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The East Coast island of Tioman is amongst the most beautiful destinations in the world swathed in dense tropical jungle fringed by glorious beaches. It was once portrayed as the enchanted island of Bali Hai in the movie "South Pacific". The western side of the island also has large coral reefs, which make it a diver’s paradise. It has an airport, so getting there from KL is straightforward.
The island of Redang is one of the finest diving and snorkelling sites in Asia famed for its diversity and visibility. Also, a popular choice for those searching for a little-known hideaway. The two hour ferry journey has kept many away, which is undoubtedly one of its attractions. The new airport will make Redang much more accessible and reduced travelling time considerably.
Malaysia’s east coast is unspoilt by tourism and an ideal retreat for those who prefer smaller, uncommercialised resorts.Traditional fishing villages, coconut palms, endless beaches backed by hill country, and a culture little changed in centuries with distinctive arts and crafts are the hallmark of the southern resort of Kuantan. The new highway now means that Kuantan can be reached in 2 hours and 30 minutes by road from Kuala Lumpur or 3 hours and 30 minutes from KL airport.
Cultural and historical sights are not in abundance in these areas, as the main attraction is the scenery and natural surroundings. Tioman in particular is an idyllic destination both underwater with shoals of colourful fish and stunning corals or on land with stunning granite rock formations and all manner of wildlife. Redang again is a paradise for divers and snorkellers while jungle trekking is an option on land. Kuantan’s attractions include the Sungai Lembing Museum, which is a short drive away and offers a glimpse into Malaysia’s bygone days during the British and Japanese colonial periods. Kuantan also has one of the finest Mosques in this part of Malaysia, crowned by an iridescent blue dome.
Nightlife is quieter on the islands and the East Coast. Kuantan has a few local bars and restaurants, however most entertainment is offered at your hotel. The nightlife in Tioman Island and Redang Island is restricted to the hotel.
Kuantan is not the place to go for those who crave retail therapy on a regular basis. This is get-away-from-it-all country and shopping opportunities are somewhat limited! For many, that’s why they go there! Kuantan town however, does feature a large department store and local shops. The Island hideaway’s of Tioman, Redang and Pangkor are secluded and offer no shopping aside from the local handicraft.