This trip marked my third time to Redang Islands. I think I went once back in 2001? 2002? (don’t remember!), followed by company trip back in 2007. I am glad I enjoyed all three trips. This trip was an impromptu trip, all started with Ms Han missing the islands in Sabah and wanted another trip to the beach, so, we just arranged one the very last minute.
The four of us decided to drive up to Merang via the East Coast Highway. The journey was rather entertaining till one after another of us fell asleep, except the driver lah of course. Haha. It was way past my bed time, I couldn’t keep my eye lids opened. We were all awaken when passing by Paka Powerplant in Dungun and were all excited to see the magnificent bright lights and fires coming out from the power plant. It wasn’t as bright as it used to be, maybe the power plant was not at its optimum level or something like that. Well, I am no engineer so.. I won’t know.
We reached Merang a tad early because of the non-stop drive from KL, except stopping twice for petrol and toilet breaks. We parked the car in the parking lot and slept for an hour. Woke up, then scouted for breakfast. I was asleep most of the time because I was still groggy and moody. We chanced upon a shop selling nasi kerabu somewhere near Bukit Rakit and the BBQ chicken that accompanied it were awesome! The shop is called, Nasi Kerabu Jumi.
We waited for our boat ride to Redang Reef Resort. It took about 30 minutes to reach the islands from land. The ride wasn’t a smooth one because of the choppy seas and also, screaming girls in the motorboat. The boatman actually slowed down for them to snap pictures! Must be first timers. I tried hard not to roll my eyes.
We got off the boat and ushered ourselves at the canteen for briefing. There was still some time before the first snorkeling session, so we went to our room to unload our bags and things. I packed heck a lot of snacks, worrying we might not have enough to eat but silly me.. we ended having to carry the whole bag of goodies back because we were simply too full to eat anything else!
Ah.. white sandy beach!
When we went to collect our snorkeling gear, we were a little cheesed off by the staff because they didn’t even bother to look at us when we wanted 4 sets of gear. We waited around 10 minutes, then only the two fellas manning the booth sarcastically said to us – well, you didn’t listen to briefing? You can only collect your gears at 1 pm. So – is it a big problem to just tell us that, rather than letting us wait like bloody idiots. Why did you guys open the bloody counter if you are not opened for renting? This is really uncalled for! Nobody told us to get coupons from the reception area before getting our gears either. Bad service!
We went back to the beach in front of our chalet for a quick swim to cool off the steam. It wasn’t a good swim because the whole area was infested with jelly fishes and sharp rocks! We were lucky nobody got hurt.
Rocky beach during low tide
The first area we went to snorkel was Pulau Paku. I remember coming here. I remember the big, colorful parrot fishes, nemos, large clams which clamp shut whenever you swam past them and giant reefs. They were no where to be seen. Fishes were smaller this time and the entire sea bed was greenish in color. At first, I thought they were all dead and coated in moss but, was told that, they were actually alive and would change colors if you touch them! If corals are dead, they would be all white. I guess I learned something that day.
After the short snorkeling session, we went about taking photos and took a walk surrounding the area. The old hut used to film the movie, Summer Holiday back in 2000 is still well kept. It used to be dilapidated when I first visited it back in 2001? Or was it 2002? I can’t remember!
Blue, blue sea
The day ended unceremoniously because we were all too tired from the long drive and were sleep deprived. We wanted to play some games or maybe, have a booze session but we don’t want to be waking up in a massive hang over for tomorrow’s event, so, we simply collapsed in bed after a few glasses of red wine and coffee. LOL.