Getting to Redang
The simplest way to get to Redang is to fly direct on Berjaya Air from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. Kuala Terengganu (KT) is the gateway to Redang and other islands in the marine park and is served by AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines and Firefly as well as by coaches that run regular services between KT and other major towns and cities. If you are driving, you can head directly for Merang jetty or KT Shahbandar jetty.
Ferries for Redang depart either from KT Shahbandar jetty or from Merang jetty. Many resorts and tour operators provide land transfers between the KT coach station and airport to Merang jetty or Shahbandar jetty. These transfers are usually included in the resort package or provided at an extra charge. See the map and table for departure points to other islands.
Shahbandar jetty is in downtown KT, located opposite the Tourist Information Centre and General Post Office, near Puteri Hill and Maziah Palace. There are limited carpark lots at the jetty. Downtown KT is quite small and from Shahbandar jetty, one can easily walk to the local wet market, Chinatown, the coach terminal and other places of interest. Just pick up a map at the Tourist Information Centre and explore the town on foot.
Don't confuse Merang with Marang, which is the name of another town south of KT. Merang is about 40 minutes by coach from KT and is the nearest point on the mainland to Redang. The total travel time from KT to Redang is about the same from Shahbandar jetty or Merang jetty, about 80-90 minutes. The difference is spending the whole duration on a boat from Shahbandar or half that on a boat from Merang (with the other half on the coach).
resorts run at least 2 daily trips to Redang using either their own
boats (which usually depart from Merang jetty) or public ferries that
depart from KT Shahbandar jetty. The ferry schedules for certain
resorts are shown in the opposite table but you should always check
with the resort for the latest schedules. Boats travel in the day for
safety reasons and must provide lifejackets for passengers.
If you are travelling by coach, allow at least 1 hour 45 minutes for both land and sea transfers between Redang and KT coach station. If you are travelling by air from KT airport, you should allow a minimum of 2 and a half hours (inclusive flight check-in).
Whichever jetty you depart from for Redang, make sure you check-in at the jetty at least 30 minutes before departure. The table here shows the scheduled departure times for some of the resorts but note that departure times are subject to change due to sea and weather conditions. Rough seas, low tides and stormy weather may affect the schedule and even the number of trips. Sometimes, heavy siltation and sedimentation can make Merang jetty impassable to all but the small speedboats. So make sure you always confirm with the resort your ferry schedule and jetty.
If you miss the scheduled resort ferries, you can still get on the public ferry that plies between KT Shahbandar jetty and the Kampung jetty at Redang for about RM50 per adult one-way - you should let the resort know and arrange with them for pickup either from the Kampung jetty or from the boat itself. Alternatively, if you are in Merang, you can try buying a ticket on one of the other resort ferries (if they are not full) - just approach the resort booth or check-in area at Merang and enquire.
by coach is relaxing and a great way to enjoy the scenic countryside.
Coaches make one or more rest stops along the journey for food,
refreshments and toilet stops. Most coaches do not have toilets on
board, so if you miss a scheduled stop and need to relief yourself,
just inform the crew or driver and they will stop at the next available
toilet (usually at a petrol station).
Many coach companies operate luxury single or double-decker coaches. Some come with personal audio-video entertainment systems, massage seats and even attendants to serve food and drinks. The most comfortable are those with electrically-operated snoozer capsule seats which can be reclined close to horizontal without eating into the rear passenger's seat space. The luxury coaches have as few as 16-18 seats while the norm today are VIP coaches with 21-27 seats (for single-decker) in a 1-2 seating configuration which offer good legroom, comfort and space for sleeping on long journeys.
As most ferries leave in the morning, visitors going by coach usually have to board the overnight coach to get to KT or Merang on time. Bring warm clothing as it can get cold in the coach at night. Use inflatable neck pillows and blinders (or a cap) to help you sleep more comfortably. On the return journey, you have a choice of taking the day coach or night coach. Travel in the day if you wish to take in the sights of the countryside. Travel at night if you prefer to spend some time sightseeing in KT.
Coaches arrive and depart from MPKT (Majlis Perbandaran Kuala Terengganu) coach station which is located centrally in town in Jalan Syed Hussin, about 10-15 min walk from Shahbandar jetty. The simplest way to get to Shahbandar jetty from the bus station (see the map) is to walk past the MacDonalds and turn left at Jalan Tok Lam. Head north all the way towards the sea, passing the Yen Tin (YT) Midtown hotel until you get to the Waterfront Park, then turn left at Jalan Sultan Zainal Abidin. Continue till the Post Office - Shahbandar jetty is opposite the post office.
Some coaches (e.g. Five-Stars and Konsortium) head straight for Shahbandar and Merang jetties making it more convenient for passengers. Check with your coach operator for more details.
Travelling by coach from Singapore
The journey by coach from Singapore to KT takes about 9-10 hours depending on Causeway or Second Link traffic conditions. The overnight coaches usually arrive in KT/Merang before 8:30am.
