Redang: For a “Summer Holiday” travel place by Mzondi Lungu

If you get tired of white beaches, Redang has plenty of wildlife, including monkeys, deer and monitor lizards.

The Redang archipelago actually consists of nine islands, namely Lima, Paku Besar, Paku Kecil, Kerengga Besar, Kerengga Kecil, Ekor Tebu, Ling, Pinang and Redang itself.

Together, they form a marine park situated 45 kilometers off the east Peninsular Malaysia state of Terengganu.

Unlike its close cousins, the backpacker-filled Perhentian islands to the north, Redang is very much an upmarket destination, with mostly resort accommodation on offer.

Accordingly, the island also has its own airport, served by Berjaya Air, which since 2004 has flown daily to Kuala Lumpur’s Subang Airport and Singapore’s Changi.

With excellently preserved coral, the main attractions of Redang are snorkeling, diving and the crystal clear waters.

You’ll need to stick close to the shoreline regardless, as the interior is mostly impassable, apart from a road that connects the airport with the coast.

In 2000, the Malaysian island was the setting for Hong Kong movie “Summer Holiday,” which featured Cantopop star Sammi Cheng and Taiwanese heartthrob Richie Ren. The success of the film led to a sudden influx of tourists.

Where to stay: The same company that owns the only airport and airline to fly in, also has the best place to stay, The Taaras, by Berjaya. However, film fans should head to the Laguna Redang Island Resort, where the colourful souvenir shop was a key setting in the movie “Summer Holiday.”

Getting there: If you don’t want to pay to fly in directly, the alternative is to fly to Kuala Terengganu, and then continue by car and take a ferry from the port of Merang.

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