Pulau Lang Tengah: Isolated Island Vacation + Free Handbook @ D'Coconut Lagoon
November 9, 2017
A far from city, escape for an isolated vacation on the island is the desire of many who are fed up with busy city lifestyle. Sometimes, listening to the sea, feel the relaxing & comfortable sea breeze is one of the special ways to put all your troubles away, as long as the sea is with you. There are many islands in Malaysia that could grant this wish, Pulau Lang Tengah is one of them.
Here is a quick glance of what this guide is all about:
Lang Tengah Island 3D2N Snorkeling Package
Search a bit in Google, you will be able to see lots of 3D2N packages to Lang Tengah island, just the matter of which hotel you want and your budget.
There are only 3 hotels available at Lang Tengah island: D'coconut, Sari Pacifica and Summer Bay. I stayed in D'Coconut, will explain in detail within next few topics.
D'Coconut website has listed their special offer in the website, which I find it quite expensive. Try to look for some special deals at other websites.
Each hotel has their own set of offer, be sure to check them out before you decided on which one to take.
This is what included in D'Coconut's 3D2N Snorkeling package:
This package basically cover the accommodation, 3 meals per day and snorkeling. They also offer sun rise tour and blue tears tour.
Other than that, all expenses are on your own. Lang Tengah island is just like any tourist attraction spots, everything there is bloody expensive and product variety is quite limited. So make sure you bought all the necessary stuff and bring them all before departing.
The Step, The Trace, The Way from Kuala Lumpur to Pulau Lang Tengah
Located at Kuala Terengganu, east coast peninsular of Malaysia, the painful thing for travelers is the long journey to Kuala Terengganu, then to Lang Tengah island especially like me, who are base around KL area.
We were opened for two options of traveling to Kuala Terengganu:
1. Air Flight: If possible, do take this option as air flight takes less than an hour traveling time from and to KL. Adding up the waiting time and stuff at the air port, definitely not as painful as the second option.
2. Bus: The fee for bus is usually much cheaper compare to flight. The only drawback is the painful, approximately at least 6 hours stuck inside the bus. While there are buses company that offer good service, do expect delays and unexpected conditions that prolong the journey because this is Malaysia.
Most of the buses pick up passengers from TBS. Google a bit and you will find lots of buses that suit your needs.
Reaching TBS Bus Terminal
(A route map of KTM from KL Sentral to Bandar Tasik Selatan [BTS]. Source: Here)
The beginning of the journey started by reaching Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS), which can be reached by Bandar Tasek Selatan (BTS) KTM station. The gap is only 3 stations away from KL Sentral KTM stations, but our KTM has the literal name of "Kenderaan Terlambat Malaysia", which means the slowest vehicle in Malaysia.
Usually the availability of the train is around 30 minutes, but it's likely that the delay will result in the train arrive like 1 hour late. So the golden rule is to arrive at the station as early as you can.
My bus is 10.30pm, I arrive at Mid Valley station around 8pm and got up the train in about 15 minutes later. Once arrive at BTS station and finding my way to TBS terminal, the time is only 9pm... Well, better earlier than late I guess.
You can also check a full list of options to reach TBS at here.
There aren't many stuff you can do in TBS other than watching people, waiting for time to pass, and chew on some snacks. There are plenty of convenience stores in the terminal. You can get whatever you need before hop on the bus.
Depart to Kuala Terengganu
Here is where our 6 hours journey begins. It was near to night time, so we just get ready to sleep although its pretty difficult to sleep in the bus. And there is nothing to see at night time.... so the painful long journey goes on, and on, and on.... like our life.
Arrival at Kuala Terengganu Bus Terminal
After the painful long journey, we arrive at Hentian Bas Majlis Perbandaran Kuala Terengganu. It was 4.30 am, the isn't any shops other than 7-11 that is open around the terminal. There are few food stores open inside the terminal, although the taste of the foods that we had is kind of culture shock even though we are also Malaysian.
From here, we need to go Merang Jetty, which is about an hour drive from here. We have the following options to reach Merang Jetty:
1. Bus (again): An hour bus ride shouldn't be too painful, and definitely cheaper than other alternative but the problem is, all bus counters open around 10am. Waiting for such long hour in the bus terminal isn't really our liking.
2. Taxi: In Malaysia, you could expect unreasonable rate from taxi that target tourists and travelers which is around RM60-80 to Merang Jetty. Can't really find any reason to recommend this other than they are usually around, waiting for their preys.
3. GrabCar: The fare for us is RM43 per car. Not as cheap as bus but save us from long hour waiting. Apparently, there are several GrabCar drivers stand by at that area for travelers like us. We prefer GrabCar for their standard rate and feel better not to get coned by taxi.
