Nightmare on Redang Island? How so Also my new belief in angels...

Malaysia's flag
Asia » Malaysia » Terengganu » Pulau Redang
July 7th 2009
Published: July 7th 2009
Edit Blog Post

me on way to Redangme on way to Redangme on way to Redang

terror behind the smile lol
Well I booked a flight to Kuala Terengganu for 7:05am Tuesday morning, so I got up at 2am to get taxi to KL Sentral and then the Skybus from there to the low cost carrier terminal. I booked my return flight for 9:20 pm the same day. Many websites told me that there were return boats from Merang jetty to Redang island ALL DAY. I now still feel like suing these websites for false advertising lol.

The nightmare began at around 5am with this disgusting chicken porridge from KFC - rice with chicken floss in it topped with FISH! FOR BREAKFAST!! YUK! Got plane to Terengganu and already had a bad feeling at the airport. Everyone on the flight flocked to people holding up signs with their names on. Obviously there was no sign for me. Thought its ok, i'll get a taxi to Merang jetty. Had to pay RM50 to get there, which is a lot more expensive than it would have been to travel the same distance in KL I tell you! Wasn't expecting that.

Got to Merang jetty and people were arriving on coaches etc with suitcases. Obviously I only had my one day bag so I already stuck out like a sore thumb...not to mention the short shorts I was wearing in this VERY muslim area. Explained to one of the men who was checking people's tickets my situation - that I was only there for the day. He kept telling me I needed to get a package deal. The last boat from Redang was 12 MIDDAY!!! He was horrible. Seemed to get pleasure from me getting more and more desperate and nervous about what I was realizing. He was laughing and I just started crying. Thought fuckin fantastic im stuck in this jetty till like 6pm, with paradise island just across the water. Felt sick that I had gone to all this the flights, getting up at 2am etc.

Pulled myself together after a while and decided to get proactive. Asked one of the local boatmen if there was any way I could get to Redang and back all in one day. He was a lot nicer than that vile man I first spoke to! He rang his boss. His boss was a woman who spoke broken English and I explaned my situation to her. She kept giving me different prices so I was wondering whether or not to trust her. In the end she demanded RM120 to get me there and return at 5pm. I said i'd give her RM60 now and RM60 when I got back. She said yes you must give me money now. Then she practically shoved me onto this boat which had 6 men on it. I was trying and trying to get more info from her as I didn't know what the hell was going on, but she kept saying YOU MUST GET ON THE BOAT NOW THEY ARE WAITING.

So I reluctantly got on the boat with these strange men, not knowing who they were, where they were going, what they thought of me etc. At first they were being a bit standoffish with me because I had held them up. They were also eyeing me up checkin out my chest which was very unsettling. I just kept thinking...what the fuck have I got myself into. I was in the middle of the sea with these men, with nobody who could hear me scream if I needed to! I normally feel very strong but I don't think I have ever felt so vulnerable and completely helpless. I was a young english white chick with these native malay men who couldn't understand me and I couldn't understand them.

Anyways after a while they warmed to me and started trying to talk to me, which turned out to be an impossible task! So the one guy started writing messages in good english on his mobile, and that was how we communicated from then on. Kept asking him how I was going to get back to Merang jetty at about 5pm, seeing as there were no return boats commercially after midday! He kept telling me not to worry about that, but obviously I was gonna worry!! Nearly didn't get off the boat for worry at Redang, even though I REALLY REALLY wanted to. It was frickin breathtaking. Crystal clear water, white beach with nobody on it.

Just thought fuck it I'm doin it. A very nice man on Redang showed me the little speedboat he was gonna take me back to Merang in. So so relieved! Spent the day sunbathing on an empty clean white beach, swimming and snorkelling in the beautiful clear warm sea. The nice man took me to lunch - chicken rice, melon, orange squash. Very nice. I hate to say it but my short time on Redang was tainted by the fact that I was rapidly running out of money! After I give the next RM60 to that woman, I wouldn't have nearly enough to pay the taxi man back to the airport...I was only expecting to pay RM80 return boat, like it had said on the damn internet. Plus, my debit card wasn't working in any of the ATM's in Malaysia.

Momentarily forgot about my worries on the boat ride back to Merang. Loved it. Was just me and this guy, the warm warm breeze and the sea. He even let me drive the thing half way there (see pics). Was really hoping I could avoid the woman back at Merang and just hop into the taxi that was waiting for me, but she rang the man with the boat so had to hand over the RM60. Wouldn't have felt bad leaving without paying becuase of her treatment of me before I went! Surely she could understand my concerns??

