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Pulau Redang Malaysia

The Pulau Redang Archipelago, situated just south of the mainly Perhentians consists of nine islands and seven islets. By far the best diving is off Pulau Reclang the largest of the islands and the slightly smaller Pulau Pinang, said to have the best coral reefs in Penin­sular Malaysia. The whole archipelago lies inside the Terengganu Marine Park. No shell collecting or fishing is allowed within a core zone 1.85krn from the low water mark. In the rest of the zone which stretches in a 5.6km radius right around the island resident fishermen are allowed traditional, non-destructive fishing methods, and visitors with permits are allowed to go rod-and-line fishing.

Pulau Redang has sandy beaches on the east side, and stony beaches on the west side. It is separated from the seven small islets by relatively shallow water (up to 25m). The most extensive reefs are around the small islets and they are most diverse on the deeper north and east sides. Shallow reef flats and coral gardens are dominated by staghom, table and boulder corals. Steep cliffs are covered with soft corals, crusting corals and sea anemones.

These waters are extraordinarily rich in marine life studies have found a vast variety of hard corals here, and crusta­ceans living in these waters represent 43 different phases of evolution. Hawksbill and green turtles nest along the west coast of Pulau Redang, and you'll often see leatherback turtles. Reef fish and pelagic species are plentiful. Unfortunately, shell-dwelling creatures were over-collected in the 1970s, but blast fishing, trawling and spear fishing, once common, have now been stopped. Underwater visibility here is usually better than off Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Tioman.

For accomodation, your options are The Redang Island Resort, camping on the beaches or a few basic huts. Unless you dive with the operators at the resort, you'll have to arrange diving in advance and then arrange your own transportation, equip­ment, food supplies and fuel.

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