I was in Pulau Redang twenty years ago, camping with friends and a group of divers.

We were there for three nights. Other than the spectacular marine life, there are two things that I particularly recall. One was sleeping outside the tent, waking in the middle of the night and seeing a shooting star dart across the star-filled sky.

The other was the toilet.

They had dug a hole in the ground and, for privacy, surrounded the area with rather solied-looking canvas. It was uninspiring and, no urgings of my bowel could send me there. Digging a hole by myself beneath a clutch of coconut trees on the far edge of the campsite, didn’t work for me either.

What got me going though was holding onto a rock for dear life, the night sea and all its attendant mysteries lapping behind my exposed bottom. It became a most natural bidet too …

Ah, the luxuries of camping…

The next day, whilst diving, we kept an eye out for “floating coral”! 🙂

Visiting the island again a few months back, I found there a string of hotels and a modern compact international airport.

How things have changed!

The accommodation was five star. The village beside the sea had moved inland, so that it was close to the hotel where most of the villagers now worked. I found several bits of rubbish in the sea.

But Redang was still beautiful.

The marine life wonderful.

Beautiful beaches, captivating sea life

By the way, if you’ve been having trouble looking my History of Malaysia ¬– A Children’s Encyclopedia in your local book shop, now’s your chance. (It’s usually hidden in the Children’s section!)

But this July you’ll find the encyclopedia well displayed at these MPH outlets: Mid Valley, 1U, Subang Parade, The Curve, BB Plaza, Alpha Angle, Sunway Pyramid, Kinta City, Gurney Plaza and JB City Square.

Time to grab one?

So, yes, time to rush and buy …

Perhaps you can take it with you to Pulau Redang …

But don’t take it into that canvas-covered hole in the ground with you!