Island-hopping is definitely out of the question as the kids have come along – it is more important to ensure that they get to enjoy good food, have lots of fun and get enough rest. So, we have chosen to stay at Redang Laguna this time – the food at the other resorts are not even worth mentioning when compared to the one at Laguna. We reserved a 4 days 3 nights snorkeling package for around RM3007 and includes a garden view room, three daily meals and two snorkeling trips daily, as well as transfers between the jetty and the resort. (one of the nights is a weekend so there was a surcharge of RM50 per person).
I will explain the difference between garden view, pool view and sea view rooms – skip this section if you have extra balance in your bank. I do not recommend taking the sea view room (well, you can still enjoy the scenic sea view everyday even if you do not opt for the sea view room – plus you can’t even enjoy the view when you’re asleep!). Besides that, these rooms are quite noisy at night as they are close to the beach bar. Pool view and garden view rooms are basically the same. The only difference is that pool view rooms are facing the pool while garden view rooms are facing AWAY from the pool.
We took the morning flight so we would be able to board the 9.30am ferry to Redang (also to allow for more time on the island as well as to make it in time for the resort’s lunch).
Air Asia flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu
After collecting our luggage, we proceeded to the counter to buy a taxi coupon to Shahbandar jetty (which costs around RM30). The jetty is around 20 minutes away by road. After reaching there, we went to Laguna’s check-in area at the jetty to confirm our reservation as well as pay the RM5 entrance fee to the Marine Park, since we still have some time before 9am, when the ferry departs for Redang. (Note: the ticket is for only one entry – you will have to pay another RM5 to enter the Park again. We still have some time before 9am, so we decided to walk around and check out the price of the jetty ride to Redang (around RM50 one-way – this sum has been included in the package).
Packages offered by resorts might not be the best deal in certain cases, especially if you happen to visit Redang with children and elderly (it’s not like you would be able to snorkel all day long with them tagging along). The snorkelling trip usually takes 2 hours but the ACTUAL snorkelling is only around an hour as the ferrying of passengers to and from the snorkelling sites would also take an hour. So if that’s the case it’s not really worth purchasing a package from the resort. You can easily work out the amount required for each individual according to the number of people on the trip by taking into account the price of the rooms, meals, transfers between jetty and resort. Snorkelling would usually be around RM30 per person. Then you can easily compare between both options and know which one is more worth it. For example, there are actually only 5 snorkelling trips in the 4-day-3-night package and we gave up on a few trips due to the kids. Plus, there is virtually no difference between open-sea snorkelling and snorkelling around Laguna – as long as you picked the correct place! So do your research beforehand and get to know the resort’s packages in order to choose the most suitable option for your trip. We’re talking about several hundred dollars here – it’s not like a few dollars lost during currency exchange. You wouldn’t want to waste this money on unnecessary things.
I walked out of the jetty to find out where I can get a cab for the journey back as well as to look for the counter which sells taxi coupons. It is during this time that an old man approached me and asked me whether I was getting a cab or not. I told him I was just looking around and would only need a cab after I get back from Redang. He eagerly gave me his phone number and told me that a cab would cost RM30 and he would be waiting for us at the jetty when we come back from Redang. I gave him our Malaysian phone number after taking down his number, plus telling him the date of our arrival at the jetty. The old man was very kind and friendly toward us (maybe because he could get to earn more if I did not opt to buy a taxi coupon) and he even texted me at 8am on the day that we were leaving Redang. However, his English wasn’t that good (tinged with a Malaysian accent) and I couldn’t really understand him. You can ask me for his number, though, if you are interested. Be rest assured, he’s a licensed taxi driver and not one of those shady drivers.
The kids were not willing to sleep during the journey and we had a hard time calming them down – they were like little devils! We finally arrived at Laguna’s jetty after around one hour.
The Laguna Resort Jetty in Redang Island
After that, we got on a vehicle, which is pulled by a tractor, to get to the resort. Various beverages are available at the check-in area for guests to quench their thirst. After checking in, we were given some meal vouchers and discount coupons and were told that we would only get our room keys after 2pm. We then placed our luggage in a room and went for lunch.
We had all our meals at the resort’s buffet-style restaurant. There is a reasonably large variety of dishes at the restaurant for guests to choose from (note: don’t be too picky as the food here is way better than those at the other resorts).
Sang Suria Restaurant in Laguna Resort
To get a beautiful view of the sea, take a seat at section A of the restaurant. We only manage to sit there once as there is always a large crowd in that area. We had to sit at separate tables as there aren’t any large tables in that section due to the large number of guests. Do note that you can just sit at any table in the restaurant without needing to queue up or reserve one beforehand. Also, most of the staff only speak in English and do not understand Mandarin. After lunch, we went back to our rooms and did some unpacking. We then decided to go for a stroll on the beach. The kids started to play with the sand while I went exploring underwater.
