Yachts heading up the east coast of West Malaysia, or on to the Gulf of thailand, may enter Malaysia at tanjung Belungkor Ferry terminal or tanjung Pengelih at Pengerang both tucked behind the reclaimed island of Pulau tekong off Singapore’s northeast. opportunities to check in further up the Malaysian coast are located at Kuantan, Kuala terengganu and Kota Bharu.
Just 30 miles from Singapore, on the southeast coast of Johor, is Desaru Coast Development. this government owned megaproject has 17 kilometres of pristine oceanfront, golf courses, A massive waterpark and several luxury brand hotels.
One of the hotels will have a 50-berth marina with 15 superyachts berths, due to open mid-2018. one mile south of the private marina is the planned three-phase Desaru Coast Marina project. Phase 1 plans a Customs, immigration and Quarantine (CiQ) ferry terminal due to open late 2018, with ferry services connecting to tanah Merah in Singapore and Bintang and Batam in indonesia.
Future developments include a kilometre-long cruise ship call port with 300-metre internal silica white-sand beach and a 220-berth fully serviced marina with hardstand, retail and F&B outlets. once opened in 2018, the CiQ will be a clearing spot for cruising yachts and will offer fuel.
Further up the coast, 18 miles north of Jason’s Bay (Sedilli River), are the first islands of Sibu / Tinggi Marine Park, all south of Tioman. there are plenty of nice anchorages around this group although the water clarity is better further north.
Tioman is the largest island of this group – with some beautiful beaches and a 1,000-metre mountain at its centre – and is close enough to Singapore to have developed a number of good quality resorts. this was the location for the old classic film ‘South Pacific’ and more recently ‘King Kong ii’.
The next stretch of the east Malaysian coast has some small river ports, but the only offshore island of note that offers anchoring opportunities is Pulau Tenggol. Most yachts head to Terengganu or the islands of Redang and the Perhantians to the north, which offer some fine overnight anchorages. Terengganu is the last CiQ opportunity to check out of Malaysia.
The only two marinas currently operating on the east coast at the time of writing are at Pulau Tioman and Terengganu.
Crossing into Thai waters, most yachts proceed directly to Koh Samui, a passage of approximately 280 miles.
Yachts breaking the journey may check in at Pattani, a southern thai fishing port, or Songkla. Neither offers proper marina facilities but provisions are available. Yachts making the long trip to Samui without staying close to the coast should be aware of the many offshore rigs in the oil and gas fields in Malaysian and thai waters. Brilliantly lit at night they cannot be missed, but are best left well clear.
90 miles north of Mersing is Kuantan, the next main fishing port on this coast. The river is navigable but subject to frequent depth changes. Entering should only be attempted at high tide and following a local vessel through the sandbar is recommended.
Anchorage is possible either side of the river or tie up to another vessel already alongside the many jetties. Further up the river at 3°48.503N, 103°20.075E, anchor just before the bridge in 3-4 metres opposite the commercial fishing pier and blue and white marine department building.
This spot is safe and gives access to the charming shopping district and local municipality of Kuantan, the provincial capital of this state. the population is over 100,000, mainly Chinese.
In December 1941, the British battleships, the ‘Prince of Wales’ and ‘Repulse’ were sunk by Japanese aircraft 60 miles off Kuantan, and remain as a war grave. Annual pilgrimages are still made to the site.
20 miles north of Kuantan is the Club Med resort at Cherating. Anchor off the main resort building in 6-8 metres on a sandy bottom at 4°08.275N, 103°24.618E.
Probably the finest islands on the east coast and they have excellent anchorages to break the journey north. the main ferry terminal and jetty on Pulau Redang is in the southern bay close by the new airport.
Flights to KL and Singapore have brought a new level of tourism to the island. The Perhantians have exploded in the last 10 years, with a new wave of young international tourists, particularly Malaysians and Singaporeans.
While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this book is accurate, the charts of anchorages are based on personal experience and satellite imagery and are intended as a guide only. They should not be used for navigation. Please refer to Official Hydrographic Charts of the respective countries.
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