"The Plane, the plane, the plane" would be the words of announcement by Tattoo played by Hervé Jean-Pierre Villechaize when accompanying his boss Mr. Roarke played by Ricardo Montalban in the television series Fantasy Island (1978-1984) to greet their guests who would be arriving by plane to Fantasy Island. In this case there won't be any Mr.Roarke or Tattoo to greet you and the guests don't come by an aquaplane but by a DeHeaviland Dash 7 turboprop instead.
We didn't come to Redang by plane but we drove to Kuala Terengganu on the 17th of August 2008 evening to reach the town at 10.30 PM. We had booked at Kak Chik's (Wani) lodging earlier but had to find alternative accommodation as Kak Chik had confused herself on the date of our arrival. Thanks to that confusion, we managed to have a big enough accommodation at Aimi Homestay belonging to Haji Ayim Che Endut. Our group of 14 adults and 6 kids ranging in age from 5 months to 9 years had comfortable accommodation there even though not all the rooms were provided with air conditioning. The night temperature was cool enough to sleep without it. We couldn't find any vacant hotel room in Kuala Terengganu due to the school holiday season.
Ample parking for three cars and Haji Ayim allowed us to park two of our cars in his house compound for free while we were on the island. (Parking at the Shahbandar's jetty would cost us RM10.00 per day per car and exposed to the salt laden sea breeze).
The toilet was clean which went well with us. Above all the Pasar Chabang Tiga was close by for us to buy breakfast for the next day. The food there were cheap. Inflation is an unknown term in Kuala Terengganu as far as food was concerned. Location wise, the place was perfect as we were not that far away from the Losong Mosque and The Crystal Mosque which could be visible from the jetty at the end of the road.
When we arrived that night, they were testing the lighting in preparation for the Quran Recital Competition. Unfortunately when we reached the Taman Tamaddun at 11.00 PM they had just switched off the light.
That's the number to contact if you need no frill accommodation in Kuala Terengganu.
The package to Pulau Redang was arranged by my daughter in law Yani via Azhar of Wisana Beach Chalet. She had been vacationing at this budget resort since her younger days with her friends and now she has managed to get the husband and family hooked to the picturesque island of Redang with the beautiful underwater life.
Here we are waiting for boarding of the ferry to Pulau Redang at the Shahbandar Jetty. For the uninitiated, the jetty is located along the waterfront near not far from the Express Bus Stand and the Pasar Payang on the other side.
The first stop of the ferry was mid sea in front of this post resort on Long Beach. As the ferry had a deep draft, a shallow draft boat came to fetch the guests to transfer them to the beach.
Our turn to board the transfer boat
Wisana Resort ain't really visible from the sea.
Walking off the transfer boat to shore was easy as the gangway touched dry shore.
The restaurant was the reception area. The resort is really laid back and peaceful.
The restaurant is named the Tupai Restaurant. This rodent known as squirrel in English and tupai in Malay gave the restaurant it's name.
0This was one of the four chalets with a double bed and a single bed and an attached bathroom. The electricity supply was only 12 hrs a day at night so don't expect any air conditioning in the daytime. Anyway you are not supposed to be in your room during the day with this kind of beach at your door step. Since the resort faces east, the beach was shaded in the afternoon.
The beach can be considered as a private beach since it is the only resort there.
While the parents went snorkeling on Pulau Lima, the grandchildren were left for us to mind and they didn't take long to start enjoying themselves on the beach with such fine white sand.
Lis and Az had themselves buried while cousin Irsyad just looked on.
Building sand castles is fun.
After dinner we were taken on an optional boat ride to Long Beach where most of the posh resorts were located. I didn't bring my camera along so I didn't manage to record any night scene from the place. Suffice to say Long Beach looked something out of the world from being an island in Terengganu. Just imagine yourself in Phuket or Koh Samui. Lots of bars with three discos to boogie the night away. One of the bars had a Filipino trio performing. Ahh this is life.
