Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Review: Redang Beach Resort

After visiting Boracay in January, I needed to get another island fix and decided to return to Redang Island in the state of Terengganu in Malaysia in April. It was my third time on the island.

This time we stayed at Redang Beach Resort simply because the facilities are good and the rates were pretty reasonable. I paid RM693.24 for a 3 night / 4 day weekday snorkelling package. The cost includes the following:

- Return ferry from Shahbandar Jetty (in Kuala Terengganu) to Redang Island
- 3 nights in a Standard Room (twin sharing) at Redang Beach Resort
- 4 meals a day (breakfast, lunch, tea & dinner)
- Marine park fee
- 2 snorkelling trips a day




I thought since we went on a weekday, there would be less people and we would have the whole resort to ourselves. Unfortunately I was wrong and there were large groups of travellers (mainly Malaysians) whilst we were there.

CHECK-IN

When you arrive on the island, you will be ushered to the registration counter here:

All guests will be briefed by the staff too.


My bed had a broken wheel. I got the staff to repair it but it broked again when I sat on the bed. So I lived with the broken wheel throughout my 3 nights at the resort. It was not so bad after all.



LANDSCAPING

One of the features of Redang Beach Resort that I like is its landscaping.

There're manicured paths leading to the rooms:



This is the common area fronting the beach:



Another view of the common area fronting the beach:

Sorry this photo is dark. Either I need to improve my photography skills or editing skills.


FOOD & BEVERAGE

Now let's talk about the most important thing for most travellers - meals!

All meals are served in either Home Town:



... or New Town:



The menu is the same in both locations.

In respect for its Muslim staff, the resort does not allow guests to consume alcohol in Home Town or New Town. However guests may do so at Summer Point.

We were assigned to Home Town and this is the buffet counter there:



The soup, dessert and drinks counter:

The resort does not provide mineral water bottles in the room. Instead, guests may get an unlimited supply of drinking water from the huge silver container that you can see on the right of this photo. I must say that this is a proactive effort to minimise the usage of plastic bottles on the island.


The salad and dessert counter:



It was barbecue night on our first night there:

Unlike most hotels in KL where the kitchen staff will barbecue the food for guests, in Redang Island Resort you'll have to barbecue the food yourself. In the end I didn't eat anything from the barbecue counter because I ain't got no patience to stand near the burning charcoal.


Another plus point for Redang Beach Resort is its wide variety of delicious food. To give you an example, here's the barbecue menu on the Sunday when we were there:

- Asparagus soup
- Salad bar
- Spaghetti
- Fried rice
- Cheesy mussel
- Creme corn
- Chicken wings
- Pandan chicken
- Chocolate cake
- Peach tart
- Watermelon
- Oranges
- Cendol
- BBQ stuff - satay, sausages, fishball, etc.

I was impressed with the quality of food (especially for that price) that I went up to the chef and commended his cooking.

If you still need to stuff your face with food, you may proceed to the Kopitiam which sells Malaysian food and cafe food:



Here's the menu in Kopitiam:

Note that you'll need to pay for anything that you order at Kopitiam as its not part of the package. Kopitiam also sells birthday cakes to groups who come to the resort to celebrate birthdays. 


DAY TIME ACTIVITIES

Now let's move on to activities at the resort.

Snorkelling and diving are the most popular activities on Redang Island due to its rich marine life.

Redang Beach Resort offers diving or snorkelling packages which includes 2 snorkelling trips a day or 3 - 4 dives a day.

This is the Dive Centre where divers get ready for their dives:



If you just want to laze by the beach, there are beach chairs for your to lie on:



My favourite is the hammock:

Lying in the hammock with the cool sea breeze blowing is one of the best feelings in the world. I slept in the hammock for a couple of hours each day that I didn't go for a single snorkelling session :-)


Benches are also available if you need to do work or even chat with friends:



There are two small pools for guests who prefer to swim in chlorinated water:

The waters in the pools were cloudy due to the many idiotic guests who swam with their clothes on.


Redang Beach Resort also has a mini mart, souvenir shop and batik painting centre for guests who wish to express their creativity in a piece of batik:



If you've got nothing else better to do, then perhaps you may want to look for squirrels that run around freely on the island:

Photo credit to Celia.


NIGHT TIME ACTIVITIES

When the sun has gone down and you've had your dinner, you have the option to go to Summer Point for a couple of drinks as you enjoy the live music:

The live band was getting ready when I snapped this photo.


On alternate nights, the DJ comes on and he spins from this place which is located right on the beach:

See the benches in front of the stage? Guests sit there with their friends, drink as much as they want and dance their hearts out to the tunes played by the DJ.