Once hop on GrabCar, it takes less than 1 hour to reach Merang Jetty. If you are going to the jetty around afternoon time, it may take a little longer. Morning is the best time to go due to less traffic and it's much more comfortable to voyage through the sea with morning breeze once you get on the boat.
Going Back fromKuala Terengganu Bus Terminal
A note for those who are going back from this bus terminal. The bus availability from kaual Terengganu to Kuala Lumpur is very less. We have limited options of 9.30am, 2.30pm or 9.30pm due to less demand (although I don't think so) from Terengganu to Kuala Lumpur.
Boat Ride to Lang Tengah Island
Once arrival at Merang jetty, we need to get to the right hotel location for them to pick us up. Each hotel has different spot for the boat ride. It's not like all travelers to Lang Tengah island will wait at the same spot. You need to tell the driver which hotel you going for and ask him/her to drop you off at the right location.
Once gather at the correct spot, the boat driver will wait for the designated amount of people before going off. We were told that the boat ride starts at 10am. But we went off earlier so its good for us.
On the sea, it's an approximately 40 minutes bumpy ride to the island.
Feel the morning breeze, listening to the sea and look at nothing but only the sea surrounding you with a clear blue sky gives you the head start and set your mood right for your isolated island get-away for few days.
Oh, heard that it's also depending on the weather condition if its suitable to hit the sea. Fair enough. Not sure what to do if weather is not suitable thou.
Arrival at Lang Tengah Island
After some long hour ride on the sea, we knew that we reached our destination when we see the boat heading towards an island from some distance. Somehow I wish I could get on the sea a little longer but I knew we gotta land.
When we are about to land, the boat will stop beside a little bridge and we will finally get onto the ground.
The first thing to do before jumping into the water is to head to the lobby and check in.
Now looking back at the package, I notice that there is something known as"Welcome drink", at first I feel like we didn't get any at all. Try to recall a little bit, I remember that when we check in, the owner offer some orange juice to us which is placed at one side of the counter. Don't tell me that's the welcome drink??? Oh my....
D'Coconut Room Stay: Old time, basic, dirty, ish....
The layout of this place is like a linked house, there are several rooms at one corridor, and then another few more rooms at another corridor. All rooms are quite close to each others and near to the lobby, which is also the dining hall so its quite convenient.
Once gotten our key and enter the room, the first thing that make me isshhhh is the sticky and oily floor. I can understand that this is near the beach, we probably enter the room when our body is wet and maybe feet covered in sand, but pretty obvious this room is not being cleaned up properly after the last tenant left.
The room looks pretty old style. I don't usually have too much comment about look & feel or interior design, but I didn't expect to see such old design which is so incompatible with the outer look of this place.
(A view directly from the room to the outside)
I found two tea cup with some 3 in 1 coffee, sugar and creamer inside a wooden cabinet. I haven't had my first coffee of the day, its a good time for me to kick start my first day of a sea side get-away. I take both tea cups to a wash in the washroom but notice the cups are oily even after wash. No idea how long the cup is there for it to be oily. Killed my mood for coffee...
Inside the wooden cabinet, there is a small fridge we probably miss out if we didn't open all the cabinet to check. When I open it, there is an unpleasant smell from the fridge. Guess I could say its not being cleaned up at least since the time when this room last occupied.
The bathroom is quite okay in overall, except that there are obvious layers of dust around the mirror area. Even my room that is not cleaned up for years doesn't have that amount of thick dusts. My friend complain that their bathroom has unpleasant smell.
When I sit down and touch the bed, I can feel some sand or small particles on it. Obviously not properly cleaned up as well. We can only get prepared for two nights of uncleaned sleep.
The utilities such as the (dim) light, shower and air con are quite basic and looks old. Still functioning well and doesn't really bother us, just doesn't seems nice.
In overall, I can't tell what's nice about the room other than they provide towels, 3 set of shampoo, shower gel and soap, and two hangers. Not sure about other rooms, but two hangers.... people are here for the beach, even traveling to city need more than two hangers in the room.
Some rooms have wooden hanger out there, and some don't have. Not a very standard operation.
Lunch time start at 12.30. When we leave the room and lock the sliding door, I can feel the inner component of the door is kinda rusty. I need to push the sliding door harder to lock it.
D'Coconut Nom Nom Time
Once head up to the lobby, we can see some people queue up at the food area, yay~ Quite hungry and can't wait to chew on something.
