5 Most Beautiful Islands To Discover In Terengganu


Terengganu is home to various enchanting islands with picture-perfect, white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters for the ultimate getaway. Peppered along the South China Sea, these stunning islands beckon with a promise of unforgettable experiences during your visit to the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia.

Its mesmerising beauty aside, Terengganu is also rich in authentic Malay culture that is infused across its traditional home designs down to its back-to-basics way of life that are both intriguing as they are alluring. Amongst the islands considered the crown jewels of Terengganu include Pulau Perhentian, Pulau Kapas, Pulau Redang, Pulau Lang Tengah and Pulau Tenggol.

Pulau Perhentian

Known for its clear aquamarine waters, powdery beaches and untouched tropical forests, Pulau Perhentian is high on the list as the perfect vacation spot. Fondly crowned the 13th best beach in the world by CNN in 2013 and the 5th best island to swing in a hammock in by the Lonely Planet Travel Guide 2010, Perhentian more than lives up to its reputation given its serenity and tranquillity. Fun fact: the island is also an untouched jungle paradise and doubles as a valuable water catchment area. 

The name Perhentian can be translated to ‘a stopover’, aptly referencing the island’s past as it was once used as a sanctuary for fishermen and ancient traders who plied the old trade routes between Siam and Terengganu. Pulau Perhentian is only a 30-minute boat ride from the Kuala Besut Jetty.

There are many places of interest and water activities you can try out at Perhentian, including snorkelling and diving. Pulau Perhentian Besar is also a great spot for families and couples, and is notable for being more luxurious and peaceful. Pulau Perhentian Kecil on the other hand, is made up of two main beaches; Long Beach and Coral Bay. Romantic Beach in Perhentian is another small beach, which is best suited for couples who are longing for a romantic getaway and lastly, Turtle Beach which is located in Perhentian Besar is a more secluded beach, which is named after sea turtles that famously come there to lay their eggs during nesting season.

Places to Stay at Perhentian Island

Perhentian Marriot Resort and Spa

Located in Perhentian Kecil, Perhentian Marriott Resort and Spa is where nature's beauty meets refined elegance. The entire resort is luxuriously decked out with local elements that add hints of Malaysian touches to your stay.

As you arrive at the resort’s private jetty, you will be warmly greeted by a local performance and be invited to enjoy a refreshing pandan and lemongrass drink as well as a delightful serving of onde-onde as you check-in.

There are many localised activities you can enjoy throughout your stay at Perhentian Marriott Resort and Spa such as batik painting, coconut grating at Beautiful Terengganu or perhaps put your diving skills to the test at the YBD Dive Centre.

The dive centre has a dedicated pool with three levels of salt water to simulate the conditions of the ocean. With the use of enriched air, also known as Nitrox Air, YBD Dive Centre is known as the only diving centre in Perhentian to offer this, making it a safe and suitable place for those who wish to dip their toes into the diving world. 

Younger guests are more than welcomed at the Penyu Club, which is exclusively designed for kids and teens for some fun and local activities.

For those in search of some peace and quiet, visit the Qi Forest Spa or the Fitness Centre to unwind, relax and enjoy some well-deserved ‘me time’.

This beautiful resort consists of over 200 rooms, each featuring a perfect view of either the open sea or lush greenery. Some of the rooms you can choose from are the Deluxe Guest Room, the Sanctuary Villa and the Deluxe Coastal Category.

Feeling peckish? Fill your tummies with local delights at Dapur, where mouthwatering local flavours come to life with every bite.

At Sekochi, enjoy the best coastal offerings as well as seafood delights. Step into the Great Room and be mesmerised by over 132 batik blocks that tastefully decorate the space while you delight in afternoon treats and locally-curated cocktails.

Pulau Kapas

Only a 20-minute boat ride from the Merang Jetty, Pulau Kapas is relatively smaller in size compared to other northern Terengganu islands such as Perhentian Island or Redang Island. Pulau Kapas is still known for its white sandy beaches but what makes it unique is that it is also a squid-breeding ground. As such, the island gets the most attention during the squid jigging season, which runs from March to August.

Pulau Kapas simply translates to ‘cotton island’ in English; a name justified by its beautiful white sandy beaches. The island is also known for its clear seawater, lush forests and coral reefs topped off by a delightfully peaceful ambience. Activities that are available on the island include snorkelling and kayaking.

Pulau Redang

Its pristine blue waters and white sandy beaches make Pulau Redang a hit amongst travellers and locals alike. The closest jetty to Pulau Redang is the Merang Jetty which takes 45 minutes by speed boat while the boat ride from the Shahbandar Jetty is 30 minutes. All year round, the clear waters of Pulau Redang is where you can spot fusiliers, turtles, humphead parrotfish, cuttlefish and small black reef sharks. The best time to visit is from March to September, when the visibility of its skies and waters are at their peak. Monsoon season approaches after October, and is when most of the tourist facilities remain shut while diving and boating activities are temporarily barred. Some of the many highlights at Redang Island are snorkelling and diving.

Places to Stay at Redang Island

Redang Island Resort

Redang Island Resort is home to comfortable rooms with glorious views to match. Enjoy a stay at the Rainforest Chalet, where magnificent rainforest views set the tone for an ultimate tropical getaway.

The Seaview Chalet is known for its expansive view of the glittering sea, which can be enjoyed with wisps of cool breeze in the morning. Enjoy a delectable meal at the Santapan Cafe, the resort’s coffeehouse that serves up both Malaysian and International cuisines. From there, you can take a flight of stairs, which will lead you to a hidden beach within the resort grounds. Here at the Redang Island Resort’s private beach is where you can enjoy the calming waves and luscious greenery that surround the area at your own pace. 

