Kapas Island (Malay: Pulau Kapas) is an island off Marang in Terengganu, Malaysia. Pulau Kapas means Cotton Island, a name given to it by locals, due to its soft white beaches. Surrounded by crystal clear water, Pulau Kapas is a getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Though this island remains relatively unheard of in the tourist circuit, it is well worth an extended visit if you need time to get away from the chaos that can come with being a backpacker or staying too long on the mainland. Ideal for couples but also great for anyone looking to meet people in a close-knit environment.
Ferries to Kapas leave from Marang, which is about 45 minutes by car from Kuala Terengganu. Boatride takes 10-30 minutes, depending on the waves. You can ask for price quotes from local dealers (there are some agents for Pulau Kapas resort in Kuala Terengganu) or simply go to Marang and talk to the ferrymen. Groups may be able to get discounts off the individual rates for resort accommodations on the island.
Everything is accessible by foot. It takes about fifteen minutes to cover all the ground on the island, with the exception of the jungle trek.
Go scuba diving and see marine life on the seabed.
There is one diving company offering open water and advanced certifications as well as fun dives around Kapas. For snorkeling, you can hire a boat to take you to different locations, but most of the best spots can be found within 100m of most of the beaches. Kapas is known for its relaxing atmosphere and beautiful beaches, so bring a good book and don't expect much partying or loud music.
On the main beach there is Ombak Café, serving great local food and some Western food, and KBC Restaurant, owned by a Dutch guy (see KBC listing in "Sleep").
Otherwise, there is Kampung Koko on the long beach, really good food but it takes a long time there. Make sure to bring your friends, a book or get in touch with some locals there while you wait for your food. It's worth it.
Many guesthouses also offer breakfast and dinner for their guests.
Bring your own alcohol if you plan to drink here. The only alcoholic drinks available are at KBC, but you can spend half your daily budget in one night if you're not careful. Liquor can be bought in Chinatown in Kuala Terengganu.
Captain's Longhouse, placed at the end of long beach, between jungle and ocean. Traditional wooden architecture from Sarawak, hammocks and a nice bistro with a lonely wide beach.
KBC (Kapas Beach Chalets) consists of two places with the same name next to each other. Both offer accommodation, but if you want to enjoy your stay there choose the one without the restaurant (from the beach the left one). Friendly staff and they offer great food for their house guests.
Marang has a good little outdoor market near the ferry landing.