Summer Holiday Sari Pacifica Beach Resort & Spa Redang
I was inspired to visit Pulau Redang and drink in the romance of languid summer days spent on the island’s picturesque scenery.
The inspiration? A hit Chinese romantic comedy movie ‘Summer Holiday’ or”嬷嬷茶屋” shot in Pulau Redang in 2000.
The storyline was simple enough to remember.
A woman (Sammi Cheng) sells her half of a resort on an island and falls in love with the owner (Richie Ren) of the other half.
Other than a few smaller hotels located between the Redang Reef Resort and Redang Beach resorts; Laguna Redang Island Resort now stands on the site of the original ‘Mo Mo Cha Inn’ (More More Tea Inn) featured in the movie.
The quirkily named inn with its delightful red and green cabin has been rebuilt into a charming souvenir shop (photo via the internet)
Ride Through a Storm
It was a quiet sunny afternoon and the air was humid and still as we waited patiently for our water taxi at Mersing Jetty.
As we took off, the weather changed completely and the boatman had to race through storm clouds and driving rains.
An hour later, we arrived at Pulau Redang, we dripping wet from a speedboat racing through storm clouds. The driving rains beating down and water splashing from the sides as the skipper expertly too the small boat across the choppy South China Sea.
It was a frightening yet exhilarating experience to travel at the tail end of the monsoon season. We rode through several ocean swells which caused the speed boat’s tail to smack the water and bounce back up hard, sending sea sprays to hit our faces.
The dark clouds left us and the sun shone brightly on Pulau Redang.
Island smiles are mandatory of course. We grinned when we reached the jetty. Jubilant. Terra firma never felt so good after all that shaking and bouncing around.
Fortunately, no one threw up. My lunch of smelly fish keropok (a local fish cracker) and a light breakfast helped.
Mental note to self-was to do weather checks and wise up to NOT traveling at the tail end of monsoon. Bring a zip-up parka and just wear a swimsuit. And use weatherproof luggage to keep contents dry.
Arrived Soaking Wet
My new-found friends and I were in high spirits as we clambered on a wooden wagon pulled by a tractor for our ride to our hotel, the Sari Pacifica Beach Resort & Spa Redang Island.
We took a short walk to our room. It was a large ground floor villa with twin Queen beds and a nice ensuite. We just had to rest a little on our beds, tired but desperately trying not to doze off.
It was just too beautiful outside.
The rain had trickled to a drizzle. Now the sun is out and there is mist rising as the water evaporates from the ground.
Pasir Panjang Long Beach
We changed and headed towards Pasir Panjang beach which faced the aquamarine blue skies and a sea that thundered and roared a while ago.
I wanted to spend all my time in the waters. Braving the strong waves, I jumped right in and swim out to snorkel on the water adjusting to the world of trance-like calm beneath the waves.
Famished and tired we soon dozed on the deck chairs lulled by the soothing rhythmic sounds of the waves ebb and flow.
We planned to check out the pubs along the beach and to catch some Canto pop numbers belted out by local Chinese bands after a scrumptious BBQ dinner at our resort.
As always seafood and barbeque set the tone for the evening. We decided to walk off the calories and head out to search for blue sands!
Search for Blue Sands at Redang
That night we walked all the way to the end of Pasir Panjang and went across a wooden bridge. At a little bay, there was a group of people sweeping the wet sand with their hands or feet.
The beach boys told us that it was too early to see the blue sands.
“Come much later,” the boys called out.
“Late, later la!”
I was thinking maybe when there are fewer people in that little bay, the sand would turn blue? DUH!
Perish that silly thought.
We decided to join in the search and after some time, we saw flashes of bright blue light in the water.
I scooped a little of the sand on my palm. Boy cupped his hand over it, leaving just a tiny hole made by his thumb and index finger.
Yup, I see it. A flash of minuscule blue light. We rubbed the sand again and repeat the cupping.
There it was again. The tiniest blue light in the cave of my hands.
The light is caused by a Bioluminescent Ostracod, or more commonly known as sea firefly or rather a flattened seed shrimp of a class of Crustacea. These tiny creatures are about 0.2 to 2 millimeters and produce a bright blue light come night-time when no moon is present for mating!
The light is to attract non-luminescent females of the same species and NOT curious tourists!
What a death knell to shrimp romance!
I felt bad for having deprived some little creature of its chance to mate and procreate. Awwwww…..
We turn to head back; the pubs have finished their gigs. It was quiet now. The star shone in the velvet black sky as we picked our way home to our hotel.
There it was, that quirkily named Mo Mo Tea Inn just beside the wooden bridge which now serves as a gift shop.
I could recognize it in the dark. There was no mistaken identity.
The inn of a happy romance.
I’ve come a full circle and realized that I was looking for my Richie Ren as I dreamily fall asleep beneath my masseuse expert hands back at Sari Pacifica’s Sari Dewi Spa for a pampering natural massage.
It’s not a holiday romance that I wanted. I needed a timelessness which can only be described as island time to reconnect with nature again to find that inner peace.
Where to Go
Sari Pacifica Resort & Spa Redang Island | 20000 Pulau Redang, Terengganu
Telephone: 03-6201 1055