Pulau Redang, Malaysia –
Traveling to Redang was definitely not in any of my original plans. In fact, I could not even find it in my Lonely Planet guide. The famous Perhentian Islands are not far away and when looking up places to stay on booking.com, Redang popped up. It was close by so I figured it would be much the same, and very easy and inexpensive just to pop over by boat if I wanted to. Neither was true.
My first impression of the island was that it was very small and not much going on. Almost semi-deserted. I realized later that the great majority of the people visiting were Chinese and at the time I arrived they were all out snorkeling or scuba diving in large groups. The water here was crystal clear, like I had never seen before. I was able to try some new activities, like steamboat dinner, candle wax treatment for my ears, and I also decided to give scuba another try after a horrible experience in Honduras three years prior. The beachfront massage was excellent as well. There were only a handful of places to eat on this small island and I have to say I didn’t really care much for the vibe. After a day on the island I began to realize that this was and island that catered almost specifically to Chinese and Malaysian large tourist groups. I certainly have nothing against this, however, it was easy to tell that the local business owners, especially at my hotel, were accustomed to catering to these specific groups. There was not much else to do here other than scuba and snorkel so I decided to try something called “Discover Scuba”, which I later learned was very different on this island than in other places. First off, you did not wear fins. In fact, I remember seeing a sign somewhere saying “No Fins Allowed on Redang”. I later learned on the other spots that I visited that ” Discover Scuba” in most places is basically your first day of certification for open water diving. That was not the case here in Redang. You didn’t even have to know how to swim. The instructor held on to you the entire time and pushed you through the water. You didn’t even have to touch your inflation device. Everything was done for you, all you had to do was breath. It was actually great for me getting over my fear of scuba after my first experience. In fact, a few days later I decided to give my certification another try on another island which I will talk about in a later post. As I mentioned before the water was very clear so the sights were excellent.
Also, the plane you see in the picture is one that I took from KL to a place called Terranganu, then a short taxi ride to a ferry gets you to Redang. It was quite expensive to get a direct boat to Perhentian Islands which I decided to do a few days later but with a different route.
Enjoy the pics and please comment if you have any questions!
Oh yes, I almost forgot. The link is now up to sign up for my first ever Travel Hacking seminar in Lafayette, LA mid October. There are only 50 spots available so sign up now! Here is the link