MOST of us are familiar with Redang Island in Terengganu but Selangor has its very own Pantai Redang, which is located near the small town of Sekinchan.
Despite its charming name, the beach here is not a famous snorkelling or swimming spot but it offers a good at sunset and was made popular by the 30-episode drama The Seeds of Life, which aired about three years ago.
The popularity of Pantai Redang is growing thanks to the series, attracting tourists from as far as Singapore and Hong Kong who flock here to get
a glimpse of the sunset and padi fields.
The Seeds Of Life dwells on the simplicity of life in a small town where the main source of income comes from the padi fields and the sea.
The story revolves around two brothers whose father owns a rice mill.
Luo Shi Chong and his younger brother Shi Jie are as different as siblings can be. While Shi Chong is self-centred, Shi Jie is more concerned about the welfare of the villagers.
Shi Chong is spoilt by his mother but Shi Jie is favoured by his father.
This creates some tension in the family with Shi Chong always trying to win his father’s affections. Unfortunately, he ends up getting into trouble and makes his friend Su Xiao Wen a scapegoat.
The cast comprised Malaysian actors Melvin Sia, Ken Tan, Mers Sheng, Angie Seow, Ng Yan Yee, Kay Siow Wai, Shaun Chen and Singaporean actress Eelyn Kok, who stayed on location while shooting the drama.
As Pantai Redang has become a more popular tourist spot since three years ago, locals now have to use motorcycles to get to the beach, especially on weekends, as it is packed with tourists.
On weekends, bus-loads of tourists drop by for a break and to try out activities such as kite-flying on the beach.
Another popular spot at the beach is the “Datuk Kong” temple, where a person can make a wish on a tree.
With thousands of people flocking here, the “Make a Wish” tree is almost completely covered with red ribbons that are left behind by those seeking good fortune.
There is also a fishing boat anchor on the beach that serves as a landmark.
Swings and hammocks can be seen attached to trees for visitors to enjoy the cool sea breeze or even read a book under the shade.
Locals earn some extra cash selling fruits, coconut water, soft drinks, rojak and other titbits to visitors.
The popularity of Pantai Redang is no coincidence, according to Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Suee Lim who claimed that it was his idea to boost the town’s image and make Sekinchan popular among tourists in 2009.
He explained that a Singaporean had visited him in 2009 and Ng had suggested that a movie be shot in the area.
The Singaporean was interested in the idea and the shooting of The Seeds of Life began the same year.
It was aired on NTV7 in 2010 over a period of two months and later aired in Singapore.
“Today, Pantai Redang is so popular that locals are benefiting from the business tourists bring in every weekend.
“To ensure this area remains a popular tourist spot, I have requested the Sabak Bernam District Council to build good toilets here.
“Businesses, especially seafood restaurants and commercial outlets, among other places, are booming in the area,” said Ng.
Sekinchan folk are also enjoying the presence of tourists in Pantai Redang.
Housewives Nor Surinah Sarbini, 27 and her sister Zaina Samiyati, 30, go to the beach daily to de-stress.
“We usually come here in the evening with our children. We chit-chat while our children play on the swings here.
“When we come here, we feel very calm. The view is simply beautiful,” she said.
Kua Beng Gek, 24, and her sister Kua Siau Ying, 15, were seen walking along the beach with their dog, Mickey.
Beng Gek, a private tutor in the town, said Pantai Redang had beautiful scenery and the
sisters would walk along the beach on weekends.
“It is a good place to relax and enjoy the view.
“The place is more crowded on weekends, so we use a motorcycle to come to the beach as finding a parking spot is not easy.
“We also meet a lot of tourists. The people who come here are very friendly and want to know more about our town. We are happy to tell them more about our town,” she said.
Rojak seller Heng Seng Hion, 73, who also sells fruits and drinks, said business was very good on weekends and sales could reach up to RM2,000 daily.
“Tourists who come here just love watching the sunset. They also enjoy the beach as it was made popular by the drama.
“The series has made Sekinchan famous and now everyone knows about our town,” he said proudly.
Kong Thim Hock, 50, was seen bringing his friends to Pantai Redang to have coconut water and enjoy snacks at the beach under a tree.
He had hosted five of his former schoolmates from Klang to catch a glimpse of the view of the seaside and sunset recently.
His friend Tan Lin Siong said Pantai Redang and Sekinchan were much talked about these days.
“Being here, I can imagine how the shooting of the drama was done,” she added.