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Perhentian & Redang Island
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Two main islands
Nature tourism provides the economic base for the islands. Both the islands have palm-fringed white coral sand beaches (that can be tough on the feet) and turquoise blue sea. Popular tourist activities include scuba-diving, snorkeling, and swimming. On most beaches, the water is shallow with many rays, cuttlefish and parrotfish. For diving, there are dozens of dive sites around both main islands, as well as several off-shore sites. Apart from these, activities like camping, canoeing, fishing, jungle trekking, and banana boat riding are also available.
The tropical waters around the Perhentians are clear with turquoise hues. The designated marine park in the island has corals and fish life is quite excellent. During peak season, the waters are calm which is excellent for learning to dive with one of the dive centres on the island. In contrast to the neighboring islands of Lang Tengah and Redang, the Perhentian islands have a wide assortment of accommodation, ranging from budget to mid-range. Most of the accommodation can be found on both the Perhentian Besar, the larger island and Perhentian Kecil, the smaller island. The Perhentian islands has a tropical climate with temperatures steadily around 30 °C and frequent but brief thunderstorms.
A rise in tourism in Kuala Besar has led to the expansion of many different resorts and many options for snorkelers and divers alike. It is possible to get PADI certified at various locations and take advantage of the various wrecks and coral reefs. The Perhentian islands are home to numerous different species of monitor lizards, venomous spiders, and geckos. In the water and on the coral reefs, sea turtles, clownfish, cuttlefish, blue spotted rays, and black tipped sharks swim freely among many others.
Except for two main islands of Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil, there are five more islands in the archipelago. All these five islands are uninhabited. There are many snorkeling and scuba diving spots around it. The amazing sandy beaches are on Rawa, Serengeh and Tokong Burung islands.
The Redang archipelago comprises Pulau Redang, Pulau Lima, Pulau Paku Besar, Pulau Paku Kecil, Pulau Kerengga Kecil, Pulau Kerengga Besar, Pulau Ekor Tebu, Pulau Ling and Pulau Pinang. Pulau Redang is the biggest of all the islands in the Marine Park, measuring about 7 km (4.3 mi) long and 6 km (3.7 mi) wide. Its highest peak is Bukit Besar at 359 metres (1,178 feet) above sea level. The boundary of the Pulau Redang Marine Park is established by a line linking all points 2 nautical miles (3.7 km) from the shores of Pulau Redang, Pulau Lima, Pulau Ekor Tebu and Pulau Pinang. The other nearby islands of Pulau Perhentian Besar, Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Pulau Lang Tengah, Pulau Kapas and Pulau Susu Dara are also gazetted and protected as Marine Parks. Today, only the bigger islands like Redang, Lang Tengah, Perhentian and Kapas have resort facilities for visitors. The management of Marine Parks primarily involves protection of the sensitive marine and terrestrial ecosystems by controlling the impact from human activities. These include waste pollution management and conservation of coral reefs and terrestrial habitats.
In contrast to the neighbouring Perhentian Islands, Redang has a more upmarket image, as almost all accommodation on the island is resort-based. The largest beach is Pasir Panjang on the east side, featuring half a dozen resorts. The beach is covered with soft white sand. Coral and fish can be seen just a few metres from the beach. The other beach resorts are located in Teluk Dalam on the north and Teluk Kalong to the south.
The 2000 film, Summer Holiday was filmed on the Laguna Redang Island Resort, and a replica of the tea house now serves as the resort’s gift shop.
The island is a turtle nesting site, and these turtles serve as a draw for ecotourism.
Redang has a tropical climate with temperatures steadily around 30 °C (86 °F) and frequent but brief thunderstorms. Like the rest of Malaysia’s east coast, Redang is affected by the northeast monsoon from the South China Sea, so most resorts are closed and ferry transport schedules are severely restricted between October and March. The amount of monthly rainfall varies throughout the year, with November to February being the wettest months, whilst April to August being the driest. The island experiences on average about 2,600 millimetres (100 in) of rain per year.