Kapas Island

The white sandy beaches of Kapas Island promises its visitors a time of relaxation and retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

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About a half hour's boat ride from Marang jetty in the state of Terengganu is Kapas Island. Aptly named for its exceptionally white sandy beaches that resemble cotton, or kapas in Malay, its close proximity to the mainland is a definite advantage to those wanting a short holiday without having to travel far. Its crystal blue-green waters, pristine beaches and clear blue skies creates the perfect backdrop for honeymooners or even those who are scouting for a potential wedding venue. A visit to Kapas Island on a weekday is strongly recommended for those seeking some quiet time, as the peace and calm that greets its visitors is the best prescription for soothing their frazzled nerves.

There is more to the island that just lazing in the sun the whole day. The island is also known for its beautiful coral reefs and the marine life that exist within these natural wonders. The reefs are home to an assortment of coral fishes like parrotfish, damselfish, giant clams, sea urchins, angelfish and nudibranches. Pockets of great snorkeling spots can be found around the island for adventurous snorkelers. Visitors who are not so keen on snorkeling can opt to go for a spot of fishing or kayaking. Canoes are also available for hire for some impromptu exploration of the area surrounding the island.

Not far away from Kapas Island is its sister island, known as Gemia Island. This relatively unknown island, often overshadowed by its more well known counterparts, is an ideal getaway for holidaymakers longing for a quiet holiday atmosphere. The island is not densely populated at the moment, so some of the wildlife like the sea eagles and reef herons can still be spotted around the area. Some of the island's faithful 'visitors' are the green turtles, the Hawksbill and Olive Ridley turtles that find their way back to the island every year. These turtles visit the shores of Gemia Island to lay their eggs. There are also some breathtaking diving and snorkeling spots located all over the island. As the island is only 800 metres away from Kapas Island, it is no wonder that Gemia Island often welcome curious visitors from its sister island. Currently, there is one resort on Gemia Island to cater for the island's overnight patrons.

Monsoon Season

The weather around the region is affected by the north east monsoon season between November and early March every year, bringing heavy rains, strong winds and rough seas. Diving activities are not encouraged during the monsoon season as visibility is very low. Frequent rain showers and generally wet conditions are to be expected during this season. Boat transfers may be affected by choppy seas due to the weather conditions.

Kapas Island is accessible by boat. The boats depart from Marang jetty and the journey is approximately 10 minutes by speedboat. There are speedboats leaving Marang jetty every two hours starting from 9.00 am until 3.00pm, with the exception of 1.00pm on Fridays due to Muslim prayers.