For many of you a trip overseas is not always with a bunch of dive buddies but with family and friends who may not share your love of the underwater world. Well, a recent trip to Malaysia and especially an island of the east coast provided a bit of paradise for all. Paula, myself and six teenagers (what the hell were we thinking?) headed off to Malaysia for two weeks of sightseeing, eating, shopping and relaxation. The first week we set a cracker pace and saw all the main attractions. Whatever spare time we had was filled with sampling the local foods (Malay, Chinese & Indian) and stuffing the suit cases with bargains. Girls, Kuala Lumpur is full of megamalls.
After this onslaught we were ready for some R & R. A short flight over to Terengganu then a bus and boat ride had us reaching Redang Island. We stayed at Redang Kalong which is a very laid back, quiet resort. The staff friendly and the accommodation comfortable, basic and air-conditioned. It didn’t take long to slot into the relaxed lifestyle and I was starting the first of what ending up being ten dives on some of the prettiest unspoilt reefs I have seen. The resort has its own dive shop which was conveniently close to our beachside rooms.
Three boat dives are scheduled each day, two morning and one afternoon. All dive sites are no more than fifteen minutes from the jetty and you return to the resort in between dives to fuel up, rest or sort out camera gear. Diving is easy when the water is 27 -29 degrees and 30 metre plus visibility. Depths on average are around the 18 – 25 metre mark. Marine life consisted of various shrimp, blacktip reef sharks, turtles, stonefish, anglerfish, razorfish, barracuda, countless clownfish and the odd nudibranch or two. For the photographer there was plenty of macro opportunities but wide angle would be the standout.
For the non-divers two snorkelling trips are run daily and from all the reports from our group it was some of the best they had ever seen. Feeding time at the marine parks was frantic and you would be swamped with colourful fish trying to get that morsel of bread from you. The daily activities of eating, sleeping, reading and enjoying the surrounding underwater playground recharged our batteries but after a week we reluctantly had to leave our paradise. So if you were to visit Malaysia consider a stay on Redang Island you won’t be disappointed.