In May 2012 CNNGo included Redang Island (or Pulau Redang as it is known locally) in Malaysia’ top 10 islands. And it entirely lived up to its reputation when I got a chance to visit it in September 2012!
When I stepped out to the beach adjacent to my hotel, this was the view that greeted me. It was right in the afternoon and I clicked the picture without much thought as I knew I would be coming back to it in the evening and the light would be better then. I was in a hurry because we were heading to the Marine Park of the island and then we would go snorkeling. So the beach could wait!
The lady at the center gave us an excellent presentation about the concept of Marine Parks and the simple dos and don’ts while snorkeling. The first rule was not to step on the corals as they might break (in a flash) whereas they take a long long long time to grow. The second was not to touch any wildlife. The third was not to take any corals away and final one was not to go outside the area marked for snorkeling. All of it made sense.
I have snorkeled before but the marine life here was simply out of the movie Avatar! My deepest regret is that I don’t have a casing to take my camera underwater and my words would never be adequate to describe my experience. However, I have to try.
This is the exact piece of paradise where I went snorkeling. I collected my snorkeling mask and the life jacket right off the jetty you see above. I liked the fact that I was left alone to explore the ocean after donning the life jacket. The safe area to snorkel was quite big and I felt no need to venture beyond it. All the dark patches on water are collections of corals and the light blue patches clear water.
I swam for an hour and got out only when I felt I would puke (literally) if I continued any more, I was that greedy. What did I see? I am not an expert on marine life. As I can’t click pictures I can’t even ask friends to identify it for me once I post the pictures online. But what I saw was a riot of colors, red, green, yellow, purple, blue, florescent, grey, black and a cocktail of all this. Sometimes it were the corals and sometimes the fish but what an amazing world is out there under the sea! It has to be seen to be believed.
On one particular swim I passed through table corals after table corals and an amazing display of fish. There was a small, really small variety that would roam around in colonies and sting whenever you would pass them. The sting would last only for a fraction of second but I learned to fold my hands quickly when I saw them. Then they would bite me on my face wherever it was exposed outside the mask! But nothing would deter me from exploring save the tiredness and the feeling of nausea in the end! I tried hard to repeat my table coral swim but I could not. But in the quest I discovered other amazing spots!
When we finally got out the weather was threatening to storm. And once we reached the bus stop at the next jetty the skies opened up. With that went the light and plans to click the sunset at the beach! But I was content for the day with the underwater magical world that I was lucky enough to explore and savor.
This post is part of Alive is Awesome Bathing Experience for Cinthol.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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