Widely acknowlegeded as "the" dive destination of peninsular malaysia,Redang is truly the jewel of the south china sea in peninsular Malaysia.
The beautiful island of Pulau Redang lies about 45 km north-northeast of Kuala Terengganu, or 22 km off Tanjung Merang, the closest point on the mainland.
Originally settled by the Bugis people from Celebes, Indonesia, Many of their descendants are now working the tourist trade in Redang while others have moved to the mainland.
Over the years, Redang has grown to be one of the most popular destinations for tourists and divers due its pristine nature and rich marine environment.
In 1991, the Redang archipelago was gazetted as the Pulau Redang Marine Park, becoming a protected site under the Government.
The Redang archipelago constitutes the islands of 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 at 7 km long and 6 km wide is the largest island. The highest peak is Bukit Besar at 359 metres above sea-level.
A very exclusive 5 star resort has a bay all to themselves in Teluk Dalam on the northern side of the island.
Then there are 2 more private bays with smaller sized resorts catering to the
locals with tighter purse strings.
Mainly most of the activity is dominated by a collection of 10 resorts all on a stretch of beach known as Pasir Panjang on the eastern side of the island.
Resorts at redang have a diverse range of 4 star type facilities to the basic room and board accomodation.
Redang island is not popular among the backpackers simply because the range of accomodation is more geared towards family oriented packages.Almost all the resorts at this island sell similar packages ,3d 2n full room and board minimum with add ons.Not known as on the beaten track for backpackers,not much choice in terms of
rooms only style accomodation,most of the resorts provide food and lodging,snorkelling trips and boat travel in and out of island all for a packaged rate prepaid before venturing into island.
Only thing separated are the diving rates which can be bought separately while in the resorts or also prepaid at resort's office or through your bookings online.
Learning to scuba dive here is actually quite affordable in comparison to the other islands and at the same time fantastic.
It is probably one of the if not the best locale to learn scuba diving due to the fantastically ideal house reef so friendly for beginners.
Redang is currently acknowledged as the premier dive destination among the local dive community which is rightly deserving beacuse the dive sites here offer something for almost every level of diver qualification.
Entry level divers alll have nothing but praise for the environment of scuba learning here because so many of the sites are perfect for the needs of the beginner diver.
Of the many islands in peninsular malaysia where scuba instructions can be had,not many of them have the training sites comparable to Redang's house reef in Pasir Panjang.
In many ways its like a oversized swimming pool with clarity so good its breathtaking.No currents ,waves most of the time,almost too good to be true.
After which the regular dive sites are all but a short boat hop from the beach,if ever there was an island designed for beginners to learn to dive ,Redang is it.
Except for the exclusive 4 star resort with their own private beach,needless to say the dive charges will reflect on the status,whereas the resorts on Pasir Panjang stretch all have their own dive schools.
As for the dive schools rates ,its not very a competitive environment so prices for the diving and courses are also quite similar.
To choose which school to learn,you will have to use your gut to go with the one that appeals to you the most.
Check out the training sets and the instructor who will be doing your courses at the respective dive schools. Location is another criteria. Of course the school right in front of the house reef will figure higher on my selection then again a few of the schools there have exactly that.
it will also be helpful to check out the communication skills of the instructor
if you are expecting the course to be done in english.
Redang dive schools are slightly different from Perhentians in that the instructors or divemasters here and their command of english isnt exactly fluent.
Facilities at most of the dive schools are quite well kept since unlike some other islands in malaysia ,all the dive schols at redang actually are resort owned operations so normally they have a more flexible budget to stock their dive centers.
You can purchase a dive package from most of the resorts where a minimum stay of 4d 3n is needed and where the beginner course will be conducted over the period with 5 dives included.
But if you were to want to really enjoy diving redang make sure you stay at least 6 days which will give you time to learn the dive course and allocate some extra dives in as well.i'd will not recommend highly which school to go ,more of a personal choice while you are there,just walk the beach and ask around while getting a feel of the place or school you are checking out.Eventhough every resort has their own dive centre ,you can still cross over to another resort's dive school to learn to dive there,and the thing about Redang dive centres which ranks it above others is that its a close cooperative community of dive pros.If the dive resort you are staying at happens to be too busy,they will actually send you over to another instructor at another resort along the same beach.
At the end of it,it all still comes down to personal preference and gut feel towards the school or instructor you chose to go with regardless of the resort.