Redang Island Is A Tioman Alternative With Beachfront Resorts & Glass-Bottom Kayaking

Redang Island in Malaysia

No shade to Batam and Bintan – they’re perfectly lovely vacation spots – but the 4-hour-long crowds at ferry terminals have got us looking for other options. And we’ve found one; try heading up to Redang Island, an underrated alternative to islands near Singapore.

The island lies off the Northeastern coast of Malaysia, far away from the more popular destinations down south like Tioman. It’s known for its crystal blue waters and luxurious resorts that stack up to Maldives and Koh Samui.

When is the best time to go to Redang Island?

Image credit: @famas1717 via Instagram

Though Redang Island is not nearly as crowded as other beach destinations, it has its peak visitor rate during June to August when weather and diving conditions are best. However, if you’re looking to avoid throngs of visitors, the best time to travel to Redang Island is off-peak season from April to June or August to October.

The island also shuts down from October to around March or early April because it is unsafe during the monsoon season.

How do I get to Redang Island?

Since Redang Island sits off the northeastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia, getting there can take a fair bit of time. If you want to skip some of that wait, you can first get from Singapore to KL. Then, take a 1-hour flight to Kuala Terengganu, where you’ll hop on a speedboat from Merang Jetty that takes you to Redang Island in about 30 minutes.

Fares for the domestic flight can be as low as S$34 while boat tickets are RM80 (~S$22.93).

Image credit: @christophertarnate via Instagram

The absolute cheapest way to get there would be by bus. There aren’t any direct buses from Singapore to Redang Island, so your best bet is taking a bus to Kuala Terengganu from JB or Kuala Lumpur.

From Larkin Sentral in Johor Bahru, there are several buses you can book in advance, with tickets starting at S$14. The catch is, that the total bus journey takes around 9 hours. Alternatively, you could first get to KL by air then take a 6.5-hour bus ride to Kuala Terengganu, with tickets from S$12.40.

Once your bus drops you off at Kuala Terengganu Bus Station, take a cab to Merang Jetty for the ferry to the island.

Image credit: @berjayaair via Instagram

The fastest way, however, would be by taking Berjaya Air – – an exclusive flight chartered for guests of The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort and Redang Island Resort only. The plane flies from Seletar Airport and takes just 90 minutes to land on the island. This needs to be bought as part of 3D2N package which costs upwards of RM5,188 (~S$1,490) for 2 persons for their Fine Weather Guarantee offer.

– Where to stay on Redang Island? –

There are only a handful of resorts and guesthouses on the island but we’ve selected a few that fit in with different budgets and perks.

1. The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort

For flight-inclusive experiences & ultraluxe suites

Image credit: @thetaarasmalaysia via Instagram

Transport yourself into a White Lotus level resort at The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort. Rooms and packages here come with a premium price tag but the facilities are unmatched.

Image credit: The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort via Facebook

Take their Sunshine Staycation package which, aside from having rooms at the lip of the sea, gives you 2 nights with breakfast included, F&B credit worth RM300 (~S$85.81), a 2-stop snorkelling trip, and an hour-long kayak ride. This will set you back RM2,250/person (~S$643.56), but with all that it includes, it’s quite the steal.

Cliff Bay Suite with a sea-facing bathtub.
Image credit: @thetaarasmalaysia via Instagram

Their Fly Me Away package starts at RM3,785/person (~S$1,087) for 2 nights but the price varies depending on when you stay. This includes the same perks as the Sunshine Staycation package with the addition of a round-trip through a direct flight by the hotel’s very own airline, Berjaya Air.

Passengers can enjoy complimentary access to Seletar Airport’s business lounge, shuttles to and from Redang Airport, and a baggage allowance of 7kg carry-on plus 15kg check-in.

The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort
Google Reviews
Peti Surat 126, Main Post Office, Pulau Redang, 20928 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia
Opening Hours:
Wednesday Open 24 Hours Show More Timings
Contact Information

2. Redang Reef Resort

For an all-inclusive experience with a private beach

Redang Reef Resort’s private beach.
Image credit: Redang Reef Resort

For a more affordably priced vacation package, with a lot of the same amenities, check out Redang Reef Resort, which has its own private beach, exclusively for guests.

