Laguna Redang Island Resort, Terengganu, Malaysia
The thing I liked most about Laguna Redang Island Resort was something that I didn’t even get to see, or touch, or feel, or even experience.
And super-comfy beds.
And views to die for.
There’s even plenty of clownfish (you know, the Finding Nemo type) chilling in the waters off the beach.
Even a popular Hong Kong movie called Summer Holiday was filmed here. (That’s the tea house from the movie below, now the resort’s gift shop.)
But I had never seen the movie, so it wasn’t that.
It does play 24/7 on the Summer Holiday channel at the resort though. In case you’re interested.
Nope, the thing I liked most about Laguna Redang Island Resort was something I never did see.
Although it was something I spend plenty of time looking for.
SEATRU stands for Sea Turtle Rescue Unit, and the Laguna Island Resort has been supporting them for years. You see, just around the corner from the resort is the Chagar Hutang Turtle Sanctuary. The Chagar Hutang beach is off-limits to humans, with the exception of the small group of volunteers who engage in tagging, tracking and monitoring the turtles. The beach was named a Turtle Sanctuary in 2005, and the entire area was designated a protected marine park in 1994.
So instead of traipsing tourists through to maul, gawk, and take selfies with the turtles, Laguna Redang Island Resort works quietly to help conserve them.
SEATRU promotes the conservation of all turtles, but there are two types in particular that are endangered to the point of critical – the hawksbill and the green. You can still find turtle and terrapin eggs for sale at local markets (old habits die hard), and that’s the type of thing SEATRU aims to discourage with its work with school groups.
If you are really keen on checking on the turtle sanctuary at Chagar Hutang, there are only two ways in. First, you can arrange a group visit for a day (only open to school groups or clubs,) or you can volunteer at the turtle sanctuary.
Volunteer slots are open for foreigners and Malaysians alike. The cost is $350 USD, but that includes your room and board. (No beds though, you have to bring your own sleeping bag.) If you want to sign up for a volunteer week at the Chagar Hutang Turtle Sanctuary, or want to learn more about the conservation efforts SEATRU promotes on Redang Island, check out the SEATRU website.
Note: I was a guest of Laguna Redang Island Resort during my time in Malaysia.