Meal schedule is fixed as below:
1. Breakfast: 7.30am - 9am
2. Lunch: 12.30pm - 2pm
3. Dinner: 7pm - 9pm
There is an unknown schedule for tea break between 3pm to 5pm. But basically its just sugar cracker, and the same coffee or tea placed at the same corner from morning until night time. Good thing is they will refill it time to time. Usually, there will be coffee and tea remain, but not plain water, always finish and they hardly refill. Not sure what logic is this.
All breakfast, lunch and dinner are buffet style. Queue up, take the plate and get your own portion.
The main problem here is, all meals are served as First-Come-First-Serve basis, once the foods finish then that's it, they don't refill the foods. At most, they serve one new dish in the middle of the meal and that's it. Sames goes to the crackers during tea break, once finished up, no more.
I notice numerous people arrive later and were shock to see there's basically nothing left to eat. Only able to take plain white rice with tiny amount of leftover, topped with sauce.
This is very, very, very very bad. What's the point calling this buffet just because we gotta take the food ourself but the amount of foods are not enough for everyone? Definitely not a right way to treat their customers.
Quality wise, we don't expect too much after tasting some local foods before reaching this island. We are kind of glad when the food taste "normal", as long as nothing too weird, it's acceptable for us.
There are numerous occasions where the food taste kind of weird. Such as the watermelon has explainable chewing feeling, the honey melon has berry taste, brinjal is not well cooked and the skin is kind of tough, the fish fillet is basically fried flour fillet and quite greasy, and etc.
Don't expect too much of the food variety too, they are pretty local style. Something that you can get it anywhere and you probably have it time to time. Even the water is usually just plain cold water. Sometimes they give orange juice. Just sometimes.....
Oh and, the foods are usually not served hot. Not like it's definitely a sin but "according to research", we should eat hot/warm rather than room temperature foods for better reason.
Just a little bit of info on the network coverage just in case people around my generation want to know.
The network coverage around East Wing and West Wing is pretty bad. For our mobile data, it's not like totally inaccessible, just that a message in Whatsapp might be sent to the receiver after 5 minutes or so. Needless to mention about activities that require frequent network access. May be a good reason to put down your techie stuff and focus on your holiday.
Wifi is provided at the lobby. But the coverage area is super small and the network signal is very bad. Basically equivalent to none. The wifi is not accessible at all in our room even though our room is right below the lobby.
If you really need some internet connection, go to Summer Bay. The network is much better than D'Coconut area. Or, go get a RM5 Teh Ais at the seaside mamak and do your daily mobile ritual there.
Summary for D'Coconut Lagoon at Lang Tengah Island
As a summary of the room stay and foods at D'Coconut Lagoon, if I'm Gordon Ramsay I'm sure I will stay in this place with a frequency of 10 WTF per hour. Now I can see why there are so much of bad reviews for D'Coconut resort.
If you are not on tight budget and wanted to choose D'Coconut Lagoon for whatever reason, better go for West Wing which is much more well maintained, has better view of the sea directly from the room, closer to Summer Bay (more things to see) and looks much better in overall.
For sure, it's much more expensive than East Wing.
(View from West Wing beach side)
If budget is not a huge issue, do consider Summer Bay, most expensive among the hotels but with better review. Sari Pacifica also have some bad reviews about the cleanliness and facilities.
What to do in Lang Tengah Island?
The Sea and The Wind
The sea itself has more than enough reasons to get your mood ready for vacation.
Numerous sea side benches are provided for you to sit back, relax, look at the sea, sun-bathing and enjoy the natural cool wind.
Explore the Sea Residents
We didn't stay on the sand for too long, only manage to discover one hermit crab and another white crab.
But watch your feet when you walk around the shore and in the water, we found glass pieces that could hurt people very badly. Beware.
After struggling with the strong wave in the sea, you may want to dive into the peaceful swimming pool.
(A view of East Wing swimming pool)
Both East Wing and West Wing has a swimming pool, and both swimming pool has a direct view to the sea. Just that East Wing pool has some trees blocking the view of the sea. Surrounding yourself in the swimming pool while watching the sea is another grand experience.
(A view of West Wing swimming pool)
West wing swimming pool has Jacuzzi but not available in East Wing. West wing is more expensive, after all.
The only way to find out if Lang Tengah island has as much sea life than other island is to check them out yourself.
There are two snorkeling session, one at 10.30am and another at 2.30pm. Morning sun is usually not as hot as noon. It's really the matter of when do you want to go for it.
The snorkeling session last about 2 hours. The tour guides take us out to the sea and within minutes, we arrive at one spot. We are allow to explore a place for about 45 minutes. Then they take us to another spot for another 45 minutes.
In the end, they take a big turn around the island and reach back the shore for landing.
