Summer Bay Resort Lang Tengah: Swim with turtles in glowing blue waters

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride… until now! Lang Tengah Island has always been overshadowed by the Perhentian Islands and Redang Island on either side of it.

langtengah - top shot of resort
Credit – Summer Bay Resort

Summer Bay Resort Lang Tengah Island is changing that and we got to experience the difference, first-hand.

Getting to Summer Bay Resort Lang Tengah Island

Lang Tengah Island is off the coast of the Malaysian state of Terengganu. The state does have an airport but does not receive international flights, so you can go by road from Singapore. Our bus ride from Tuas to Merang Jetty took about 9 hours.

Summer Bay Resort Lang Tengah - sunrise

On the bright side, we did get to see a beautiful sunrise as we got there by road. Alternatively, you could take a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Terengganu— it costs as little as S$23 on Agoda!

Summer Bay Resort Lang Tengah - clear water

Gorgeous as the dawn was, it just could not compare to the beauty of Lang Tengah Island, which is a 30-minute speedboat ride from the mainland jetty.

lang tengah - blue waters

As a Singaporean, I find it maddening that there is such clear blue sea so close to us, yet so far away— why are the waters off our shores not like this?

Summer Bay Resort Lang Tengah - room
Credit – Summer Bay Resort

Summer Bay Resort’s Family rooms with 2 Single beds and a King-sized bed can sleep up to 4 adults. Deluxe Family rooms with 2 King beds and 1 Single bed accommodate up to 6 adults.

What we did at Summer Bay Resort Lang Tengah Island

langtengah - beach

lang tengah - entry to resort

Summer Bay Resort has something for everyone from the nature lover to the thrill seeker to the environmentalist.

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Turtle adventures

Lang Tengah Island is home to the endangered Green Turtle. Rays of sunlight pierce the clear blue water and dapple their shells in an exquisite red hue. The sight is ethereal and we got to see them just hours after arriving. They. Are. Massive.

Summer Bay Resort Lang Tengah - turtle

Oh, and so playful, too! They own the ocean around these parts and happily swim among us explorers. They will even give you a little nudge if they so please, the cheeky little buggers.

lang tengah - snorkelling

While the experience of being in the presence of such serene, majestic creatures is wonderful in itself, the visuals are nothing short of stunning. This is where snorkelling masks come in so handy— put one on and dip your face beneath the surface.

langtengah - snorkelling

Dive, dive, dive!

Snorkelling with turtles was a unique adventure but you can even scuba at Summer Bay Resort. Just as the turtles were, the fish are not shy here. They come right up to where the water is just a foot deep and swim between your legs and outstretched fingers.

langtengah - diving

Summer Bay Resort houses an excellent PADI dive centre, too. If you are certified, rent your equipment and head off on your own. Those who have never donned a scuba mask before, and even those who cannot swim, can go for a ‘discovery dive’.

Here, an experienced instructor teaches you the basics of scuba and you head off on an underwater escapade within the hour. Of course, you are closely monitored, not allowed to go too deep or too far, and have to stick with the instructor. Still, it was a mesmerising experience for those among us who had never dived before.

Summer Bay Resort Lang Tengah - plane reef

The maximum depth of the discovery dive area is about 20 metres, which is still quite an introduction to the world under the waves. Summer Bay Resort takes the magic a step further with Malaysia’s first artificial plane reef.

Summer Bay Resort Lang Tengah - clownfish

These waters are home to clownfish, which most people recognise from the hit animated film Finding Nemo.

We also had the insane experience of encountering ‘walls’ of fish. Comprising what seemed like tens of thousands of identical fish swimming in tandem, they really do look like a solid wall until you get close. Who would have thought that there was this much action just off the beach in such shallow water?

Above the waves

There’s action to be had at the water’s surface, too. If you want to canoe, skip the standard models and opt for a transparent one, instead— they are great for gaping at the amazing coral structures underwater.

langtengah - kayak

Note, the sand below the pristine water is replete with sharp pebbles— you’ll definitely want to put on your water shoes before you head in.

The Iron Path 

Via Ferrata —  the Iron Path is a pathway along a rockface at Batu Bulan on the eastern side of Lang Tengah island. The jungle trek there from Summer Bay Resort is only about 1 kilometre but the terrain is 84 metres uphill all the way.

Summer Bay Resort Lang Tengah - hike

With guide ropes for support, the hike there isn’t particularly bad but a reasonable level of cardio fitness will help. The sight that rewards you at the end of the hike is worth the sweat… but there are better ones ‘just around the corner’.

That ‘corner’ is the cliff at Batu Bulan. Literally ‘moon rock’, it is a crescent-shaped east-facing cliff. Don’t worry about the ‘cliff’— the biggest factor here is the ‘east-facing’ bit. Because you do the Via Ferrata in the morning, you are at the mercy of the blazing sun with nowhere to hide for the entire duration of the walk. Bring water!

Summer Bay Resort Lang Tengah - Via Ferrata Seth

Despite a relatively short 400m or so, this journey typically takes about 40 minutes. That’s because the harness you wear is attached to the safety rope by 2 karabiners, which you have to unclip and reattach one at a time to the rope at every embedded peg in the rock.

Blue Tears

Summer Bay Resort Lang Tengah - Blue Tears
Credit – Summer Bay Resort

Blue Tears is the name given to a phenomenon where very large numbers of bioluminescent plankton impart a bluish glow to the ocean. Lang Tengah Island is one of the few places in the region where this wonderful spectacle occurs regularly.

Summer Bay Resort Lang Tengah - lightning

Unfortunately, the conditions just weren’t right on the 3 nights we spent there. We did see several individual blue sparks in the water but the numbers just weren’t enough to create a show worthy of the name. Fortunately, the rowdy thunderstorm in the distance gave us a pretty impressive light show.

Final thoughts

langtengah - blue clear water

Summer Bay Resort Lang Tengah is whatever you want it to be— exhilarating thrillfest or idyllic getaway. Our turtle adventure combined both and was especially memorable.

One thing to note, though, is that the resort does not have Wi-Fi. However, they do sell SIM cards with affordable data plans.

Check out the Insta reel of our Lang Tengah escapade.

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Summer Bay Resort

Lot 52, Lang Tengah Island, Terengganu, Malaysia 21300

Summer Bay Resort

Lot 52, Lang Tengah Island, Terengganu, Malaysia 21300

Telephone: +609-6313366; +609-6239911; +6019-9344666
Telephone: +609-6313366; +609-6239911; +6019-9344666
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