Kapas Island is located nearby the city of Kuala Terengganu at the eastern part of the peninsula. Kapas Island is only 2 kilometers long and 1 kilometer wide. Compared to nearby islands like Perhentian and Redang, Kapas Island is much smaller and therefore less crowded. It is a tiny island that travelers mainly visit for relaxation, sun bathing, diving and especially snorkeling as the corals around Kapas are very nice. You can rent snorkeling equipment for RM10 per day. There are a few paths that you can walk on if you like to do some light jungle trekking.
"Pulau Kapas means Cotton Island in Malay and this peculiar name is attributed to the pure white beaches that are the trademark of this island."
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Diving at Kapas Island
Kapas Island has a few excellent dive sites where you can spot numerous fish species and many sea turtles. There is even a beautiful World War II Japanese ship wreck waiting to be explored. Aqua Sport Divers is the only dive center operating in Kapas Island. If you want to go for your PADI diving license during your visit to Kapas Island it is wise to contact the dive center up front so they can allocate a dive master.
Best time to visit Kapas Island
During monsoon season, between October and February, Kapas Island is closed to visitors. Most of the resort staff temporary move to the mainland to escape the severe weather conditions during these months.
Accommodation at Kapas Island
There are only a few small resorts on the island; most of them offer basic accommodation though some are a bit more luxurious (and offer air-conditioned rooms). There is no Internet access on the island, but some travelers said they had a working 3G connection with their local sim card. Some resorts on the island are found at a remote location. This means you usually stay at your resort for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At the main jetty there are a few local restaurants. You can always ask one of the boatmen at the resort to take you there around dinner time.
If you want to stay at a nice place before or after visiting Kapas, then you might want to consider the following three great 5 star resorts; Tanjong Jara Resort (Dungun), Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort (Kuala Terengganu) and the Aryani Resort (Kuala Terengganu).
Bring enough cash
There are no ATMs on the island. Some resorts accept credit cards, but it is best to have enough cash with you to cover your expenses while at the island. There is an ATM in Marang and at Kuala Terengganu Airport. There are no shops at Kapas Island, so bring along everything you need from the mainland.
How to get to Kapas Island
There are daily flights operated by Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur International Aiport (KLIA & LCCT) to Kuala Terengganu. From here you take a public bus or taxi to the small coastal town of Marang (travel time around 30 minutes). Expect to pay only a few ringgits by bus and around RM30 by taxi. At Marang Jetty the boat to Kapas departs daily from 7am to around 5pm. A return ticket with a fast boat costs RM25. Kapas Island is located only 5km from the coast, so it is only a 15 minute boat ride. When departing from Kapas Island, have your resort staff advise you what time to take the boat to be in time at Kuala Terengganu Airport for your connecting flight. Busses to Kota Bharu or Kuantan depart from the main bus terminal; the Kuala Terengganu Tanjung Bus Terminal.