The Redang Island includes a total of nine islands that are located near each other. The tropical paradise offers a sunny climate, great beaches and awesome water sport. Snorkeling in Redang Island is a must-try experience & activity in Malaysia. The sandy beaches and clear crystal water provide the best snorkeling experience in Redang Island, where you can observe marine life up close and personal.
All the resorts offer snorkeling trips as part of their vacation package and rent out snorkeling equipment like masks, snorkel and life jackets. Young children, the elderly and even non-swimmers also can enjoy snorkeling. Just put on a life jacket, mask and snorkel and jump into the water. While there are powered masks and child-sized life jackets for rental, these are limited. If fit and hygiene are important, you may prefer to bring your own.
On boat snorkeling trips, there will be snorkeling guides accompanying snorkelers to ensure the site is safe and free from currents and also to render assistance. Sometimes, bread is provided for snorkelers to feed the fish. For those snorkeling on your own off the beach, there are no guides or lifeguards, so do so at your own risk.
Marine Park Centre
The Marine Park Centre is the most popular snorkelling destination and can be crowded during peak visiting season. At 3-6m deep,the area around the jetty at the Marine Park Centre in Pulau Pinang is covered mainly with hard corals and offers easy access to a large variety of marine life that are resident among the PVC pipes of the artificial reef directly under the jetty, the most popular being the resident giant grouper and moray eel.
This place has the largest concentration of fishes in any single location probably due to the fact that many visitors feed the fish. Expect plenty of hungry damselfish, sergeant majors, wrasses, parrotfish and the resident triggerfish seeking food handouts from visitors. Just be careful not to get your fingers mistaken for food! Napolean wrasses are occasionally spotted to the west of the jetty, as are adult blacktip sharks.
Probably the busiest house reef is around Tanjung Tengah in Pasir Panjang. The southern side is commonly known as ‘Shark Bay’ as the reefs there are a nursery for baby black-tip sharks. April to August seems to be the best time to spot these shark pups, up to a dozen of them. Also resident to this reef are schooling needlefish, a few turtles, squid, an orange-striped triggerfish, a resident barracuda and the other coomon reef fishes.
Due to the popularity and easy accessibility of this house reef, it has suffered quite a lot of damage over the years particularly the corals nearer shore. During low tide, the corals are in very shallow water and are easily damaged through physical contact with snorkellers when they stand on them or kick them accidentally, especially when wearing booties or fins. As a result, fins are no longer rented out to snorkellers. To protect these fragile corals, snorkel carefully, don’t go too near the corals and for your own safety, do not snorkel beyond the floating white markers where you may put yourself in the path of boats.
Tanjung Mak Cantik
The Tanjung Mak Catik is another great place to get the best Redang snorkeling experience when visiting the Island. This snorkeling spot is enriched with corals that are healthy and fresh with marine life. The sandy soil beneath gives tourists the chance to explore rare marine life such as Stingray and Virgate Rabbit Fish.
There is no limit as to how much you have to swim in the water to catch a glimpse of the marine life, but located on Pantai Pasir Panjang it offers direct access to snorkel among the fishes.
The best time to snorkel in the water is around noon when the tides are low and swimming easy. During this time the water waves just carry you from once place to another, so not much effort is put into swimming and you can get a taste of the real marine life.
The Pasir Panjang and also known as long beach is a wonderful place for Redang snorkeling. The water harbors coral reefs in the middle of the white sandy stretch that give you a great swimming experience, but also the touch of nature that you need. When snorkeling in long beach you can see baby sharks swimming around up close. Tanjung Tengah is the main spot used for snorkeling when in Pasir Panjang. Tanjung Tengah offers a wide range of good corals and schools of colorful fish that mesmerize tourists.
Pasir Chagar Hutang
The Pasir Chagar Hutang snorkeling site is located on the northeast side of the Redang Island, which is a calm relaxing place to snorkel. This place is highly recommended for tourists who do not like many people around and want to experience the marine life in the most peaceful fashion.
The main attraction of the site is the wide range of turtles it has to offer and many people have spotted at least three turtle species nearby. The water is deep and many tourists have to get to this site by boats which are then anchored a few kilometers away from the spot.
It should be noted that the area in this water is particularly deep, so it is better to be equipped with fins and be a good swimmer.
There is another site located near Merang and on the way to Redang called Pulau Kapas which is often used for Redang snorkeling activities because of the diverse fish life in the small island has to offer. Many people tend to stop at Pulau Kapas on day trips to have some fun snorkeling.
Other snorkeling sites
There is a house reef located in front of Redang Holiday Resort around the rocks below their hill view chalets. From their front beach, head left following the rocky shoreline.
The resorts at Teluk Kalong also have housereefs in slightly deeper waters. The waters in front of Redang Kalong resort near their jetty is another nursery for baby black tip sharks which can be seen from the jetty without getting wet, especially if one attracts them with food. At Amannaggapa and Mutiara resorts, the reefs are around the rocky outcrops on either side of the resorts.
Over at Teluk Dalam in front of Taaras resort, coral reefs are located to the sides of the U-shaped bay, so snorkellers have to swim further to access them. The bay in front comprises mainly sandy bottom and seagrass areas and is devoid of coral.
All these house reefs see fewer visitors and are expected to be in better condition than those at Tanjung Tengah and Tanjung Mak Cantik. There are also other snorkeling sites at Pulau Paku, Pulau Lima and other areas but these are only accessible by boat.
Here are a few tips to help you to get the most out of your snorkeling sessions.
- Choose a mask that fits well. Put the mask on your face without strapping, breathe in through your nose to create a vacuum in the mask and look down while holding your breath. If it fits well forming a perfect seal, it should not fall off. Adjust the snorkel length and position on the mask so that the mouthpiece fits comfortably in your mouth, between your teeth and lips. Bite gently on the protruding tabs to hold it in place and breathe in & out through your mouth.
- To prevent your mask from fogging, rub a little defogging solution on the inside. Alternatively, you can use toothpaste, baby bath, shampoo or even saliva if you don’t have anything else. Apply when dry then rinse the mask (but don’t scrub it) before you wear it.
- When wearing your mask, make sure you comb back your hair so that no hair gets trapped between the mask and your face which will cause leaks.
- It is best to cover up for protection from the sun as well as from marine stingers you might accidentally brush against. Jellyfish and other marine stingers sting when they detect the presence of certain chemicals on human skin, so wearing clothes, wet suits or swimsuits to cover skin also prevents stings.
- Learn to recognize the titan trigger fish, which is quite common in Redang. Because of its size (adults can grow up to about 75cm long) and powerful bite, it is best to keep your distance from this fish as it can be aggressive especially during nesting season. When guarding its nest, it will sometimes attack divers and snorkelers who venture too close.
Original post: Redang Island Rendezvous