Transnasional is the most affordable and runs daily services between Singapore Lavender bus station (at junction of Lavender and Kallang Bahru)and KT or Kota Bahru. Their travelling time may be slightly longer as they often pick up passengers at Larkin station in Johor Bahru on the way up. Passengers returning to Singapore can choose to get off at Woodlands Immigration Checkpoint (just tell the driver you won't be re-boarding after immigration) or at Lavender bus station.
Five Stars and Konsortium operate their own coaches directly between Singapore Golden Mile Complex at Beach Road and Merang jetty/Shahbandar jetty. They travel via the Second Link which is faster and often means a later departure time compared to Transnasional. The pickup from Merang jetty is usually at 10am (11am from Shahbandar jetty in KT) and will arrive in Singapore around 8pm depending on traffic conditions.
During busy periods, it may be difficult to get coach tickets from Singapore to KT. In such cases, you can try catching a coach to Kota Bahru instead and ask the driver to drop you off at KT which is along the way (those heading for Perhentian can ask to be dropped off at Jertih, 15 km from Kuala Besut, and catch a taxi to Kuala Besut). Alternatively, head for Johor Bahru Larkin bus station where there are more choices of coach operators at cheaper prices. You can get to Larkin station by catching SBS170, the Singapore-Johor Express from Ban San Terminal (junction of Queen and Arab streets) or the bright yellow Causeway Link bus from Kranji MRT. If you have a sufficiently large group, you can also try chartering your own coach from the coach companies at Golden Mile.
When travelling between Singapore and Malaysia by coach, you'll have to get down twice for immigration. The first is at the country of departure - just bring your passport and valuables and leave the rest of your luggage on the coach. The second is at the country of arrival where you'll have to bring all your luggage with you - it's thus a good idea to travel light. Note your coach license plate and markings, as you'll need to find and board the correct coach after checking out of immigration.
road system in Malaysia is excellent and driving to the East Coast can
be an enjoyable and scenic experience. Just grab a map and follow the
Note that there are car parks in KT (limited lots at Shahbandar jetty), Merang and Kuala Besut where you can park your car safely for a fee - these have basic security like car park wardens to look after your vehicle. At Merang, open-air car park lots cost about RM5 per day, while shaded lots cost about RM10 per day. Check with the resort or travel operator for more information about the location of these car parks.
KL to KT (approx. 455 km):
From KL, head East (Timor) on Karak highway 2 and ECE. Exit Kuantan to highway 3 and proceed to KT using the coastal road via Kemaman, Paka and Dungun. Alternatively, after Kuantan exit, head for KT using highway 14 via Bukit Besi and Ajil.
Penang to KT (approx. 460 km):
Head East towards Kota Bharu on East-West highway 4 via Grik and Jertih, then south on highway 3 to Merang or KT.
Singapore/JB to KT (approx. 562 km):
Head North (Utara) on the North-South highway and exit at Yong Peng. Follow highway 1 to Labis and Segamat and highway 12 to Kuantan, then use either highway 14 to KT via Bukit Besi and Ajil or coastal highway 3 via Kemaman, Paka and Dungun. The coastal road is scenic but more congested during peak hours. If you're not in a hurry, head towards Mersing and use the coastal highway 3 all the way to KT.
From KT to Merang:
Follow the road signs to Airport/Kota Bahru, Batu Rakit, UMT (Universiti Malaysia Terengganu or old name KUSTEM), Sutra Beach Resort and Merang Jetty.
Malaysia Airlines, Firefly and Air Asia operate daily flights between KL and KT. Flight time is approximately 45 minutes (60 minutes for Firefly). Malaysia Airlines departs from KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport), Air Asia currently uses KLIA's LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) while Firefly uses KL's Subang Airport. Visitors flying into KLIA who are catching a connecting flight from KLIA LCCT (or vice versa) should give themselves sufficient time for transfers between the two terminals (10 minute ride in cabs and 20 minute ride on feeder buses which depart once every 20 minutes).
KT airport is located about 30 min away from the town centre and about 30 min away from Merang jetty. You can arrange with the resort or travel agent to provide transfers between the airport and the jetty for an extra fee. Alternatively, buy a cab coupon at the Taxi Counter located in the Arrival hall (RM50 to Merang, RM25 to Shahbandar jetty). To avoid missing your flights, you should allow about 3 hours transfer time between Redang and KT airport (inclusive of check-in time).
Flying from Singapore to KT
mid-2009, travellers from Singapore can fly directly from Changi
airport to KT on Firefly, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia
Airlines. Firefly operates the 72-seater French-built ATR-72 twin
turboprop aircraft. It is not clear if the other budget airlines will
follow suit with Singapore-KT services.
The alternative will be to fly from Singapore to KLIA or KLIA LCCT and catch a connecting flight to KT. With the liberalization of the lucrative KL-Singapore route in 2008, budget carriers like AirAsia, Tiger Airways and Jetstar Asia have made it very affordable to fly between KL and Singapore from as low as S$29 one way (all-inclusive), forcing Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines to offer attractive rates on their flights plying this route. Firefly will also join the fray when it begins Singapore-KL services in mid-2009. With many choices of flight schedules between KL and Singapore, the bottleneck is the few flights in and out of KT from KL, so plan your flights and connections carefully.