Summer Bay towards the north end of Long Beach seemed to have the most guests of the resorts - mostly Malaysian and Chinese package tourists. This place had a pretty good store with reasonable prices for an island retail outlet.
Sari Pacifica is near the southern end. It had similar accommodation prices to D'Coconut and if room and resort facilities were the same as Sari Pacifica Redang where we stayed after Lang Tengah, it may have been the better option. Not that D'Coconut was poor it: could have just been a bit better for the money. However guest comments on the user sites suggest maybe SP Lang Tengah is a bit short of the mark.
Lang Sari Beach
bteung, The resort is one of those places which specialises in package tours for domestic tourists - I stayed a few years back at a similar joint on Redang, Bay Resort, which proved quite good value although the atmosphere was holiday camp.
Looks good here but the place was a virtual ghost town when we passed by. Apparently it has changed hands - the people there seemed to be doing a major refit although the place appeared open for business. Judging from scathing user reports it needs this. I think the current name is Lang Sari.
D'Coconut guests get to choose between 2 beaches. The longer, D'Coconut West is way smaller than Long or Lang Sari beaches at just over 100m. A 300m rainforest path over a low saddle joins them.
Turtle Bay and Batu Kuking
A short distance east of D'Cononut east are the final two south coast beaches - Turtle and Batu Kuking. There is no beach at Batu Bulan.
BEACH COMPARISONS WITH NEARBY ISLANDS - Lang Tengah's beaches are pretty nice, better on average than the Perhentians. But I reckon Kapas has an overall higher standard. And providing lots of people don't put you off, the main beach at Redang is probably the single best in the region.
OFF THE BEACH - from what I saw the best off the beach snorkelling was at the southern end of Long Beach around the blue coral area. However this is about 70m off the sand and may be a stretch for many - no matter, the snorkeling boat trips include this place on their itinerary. I also found a very nice coral bommie (big round lump of hard coral) about the same distance off the beach in the swimming enclosure between Sari Pacifica and Summer Bay resorts, the area in the shot below.
As mentioned up page I wasn't impressed with the coral off D'Coconut although the fish were okay - and people seemed to be enjoying the snorkeling at the far western end of Lang Sari beach (where the sand is nicest too). I was too lazy to check off Turtle Bay and Batu Kuking.
THE BEACH WALK - as seen above, someone starting at one of the Long Beach resorts can make their way to Batu Kuking via the beaches, the short track between Sari Pacifica and the western wing of Lang Sari, the 300m walk across the low saddle between D'Coconut west and east and then the 5 minute not-too-steep jungle path across to Batu Kuking.
THE BATU BULAN WALK - walk inland in the obvious semi-clearing towards the far end of Batu Kuking beach and look for the track pointers.
....plus the view down into the bay shown 6 pix up page. Climbing down for a swim/snorkel would take some effort but would not be impossible.
TREKKING COMPARISONS WITH NEARBY ISLANDS. The Perhentians have the longest and most interesting treks, Redang, Kapas and Lang Tengah are roughly equal.
Finding a place to stay on Lang Tengah was a bit of a challenge. With Lady Tezza along I was looking for a place a step up from budget. Maybe just as well - Lang Sari is the only place approaching budget (on its package deals) but at the time of booking was declining the same; at least on popular booking sites. Its own booking site was off-putting with statements like FOR MALAYSIAN NATIONALS ONLY. And reviews on the user sites weren't exactly positive.
So okay, I had a look at alternatives and they were are priced way upmarket from flashpacker. Way upmarket from most places. Thing is, the highest I've ever paid in SE Asia is $us75 and that got me a gorgeous resort in Bali - and here's these 3 joints on Lang Tengah not of the same standard but wanting $us135 or more! Tell 'em they're dreaming! Well I usually do, but I did want to check the island out so I selected the only one that had mainly positive user reviews at the time - D'Coconut.
I'll sum up my feeling on this joint: Nice place but overpriced.
As already mentioned, D'Coconut is split over 2 regions – the West Wing is about 4 min/300m walk over a low saddle (steepness will only worry the VERY unfit) from the East Wing. Each has its own beach, pool & restaurant – there is not much difference except the East Wing had wifi (patchy reception) in its restaurant, a better breakfast & inferior pool & beach.
Part of the connecting pathway. Lighting at night okay - bags carried across for you if staying at West Wing.
East Wing pool, restaurant/reception (left) and most recently constructed accommodation unit.
Food in the restaurants was expensive compared to only slightly downmarket places we had just stayed at in the Perhentians. Like them the place seemed to be suffering from end of season wind-down even though early/mid Sept is a long way from season close at the end of Oct– many things on the menu were not available. The inclusive buffet was similarly limited –we had no fruit over 3 days – but it was possible to fill up on pretty tasty food.
The West Wing pool from the second restaurant. Beach is just out of shot to left.
Our Executive Deluxe room above the West Wing restaurant had nice pool & beach/sea views from its balcony. It was very clean, spacious, had quiet aircon, a comfy king bed plus a single and a divan. There was a jug but no tv. Lights were satisfactory and there was plenty of storage. No bottled water was supplied. The spacious bathroom had good hot water & a tub.
Another problem of visiting when there are few guests is that we came out in the hotel’s small outboard boat rather than its bigger cruiser– the sea breeze had kicked in on this day making the 45 minute trip bumpy & wet. Not to mention cramped. Here sea conditions are more benign because we are in the lee of the island. Cost Sept 2013 rm55 per person one way.
Hotel fauna and flora pretty interesting
Overall, D'Coconut is a pretty nice place, but not to the standard of the 3.5 stars being claimed on our booking site. It can't justify its pricing. $us135 for a nice but essentially lower-midrange room, expensive food with limited choice and an uncomfortable transfer is not balanced by the gorgeous location and exceptionally nice and efficient staff. The price was towards 3 times that paid at Perhentian resorts only slightly downmarket.
SO SHOULD YOU GO TO LANG TENGAH IN PREFERENCE TO NEARBY ISLANDS?
Certainly, if you are looking for exclusivity and don't mind paying for it. The nice beaches, clear water and good coral on a tiny island with only a few resorts a fair distance from the coast give you the idea of being somewhere pretty special.
Our trip away from the island was way more comfortable. We wanted to jump the short distance over to Redang island - the resort rang this Mingstar boat at left which was fast and much drier than the resort's smaller boat at right. From what I can gather this outfit does a daily run to Redang from Merang around or a bit after 1100 and doesn't mind diverting to Lang Tengah to pick up island-hoppers. This suggests they will also deliver guests to Lang Tengah resorts who miss earlier boats..
IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING LANG TENGAH YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN NEARBY REDANG, KAPAS AND PERHENTIAN ISLANDS. SIMILAR INFORMATION ON THESE CAN BE FOUND VIA THE INDEX.
If you see mistakes or have additional information, please post it below. But if you have questions please ask it on THE FORUM. I don't have time to check individual island pages very often - but I try to monitor THE FORUM most days when I'm not travelling.