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The playfully peaceful salty breeze in your hair, the soft sand between your toes, the warm sun kissing and caressing your skin, the rippling, tranquil soft waves rolling to the shore, the crystal clear water recharging all your sense and keeping you grounded. A beach vacation is something I look forward to daily; embedded in my mind at all time, the ultimate escape away from reality.

Pulau Redang is the perfect example of what paradise should be. With everything I mentioned above & so much more. Words cannot describe (but I’ll still try) just how gorgeous this place was.

The journey to paradise was a fairly enjoyable one as well. Keep in mind to always double check your ferry timing, and how far each destination is before purchasing your flight tickets. A tiny mistake could lead to less time in paradise (*sigh* you live and you learn ey?).

The travelling was in this sequence:
Flight to Kuala Terengganu (an hour) —> cab ride to Shahbandar Jetty (20-30 minutes) —> ferry from Shahbandar to Taaras ( one and a half hours).

Throughout the journey, people were very friendly and courteous (a refreshing change from the city!), always with a smile on their faces and a warm welcome. Upon reaching the Shahbandar Jetty area, there was a one hour wait for the ferry but thankfully there’s Pasar Payang and Chinatown at a walking distance of 5 minutes.

Chinatown otherwise known as Kampung Cina, had some of the coolest street art and installations I’ve seen. Most of the walls of the houses and shoplots were painted in pretty colours, some with motifs and colour blocking. Each alley had it’s own art exhibition going on. I absolutely loved how artsy it was; 2015-05-30 12.02.482015-05-30 12.03.112015-05-30 12.03.402015-05-30 12.04.052015-05-30 12.04.302015-05-30 12.04.59Besides the really cool art, Kampung Cina had many food places that one can indulge in local delicacies. I enjoyed a plate of yummy Nasi Kerabu at Madam Bee before heading back to the jetty;2015-05-30 12.05.29It was a no brainer that Taaras Beach & Spa Resort was going to be the place I stayed, mainly because of its mermaid logo. If that wasn’t a sign, I don’t know what is 😉 When I reached that place, I knew it was fated in the stars;
2015-05-30 12.09.242015-05-30 12.08.56The hotel is described as “a bespoke 5-star Private Beach Residence, tucked away and hidden from the outside world on a small island found just off the unspoiled East Coast of tropical Malaysia. The resorts ethos is to provide a contemporary, barefoot luxury experience with warm Asian hospitality.”

I couldn’t agree more ; 
2015-06-01 19.18.202015-05-30 12.05.56The mountain view rooms were spacious and cozy, also with a decent view from the balcony. Also, little sea-inspired details adorned the room except this super cute cat aircond remote holder (that I need in my life!); 2015-05-30 12.06.23At the resort the activities include beach activities like sea sport, the spa & my favourite, lazing by the beach; 2015-05-30 12.06.502015-05-30 12.07.412015-05-30 12.09.422015-05-30 12.08.362015-05-30 12.08.13The food at Taaras was good (not great!) but the cocktails were very much disappointing and cost more than our dinner.

The next day consisted of the buffet breakfast that was also pretty disappointing when it comes to the Western food, the Malaysian food however was good. The rest of the morning was spent climbing rocks and walking around the private beach; 2015-05-30 12.10.022015-05-30 12.10.252015-05-30 12.11.092015-05-30 12.10.452015-05-30 12.11.52Due to unforeseen circumstances, we only managed to go on a one-stop snorkeling trip & I finally got to try out my GoPro underwater properly! Absolutely can’t get over how magical it was; 2015-06-01 19.12.112015-06-01 19.12.332015-06-01 19.14.132015-06-01 19.14.482015-06-01 19.15.402015-06-01 19.15.08Snorkeling is a lot of fun, but gets tiring real quick especially if you wear a life jacket (which I always do because as much as I love the sea, I fear it too). An hour floating and swimming around is enough to get you exhausted.

Headed back for lunch and more frolicking on the beach. Special shoutout to the Dhinasaur as he patiently took pictures of me with a lot of direction; 11295557_10152918653982058_3271492246744293090_n10460274_10152918654532058_7115002151764208783_n1795660_10152918654892058_9019122776221672231_n10300515_10152918655037058_3854036658116977473_n10408127_10152918654177058_2981680514886532529_n11231797_10152918655007058_979375901713796780_n10413325_10152918655212058_1119175731428320328_nI kept forgetting I was swimming in salt water, because its so clear.  2015-06-01 19.16.06The trip back was a similar one, but with more time spent at Shahbandar Jetty. Managed to walk around Pasar Payang to check it out, with all the old skool candies and keropok lekor being sold; 11269092_10152922202897058_5607965317081391827_n& back to Chinatown for some authentic Chinese grub and rich coffee; 1524647_10152922202672058_2213834036698083582_n11009177_10152922202777058_6228197723318225885_nMore walking around the town led to more cool finds; 2015-06-01 19.13.022015-06-01 19.13.2711015779_10152922202802058_7318160881824318710_n10672138_10152922202872058_5923378478682865293_nIf I could describe Pulau Redang in one word, it’d be ‘paradise’. I can’t wait to go back again. 10408036_10152918654387058_6486835140083617237_n

Full of vitamin-sea,
Harmini Asokumar