I made the mistake of booking a 3day/2night package from a tour operator in Kuala Terrenganu. It was very over-priced. The rooms were spacious chalets made of wood but 20-30 metres from the beach, the food provided was buffet (except one lunch which was prepared from the previous nights leftovers because of the lack of guests on the day, in fact only one other couple were staying here). During the few days i stayed here i had a few problems with it:
1. It seemed that there was a set amount of food made everyday. The hours were set up and it was a buffet. One nights dinner i arrived at 7.30pm (the dinner is served at 7.00pm- until 8.00pm) and there was no food left except rice. When i approached a staff member he told me there wasn't anymore food at the resort. Breakfasts was terrible.
2. I'm not suggesting that everyone should speak English and i enjoy trying to get my message across when i'm travelling using smiles and charades, but the staff generally avoided my questions and i was passed onto to one guy who did speak English in which he answered every question with "of course", would go back to his laptop and then forget about my request.
3. The package included a snorkling trip. We went to the boat jetty point on time and then waited an hour. I went back to the resort to find "of course" and he told me to go back and wait and he will sort it out. Half an hour more later, a boat showed up, nothing was said to us, when i asked about the snorkling trip the skipper said they have to refuel first. not a problem, they refueled and i waited....then they disappeared. It had now been two hours. I went back to "of course" he put on a little "i'm furious" act, stormed over to a back area of the resort, i followed and there was the skipper and his mates smoking. So we finally got on the trip, the snorkling was nice, except the skipper was feeding the fish. The trip was supposed to be for two hours yet after about 40 minutes the skipper said we needed to go because there was a lightening storm coming (the skies were a beautiful azure blue and the sun was as searing and clear as any day i had been in Malaysia)......dramatic change of the weather within the tropics huh.
4. We had organised with the resort that we wanted to take the ferry back to Marang at 1230pm. I had spoken to the English speaking member of staff three times (learn from your mistakes) to confirm this. Again, we were waiting an hour. I went back to the resort, just to check and was told the usual to go back and wait. Another 30 minutes passed. I went to get drinks at the restaurant near to the jetty and the owner asked me what time my ferry was, i told him and he said he would do me a favour and call the boat operator to check. I was then told by this friendly guy that no one at the Kapas Island Resort had called! 20 Minutes later my ferry arrived to take us the 20 minutes back to the mainland.
Now, i'm a backpacker and i'm used to buses not turning up, itineraries ruined, countries running on times that are foreign to us westerners, and i've stayed in many run-down guesthouses and i consider it part of the experience and expect it when im only spending 10-15 pounds a day with no complaints but the fact of the matter is I went here with my girlfriend and i paid 450RM per person for the 3 day package at this place and it just wasn't good enough.
Although everything was sorted out pre-hand i would suggest that you just take the ferry over independently and check out the other places to say on the island. One place just to the left (as you get off the boat) of the jetty point had a-frame huts for a good price, a nice restaurant and very friendly people running it (the guy who sorted out my return ferry managed here). On a couple of occasions we ate here even they we had already paid for our buffet at a resort Weekends are obviously busier but even then no place was fully booked, and in the week, after the Malay day trippers have left around 4pm you will practically have the island to yourself.
The island itself is pretty nice, the beaches are fairly good, although nowhere near as good as some of the others on the East Coast of Malaysia. The coral on some of the northern beaches are decent. I would suggest a one night stay in Kapas as opposed to just a day-trip as most do but make sure its not at the Kapas Island resort.
- Also Known As:
- Kapas Island Hotel Pulau Kapas