Friday, February 09, 2007

Tourists to Pulau Aman by Water Taxi

TOURISTS heading for Pulau Aman off Batu Kawan, Penang, can now opt to use water taxis to get to the island from the Batu Musang jetty.

The jetty which was completed in September last year would have water taxis plying to and from the island at intervals of 15 to 20 minutes.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rashid Abdullah said that now one water taxi was in service and two more would be ready by middle of this year.

“Each water taxi costs RM100,000 and the service is being managed by the Pulau Aman Fishermen Associa-tion Unit. Four fishermen have been trained and are licensed to operate the vessels.

“Each return trip costs RM5 and the journey takes about eight minutes,” said Abdul Rashid after the launch of the water taxi.

Rustic charm:A view of the Pulau Aman jetty with the water taxi in the foreground.
He added that two of the old boats used to ferry visitors to the island would still be in service until the arrival of the remaining water taxis.

One for the pot:Visitor Seah Moy Hong showing the giant crab she has just bought from Pulau Aman.
Previously, visitors had to catch a ride to the island from the Bukit Tambun pier for RM4 on a fishing boat.

“With an influx of nearly 35,000 visitors last year, we need a good transportation system. These water taxis would help to boost agro-tourism on the island and also augment the income of the fishermen here,” he said.

Abdul Rashid also said a proposal to develop Pulau Gedung, which is located next to Pulau Aman, had been submitted.

“We are proposing for a private company to build chalets facing the sea at Pulau Gedung. There is a 0.8ha site there suitable for development.

“There are plans to build a motivation centre for recreational activities on Pulau Aman. We have applied for RM2mil to build five to six floating chalets near the new Pulau Aman jetty,” he said.

Now, there are 12 chalets and 13 homestay units on the island.

Source : STAR
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