As you can see from the photos, the waters in front of Laguna are very beautiful! Do remember to apply sunscreen so that you will not get sunburnt.
Snorkeling in front of Laguna Resort
Here are a few photographs of fishes near the Laguna shore.
After exploring around underwater for around two hours, we went back to resort to take a bath before going to the More More Tea Inn Gift Shop to get some cold drinks (and also wander around the resort since we still had a lot of time before dinner at 7pm).
The famous More More Tea Inn Souvenir Shop
We also went and have a look at the swimming pool.
Laguna Resort Swimming Pool
After dinner, we strolled along the beach and played games with the kids. A band consisting of 2 men and one woman had started performing at the beach bar (unfortunately I forgot to bring along my camera). The performance was quite good – they sang songs in English, Mandarin, Cantonese and even Italian!
Day 2: Snorkeling at the Marine Park and at Kalong Bay’s open sea
The view of Redang Beach Resort from the beach
The beach in front of Laguna is not the best place to truly enjoy the sunrise view, though the sands around Laguna are indeed smoother compared to that at other places. So, we walked further down and made a left turn to get to Redang Lagoon, where we were able to get a good view as the beach is directly facing the sun.
The spectacular sunrise view at Long Beach
We went snorkelling at the Marine Park in the morning. It is usually common practice to buy tickets to the Park when checking in. A ticket costs RM5 and is equally priced for adults and children. The kids were all set and ready for the snorkeling trip. The Marine Park is rather near to the resort and is only about 10 minutes away by boat.
The Park is actually just a small island with a short stretch of beach. There are quite a lot of fishes here, though there is nothing special about that. The highlight of the Park is the large number of corals here (actually what you see here in the Park can also be found in Redang – more on that later!).
There are quite many fishes – all of them used to fish-feeding by snorkelers – but basically they are similar to those found in other snorkeling spots. Quite a number of sea urchins can also be found here (these, however, cannot be found in front of Laguna). These are photographs of different fishes and corals found during the snorkeling trip.
The corals in the Marine Park are quite large in size so you do not really have to swim very far out to see them. Snorkellers are advised not to swim beyond the area bounded by floating buoys. The resort will not be responsible for any accidents beyond this area so snorkellers who swim wander beyond the area should do so at their own risk. So, I would advise you to just stay within the area and observe the corals and fishes there. Those who are more adventurous can explore the waters under the jetty (an eel is lurking around there!). I did not explore the area as it is quite dark and also because a staff at the resort told me to just simply have a look around the area without going too close to the eel as a snorkeller was bitten by the eel the day before. The snorkelling session would end around 11.20am. Do remember that you would have to take note of the time yourself as the boat would just leave when it’s time and would not wait for you to come onboard (since guests from other resorts also snorkel here).
The afternoon snorkelling session was carried out in the open seas of Kalong Bay. The kids had given up this time as they were unable to rest on the beach. We entered the waters after the boat brought us to the middle of the sea. Like at the Marine Park, We were treated to a wide variety of corals, sea urchins and reef fishes – again. However, we managed to see Nemo among anemones found on top of a large coral tree on the seafloor.
Guests usually depart for the open sea snorkelling session at 3pm and the session would end around 4.45pm – the resorts will remind you beforehand. Adventurous snorkellers can explore freely as there are no boundaries here, though the boaters would advise you to swim towards shallower waters. It should be quite safe to snorkel in this area.
After dinner and like the day before, we had fun with the kids on the beach and also played some exciting games. End of Day 2!
Day 3: Snorkelling around the entrance of Redang Reef Resort, opposite Laguna
The crystal clear waters here are around 10 metres deep. This area is also where Redang Reef’s discovery dives are carried out. We played with the kids in the swimming pool and snorkelled in the waters in front of Laguna.
I also woke up very early today as I planned to pay a visit to Redang Reef Resort, which is located just opposite to Laguna.
The pathway leading to Redang Reef Resort
Laguna Resort view from Redang Reef Resort
The ever beautiful sunrise.
After breakfast, we neither went to the Marine Park nor chartered a boat for a cruise around the island. You can book a boat from the resort for RM400 for a 4 hours cruise around the island. The boat would stop at 3 to 4 spots along the way so you can snorkel and observe marine life (like turtles and Nemo).