Be sure to take your water bottle with you and also something sour to prevent motion sickness on the sea.
Not sure why you should consider a spa when you arrive at the sea. This spa is only available in West Wing. Heard it's RM50 for 30 minutes.... Seriously?
Cocktail bar doesn't looks too attractive for me. And the view around the cocktail bar doesn't has anything nice to view. The sea view is blocked by the trees, at most you can watch the swimming pool.
We were thinking of trying the cocktail bar on second night but no one is there at all, not even any staff when we reach there by 9.30pm. Seriously? No idea what's the operating hour for this bar.
Starry. Starry Night View at West Wing Beach
<<(NOT an actual image of the starry night at Lang Tengah Island)
This is one of the most memorable moment I had in this trip, it's unfortunate that our phone can't capture the starry view, else it would be the best image on this post.
The beach on west wing doesn't has any light at all during night time, but this is also the perfect moment to observe the star. Speak of which, if you are going to the sea shore at night, beware as there is no light at all near the beach.
Together with the sound of the sea wave and the cool wind, find a bench and stare at the starry night for the rest of the night could be the best thing to do here.
Expensive Seaside Mamak
First time drinking Teh Ais while listening to the sea. There isn't anything special about this mamak other than it's located at sea side, and it's expensive. We had RM5 drinks, wanted to order Maggi Goreng and Burger but when we learn that the price is around RM20-25...... nope.
D'Coconut Lagoon has very weak network coverage, the mamak area has much better network although still kinda slow. May be a good spot to spend some time there if you really has nothing to do at night.
Oh, they closed at 11pm.
Walk to Summer Bay Resort
Summer Bay is much more lively and entertaining during night time, which I believe that's the reason why many chosen Summer Bay despite its expensive. The main reasons for us to go there is to get some (very costly) snacks and drinks from the convenience store for our own night time activity.
The owner told us the way to walk to Summer Bay from D'Coconut. Just go past West Wing beach, reach the mamak, then follow the light. Sounds easy, just follow the lights. Only to find out later that the light is this dim.
<ss dim forest>
There are two ways to reach Summer Bay from D'Coconut. The choice of horror tracking in the dark forest or seaside walk is on your (or your group of friend/family) hand. We only know the horror way because we are being told to go this way. So here is basically what we been through to reach Summer Bay.
Adventure Horror Walkway
(Disclaimer: All images below are taken from "Dreadout", I don't own any of them)
Once we walk further from the mamak by following the trace of the dim light, we are surrounded with the abandoned resort. All houses are all dark inside and there is no sign of people there. The thing that creep us out is the idea that the area might be occupied some time ago as it's not totally mess up. As if the residents had left this place one day and leave everything behind.
We remember our objective very clearly, heading towards any direction where the light is, passing by unit and unit of abandoned houses and trying to suppress our idea that someone or something might be stalking us in the dark as we are just few steps away from the houses. Something might drag us into the house if we are not careful.
After making a few turns, eventually, we are out from the abandoned resort and a path of venturing into the forest lies upon our very eyes. We see no alternatives other than following the unclear path as the light leading us into it.
The forest is even darker than the image above. The dim lights in the forest definitely insufficient to give us a clear sight of the path. All of us have to turn on our mobile flashlights to continue walking.
Walking closely to the grass area, only to hope that nothing would surprise us and make us scream. The wind isn't really strong here but more than enough to cause the forest looks like they are alive, dancing and watching us going deeper into the abyss.
Along the way, we also notice small abandon structures with some unknown stuff inside, don't wanna investigate too much. An opened sink hole just beside the path happen to appear to us. What a great setting for real horror adventure.
Only god knows how long more before we could get out of this endless forest.
Eventually, we heard large machine noise where we are heading, we knew we are near to some places. After passing by more houses that seems more maintained than abandoned structure and passed through a simple looking gate, we reach another destination, Sari Pacifica Resort. This is where we consider ourself safe and able to reach Summer bay.
Sea Shore Walkway
We discover this route the second day when we notice the hotel guide use this way to get back to hotel. Much lesser horror and no need for turning here and there or follow the lights.
From the mamak, instead of going towards the dim light and head towards the abandoned housing area, get your feet cover in sand and walk towards the shore. Follow and walk beside the sea and keep walking straight. Many big rocks will be at your path. You will eventually reach Sari Pacifica Resort.
The only problem for the sea shore walkway is, there is no light at all. You need to bring your own source of light.
Sari Pacifica Resort > Summer Bay
Distance between Sari Pacifica and Summer Bar is pretty short, you can see Summer Bay once we gotten on Sari Pacifica sea shore. Just walk across the shore and you'll be there.