Activities in Terengganu
Terengganu, Malaysia has a remarkable range of activities catering to almost every market segment. There are plenty of family friendly activities in Terengganu, and children are never bored when holidaying anywhere in Malaysia. For young couples and singles, Terengganu offers an exciting and diverse nightlife and is considered one of the culinary capitals of Malaysia. Terengganu is also a world-class shopping venue for shopaholics.
Climb a mountain. There a few excellent climbing spots in Terengganu covering a range of skill sets. Serious climbers head for Tebu, Berembung, Bunung Gagau and Gajah Terom for some of the best climbing. Any of the major reputable travel agencies in the state can arrange equipment hire and guided climbing tours.
More than half of Terengganu’s land area is covered in forests, and many of these hold some worthwhile treks. The most primitive treks are found on some of the outlying islands, while inland Lake Kenyir has a nice mix of novice and advanced trails. Parks like La Hot Spring and Sekayu are fully equipped with shelters, BBQ pits and parking facilities for those who’d rather not stray too far from the creature comforts of life. All of these areas see an even mix of travellers on guided tours and independent hikers. Those who opt against hiring a guide are strongly advised to check in with a tourism information office for up-to-date trail information before setting out.
Cycling is an excellent way to explore the small coastal villages that fan out from Kuala Terengganu. The roads in this part of the state are sealed and fairly flat. The most popular route travels north from Chukai to Kuala Besut, passing through many rustic towns and small villages along the way. Heading to the interior mountains, roads are much rougher and beckon mountain biking enthusiasts from around the world. Bicycles and equipment can be rented from any of the major cities, and travel agencies can help you arrange an itinerary. Terengganu has been a featured leg in the Tour de Langkawi cycling competition.
Terengganu has long been renowned for its traditional wooden boats (called bangau), constructed by expert craftsmen in the many harbours that dot the coastline. The tradition still lives on today. While today’s boat builders may have a few modern tools in their arsenal, these vessels are constructed in the ancient tradition from memory and completely without blueprints. Meticulous attention to detail and lavish decorations make these boats one-of-a-kind. Watching a boat-builder at work is a must for any visitor who has the opportunity.
Catch a cuttlefish. Terengganu’s seasoned fishermen have a trick for pulling cuttlefish from the South China Sea. Their methods involve multiple fishing lines and lights, and international anglers are welcome to give it a try. Resorts book all-inclusive fishing excursions of any length of time.
Hire a canoe. Many of the main attractions in Terengganu are accessible by canoe. Whether cruising Lake Kenyir or paddling to an offshore islands, a canoe is a great way to reconnect with nature and get exercise. Some upscale resorts lend patrons canoes or sea kayaks free of charge.
Culture is Terengganu’s forte. Across the region, you’ll discover workshops dedicated to the region’s handicrafts. Artisans craft anything from fabrics meticulously woven with gold threat to large boats built completely from memory. The influence of Chinese immigrants is paramount in Kuala Terengganu’s Chinatown. Throughout the capital city are a variety of museums and scientific institutes that educate and entertain guests. Most travellers agree that the opportunity to partake in Terengganu’s culture is the region’s primary attraction.
Four Wheel Drive Excursion in Terengganu
Embark on a four-wheel drive excursion. Terengganu’s rugged interior terrain is an excellent place to test the limits of an off-road vehicle. Hotels and travel agencies periodically arrange four-wheel adventures along the rugged path between Gua Musang and Lake Kenyir or to the logging roads at Hulo Dungun.
Thirty minutes drive outside of Chukai in southern Terengganu, the Firefly Sanctuary is a magical place to take your children. The largest of its kind in Malaysia, this facility stretches more than eight miles along the Yak Yah River, where countless fireflies transform the scene every evening. It’s not uncommon for more than 1,000 of these luminous insects to congregate in a single tree. Tour operators launch excursions to the sanctuary from Kampung Ibok. The show is most impressive between July and September.
Rafting is an excellent way to escape into Terengganu’s natural surroundings. Rafts are typically made with long pieces of bamboo fixed together. Passengers stand while riding the raft and a long bamboo oar is used to navigate the bends in the river. This pleasant retreat into nature is best undertaken during the monsoon season, when a multitude of travel agencies and hotels can arrange rafting activities for large and small groups alike. Most of these tours head to Pasir Raja Forest Reserve or Kenyir Lake.
Malaysian kite flying traditionally took place in the rice paddies during harvest season or along the coast when fishermen declined to take their boats out due to inclement seas. Today, kites are often flown on the beaches of Terengganu in the late summer. This presents a wonderful way for visitors to engage in a rich tradition without spending a lot of money in the process. Each kite (or wau) falls into a traditional category including peacock kites, moon kites and cat kites.
Terengganu’s pristine interior is an ideal place for outdoor activities. The region holds plenty of freshwater streams and waterfalls, all set against old forests that haven’t been subjected to as much logging as other parts of Malaysia. Tasik Kenyir is the largest manmade lake in Southeast Asia, and the resort here draws tourists during every season. Jungle trekking, river rafting and mountain biking are all avid pursuits in the backcountry.