Pulau Bidong Island
The Pulau Bidong island is in the northeast of Kuala Terengganu city and Merang town. To get to the island, it takes about 40 – 50 minutes by boat.
In 1978, Malaysian Government and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) started to use Bidong to house the refugees instead a location on the mainland. In the early years, people lived under the trees, tents, or anything they could find to avoid the tropical hot sun, rain, and ocean storms. As years went by, Malaysian Government, Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS), UNHCR, and other relief agencies organized the island into a more orderly conducted. It had longhouses, hospital, schools, clinics, temples, churches, coffee shops, post office, vocational school, and some refugee owned shops like bakery shops, tailor shops, fruit stands, small markets etc.
There were plenty of entertainments and activities available to the refugees. However, these were not available in the early years. In the late 80s, a musical stage was set up next to longhouse B15. There were regular music festivals performed by the refugees and Malaysian musicians as well as UN, MRCS, Police Taskforce personnel. Soccer was a big thing on the island At one time, the island had up 24 teams to compete for soccer games. There were two divisions: adult and kids. Rattan ball game sepak raga bulat) was also getting popular. We learned it from the Police Taskforce, who were excellent players. Boy Scout was a very strong organization to keep kids active with all kinds of outdoor activities. Beside Boy Scout, the Buddhist temple and Catholic church also had their own group to keep the kids active and learning. While many activities were available to kids, the adults did not have much fun besides volunteering for office works such as security, sanitary, post office, schools, and others. Lamvi’s dad was an English teacher for a zone D school. Along zone C beach, there were two large coffee shops. These two shops, Club and Happy, were the top spot for adults, who were mostly young men. Only soft drinks like 7Up, Coke, Pepsi…and cakes were available. From here, anyone could have perfect view out to the sea and the Shark island. Sometimes, dolphins were jumping not too far from shore. It was a view. Next to the Food Supply cage and which was about a few meters from Sick Bay hospital, there was also a two story coffee shop. This shop was famous for its ice cream and nightly Chinese and Indian movies.
- CompanyPulau Bidong Island
- Category Attractions
- Location Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu
- Tag Attractions in Kuala Terengganu, Attractions in Terengganu, Pulau Bidong Island, Things to do in Malaysia
Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia