Redang Island, MALAYSIA
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.