Kuala Terengganu is the state capital of Terengganu, on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia.
Terengganu is one of the Malaysian State which is endowed with a wealth of charming and refreshing natural landscapes. Terengganu is blessed with tropical rainforests, exotic beaches, stunning islands, charming fishing villages, enthralling waterfalls and many, many more. Terengganu has a strong Malay population along with few Chinese and Indians. All the towns and villages in Terengganu are unaffected by the hustle and bustle of a big city.
For those in search of culture, Terengganu offers a glimpse at the traditional pursuits, from its myriad of colorful pastimes such as batik printing and songket weaving to the euphoric celebration of its many generations of cultural and traditional heritage. The islands of Terengganu are amongst the most picturesque in Malaysia. The clear waters and teeming marine life of Terengganu have made it an increasingly popular destination for divers.
Terengganu has tropical monsoon climate with uniform temperature within the range of 21°C to 32°C throughout the year. The weather is generally dry and warm during January and April while the months from November to January are main rainy season. Therefore, the best time to visit Terengganu is between March and October during the non- monsoon season.
Kuala Terengganu, the capital of Terengganu
Kuala Besut, the main port for ferries to the Perhentian Islands
Marang, the port for ferries to Kapas Island
Merang, the port for ferries to Redang
Seberang Takir, a small fishing village with cottage industry
Kemaman city neighbouring Pahang
Dungun, a medium-sized town and jumping-off point for Tenggol
Kerteh, a place where you can find nice beaches and clear blue river of fisherman village.
POPULAR TOURIST SPOTS IN TERENGGANU
Bukit Puteri is a 208-metre hill that is rich in history. Situated next to the famous Istana Maziah, the hill’s name literally means The Princess Hill and offers panaromic view of the Terengganu River. It was formerly a fortress between 1831 and 1876. Visitors to this highest point in Kuala Terengganu will understand the significance of this stronghold in the past. At present what remains is a large brass bell known as ‘Genta’. It was struck during emergencies as well as notification of important festivals and royal events, chimed at different message tone to the surrounding townsfolk. There are also a family of cannons, flagpole, a lighthouse, cemetery and a fort. Bukit Puteri is accessible by an escalator next to the new Waterfront Heritage Bazaar.
This is one of the beautiful mosques in the world. Situated at the Islamic Civilisation Park in Pulau Wan Man (Taman Tamandun Islam) is the majestic looking Crystal Mosque. With the river setting in the front, it is largely made of glass with 4 crystals located up the 4 minarets. It was ordered to be built by Sultan Terengganu Meezan Zain Al-Abedeen.
Laman Maziah was originally a part of the Istana Maziah’s compound. A sizeable had been turned into a beautiful landscaped garden. There is a gigantic replica of betel leaves canister or tepak sireh which symbolizes the half-forgotten betel leaves eating era of the yester years. Laman Maziah is open to all for leisurely walk around the palace compound. the monument is no doubt a sign of welcome to all visitors of the palace’s park.
The Floating Mosque
The Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah (Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque) which is situated about 4Km from Kuala Terengganu Center, is built on a floating platform and is also known as the “The Floating Mosque of the East” due to its unique design that creates an illusion of itself as floating on water. This magnificent and unique Mosque are named after one of the matriarch in the Terengganu Royal house, the mosque are in perfect harmony with the natural ,was touched and designed by YM Raja Datuk Kamarul Bahrin Shah, a very well known Malaysian architect who himself a Prince coming from the Terengganu royal house.
Pasar Payang or the Central Market is no less than an interesting place to visit. This double storey market houses all kind of goods that you can find, ranging from poultry to sea products, utensils to bed sheet….almost like ‘you name it, you get it’.
The lower level of this double storey building is a wet market. You can find fresh seafood or preserved sea products such as ikan bilis in all sizes, salted fish and dried cuttlefish etc. Consult the stall owner if you do not know how to choose between a salted fish for stir frying and a salted fish for steaming purposes.Vegetables are sold in the middle. Don’t be surprise if you see chilies in milky green color, fern leaves like vege, banana trunk, etc… these are the ulam, some wild vegetation eaten by the local here..
This palace is yet another main attraction of Kuala Terengganu. Unlike other traditional palaces, the design of this palace has a hint of French architecture. Overlooking the vibrant Kuala Terengganu waterfront, the palace was constructed during the reign of Sultan Zainal Abidin III in 1897. Originally called Istana Hijau (the Green Palace), what sets this palace unique is the use of a mixture of limestone and clay, strengthened with coarse salt, egg white and honey as its main building ingredients. This palace was definitely unique in its time, however was partly destroyed by a fire during World War II. The present palace is reconstructed during the post war era.
Today, Istana Maziah is the venue for royal celebrations, royal receptions of local and foreign dignitaries, royal weddings and conferment of titles. Medan Maziah was originally a part of the Istana Maziah’s compound. A sizeable had been turned into a beautiful landscaped garden. There is a gigantic replica of betel leaves canister or tepak sireh which symbolizes the half-forgotten betel leaves eating era of the yesteryears.
LA Hot Springs
There is a hot spring in Besut which is known as the LA Hot Springs with its water temperature ranging from 45 – 49 degrees celcius. The water contains natural sulfur which is said to have healing properties. Visitors flock to this spring especially so, when afflicted with skin ailments.
