Most of the east coast islands in Peninsula Malaysia are closed during monsoon season (Oct – Mar) due to bad weather. This year, me and my friends decided to try our luck and here’s what we’ve discovered:
1. Call and check whether there’s accommodation available.
Wild camping is not allowed in Pulau Kapas, so make sure you confirm that there’s someone who is willing to take you in. Always call the accommodation provider to check whether they are open for business. The best bet would be near the end of monsoon season where the weather will be a little better. We camped at Captain’s Longhouse during our trip for 2 nights.
2. Be prepared for a rough boat ride
Expect some choppy boat ride on the way to Pulau Kapas. The sea was quite rough during our ride to Kapas, we’ve encountered huge waves so the boat have to go slowly to be safe and the trip took longer than usual. Nonetheless it was a fun and thrilling ride, just be careful and put on your life jacket, also take care of your electronics, you’ll have a high chance getting wet. Fortunately the weather was good when we were heading back to Marang Jetty.
3. Manage your expectation
The beaches are less clean during this season. Lots of rubbish get blown onto the shore and the beach is not fluffy like Kapas (cotton), parts of the beaches are damp, might be due to there rain. Nonetheless, the water is still clean but not crystal clear, swimming is possible and safer on most of the beaches facing mainland. On the other hand, the island is really quiet, there were no other tourist except us during our trip.
4. Don’t put too much hope on hiking Bukit Singa.
To hike Bukit Singa, we have to walk towards the north end of the island but unfortunately 1 of the bridge collapsed, we weren’t able to reach the trailhead, it was not impossible but dangerous, the big waves makes it dangerous to walk under the bridge so we decided to take a few pictures and turn back.
5. Bring your own food.
There were literally no shops or restaurants open during our visit, we’re lucky we stocked up a little more near Marang jetty, else we might have to starve for a day. Captain’s Longhouse does provide a shared kitchen and we cooked our own meal for our 3 days visit.
Bonus: Take a rest at Kampung Kelulut for lunch! The seafood is cheap and delicious, make sure you try their sotong celup tepung (deep fried calamari).
*The above written are based on my personal experiences, feel free to discuss at the comment section if you agree or disagree my point of view.
Pulau Kapas, Terengganu