Dine by the sea.
Image credit: Redang Reef Resort via Facebook

Packages start at RM440/pax (~$125.90) for a quad room, for 3 days and 2 nights. The package includes buffet meals thrice daily, snorkelling trips, and a 2-way speedboat from the Merang Jetty.

Image credit: Redang Reef Resort

Keep in mind there are extra costs that come up to approximately RM115 (~S$33.90) for tourism tax, snorkelling gear, and transportation to the jetty. Even so, it’s still much cheaper than resorts in other popular spots. Plus, it’s hidden, giving you space to relax and breathe in the fresh sea air.

Redang Reef Resort
Google Reviews
21090, Terengganu, Malaysia
Opening Hours:
Wednesday 07:00 AM - 11:00 PM Show More Timings
Contact Information

3. Redang Campstay

For a backpacker-style getaway to meet new people

Image credit: @primitivcampingclub via Instagram

Backpacker crew rejoice as Redang Island has its own version of a hipster getaway: Redang Campstay. Located on a small strip of beach away from the crowds, this place is in a constant zen mode and perfect for those who want to meet new people and vacation minimalist style.

Image adapted from: @redangcampstay via Instagram

The camp stay provides you with a tent, a communal kitchen, a communal bathroom, as well as some hammocks, all for around S$8/pax. For S$21/2 pax, you get a larger tent that fits both of you. Being so affordably priced, you can instead splurge out on water activities such as snorkelling and kayaking; you just have to be willing to trade in air-con and room service.

Image credit: Redang Campstay

You can also choose to stay at one of their bamboo chalets, for more sturdier shelter and a comfy floor mattress. These chalets go at S$42/pax or S$64/2 pax each night and are still open to a great sea view.

Redang Camp
Google Reviews
Telok Kalong, Pulau Redang, 22110 Merang, Terengganu, Malaysia
Opening Hours:
Wednesday Open 24 Hours Show More Timings
Contact Information

Things to do on Redang Island

Image credit: @amandafederersbiggestfan via Instagram

Swimming and snorkelling are the main attractions here, with the aquamarine waters practically luring you to jump in. I mean, what else were you going to do on the island? Watch YouTube? If you haven’t gotten an inclusive trip with your hotel stay, snorkelling trips start at around S$30, with additional costs for gear and life jackets.

The two major snorkelling locations that most of the packages and tours go to are Turtle Discovery and Teluk Kalong. This is where sea creatures like clownfish, stingrays, and angel fish boom and bustle. At Teluk Kalong you may also spot baby sharks.

Image credit: @photokeung via Instagram

If you’re prone to seasickness and want to stay close to shore, the hotel beaches are still great for snorkelling and spotting marine life. Some lucky guests have watched baby turtles hatch out and journey to independence, crawling to the sea.

Image credit: @thetaarasmalaysia via Instagram

Getting a scuba diving certificate and glass-bottom kayaking are other water-based activities you can do, most of which can be arranged by your resort.


Simply called ‘sandbank’, this naturally-formed mini-island near Redang’s coast is the prime photo-op spot, perfect for anniversary pictures, family selfies, and music-video-esque videos.

Most boat packages will already have this sandbank on the itinerary, starting at around RM110/pax (~S$31.40).

Have an island getaway at Redang Island

Image credit: @thetaarasmalaysia via Instagram

There aren’t a lot of standout shopping areas or restaurants on the island, so remember that you’re primarily going for vitamin sea and a beach vacay. Having said that, there are emergency clinics and physicians at Laguna Resort and in the village of Redang Island that even non-guests can head to should the need arise.

So, off you venture into this coastal paradise, where you can make the most of a gruelling summer. If you’re looking for some other islands to make the most of your summer, check out Rawa Island, another beach paradise just 3 hours from Singapore, or Ranoh Island in Indonesia.

Cover image adapted from: @thetaarasmalaysia & @amandafederersbiggestfan via Instagram


Ezekiel Sen

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