Redang Island is justly famous for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and superlative underwater world, and is a more up-market destination than the neighbouring Lang Tengah and Perhentian Islands.
Pasir Panjang beach is a long stretch of white sand lapped by milky-blue water and fringed by swaying palm trees. It is the busiest beach on the island, due to the many resorts, from basic to luxury, which it contains. This lovely beach is developed enough to provide everything a visitor could ask of a beach, within ambling distance of his beach towel – whether looking for fine food, massage, water-sports or luxury accommodation, the visitor won’t have to go far to find it.
Thankfully, though, the beach has not yet suffered any significant environmental degradation - the water is still crystal clear and the snorkeling, directly off both ends of the beach, is magnificent. If man were to have advised God on a design for the perfect beach, he might well have asked Him, in addition to fantastic snorkeling, to leave a stretch of beach clear of coral for the swimmers to enjoy.
This is exactly what He did on Pasir Panjang Beach, making it a nearly perfect beach for both snorkellers and swimmers alike. If perfection were a possibility, Pasir Panjang beach could lay claim to it. One man’s paradise, however, is another’s purgatory, and some visitors won’t like the jolly noise made by the multiple beach volleyball games usually going on. Thankfully jet-skis are still absent, so for most people the beach will be quiet enough.
Teluk Dalam beach, to the north, plays host to the fabulous Berjaya Redang Beach Resort, the beach’s only resort. It can lay claim to being the most beautiful beach in the whole of Malaysia, if not southeast Asia, and has been depicted by the Malaysian Tourism Authority in many of its advertising campaigns. The powdery-white sand is almost as soft as talcum powder and is so clean that it squeaks underfoot.
For the best snorkeling, take a day-trip to one of the other 8 islands in the Redang archipelago.
A good choice is Pulau Paku, where snorkellers will be entranced by the huge expanses of vividly-hued staghorn, table and brain corals, and dazzled by the kaleidoscopic colours of all the fish darting about. For divers, the waters around Redang are even more spectacular. They are a marine park and boast a bewildering diversity of marine life – 1,000 invertebrate species, 500 coral species, and fully 3,000 fish species, including such pelagics as the mighty whale shark.
For more advanced divers, the waters around Redang also contain two historic shipwrecks. The HMS Repulse and the HMS Prince of Wales were the core of the WW2 naval task force sent by Sir Winston Churchill to defend Singapore from the Japanese. They were lured within range of enemy dive-bombers by a cleverly faked landing attempt and then sunk, with massive loss of life and catastrophic strategic results for the Allies.
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