At 11.00 PM we went back to the jetty where our boat was moored. After waiting for half an hour, the reserve boatman started the boat and we left home minus the boat man. However he managed to find his way home the next morning and was ready to take us snorkeling by 10.30 AM the next day despite him having to sleep the night at the jetty.
Food was to our taste at the resort. Our first breakfast at the resort was nasi lemak.
Most of us were happy with it. Anyway there is always a supply of bread and butter for those who are not happy with the food being served for the day. Ingredients for making your drink was always available so you can just fix your own drink to suit to your taste. Cold orange drink is always available throughout the day.
Water supply to the resort is from a spring in the hill behind the resort. Thus the water is free from any salinity or added chemicals. The water is gravity fed so it is free to the resort. This is a priceless asset and should be a selling point for the resort.
With a full stomach we headed for dive center to collect our snorkeling gears. Even the young ones were eager to have a go.
In our case the snorkeling was already within the package otherwise the following rate will apply.
This diving outfit known as Belukur Dive stock some good equipments like Prestige, Sea Pro and Tusa.
The boat which will be taking us will be a traditional wooden fishing boat. It maybe old but it served the purpose. After all most of the dive and snorkeling sites are just a short distance away.
The dive and snorkeling sites around the main island of Redang.
The one they are taking us to today is the Redang Marine Park a short boat ride away from the resort.
Of course this is not the boat pilot, just someone pretending to be one.
This is Bahari the guide. Remember we left him on Long Beach last night and yet he came back to take us for snorkeling around Redang Marina Park.
Upon arrival, the guide gave us some instructions about the dos and the don'ts while snorkeling before letting us jump into the sea.
Even the jetty was crowded with people snorkeling blow it and those from the top watches the colourful fishes feeding on the bread crumbs thrown at them. Hey they feed them with only high quality Gardenia Bread! If only we had an underwater camera or a casing for underwater photography. Only later we learnt from the guide that such underwater cameras can be rented from the nearby resort at about RM100 per day. The next time I go there, I will sure rent one. The cost can be splitted among all the members.
I took time to explore the rest of the island.
There is some development going on the island. New pavers were being laid and a few other facilities too. As a reminder, entrance to the marine park costs RM5.00 per head. Don't forget to bring the ticket when going to the park.
By 1.30 PM most of us were feeling hungry and wanted to go back to the resort for lunch.
When the temperature had cooled substantially, we played a game of beach volleyball.
The final night we were there, we served with fried rice, fried mee hoon with grilled fish and squid. Water melon was served for dessert. Since there were two groups at the resort that night and the other group came early for dinner, the delicious grilled squids were finished before some of the late comers from our group could reach the restaurant. The fried rice were finished early too. The moral of the story, never be late when you are served with buffet dinner when there is no guarrantee that more will be replenished later.
The nasi gorengGrilled fish
Mahathir and his wife celebrated their first wedding annivessary at the resort. The Resort management did manage to get a cake for the event.
Tried my best to get a shot of the rising full moon with the point and shoot camera.
This is the best I could muster.
My daughter caught me taking the shot of the moonlit night.
We had a goodnight sleep that night.
Woke up early to catch this view of the rising sun.
How blissful to look at the morning sun rising with not another sould to disturb you.
The high tide that occured the night before made the sand so clean and I cant resist writing the name of my blog and put it on camera. Alas the camera didn't have a wide enough angle to capture all. Duh I miss my Sony Alpha 350.
More pictures of flowers and insects pollinating it.
Other members of my family had an easy time while waiting for the ferry home. Azrin had to feed Ayen before plunging into the sea.
Waiting for the transfer boat to fetch us and send us to the ferry back to the mainland.
Hasan is a qualified electrical engineer and a co owner of the resort with his brother Awi. He is the Dive Master at Belukur Divers. No other life suit him better other than the life at sea since he is a local from Pulau Redang itself. He has found his place in this world at Redang.
The final wave of goodbye to Wisana Beach Resort, Pulau Redang.
I shall return.
Are you interested to go to Wisana Resort? Get more information on their website here.