We arrived in the idyllic island of Redang to spend a few days before meeting our kids in the Perhentians. What a gorgeous place … the water was crystal clear, with turtles swimming in the bay. We jumped in and swam with them – they were really inquisitive and seemed to have no fear of us. There must have been 8 – 10 fully grown turtles living in the bay and so tourist boats kept coming by depositing their swimmers into the bay. We noticed that the turtles actually went up to them so they must be very well protected here. Redang is a small island off the East Coast of mainland Malaysia consisting of a small village and a couple of up market resorts. It is incredibly beautiful with the bluest water. We were lucky because there were rocks separating our beach from the resorts beach so we had complete privacy. When we went snorkeling we found to our surprise, a bus had been submerged to form a reef – very ingenious.
We spent a few days here and then headed off to pick up the kids who were flying in from KL, another flight to Kuala Bharu then taxi to Kuala Besut. Not many boats anchor in this river so we raised quite a few eyebrows when we got there. As only our girls were arriving this day we took them back to Redang to see the turtles. We took them round the village and got invited to help prepare dinner with a group of ladies. “Do you always end up in people’s houses?’ they asked! It was such a great day. The anchorage had a couple of other boats so we all ended up on the beach for a sundowner.
After a couple of days we headed to the Perhentians to meet the rest of the party. Our son and his friend were flying in from Bangkok but we didn’t know exactly when and they had no phone credit so we couldn’t get in touch with them so we spent the afternoon walking around and then we saw them wandering down the beach. There are two Penhentian islands, one is a backpacking, noisy, fun type of place and the other has the up-market resorts on it, is quieter and more our age group. We knew which island our kids would rather stay at, so we anchored off the backpacking beach and had dinner ashore. Ian and I came back at midnight and the kids stayed to enjoy the fire throwing, bonfires, fireworks, parties. They swam back to the boat at 4am… The next day we went diving with the girls. I hadn’t dived for a couple of years and as we were a party of 4 we were on our own with the instructors which was lovely for us. It took me a while to relax and enjoy it, but Ian and the girls loved it so much they went back the next day for another dive. We carry our own gear on board but haven’t been down on our own yet. The boys went off exploring – and we all met up for dinner on the beach.
The village on the Perhentians is on the other side of the island so we took the boat round and had a walk through. It is delightful – all built up the hillside overlooking the bay. Most of the villagers work in the resorts so there is full employment but they must wonder what will happen to their beautiful islands if tourism keeps on growing.
The next day we sailed around the larger island and stopped off to snorkel in a few bays. We stayed away from the tourist boats and found our own places. We spent the next few days just wandering down the beach, swimming, eating and drinking, With 6 of us on the boat it should have been a bit cramped, but it was just fun with all the noise and goings on – there was lots of laughter and it was just busy busy busy… go go go… and then suddenly it was time for them all to leave. I was so sad to watch their ferry pull away and the boat seemed so empty and quiet – a bit like coming home after dropping them off to school for the first time! We didn’t hang around and left early the next day to go south to meet our friends Vince & Ingrid for a trip around the Anambas Islands – another adventure beckons……