Attraction Places in Terengganu
Pulau Redang’s enchanting beauty with its pristine azure waters and white sandy beaches draw many tourists to spend a few days to relax and unwind here. With good first class accommodation and smaller resorts available, Pulau Redang proves to be a paradise to suit all budgets.
It lies 45 km north of Kuala Terengganu on a 1 ½ hour boat ride from the Shahbandar jetty and a 40-minute one from the Merang Jetty. Pulau Redang is also about a half hour boat ride from Pulau Perhentian. You can actually have a holiday on both islands in one vacation trip if you want to experience the best of our offshore islands.
Pulau Redang lies in a gazetted marine park area, called the Pulau Redang Marine Park, that also includes several smaller islands. It is administered by the Department of Marine Park Malaysia, which provides special protection and management of marine environments and wildlife of national significance. It offers great snorkeling and diving activities and contains one of the most beautiful coral reefs teeming with tropical exotic marine life in the country.
For those who get easily excited about seeing beautiful marine life, take full care that you don’t destroy or remove or stand on coral formations. They are our national treasures and with your understanding and cooperation, we hope the corals and marine life can be protected and preserved to maintain a healthy ecosystem and environment for posterity.
Apart from beaches and coral reefs, one of the main attractions is the mangrove forest, which is ecologically beneficial to both land and marine life and it helps to maintain a natural sustainable ecosystem for the island.
An interesting fact that many do not know, and to show how old this island is, preserved plant fossils of the Upper Palaeozoic Age (that’s a minimum of 250 million years ago) can be observed on the south western portion of Pulau Redang between Pasir Macam Ayam and Pasir Kechil.
The allure of Pulau Redang lies in its pristine stretches of beach that offers excellent camping grounds with beautiful spots for picnics and safe swimming in its shallow waters. Head to the large bay of Teluk Dalam in the north of the island, Pasir Telok Kalong and Pasir Panjang. Other beaches to head to are to the west and north coast, at Pasir Mak Simpan, Pasir Mak Kepit dan Pasir Changar Hutang, which are also turtle laying areas. There are buffer zones for the turtle sanctuaries here, so do take care not to intrude.
Pulau Perhentian consists of two islands, Pulau Perhentian Besar and Pulau Perhentian Kecil and lies 79km north of Kuala Terengganu and 22 km east of the town of Besut. Depending on your take off point, it only takes a minimum of 45 minutes to two hours by boat to get here.
The Perhentian Islands were mentioned in CNN as having the 13th Best Beach in the World in 2013 whilst the Lonely Planet Travel Guide Book 2010 described the island as being the 5th Best Beach to Swing a Hammock.
Pristine aquamarine waters and powdery sandy beaches and the natural beauty of the islands are what draw tourists from all over the world. Inland, the islands are covered with untouched jungle, which also acts as a valuable water catchment area. There are no roads here, you either walk or take a water taxi to get from one end to the other.
The island which means “stopover” in Malay, is so named as it was used as a sanctuary for fishermen and ancient traders that ply the old trade routes between Siam and Terengganu. Today the Perhentian Islands are magnets for the outdoor and nature lovers. Water sports and diving are the main activities offered.
The accommodation here ranges from home stays to first class hotels and locals are friendly and hospitable.
A 20-minute boat ride from the Marang Jetty to the south of Kuala Terengganu, takes you to Pulau Kapas, the nearest island to the mainland. It is relatively small compared to the northern islands of Perhentian and Redang. Not many resorts are available here but one can make a day trip during the weekend if you don’t have the time. Its white sandy beaches and the serenity of the island with snorkeling and kayaking and water sports activities are what draws visitors to go for some fun.
The seas around Pulau Kapas is known as a squid breeding ground. The surrounding seas gets the most attention during the squid jigging season from March to August. Scores of boats will head to the sea around Pulau Kapas in the evenings and using lights to lure the squids to surface, the flotilla of boats can be seen from the shore resembling a lighted floating city along the horizon. And under a full moon, it can be quite a captivating sight. There are of course other areas where squid jigging takes place and if you drive along the coast at night, it is quite common to see these lighted boats.
The southern most island in Terengganu, lying off the coast of Dungun, is Pulau Tenggol. An island not as crowded as the ones to its north, it is well known to be a magnet for experienced divers. Night diving, diving around shipwrecks and deep sea are some of the adventures divers look for here. Some parts of the seas surrounding this island are known to have strong currents. However, this does not deter the best and experienced divers who take this as an adrenalin pumping challenge.
One of the wild marine life that is sought after in the seas around Pulau Tenggol is the whale shark, a migratory shark that normally appears from August to October. As divers descend into the waters of Pulau Tenggol for its rich marine life, so do the whale sharks. And with divers always looking for new experiences and close encounters with bigger marine life, an encounter with a whale shark could be a once in a lifetime experience as they do not linger in any one location for long.
Pulau Bidong was put in the spotlight at the height of the post-Vietnam War in the mid to late 1970s as a transit point for refugees who fled the country in the wake of the United States’ withdrawal. Thousands arrived on overloaded dinghy boats and were allowed to stay on Pulau Bidong while they wait to be resettled in a third country.
Pulau Bidong is a deserted island, there are no settlers nor any resorts operating here. However, what’s left here are remnants of a hospital, a school, shops and hostel like accommodation for the refugees.
This island has since been naturally rejuvenated and restored to its pristine conditions after so many years laying empty. Accessibility was restricted after the refugees left so the island could recover.
Visitors who want to snorkel, dive and have picnics on the beach can arrange for day trips here. Get the resorts you’re staying on Redang and Perhentian to make this arrangement.
An interesting facet of Pulau Bidong underwater attraction is the underwater gallery, the only one of its kind in Malaysia. Replicas of cultural artefacts and relics are placed 15 metres underwater and these include the Batu Bersurat or Terengganu Inscription Stone, tepak sireh (betel leaf and nut set with canisters), an arch, a keris and a traditional sampan