PULAU BIDONG

Island With Underwater Sculptures

Pulau Bidong was put in the spotlight at the height of the post-Vietnam War in the mid to late 1970s as a transit point for refugees who fled the country in the wake of the United States’ withdrawal. Thousands arrived on overloaded dinghy boats and were allowed to stay on Pulau Bidong while they wait to be resettled in a third country.

Pulau Bidong is a deserted island, there are no settlers nor any resorts operating here. However, what’s left here are remnants of a hospital, a school, shops and hostel like accommodation for the refugees.

This island has since been naturally rejuvenated and restored to its pristine conditions after so many years laying empty. Accessibility was restricted after the refugees left so the island could recover.

Visitors who want to snorkel, dive and have picnics on the beach can arrange for day trips here. Get the resorts you’re staying on Redang and Perhentian to make this arrangement.

An interesting facet of Pulau Bidong underwater attraction is the underwater gallery, the only one of its kind in Malaysia. Replicas of cultural artefacts and relics are placed 15 metres underwater and these include the Batu Bersurat or Terengganu Inscription Stone, tepak sireh (betel leaf and nut set with canisters), an arch, a keris and a traditional sampan.

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