It’s all sun, sea and snorkelling at Pulau Lang Tengah, Terengganu.

OUR resort at Pulau Lang Tengah island was full but we had the beach all to ourselves in the afternoons as others sought refuge from the sun in their air-conditioned rooms. But we were on a beach holiday with dedicated beach bums – three teens and an adventurous four-year-old girl – who were determined to soak in as much sun and sea as they could.

Slathered in sunscreen, these girls dipped in the sea, jumped the waves, raced to the float platforms, snorkelled with schools of fish and turtles and kayaked in the calm waters. When they were not in the waters, they lazed on the beach – napping in the hammocks, reading on the deck chairs, building sand-castles – cooled by the sea breeze.

Kayaked in the calm waters

With its fine white sandy beaches and clear waters teeming with fishes, Lang Tengah’s beach must be one of the most beautiful in Malaysia. Located between Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian, off Terengganu on the east coast, it is still relatively quiet with only four resorts on the island. If you are content to spend all your time communing with the sun and sea, Pulau Tengah is the ideal beach destination.

It’s also pretty easy to get to Pulau Tengah. You can fly to Kuala Terengganu from Kuala Lumpur, or take a leisurely four-hour drive on the East Coast Highway from the capital. We opted to drive to Kuala Terengganu and spend a night there.

There are many charming Air BnB accommodations in villages and along the beach in Kuala Terengganu that you can check out. We were also able to enjoy Terengganu’s famous Atas Tol nasi dagang before it  was sold out by 830am, in time to drive to Merang jetty to catch the speedboat to the island.

The 45-minute speedboat ride is pleasant when the sea is calm, and traumatic or exciting (depending on your mindset or maybe age) when the sea is choppy. We arrived at the resort and was immediately in awe of how pretty the island is as we approached the island.

For our Lang Tengah island holiday, we had signed up for an all-inclusive package at a resort which included accommodation, boat transfers, meals and daily snorkelling trips. Many holidaymakers also opt for diving packages, or sign up for lessons to acquire their diving license.

The highlight of our Lang Tengah holiday was the snorkelling trips for we were at one of the best snorkelling spots in Malaysia with beautiful coral reefs teeming with exotic marine life. The island lies near a gazetted marine park area, which offers protection and management of marine environments and wildlife of national significance.

And so we spent our mornings taking the boat to snorkelling sites around Pulau Lang Tengah, Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian. As soon as the boat’s captain dropped his anchor, everyone put on their snorkelling mask and dived into the sea. Beneath the water is a magical world, and the water is so clear we could enjoy the beautiful marine life.

Snorkelled with fish & turtles

One afternoon, we visited a turtle sanctuary and swam in the sea with turtles with strict instructions from our guide to not touch or disturb them. With our snorkelling masks on, it was an incredible experience seeing the turtles swimming underwater.

In fact, the waters at Lang Tengah were so clean that we could snorkel at the beach in front of our resort and see a diverse array of aquatic life. It was surreal to just let ourselves drift in the water as we gazed into the underwater world as the sounds of the world above water receded.

Or we could float on our backs with our ears submerged in water, lulled by the sound of the sea and cradled by its rollicking waves. So it was no wonder that we spent practically every waking hour on the beach.

When it got dark, we walked to a jetty at the far end of the beach to watch glowing planktons put on their blinking neon blue show in the sea. It’s a mesmerising sight. And when we look up at the sky, there are bright stars scattered all over. It’s a sight we don’t see in the city, so we savoured our starlit skies too.

We also enjoyed our walks along the sandy white beach and rocky shores in the early mornings and evenings. It was pleasant to just walk and enjoy the sound of waves and the coolness of the sea breeze. And that’s why we loved our holiday in Pulau Lang Tengah … it felt like we whiled away the hours and yet did lots that we liked.

Sunset over jetty

Molly Lim

A traveler who likes to share stories with people from all walks of life.

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