is usually held in PWTC (in Kuala Lumpur) every year. If you haven’t checked out the fair yet, you should try going there atleast once just to see what happens, what offers you have and what places you can see! There are different booths set up by travel agents, companies, hotels etc that give away offers for both local and international destinations, package tours, theme park tickets, etc.
So, we were looking at different booths and were drawn to the Berjaya Group booth. The lady showed us pictures of the chalets, the packages available. The resort we were looking at was Redang Island Resort. It was on our bucketlist to visit atleast one of the islands on the east coast and we decided on the spot. We chose a rainforest chalet, 3D2N – the package included snorkeling trip to the islands – 4 stops, snorkeling gear included, breakfast and dinner included. The total amount we paid was fairly a good price, we were also given the option to choose an open booking that was valid for 6 months from April until October 2016.
Note: The Redang island is closed to public from November until February due to the weather. This applies to other islands on the east coast as well.
The day of travel
Start early on the day of travelling, (whether by road or by air) because by the time you reach the resort it would be about 5pm in the evening. There are only 2 ferry timings per day so plan accordingly. Do check the latest schedule, refer with your hotel and plan.
We stayed at Redang Island Resort. This is what we noted.
- It is located very close to the Redang jetty
- Not your 5- star resort, this resort was recently taken over by Berjaya or so I heard. So if you are on a budget, this one works
- Fairly good food, amenities – They have a set menu and being vegetarian, it was more than enough. The breakfast is limited – bread, eggs, sausages, baked beans, nasi lemak to mention a few. Honestly, it was more than enough because we were anyway going to the sea and we needed to eat light.
- Totally worth the money we paid
- Resort doesn’t have its own beach, but you can take the shuttle to the public beach – If you think each resort must have its own beach, this one is not for you, hey you are going to an island, there is beach all around! If you are OK to pay a bit more, there are lots of fantastic resorts in Redang Island – Taaras, Laguna, Redang Beach Resort to name a few.
- You will come across all kinds of insects, reptiles and other species of animals
- There is daily shuttle service (on demand) from resort to either Teluk Dalam (public beach) or Long Beach and to/from the jetty. The ride to Teluk Dalam is free while you have to pay RM 45 per pax for the trip to Long Beach.
- Resort staff are quite friendly and helpful.
- There is a cathode ray tube television telecasting a few channels, but who wants to watch TV when you are on an exotic island on a vacation – you can watch TV at home also right?
- Wifi didnt work for me, if you have a local SIM, you can switch on the data. The cell phone works pretty well (we use DIGI)
- Each room in the chalet has a private balcony that either faces the rainforest or jetty. There are warning notes everywhere asking us not to leave clothes or towels outside the balcony – monkeys living in the rainforest can take your clothes/ towel away. The bathroom is ok, dated but works.
While checking-in, fix up your return journey timing on the ferry – there are 2 per day – 7 am and 1 pm. You can pay for the ferry beforehand or pay just before the journey. During peak season, it is advisable to reserve your seats beforehand.
We didnt find any option for shopping on the island, but if you really wish to buy some local souvenirs I would suggest you to try the market place close to the Shahbandar Jetty. If you have some spare time between your arrival at the jetty and your flight, you can have a look.
Taxi to Airport
We took a taxi back to the airport from the Jetty, there are “freelancing” taxi drivers (ones that did not drive the TAXI) who come up to you and quote RM 40 but we fixed it at RM 30 since that was what we paid when we arrived.
So with this, I hope you will be able to plan your next trip to Redang Island. Have you already been to the island? Do you have any experiences and tips to share? Do let me know in the comments section! Until next time, Namaste!