Swimming with the turtles should be on everyone’s bucket list. Then come to the best island in Malaysia. (For me, anyway) Redang Island or Pulau Redang is one of the top 10 most beautiful islands in the Malaysia according to CNNTravel. It is located 45km from the Kuala Terengganu coast.
Sea life in a pristine setting. A short swim from the beach you’ll see beautiful corals, school of colorful fish, and baby sharks! But ah, you must know which spot to look. Just ask a local. Or if you are on a holiday package with any resort, they will show you the location.
And finding Nemo, the Clownfish? Look no further, he’s here together with all his cousins!
And yes, swimming with the sea turtles, just like Nemo did in the movie. Some say, do not touch the turtles. Some say, go ahead and pat them. I’ll recommend the middle ground. If the turtle comes to you, gently touch its shell. Do not touch its head as this will stress the little guy.
Photo by Junya Tagawa, an up-and-coming photographer
What’s the secret to getting the turtles to come to you? Squid! They love squid. Using squid as bait will attract them. And to watch these wonderful creatures swim languidly will be the highlight of your trip.
But these gentle creatures are threatened by discarded plastics. They ate these plastic thinking they are jellyfish. These plastic materials block their guts and they can die of starvation. According to a study by a University of Queensland researcher, more than half of the world’s sea turtles have eaten plastic or other rubbish. And every year 4 to 12 million tons of plastic are dump into the ocean! Read here for more info.
I guess this is the great lesson for me personally, let’s do our part by using less plastic or do without them totally. Or recycle all our plastic. In this way, we can enjoy many more years of swimming with these gentle creatures. Sounds cliche, I know. Just do your part.
Do you know that the sex of a turtle is determined by the temperature of the sand incubating the eggs? The higher temperature will produce more female hatchlings. So global warming can cause an imbalance male-female turtles population, thus thereby threatening the survival of the species.
What to do at Redang?
Lots! Swimming with the turtles. Snorkeling in a deep sea, watching schools of colorful fish of all shapes and sizes, enjoying the corals in vivid hues, smiling at playful eels and fraternizing with baby sharks in shallow waters.
Those who like scuba-diving, this is the place for you! There are numerous amazing diving sites where you’ll see Giant Groupa, Spotted Fan Tail stingrays, Yellow Tail barracuda, turtles of course, and Black Tip sharks. And much more!
If you’re the sedentary type, lazing around, doing almost nothing is a great pastime. Just relax under a huge umbrella, with a glass of cold Pina Colada and a thick novel.
At night, gather with your buddies at a resort watering hole. Friends and beer. A perfect combination. And a little band playing. Wow, chill factor hits 10!
Where to stay? The first choice recommendation, Laguna Redang Island Resort, a 4-star resort with a 5-star service! (Disclaimer, the writer is not an agent of Laguna Redang Island Resort)
The staff is super friendly! From the time we were welcomed to our departure, everything was very well-organized. The facilities are excellent.
Of course, there are many more places to stay that cater to any budget, from 4-star resorts to backpacker’s accommodation or simply go camping.
To search for Redang offers, click on the orange Booking.com banner.
When is the best time to visit?
The best time to visit Redang Island is the months between March and early October. The is because the East Coast monsoon hits the island from November to January, and all the resorts are closed.
For Scuba-diving, the months of May to August are the best.
How to go? Fly directly to the island. Or fly to Kuala Terengganu, the capital of Terengganu. From the town’s Shah Bandar jetty, near the old market, hop on a ferry or speedboat to Redang.
Who to bring?
Anyone! I brought along my 85-year-old mother! See…
Actually, just invite everyone! It’s great for a family reunion. See…
Have an awesome time in Redang!
Any question or sharing island story, write in the comment box below.