The Taaras Beach and Spa Resort

With crystal clear waters from the South China Sea, the Taaras Beach and Spa Resort offers an experience to remember.

Luxuriate in the comfort of spacious rooms such as the Garden Suite, the Cliff Premier Twin, the Cliff Bay Suite, the Cliff Premier Suite, the Oceanfront Suite, the Two-bedroom Hillview Deluxe, the Two-bedroom Bayview Suite and the Oceanfront Master Suite.

Enjoy a refreshing dip in the clear waters of the resort’s private beach, have fun swimming amongst the friendly turtles and fishes, or grab a paddle and go kayaking whilst taking in the wondrous views of the resort.

Rest assured, there is something for everyone at the Taaras Beach and Spa Resort. With free games such as pool, table tennis, carrom and mahjong located at the foyer, the resort welcomes guests to bond and socialise over community, fun and laughter.

The gymnasium here is also well-equipped with the latest workout equipment and hosts daily yoga classes for guests to join in.

In addition, SEATRU Turtle Lab was also launched in 2018 to educate people on sea turtle conservation, and offers guided tours to those interested in learning more about sea turtles and their life cycles.

Also, don’t forget to pop over to the Jungle Gym; a one-of-a-kind gym where everything is made using wood materials.

When it comes to its food and beverage offerings, be prepared to immerse in the mouth-watering flavours a selection of cafes and restaurants at the resort. Try out Asean All-day Dining for authentic Malaysian food as well as international and fusion-inspired cuisines. Depending on your preference, choose to dine at the restaurant or out on the patio that overlooks the swimming pool and bay. Alternatively, MareNero delights with rich Indian and Italian flavours within a relaxing and elegant ambience by the beach. Meanwhile, the Asean Terrace Lounge serves up refreshing cocktails and relaxing music as you unwind by the swimming pool. Lastly, The Cove is where you can enjoy the cool breeze of the ocean while sipping on cocktails and enjoying beach-friendly snacks.

Laguna Redang Island Resort

At Laguna Redang Island Resort, you can be sure that both comfort and relaxation are dialled up for your stay. The resort also offers two full-board packages brimming with exciting adventures for you to enjoy namely the Deluxe Promotion Package and the Diving Deluxe Promotion Package.

The Deluxe Promotion Package includes two nights of accommodation with two breakfasts and lunch buffet meals. This package also consists of three complimentary snorkelling sessions, as well as two-way boat transfers from the jetty to Redang Island. There are four types of rooms available for you to consider with this package; the Deluxe Garden, the Deluxe Pool, the Deluxe Sea and the Premier Sea.

The Diving Deluxe Promotion Package on the other hand includes two nights of accommodation with a breakfast and lunch buffet. There are also four boat dives included. Just like the other package, this package offers two-way boat transfers from Jetty to Redang Island. The four rooms available for you to choose with this package include the Deluxe Pool, the Deluxe Garden, the Deluxe Sea and the Premier Sea.

Pulau Lang Tengah

Pulau Lang Tengah is famously known for its beautiful beaches and emerald waters. Nestled between Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Redang, Pulau Lang Tengah is a mere 30-minute ride from the Merang Jetty. This island is widely known for its rich marine life and its unique coral formations. The name Lang Tengah is a combination of the word Lang, which means eagle and Tengah which means middle. The eagle symbolises freedom, while the word Tengah stands for the island’s geographical location. 

Adventure-lovers are in for a treat as Pulau Lang Tengah is also filled with various thrilling activities for all. Since the island is popularly known for its pristine beaches and exotic marine life, snorkelling is a definite fan-favourite, especially when you can go swimming among the vibrant coral reefs and aquatic life. Just like other islands in Terengganu, diving is also one of the many famous activities. Some of the more popular dive spots on the island include Summer Reef, Summer Wreck, Blue Coral and Fish Haven.

What makes Pulau Lang Tengah stand out is its turtle-watching activity as the island is well-known as a nesting ground for sea turtles. Another unique activity here is Blue Sand Hunting. At the right timing, you will get to witness small aquatic organisms float just below the surface of the ocean, emitting a brilliant blue light for a minute. 

 Pulau Lang Tengah is also known for its white sandy beaches and clear blue waters, so make sure you don’t miss out on some of the more popular beaches here including Pasir Air, Summer Bay, Sari Pacifica, D’Coconut Lagoon and Turtle Bay. Stroll along the powdery beaches or laze under shady palm trees swaying in the tropical breeze to experience true tranquillity these places have to offer. 

Pulau Tenggol

Located at the southernmost part of Terengganu, Pulau Tenggol is a magnet for hardcore divers. There are various types of diving activities for you to choose from such as night diving, diving around shipwrecks, deep-sea diving and drift diving. There are over 20 sites to choose from including Batu Chanang and Coral Garden. Other popular spots for diving at Pulau Tenggol include Teluk Air Tawar, Rajawali, Tokong Batu, Tokong Timur and Tanjung Gemuk. For all non-divers out there, fret not – snorkelling is always available at Pulau Tenggol as well. 

Geographically, the island is a 45-minute boat ride from Kuala Dungun. Pulau Tenggol only has one beach that faces both the mainland and cliffs. The island is filled with smaller islands that are a haven for scuba divers, and is relatively smaller in size compared to other islands in Terengganu. Although it spans just three kilometres, the island is still packed with fun-filled activities for its guests.

In addition, there is also an array of wild marine life to be discovered. Whale sharks are often spotted in the area and are known to appear between August and October. The best time to visit Pulau Tenggol is from July to August when the climate is calm. Visitors are generally encouraged to avoid making trips from October to February as the weather can be quite unpredictable and the island will be mostly closed to the public.

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