Summer Holiday at Redang Island
My weekend get-away journey to Redang, the island of Summer Holiday fame, began with an excruciating twelve hours bus ride up north towards the state of Trengganu, Malaysia. From there on, I had to wait another hour as the ferry lumbered on. But even then, I was already restless with thoughts of white sandy beaches and crystal clear water. Halfway through the trip, I gave up trying to fall asleep and joined several other tourists up on deck, enjoying the windy ocean breeze. As we marooned slowly by the pier, a noticeable air of enthusiasm broke out amongst the passengers – we have arrived.
Redang Island is famed for its crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, and the tropical fishes that inhabit the numerous coral reefs.
Measuring a mere 7 km long and 6 km wide, this island paradise is the largest amongst the nine that forms the Redang Archipelago. It is a favorite destination amongst Malaysians and Singaporeans, with most tour packages offering a three days, two nights stay that is just the right amount of time for you spend here. The island is very low on sights, so most visitors spend their time lazing on the beach or exploring the corals.
The roads on the center of the island connect together the airport, the jetty, two resorts, and the southern fishing port, but provide no connectivity elsewhere. Most resorts provide their own means of transporting tourists in from outside, but exploring the other side of the island would be almost impossible. There was no room for exploration, for wandering around, getting lost in a foreign far away place. Instead, I was stuck in my own resort, only able to enjoy the services available here.
Once I conceded this point however, I grew to enjoy my time here a lot more. The famed beach did not disappoint, with smooth, soft white sand and crystal clear ocean water.
Snorkeling is a popular activity, and I didn’t even have to go on a boat trip to enjoy being with the fishes. Arm yourself with bread for fish food and you can see them already very near to the beach. For the more initiated, there are also various dive sites for you to enjoy. Several of these sites are fairly new diving destinations, with the visiting restrictions lifted only in 1999. You’ll be able to enjoy good visibility in the deep clear waters, although visibility can drop dramatically after a storm.
At night, Redang’s clear sky provides a breathtaking view of the myriad of stars. I lay on the cool sand and let my eyes adjust to the darkness, revealing even more stars. Thousands and thousands of them. Yet another way to pass the time here, lazing the night away. Thoroughly, this island is a place to relax, escape from the numbness of nine to five and just while your time away. There isn’t much to see or do, but for those who know what they want, this may just be the perfect fit for that much needed summer get-away.