Other than engaging in conservation activities with sea turtles, volunteers will also have time to relax, swim and explore Chagar Hutang. Among the activities that can be enjoyed at Chagar Hutang are snorkeling over the reef, hiking to Turtle Rock and Turtle Bay Vista, visiting a natural Prawn Spa, and exploring the unique island flora and fauna.
It is legendary that most major turtle rookeries have a Turtle Rock believed to be a beacon to guide the turtles back to their natal beach. The Turtle Rock for Redang Island is located at the north-eastern cape of Chagar Hutang Bay. It takes about 90 minutes of hiking to reach the rock. From the rock, you can have a beautiful view of the bay and the waters beyond. If you are lucky, you may spot sea turtles, whale sharks, dolphins and other interesting creatures. This is the only spot that you may occasionally obtain cell phone signals.
Turtle Bay Vista
Chagar Hutang Bay is surrounded by hills with two streams cutting to the bay. By hiking up one of the streams for 50 minutes, you will reach a clearing where you can get a panoramic view of the bay. Along the way there are numerous interesting plants including tongkat ali, rotan, wild orchid and pitcher plants (periuk kera).
There is endless freshwater provided by a natural spring at Chagar Hutang which is sufficient for our needs. Numerous small pools and waterfalls line the stream and are home to a number of freshwater organisms. A short distance up the stream will bring you to a small pool we called our Prawn Spa. Dipping your feet into the pool will attract tiny freshwater shrimp. The experience is like a fish spa where the tiny shrimps nibble away any dead skin. It is believed that this natural exfoliation of dead skin helps release stress and tension. It is worth trying and, best of all, it is free of charge.
Apart from sea turtles, there are other forms of wildlife that you may encounter during your stay at Chagar Hutang. These include the long-tailed macaque, squirrels, tree shrews, mouse deer, monitor lizards, snakes, geckos, fruit bats, birds, colourful butterflies and moths, hermit crabs and many others. If you are into bird-watching, you can bring your binoculars along.
Various types of interesting trees can be found at Chagar Hutang. Many of these trees have been identified and their names are tagged on the trees. Among some of the interesting trees you should look out for are tongkat ali, ubi toyo, jambu laut, limau hantu, gegatal, pong-pong, nyatuh, kandis burung, rambai hutan, nibong, sial menahun, kepala berok and many more.
Snorkelling over the reef
Turtle Bay is a popular spot for snorkellers and divers from resorts around the island. The beautiful reef and the opportunity to observe turtles underwater are powerful attractions. An interesting variety of hard corals and other invertebrates can be found within this bay at the doorstep of Chagar Hutang. The habitat also supports numerous reef fishes such as the clown fish, butterfly fishes, angel fishes, bat fishes, bumphead parrot fish, napoleon wrasse, schools of antherinids, squids, black tip sharks and the titan triggerfish.