After reading my review and seeing all the photos, what do you think of Redang Beach Resort?

As for me I had a peaceful time there and will certainly come back again.


Sunday, 20 May 2018

Check Out This Classic Toyota in Tokyo

This is a throwback post to June 2017 when I visited Tokyo, Japan.

My friend and I went to the Hard Rock Cafe in Roppongi to look for its signature bottle opener and t-shirts. While she was busy choosing t-shirts, I went gallivanting to the car park at the back.

In one of the parking lot was this cool looking Toyota:


The car was gleaming black and well maintained. I wonder which year was the car made in.

I suppose the owner must have invested much effort to preserve the car. He surely must be a car lover.



Such a beauty indeed!


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

3 Reasons Why You Must Visit Wilsons Promontory

This is a throwback post to September 2015 when I visited Wilsons Promontory National Park in the state of Victoria in Australia.

Introduction 
Wilsons Promontory National Park or 'The Prom' as it is affectionately known is an area of 50,460 hectares comprising beaches, rainforests, mountain peaks and rugged offshore islands.

The Prom is located in the state of Victoria, specifically at the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland.

Here are the 3 reasons why you must visit The Prom:

1) Wildlife in the Wild

Soon as we drove into Wilsons Promontory, we saw a large field where emus, kangaroos and wombats were grazing.

We stopped the car to take a closer look at the animals. I was getting excited.

Soon a kangaroo approached our car and poked his head in, presumably looking for food. But we didn't give it any because I had been informed before not to feed wild animals as our human food may be harmful to them.



The kangaroo had a collar on and its ears were tagged, so I think it's used to humans.


We couldn't go near the animals because they would run away. So we just shot these pics from afar:





It was already lunch time when we reached Tidal River Visitor Centre which is the park headquarters, so we looked for a picnic table to enjoy the prepacked sandwiches prepared by my aunt. 

Soon a group of colourful birds appeared out of nowhere and swooped down on our sandwiches. The birds were bold indeed and we had to chase them away.

Here's one of the birds that took a liking to my sister's backpack:

 Such a colourful birdie.


Here are two more photos of birds in Wilsons Promontory:




After lunch we took a stroll around the park office while waiting for our cabin to be ready, and stumbled upon this wombat:



We saw many more wombats throughout our stay at Wilsons Promontory. Here's a photo of a wombat struttling along like a boss:

If I had my way I would have brought a wombat home to Malaysia. It's so adorable.


The Australian wildlife in Wilsons Promontory was one of the highlights of my trip to Australia, and that's why I rank it as the top reason why you must visit The Prom.

2) Bushwalking a.k.a. Hiking

Australians call in 'bushwalking, the rest of the English speaking world call it 'hiking'.

There are many bushwalking trails in Wilsons Promontory and here are two popular short walks that I personally completed:

Lilly Pilly Nature Walk
(2.6 km one way, easy)



It was an easy walk because most of it was flat:



Part of the walk is on a boardwalk which is suitable for almost anyone:



Mount Oberon Summit Walk 
(Elevation: 558 meters only)
(3.4 km one way, moderate to hard)

The trail begins at Telegraph Saddle car park.

Start of the trail:



Part of the trail:



360 degree view from the peak of Mount Oberon:

It was so windy up there I could have been blown away.


Look for this at the peak to proof that you did climb to the peak of Mount Oberon:

Clue: It's on the ground.


Apart from the Lilly Pilly Nature Walk and Mount Oberon Summit Walk, there are also other walks and trails like Pillar Point, Loo Ern Track and the 2.2 km Mount Bishop walk.



The trail leading to the peak of Mount Bishop:


3) Beaches

Wilson's Promontory has beaches such as Norman Beach, Picnic Bay and Whisky Bay.

Here's a photo of Squeaky Beach:

Can you spot the bird that photobombed my photo?


We didn't swim in any of the beaches because it was too cold and windy. Moreover the waves were too large.

Nevertheless it was good fun walking along the beach trying not to freeze in the strong winds.

More about Wilsons Promontory

Getting there - The Proms is a 2-hour drive from Melbourne. The park is more than 50,000 hectares in size, so having your own transport is important and practical to get to lookout points and to the start of the various trails.

Accommodation - There's a range of accommodation for rent at Tidal River park headquarters like cabins, lodges and even camping sites.

Here are two photos of the cabin that we stayed in:

Front of the cabin.


The four of us could fit comfortably in this cabin which is equipped like a small apartment. 


More information - If you wish to know more about Wilsons Promontory or to make reservations for accommodation, click here.

I hope you will knock yourself out at The Proms and enjoy the wonders of nature that it's blessed with.


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