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MARANG
the ferry to Kapas Island
 


The Marang jetty

 

From m-A-r-a-n-g you go to k-A-p-a-s and from m-E-r-a-n-g you go to r-E-d-a-n-g. It is a mistake that is often made and this is the tool. The sleepy fishing village of Marang is located about 20 kilometers south of Kuala Terengganu. From Marang the ferry leaves to Pulau Kapas and to Pulau Gemia. It is an open boat with a roof against the sun, because the crossing only takes a short time.

It was once a small, sleepy fishing village, which was divided in the center by a river: the Sungei Marang. It had only two rows of wooden houses in the city center. Other old wooden Malay houses with zinc roofs were scattered in the village. In the past it was known as a 'cowboy city'. Several groceries and guesthouses stood on the street side, along with old residential houses, making Marang a favorite stopover for tourists. Especially backpackers stayed in the village before they jumped on a boat to Kapas.

The rapid development began in the 90s of the last century. Old houses were demolished and replaced by modern shops, leaving only the fishing village. The green lush vegetation with the old Malay village houses has also remained. The villagers have kept their simple traditional lifestyle and the remaining, small, old fishing village still stands among the coconut trees. It is a popular target for photographers.

Most tourists don't look at this beautiful spot, because they want to go to Pulau Kapas. This island is 6 km off the coast near Marang and it's blessed with crystal clear, blue water. Tickets for the crossing can be purchased at one of the ticket offices at the jetty. The price for a return ticket is approximately RM30. The crossing takes only 15 minutes.
If you only go to the island for one day, please let you be informed how late the last boat will return to the mainland. When you arrive on the island, you can book a package at the jetty: snorkel gear and a guide with boat. He will let you discover the best snorkeling spots at Kapas.


The Kapas jetty

Probable departure times are:
Ftom the Marang Jetty to Pulau Kapas:
09:30, 11:30, 13:30 and 16:30 (13:30 the ferry doesn't go on Friday at this time)
From Pulau Kapas to the Marang Jetty:
10:00, 12:00 (noon), 14:00 and 17.00 (14:00 the ferry doesn't go on Friday at this time)

The activities that you can do on Pulau Kapas are swimming: snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, fishing, kayaking. Motorized activities such as banana boats are not allowed here. As you dive or snorkel, you can see colorful fish, corals, turtles and other sea creatures around the island. The duyong (manatee) was also once seen here. Unfortunately, he has not been seen in recent years. There is a shipwreck from the Second World War north of the island of Gemia, where you can go for your diving activity. Do this with an experienced diver.

There are 9 accommodation options at Pulau Kapas:
- Turtle Valley Chalet
- The Light House
- Duta Puri Island Resort
- Kapas Island Resort
- Kapas Beach Chalet
- Makcik Gemok Beach Resort
- Qimy Chalet
- Kapas Garden Resort
- Harmony Camp Site
The prices vary from a simple dormitory to a luxury chalet from 5 to 75 Euro.


The shops at the Jetty

Near Pulau Kapas is another small island: Pulau Gemia. Here is only one resort: Gem Island Resort. The prices for an overnight stay are approximately 75 Euro, depending on the season.

The Marang river safari is another good attraction on the mainland. You can book this excursion with the local tour operator. The boat trip takes you across the Marang River, where you can enjoy a picturesque view of mangrove forests. You can also see animals that live along the river, such as birds, lizards, monkeys, and crabs. The boat trip stops in the traditional village of Jenang, where you can see how the villagers make coconut sugar, weave an attap-roof and pick coconuts.

 

 

     

 

 

 

    Ben van Wijnen

 

 

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