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The archipelago comprises of Pulau Redang and 8 surrounding islands of Pulau Pinang, Pulau Ling, Pulau Ekor Tebu, Pulau Kerengga Besar, Pulau Kerengga Kecil, Pulau Paku Kecil, Pulau Paku Besar and Pulau Lima. ('Pulau' is the Malay word for island.) It is part of the state of Terengganu and is in the South China Sea off the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
The group of islands are located within 5o44' - 5o50' North latitiude and 102o59' - 102o5' East longtitude.
The Redang Archipelago experiences a tropical climate. Rain is frequent throughtout the year with short dry spells. It is strongly influenced by the North-east Monsoon which blows from November to March, producing a wetter season in these months. The height of the monsoon brings heavy rain, strong winds and big waves. The South-west Monsoon (April to October) is comparatively mild and does not affect the islands significantly.
Tides switch from diurnal (1 high tide and 1 low tide a day) to semi-diurnal (2 high tides and 2 low tides a day) at weekly intervals with spring tide twice a month.
The original settlers of Redang were said to be from Celebes (now known as Sulawesi) Indonesia and fishing was their main activity. Redang Island is the only inhabited island in the archipelago. At present about 1,300 inhabitants from more than 200 families reside here. They engage in traditional fishing related activities and supplement their income from petty trading, harvesting of natural resources such as edible birds' nest from the swiflet colonies or guarding of turtle nests and eggs for the Department of Fisheries Malaysia and SEATRU turtle hatcheries. The private resorts employ a large number of locals. Some have converted their fishing boats and become tour boat operators while others are self-employed as tour guides or work for tour operators as boatmen and assistants.
The archipelago is recognised as having one of the best corals and marine ecosystem in Malaysia. The waters surrounding these islands have been gazetted as part of the Pulau Redang Marine Park. Visitors to the Park have to pay a conservation charge.
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Last updated: 2nd June, 2009.