We brought the kids to feed the fishes in the waters in front of Laguna. I plucked up my courage to swim further out as I felt a bit more confident about snorkelling after snorkelling for the past day. The waters in front of me were quite dark, due to either less light as it was still early in the morning or refraction of light rays by water. It was during this time that I saw two large fishes, about the size of a child and up to 1 metre long, right in front of me. However, I was sure they were enormous even though I did not manage to see their shapes and sizes clearly. I was still in shallow waters of 4 to 5 metres depth during that time. I panicked and quickly swam back towards the shore and told people on the shore that I saw large fishes which are likely to be sharks. Everybody there did not believe me and said that it’s impossible as the largest fishes there are only as long as my arm! So I swam there again, bringing along a male friend this time.
I managed to take this photo. Everyone believed me and was afraid of swimming further away from the shore. As you can see from the blurry photo (I took it from far away) there are indeed two fishes together in the middle of the photo.
Mini shark encountered in Redang Long Beach
I was worried when I saw these “sharks” so I showed the photo to a staff at the Recreation Centre. Since the markings on the tail of the “sharks” are quite visible, he was able to quickly identify the species that was captured in the photo. He even told me that this fish species is very tasty (okay, I surrender)!
He said that I could have just swum pass the fishes as they are not aggressive. I was also told by him that I could see interesting in deeper waters, especially turtles since he had emphasized the word “turtle” several times. His words piqued my interest so I went there together with a few friends.
Half an hour had already passed since the fiasco. Light rays pierced through the waters and we could see clearly now. I was quite disappointed when I did not get to see the two fishes there anymore. This was the largest fish that I encountered in that area (around arm’s length). Apparently the fish was used to human contact due to feeding by snorkellers and would bite snorkellers’ hands in search of food. A male friend was bitten by the fish and he said it was quite painful, despite the fish having no teeth.
Big fish encountered in Redang Long Beach
These photos were captured in the waters around Redang Reef Resort. The depth here is around 10 metres – roughly the same as that in the open sea snorkelling area.
Various types of different corals
Someone attempting a discovery dive.
The kids rested for a while after lunch. We took some photos since we were leaving Redang the next day but still did not have any photos taken of us (all of the photos up till then were taken during snorkelling).
We saw a large monitor lizard at the main entrance and encountered it again the next day. I think it might be living underneath the row of sea view rooms. Gives me the creeps (it’s super long!)!
This is the beach bar. Coconuts are sold here, though a bit overpriced. You can also get various snacks here. This place is also where they have performances at night.
The More More Tea Inn Gift Shop.
There were quite a number of people, especially foreigners, as it is a weekend.
A nice photo of Laguna Redang Island Resort.
A bride walked over when I was taking photos and I took this shot of her. She must be sweating all over – the weather was sweltering!
The kids started to get bored of taking photos and insist that we go to the swimming pool. So, we went back to the pool and played with the kids. They sure did have a lot of fun in the pool!
We took a bath and had dinner after having had enough of the pool. It’s family time again as we played several games on the beach. Initially I planned to have a few drinks with several gentlemen that I got to know over these few days. However, the plan was aborted as I decided to spend more time playing with the kids.
Day 4: Bid Farewell to Redang!
We were leaving Redang today and I had already started missing this place even before leaving it! It happens to me on every departure as I would not know when I would visit that place again. I woke up early again today and it was still dark outside (don’t think it’s even 6am yet). I walked around slowly, intending to capture more photos along the way (I had already taken photos of each resort on Long Beach).
It rained quite heavily yesterday, as evident on the puddles of water on the tables and chairs along the beach. As I thread along the white sands, I found lots of crab holes but not even a single crab! It seems that the crabs here are quite smart, unlike those found on Maldives.
This is Redang Holiday Beach Villa – situated on the other end of Long Beach.
The beach here is kinda dirty and the sands are noticeably coarser than that found around Laguna.
The 5-star Sari Pacifica Resort & Spa. The rates here are quite high but I would not comment further on its facilities and services as I did not stay here.
On a side note, it seems that the resorts here do not have their own jetties (at least I did not see one!). Laguna does have one though, which means that it should be the most popular resort on Redang. So, how do guests get to these resorts? Have a look at the photo below.
Initially the boat was parked in deeper waters and transfer visitors to another boat
Then the boat would come nearer to the shore to drop off passengers
We checked out after having breakfast and boarded the 9am jetty to the mainland. The old man to whom I left my phone number that day called me when we were boarding the ferry. There might be some communication problems as the number that I gave him belongs to Mr Cheng’s family. However, the old man texted me a few moments later and told me that he was waiting for us, along with two cars, at the jetty.
Bye, my beautiful Redang!
We arrived at the airport and started to check-in our luggage. Then we decided to explore the airport as there was still some time before the plane takes off. We boarded the plane on time.
Trip report by: Super Dream from Mafengwo
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