Everything you need to know to plan a day trip Pulau Kapas. Spend a perfect day on Kapas Island, one of the most beautiful destinations in the world!
Pulau Kapas is located off the East coast of peninsular Malaysia. It’s a tiny island with a handful of lovely sandy beaches, and some of the best snorkeling in Malaysia.
Other wise known as Kapas Island, Pulau Kapas is lesser known to visitors than the nearby Perhentian islands. Perhaps, in some way, this has enabled it to stay as remarkable as it is.
There are no roads or vehicles on Pulau Kapas, which makes it perfect if you just want to unwind for a few hours. Or a week as we did!
If you are planning a day trip to Pulau Kapas, here's what you need to know.
How to get to Pulau Kapas
To get to Pulau Kapas, you need to get to Marang Jetty, not to be confused with Merang which is further north. You can get to Marang Jetty on a bus or a Grab taxi from Kuala Terengganu. The closest airport is Sultan Mahmud Airport.
There are five boats a day from Marang Jetty to Pulau Kapas, at 9.00, 11.00, 13.00, 15.00 and 17.00.
The return boats run at 9.30, 11.30, 13.30, 15.30 and 17.30.
To make the most of your day trip to Pulau Kapas, catch the first boat at 9.00, and return on the last boat at 17.30.
You can get your return ticket to Pulau Kapas just before your trip, so you can get to the Jetty at around 8.30 or so.
The return ticket costs 40 MYR (approximately 8.5 euro) and the trip is about 15-20 minutes.
Staying in Marang for the night
If you are not an early morning person, you can stay overnight in Marang. There are a few hotels close to the jetty, and the closest one is Pelangi Marang.
It’s decent for a night’s stay, but note that there isn’t much to do in the area apart from the morning market. Weirdly, although there weren't many shops or places to eat, there was a KFC and Pizza Hut nearby!
Things to do in Pulau Kapas
Once in Pulau Kapas, you can either go snorkeling, kayaking, or just relax on the beach and take it slowly!
The Long Beach, on the west side of the island, is a beach with lovely powdery white sand (“Pulau” means cotton in Malay), and there are plenty of trees providing lots of shade.
You can spend the whole day reading your book under a tree, going for a lazy swim now and then.
Pulau Kapas Snorkeling
The number one activity on a day trip Pulau Kapas, is snorkeling. And I'm not exaggerating by saying that the Kapas island snorkeling is some of the best in the world.
Just a few meters off the coast you can see plenty of different corals, and several types of colourful fish feeding off them.
There are parrotfish, clownfish (the famous Nemo, hiding in the anemones), snappers, rabbitfish, butterfly fish, damsels and trevallys, and quite a few others. If you are lucky, you might also see sharks, manta rays or turtles.
The best place for Snorkelling in Kapas
The best places to go snorkelling on Pulau Kapas are the beach north of Qimi chalets, and the beach to the east of the Kapas Turtle Valley resort.
Be very mindful of the currents and the corals – at low tide, the sea can get very shallow really quickly. Avoid touching the corals and the anemones, and by all means do not step on the sea urchins!
The sea in Pulau Kapas is really warm, so you can spend all day underwater – in fact, some people might find it too warm.
Don’t forget to use sunscreen, or even better a t-shirt, as the sun is very strong. If you don’t have your own mask and snorkel, you can rent it on the island for 15 MYR.
Where to eat in Pulau Kapas
Most people on a Pulau Kapas day trip will take their own food and eat it at the beach. There are a few nice restaurants to choose from if you prefer.
When you need a break for some lunch, head to KBC restaurant – the kitchen is open from 8.00 to 15.30. They also have a large selection of books that you can borrow if you haven’t got one.
We spent 5 days on Pulau Kapas, and we could have definitely spent a lot longer. So if you have time, consider more than a day trip to Pulau Kapas – it’s definitely worth it!