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Redang Island, MALAYSIA

Visiting the Asian resort of Redang Island in Malaysia and enjoying the luxury of simplicity

Asian resort, the luxury of simplicityRedang Island, MALAYSIA

There are a lot of resorts on a myriad of islands in the area from the Philippine Sea through the East China Sea, lying off the south coast of the Asian continent, as well as in the coastal areas from Thailand down to Malay Peninsula. Facilities and personnel more than sufficient to enjoy a simple life are waiting for you with the superb and gorgeous ocean.

Isolated resort on a small island

Malaysia is located almost at the center of South Asia situated on the Malay Peninsula stretching from the continent to the East China Sea and a part of Borneo Island. As a melting pot of races, Malaysia has nurtured unique lifestyles and culture that give the country an exotic image among the nations of Asia. The beautiful surrounding seas give the country a beautiful natural environment.

Distinct from East Malaysia on the Island of Borneo, the territory on the Malay Peninsula is called West Malaysia. On the west side of the peninsula, there are some famous island resorts know around the world, such as those of Langkawi Island and Penang Island. Far from the capital Kuala Lumpur on the west side of the peninsula, the area on the east side doesn't seem to be as prosperous as a resort area. However, this east coast has some of the most beautiful sea areas in Malaysia and is now attracting attention as a treasure trove of diving spots on par with Sipadan Island off the east coast of Borneo.

Kuala Terengganu is a city on the east coast situated northeast of Kuala Lumpur. You leave for islands lying about 25 miles offshore from the city by high-speed boat. To reach Redang Island, the main island of the small offshore archipelago, it takes less than an hour by high-speed boat from Kuala Terengganu. You can also take a domestic flight from Kuala Lumpur to the small airport on the island.

A shuttle bus comes to pick you up and take you to a port with a number of transport boats at anchor. You have your luggage reshipped by one of these boats and leave the port again to approach your resort from the sea. This is because your destination is an isolated resort surrounded by jungle that makes it inaccessible by car and facing a beautiful panorama of ocean.

An old pontoon pier extends from the beach out into the water. It lies there as the only evidence that your resort is connected to the outside world at all. A number of resort facilities along the beach share this small pier.

Morning at the Redang Island beach resort
There are several outlying islands in the area

Boat operators with masterly seamanship

Right in front of this pier we find our destination, the Redang Pelangi Resort. The largest building is the dining hall. Around it are clustered a group of smaller two-story wood guest cottages called chalets that are unique to Malaysia. Then there is a small building housing the front reception desk, a kiosk and a building that serves as an office for the diving service and other attractions, as well as a storage room.

"Simple is best," says the resort's owner. "We want as many visitors as possible, be they families or groups of young people, to have an enjoyable stay here at a very reasonable price. That is the concept behind our facilities. We want to provide the opportunity for guests to enjoy marine sports or other outdoor activities like trekking," he adds.

We take a boat cruise around the island. It takes less than an hour to circle the island. The scenery is the same throughout. The boats powered by the latest Yamaha outboards are all homemade. During the three months of the monsoon season from October to December when the resorts are closed, the boat operators become boat builders.

There is no unnecessary decoration or extravagance here. If you were to cite an attractive aspect of this resort besides its at-home and active atmosphere, it might be the highly skilled seamanship of these boat operators. Their skills are evident in the fact that they even build their own boats. It is clear that the owner is proud of this point. "We respect our operators very much and are proud of the job they do,・he says with great sincerity.

Another asset that makes this resort special is the magnificent waters of the sea in front of it. These waters are designated a marine park and great care is taken in preserving their natural beauty and the marine life they contain. You can enjoy fishing here, but only at quite a distance off shore. On the other hand, the waters along the island's shores contain some 500 species of coral and 3,000 species of fish to delight snorkelers and divers with endless diversity.

Another popular diving spot is the offshore sunken wreck of the British battleship Prince of Wales that served in World War II. Lucky snorkelers may also see another popular attraction, the great sea tortoises that swim in these waters from June to September each year.

Different people go to resorts for different reasons. Some may want to just relax and spend time gazing at the sea, and some seek more active enjoyment by getting out into the enchanting natural world around them. This resort is definitely tailored for the latter type of vacationer. But, in either case, time here slows to a different pace from the outside world.

A day of marine fun begins at the floating dock at the Redang Island resort
The Redang Pelangi Resort is proud of its at-home atmosphere
On the island there are several different types of resorts
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