So obviously I couldn't pay the taxi man back at the airport but hey at least I was there! Was running around like a headless chicken trying to find a way to pay him off...even offered him my sunglasses. He demanded I try my card again in the ATM, which I did, and guess what? Out came RM200. This is the point at which I started believing I had an angel on my shoulder. My heart skipped a beat I threw him RM50 and just went and sat down and had something to eat!

Terengganu airport has gotta be the most unfriendly airport ever. Maybe it was just a bad day but all the woman are muslim and there was me lookin a state - sunburnt nose and cheeks, fucked up hair, short white shorts, little top. I was pining so so bad to be back in KL where everyone is nice and I know my way round.

Bold Text
HOWEVER!! I don't regret a single thing. I got in with the locals, I got there by myself by unconventional means, I took myself COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone, I'd say I had a pretty damn good adventure.Bold Text

Lessons of the day!!

Never underestimate how much cash you may actually need.
Always get an all inclusive package holiday to Redang. Don't even think about a day trip unless you have your own boat.
The Skybus which runs for AirAsia is very efficient and comfy and cheap 😊
Redang Island is beautiful

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


8th July 2009

What The.....Next time take me with you. I love to show u around.
8th July 2009

I think they took an advantage on u by rinsing the price (taxi, boat etc) seeing that u were alone and desperate... even though u were (a bit) whiny in the posts, I can't help laughing while reading them...haha so cute If the same happened to me while I was travelling alone in a foreign land (esp with communication barrier), I sure would whine too haha
9th July 2009

hey hey hey
YOU WEREN'T THERE lol i hardly ever whine, it was frickin scary though!! Yea I knew they were fully taking advantage but wat can ya do eh x x
9th July 2009

I've never read any of your entires before.... just stumbled upon this one. I love this tale.... how adventurous. I've found myself in very similar situations in exotic countries numerous times, and this entry takes me back to those times. That was real traveling you wrote about!
10th July 2009

Cheers :) x
26th July 2009

You should take plane to redang instead of kuala terengganu, and avoid all of these incident.
5th August 2009

was searching pictures of redang in google.....ended up coming here! what a experience ya had! haha
12th August 2009

I was looking at flights to the island itself but it was considerably more expensive but should have really :)
6th July 2010

I have quite equivalent experience
Just came back from Kuala Terengganu with my friends today and these are my honest feedbacks and I will say I have slightly luckier experience. lol 1. We (4 of us) somehow looked like alien to them...although we are Malaysians ourselves. Yes, we are non-muslims...and we wear 3/4 long pants...but do we look strange ? And yes, you shoudn't be wearing short shorts and shirts that have some valley which is not common over there. LMAO 2. Language is definitely a barrier, although we speak Malay, the local Malay language slang there lost me. Just like I lost myself first time listening to Sabah-an (Borneo Island) Malay. Needless to say speaking English :) 3. Talking to them with them, seems like difficult too especially when they are "shy" and not having contact. Sometimes might get frustrated as probably the body language mind show as if it's they are not paying attention especially between opposite sex ? :ยท 4. We stayed @ Merang. Drove from Merang up to Besut, which is near to Thai border. Trying our luck to find nice beaches. Hmmm....freaked out when I see lots of trash (i.e water bottles, diapers, cigratte boxes at the sea shore). I'll get pissed when I see trashes. Needless to say, see-ing a baby diaper ontop of a 7-8 feet rock. I had to climb up the rock and get that down....what the fuck is wrong.... ? 5. We tried to look for seafood as well.....what ? No seafood in Terrengganu when there are fishermen ? Holy cow...great! We'll have fried rice for 4 days. Food serving is rather super slow....well, that's due to slow lifestyle which we asked for. There's one 24x7 restaurant called "Restoran Desa"....They are the most unfriendly restaurant and people I ever find in my life. We went to take get our food after drinking, and the waiters just clear the table out of no-where. Very unwelcoming. Also, when one of my friend mentioned we are not finished. Out of the dumped basin of drinks they picked up the 100plus and gave it back to him....WTF ?!!!! 6. On the resort we stayed? Well, i have to say they are much friendlier and quite an okay place to stay. Service are good and people there are approachable. Merang Suria Beach Resort. 7. Travelling up from mid-of-Terrengganu till up to north, there are all beaches with trees which are 7-8 feet away from the sea water...what's going on? No shed for picnics? Lots of the sand are washed away ? 8. Went to Kuala Terengganu...great, we used an old edition Terengganu map...and looking for handicraft shops..."DesaCraft", it's no longer available anymore....closed down 7-8 years ago according to one of the shop owner there. His show is one of the unit consists of DesaCraft.
22nd July 2010

I would spend as little time as possible in Kuala Terengganu, but the islands are pristine and beautiful! But Terengganu - not a very nice or welcoming place in my opinion!

Tot: 1.472s; Tpl: 0.056s; cc: 17; qc: 62; dbt: 0.0377s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb