Friday, October 5, 2018

Resorts World Kijal, Terengganu: Turtle Conservation, Beach Fun and More!

Every year between April to September, turtles return to the beaches of Terengganu by instinct to the very area where they were hatched. The turtles you may find here in Terengganu are mainly the common Green Turtle (Chelonia Mydas) and the occasional rare Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys Imbricate).

The sight of a mother turtle ambling up the beach to ensure that her next generation are safely deposited in warm sand is one to cherish. A green turtle can usually lays 70-140 eggs at one time and every 10-12 nights, it will come back to the beach to lay eggs, for up to 5 times a season. For about three months, the eggs will lay incubating in the sand, only for the hatchlings to emerge during a full moon and speed their way to the ocean. In the years to come, many will return to the very same beach, completing the cycle of life.

As the turtle watching season on Peninsular Malaysia’s East Coast reaches its peak in September, Resorts World Kijal with its 7.6km beach remains one of the best places in Malaysia to spot and appreciate these majestic creatures on their annual return to the shore. It is the only turtle landing area with a hotel attached.

This means that guests do not need to travel a long distance to the turtle viewing area to wait for the turtles (as viewing is not always guaranteed). Guests can stay in the comfort of their rooms, and only once the ranger spots a mother turtle coming onshore to lay her eggs at the resort, they will contact the guest and arrange for them to head down for the turtle watching.

Resort World Kijal's Hatchery

We participated in the turtle hatchlings release and egg planting session at the Hatchery. This was the highlight of our trip, as BabySumoKids got to release 4-year old baby turtles (aka hatchling) back to their natural environment. The kids were taught the correct way to handle the turtles and we wished them "good luck" before we carefully released them onto the sand to make their way to the sea. It is important to release the turtles at least 3m away as scrambling over the sand is a way of imprinting, so they know where to return to lay their eggs in future.

Being a high-trafficked area, Resorts World Kijal's conservation programme ensures the safety of both the turtles and their eggs. Regular cleanings are done to ensure the beach is safe for both turtle landings and guest activities, and the resort is also working with the Terengganu Department of Fisheries to seek official protection for its beach and to certify its guest turtle conservation programme.

It is estimated that only 1 in 1000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood due to predators, hence we need to ensure as many eggs as possible are hatched and also NOT eaten by humans. We can do our part by not supporting the turtle trade in any way or by not littering as plastic bags are usually mistaken for jellyfish (the turtle's favorite food which they can eat up too 100kg per day!).

Egg planting

The turtle eggs are about the size of ping pong balls

4-day old baby turtles, ready to be released

Kids were taught how to hold the baby turtles (on the side, and never on the belly)

Look at the joy on his face (he told me that he really hopes his baby turtle survives out there!)

Goodbye little one!

Did you know that turtle eggs laid in the shade would mostly be male and in hot areas will be female?

Guests eager to participate in the turtle conservation efforts and get a glimpse of these turtles can opt for the resort’s 3D2N Sea Turtle package, where they can frolic in the sea by day and keep watch for turtles at night. With this package, guests will stay in the Premier Seaview Room (inclusive breakfast) which offers a magnificent view of the swimming pool, beach and azure ocean.

A taste of local culture - we were warmly greeted by these primary school children who performed a few traditional Malay dance for us.

Hotel lobby is quite a sight to behold, with its super high ceiling

Imagine waking up to this view :)

The Premier Seaview Room also comes with a bathtub as well as separate shower/toilet.

With pristine beaches and warm weather all around, take advantage and go for a long walk by the beach and feel the sand as well as sea water between your toes. Take respite from the heat under these beach umbrellas and simply enjoy the view.

Check out the cute toilet signs!

There is also a fantastic swimming pool with a kids play area and slides to keep the family entertained. By the pool, there are also outdoor jacuzzis for adults to enjoy a soak in.

There are also table tennis, snooker, fitness centre, archery range, Giant chess, Snakes & Ladders and many more to keep everyone happy.

There is also an 18-hole championship golf course right next to the resort, providing a unique challenge with its sand-based course.

Cutest buggy driver.. hop on!

There are three dining venues at the hotel, namely Restoran Kampong Meraga Beris, Oasis Beach Bistro and Hainan Express. Restoran Kampong is where you have your breakfast, with a large variety of food including local specialties such as laksam and nasi dagang. The restaurant also serves a buffet lunch, with the dishes served on top of a "sampan" (boat).

Located by the beach, Oasis Beach Bistro is the perfect venue for a BBQ under the stars with a wonderful sea view.  Enjoy your dinner with the sea breeze against your skin while being entertained by the live band.

If you have time, you can also explore the old fishing village, Kampung Penunjuk, which is just 10 minutes away. You will still see working fishing boats here and the sight of fish such as anchovies (ikan bilis) drying in the sun.

Resorts World Kijal is ideal for teambuilding activities; the Events team are well-equipped in organizing telematches and activities. We had lots of fun participating in the events such as Bottle Fishing, Gorilla Race, Tarik Upih and Kukur Kelapa.

Thanks to Resorts World Genting for organising this fun and educational media trip. It was an amazing experience for our kids; not only did they get to learn lots of fascinating facts about turtles and how they can help preserve the turtles, they got first-hand experience on releasing the hatchlings back to sea.

Watch our video for the turtle release here.

Room rates at Resorts World Kijal start from RM410 per night.

The resort also offers a number of stay packages, including the 3D2N Sea Turtle Package (RM682 per night in a Premier Seaview room, including buffet breakfast for two at Restoran Kampong and a choice of turtle hatchling release or egg planting) and the 2D1N Golf Package (RM426 per night in a Premier Seaview room, including a buffet breakfast for two at Restoran Kampong and golfing session for 2 pax, including insurance).

Check in time 3pm, check out time 12pm.  Resorts World Kijal is approximately a 4-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur.

Location: Resorts World Kijal, KM28, Jalan Kemaman-Dungun 24100 Kijal, Kemaman, Terengganu Darul Iman, Malaysia.

Tel: 09-864 1188


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  1. First went there when it was named Awana Kijal many many years ago for work, but I guess this trip is a lot more fun than mine was for sure.

  2. Those baby turtles are so adorable~~~

  3. My Terengganu friends keep asking me to go and I would love to make the trip one day - would love to try to food there, all the local delights...just that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.


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