I have been particularly enthusiastic teaching the kids about marine life because we spent the last 2 weekends snorkelling in different beach resorts. The minute school was out, we headed up to Pulau Redang in Terengganu, Malaysia. As Singaporeans it is almost impossible to drive for more than 40 minutes (with no traffic, that is) from one end to the other end of the island, so for a drive of over 800km, I had to endure a number of “Are we there yet?” and “Why’s it taking so long??” questions from the boys. And this time we only took the boys, because I honestly did not think I could take 800km with all three kids!
It was long, but we rarely do road trips, in fact the last one was when Abacus was just past 1 year old (not counting Legoland), and we drove up to Pangkor Laut. Of course we didn’t exactly drive right up to the doorstep of Pangkor Laut nor Pulau Redang, since these are islands and you still need to take a ferry across 🙂
For the trip I did not prepare any activities for them, because Mittens and I get headaches if we read in the car. Thankfully they slept a lot, and at other times we played verbal games, snacked, and talked. But I am glad that I had some movies on my phone because on the way back, we were stuck at the Malaysian causeway for 3 hours. Luckily the jam started just at where the final rest stop was, so we bought KFC (and took a toilet break), ate it in the car, and still had 2.5 hours left in the traffic which the boys passed easily by watching movies. Anyhow.
The husband and I have not been to Redang (or Perhentian) for years and years, and in particular to this Berjaya Redang resort, some 15 years ago, so it was also nostalgic for us to come back here although they have now rebranded themselves as The Taaras.
The rooms at the Taraas are very comfortable and modern, and we saw that they were busy refurbishing some other rooms. We chose a sea view room, so we could take in the amazing view for the entire stay, but the sea view rooms are much further from the action and mostly require buggy transport, it’s a short stroll down to the beach but a tougher one back to the rooms. Fortunately the buggies ply the route often so only once we waited a while for a buggy.
Shortly after we checked into our room, we were greeted by several juvenile back tip sharks, maybe about 4-5, swimming in the lagoon, so we knew we were in for a treat. The bay at The Taaras is very lovely, the water is extremely shallow for a long distance, and the water is very calm and extremely clear, making for a very safe place for young kids to play. Oh, yes I noticed I wrote sharks and kids playing in the same paragraph. If you are thinking, will the sharks bite me?! Then I know you probably have not scuba-dived, because when divers yell SHARK! it’s because EVERYONE wants to see it. Common reef sharks like the black tip, white tip, silver tip, nurse, leopard, etc etc etc are all not interested in your children, however sweet they might be. Please consider this infographic (and click for the full one). Lefties, better watch out. Public service announcement, over.
The sand at the Taaras is powdery white, almost better than some Maldivian resorts, which can sometimes be pretty prickly with coral. The house reef is home to a wide variety of fish, and I was stared down by a ray. The husband and I remember that access to the resort used to be by boat directly to the beach, but now you have to come by road from a jetty across the island (which sounds far but is actually very close), which could be the reason why the marine life is flourishing. Word has it that many turtles frequent the area with one as hefty as 100kg with a head larger than a human head! We were also lucky to witness the release of some baby Green Sea turtles into the wild by people from the turtle authority (sorry, I suddenly forgot their official name). Green Sea turtles are endangered, and love to nest in the areas around Terengganu, but unfortunately many people also like to eat their eggs. I have not tried one, but I am happy to stick to chicken eggs, TYVM.
Unfortunately we only had 1.5 days here on the island. We are beach people and I think we could have easily done 3-4 days here. The resort reminded me a lot of our stay at The Andaman Langkawi, with the amazing bay, with the backdrop of the rainforest, although I think the Andaman has slightly more stunning views, the rainforest supports a rich diversity of wildlife, and is a much larger and more inhabited island. Langkawi is also a lot easier to get to, with direct Silkair flights.
So if you don’t mind the distance, it’s a place I would readily recommend, and wouldn’t mind returning to if I could teleport there.
This is not a sponsored post!