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.
25 miles from Terengganu
Approach from the south or east in daytime only (unless you have radar) leaving the small isand of Pulau Penang to port. There are leading marks into the small harbour where the jetty and other anchored vessels can be clearly seen.
Anchor in 6-8 metres on a sand-mud bottom amongst the other anchored vessels. The village ashore is basic but there’s a proper fuelling dock at the head of the jetty and the international airport is a short distance by road. There are some nice beaches and a small resort on Pulau Penang.Read more
The whole southeast coast of Pulau Redang, which has many sandy bays, is developed with a series of budget bungalow resorts and 4- and 5-star properties. Adjacent to the red and white telephone mast there is even a small floating dock in front of a resort, suitable for shallow draft vessels only.
Anchorage along this coast is possible in 5-10 metres off any of the beaches in the right wind conditions. Our favourite is in 3-5 metres at 5°46.529N, 103°02.170E. Approach by turning to port just north of the island connected by the sand isthmus. Ashore is a seasonal floating jetty and half a dozen resorts and restaurants.
Several small islands lie off this coast including the well-known dive site Pulau Lima. There is also an unmarked drying sand bank less than a mile offshore in open water; passage close to the coast at night is not recommended without good local knowledge.
4 miles from Redang Harbour
Anchor in 6-8 metres on a sandy bottom. There are two beaches ashore with a seasonal floating jetty for Berjaya’s Taaras Beach and Spa Resort on the west side. The hotel welcomes visitors and has good restaurants and spa facilities. The water in this bay is clear, with plenty of fish both sides for snorkelling and diving.
Another day anchorage worth mentioning for environmental reasons is a few miles around the corner at Chagar Hutang on the north coast. Anchor on sand in 6-8 metres at 5°48.920N, 103°00.453E and take a trip ashore to see the Seatru Field Station Turtle Research and Conservation Area. Manned 24/7 all year, this beach is a protected turtle egg sanctuary where constant security is required to stop hungry locals digging the eggs up as soon as they’re laid.
45 miles from Terengganu
This pair of islands is the last shelter with provisioning opportunity before crossing the Thai border. Rounding the point of Pulau Perhantian Besar to enter the protected channel from the south, what may have appeared to be a relatively uninhabited island is actually full of bungalows, hotels and restaurants on both sides of the channel.
It is easy to anchor virtually anywhere in the channel in 5-8 metres, looking out for the occasional isolated shallow coral patches closer in on the east side. Our spot, in the south at the narrowest part of the channel, is offshore from several rustic dive bungalow resorts with plenty on offer day and night.Read more
The group’s administrative centre is the village on Pulau Perhantian Kecil, where limited provisions are available and daily ferries run to Kota Bharu and Kuala Besut from the commercial jetty. Anchorage is available just south of the jetty on sand in 4-7 metres at 5°53.688N, 102°43.767E. The all tide beach south of the jetty is a safe place to leave your dinghy and the local market is a few hundred metres away. Jerry can amounts of fuel are available for sale.
An excellent sheltered spot in the southerly season is around Genting Point to the all-tide beach bay of Perhentian Island Resort. Anchor on sand in 5-8 metres in the middle of the bay at 5°54.248N, 102°44.504E and access the floating jetty in the west of the bay. Alternatively, across the channel at Long Beach is another spot with plenty of bungalow restaurants and dive shops at 5°55.039N, 102°43.436E. Anchor in front of the Mowhin Chalets in the south corner in 4-7 metres on sand.
Out of the channel and a few miles northwest are the twin islets of Susu Dara and the famous dive site Tokong Laut. Moor or anchor just south of the low-lying rocks to dive the underwater caves housing dozens of protected sleeping grey bamboo sharks. Pick up a mooring or anchor in a comfortable depth on sand in the south of the small channel between the rocky island and Pulau Susu Dara Kecil at 5°57.589N, 102°40.844E for access to these iconic dive sites.
2 miles from the Perhentian Channel
This spectacular sandy bay with crystal clear water is home to the Arawana Perhantian Resort. Anchor in 6-9 metres outside the cleared channel and dinghy through the coral heads to a small dinghy jetty.
The resort offers fine food and reasonably priced rooms; there is only boat access to and from the busy tourist communities in the channel.
Just 36 miles north is the town of Kota Bharu and the Thai border.
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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