The Terengganu Planetarium complex is located at padang hiliran at the foothill of bukit besar, the highest hill in Kuala Terengganu. The permanent exhibitions on astronomy, science and technology is open to the public. At the 30 space theater, a state of art universal projector simulates an image of stars and planets of the sky onto a large doomed roof. Both Terengganu entrepreneurs development foundation and state science center offices are also situated in the complex.
Terengganu’s Kampung Cina (Chinatown) or Teng Lang Po, has existed for more than 300 years and it stands out compared to other similar settlements because of its aged buildings that showcase a mixture of Chinese, Malay, Arabic and Thai architecture.Many of the buildings (mostly shophouses) have undergone a restoration or beautification programme to increase its appeal to visitors, but great care has been taken to preserve its heritage value.Kampung Cina is home to ancient temples like Ho Ann Kiong and Tien Hou Kong that was built in 1801 and 1896 respectively.
One other landmark that goes back to the 19th century is the Low Tiey water well that was built in 1875. It still exists today, supplying clean water for residents in the area, and is one of the more popular attractions. Kampung Cina is also known for its local delicacies. Among the food items one can find here are the unique roti paong, Durian cake, Pulut ‘Dipa’ and the white keropok lekor, which is made out of Wolf Herring or ikan parang.
Terengganu is famous for her numerous waterfalls and rapids. A recently discovered waterfall 30km away trom AI Muktafi Billah Shah township in Dungun. Named the Chemerong Waterfall, it is still untouched. The area leading to the waterfall offers diverse richness of nature and wild life. It challenges the adventurous to jungle-trekking activity to the waterfall that magnificently cascade down a 305 meters slope. It is an adventure not to be forgotten, the coolness and the thunderous sound soothes the most weary travelers.
Tasik Kenyir is the largest man-made lake in Southeast Asia with picturesque water repository teeming with aquatic life, birds, mammals and vegetation. The lust green forests boasts an astonishing variety of flora and fauna, with more than 8,000 species of flowers and wildlife ranging from wild boar to more elusive panthers and elephants. Several waterfalls also flow into the lake if you’re into water sports and swimming. You can also trek or go off-road in the jungles around this magnificent lake.
Islands & Beaches
White sandy beaches, crystal clear blue sea, brilliant underwater world. Redang Island is located at 45 km offshore of Terengganu. Redang archipelago comprises 9 islands, the Lima Island, Paku Besar Island, Paku Kecil Island, Kerengga Besar Island, Kerengga Kecil Island, Ekor Tebu Island, Ling Island, Pinang Island and Redang Island. This archipelago is abounds with marvelous marine fishes, turtles and coral reefs, ensuring a great snorkeling and scuba-diving experience. The island is approximately 7km in length 6km in width is the largest of all other islands in the Marine Park.
The Redang archipelago has been designated as Pulau Redang Marine Parks Malaysia as to conserve the islands’ unique ecosystem. There are 500 species of live corals, more than a thousand species of invertebrates and almost 3000 species of fishes which includes manta rays, stingrays, sharks and whale sharks, all living in harmony in the reefs fringing the islands. It is a real heaven for divers.
Situated 21 km of the coast of Terengganu, pulau perhentian consists of two Islands which are pulau perhentian kecil and pulau perhentian besar. These lush and exotic tropical Islands boast some of the most picturesque beaches revered by sunbathers. Blessed with an abundant supply of fresh water, these Islands have been a stopover point for fishermen as well as migratory birds. The journey to Pulau Perhentian takes about 1 1/2 hours by boat from Kuala Besut.
Lang Tengah Island
The smaller island of Lang Tengah is perfect for a more secluded getaway. The waters are just as a beautiful, with fish that are so tame they swim right up to you, looking for food. Also look out for sea cucumbers and corals combing the floor bed.
Yet another excellent island, Pulau Kapas, is located very close to Marang, which is a short distance south of Kuala Terengganu. The idyllic beaches on the island’s west coast are home to a variety of hard and soft corals besides the marine life. This island is particularly known for squid fishing with only one resort available for accommodation.
Pulau Tenggol is another beautiful diving getaway island lies offshore of Kuala Dungun in the southern of Terengganu. This tiny and compact island is only 45 minutes from the coastal quite jetty in Kuala Dungun. It is as small as 3km in length and 2km in width. However, this doesn’t prevent it from becoming a paradise for many people especially diving enthusiasts.
On the island itself, behind the sandy beach is the resort that blends harmoniously into the surrounding environment and accommodating every exhausted visitor after a long active day. To the interior of the island, it is deep forested rocky hills that make it a scenic destination for adventure seekers. The hills rising over 800ft is a good place to have a panoramic view of the island, who knows, maybe you will see turtle swimming in the sea.
Pulau bidong lying 35 km off the main land is another stopover point for the fisherman. It was famous for being a vietnamese refugees camp until 1991. Pulau Bidong is a paradise for game fishing as its water team with variety of game fishes. Pulau lang tengah is an idyllic gateway with uncrowded beaches and variety of diving and snorkeling sites. These unspoiled Islands are a short boat ride from the main land. They offer day trippers the change to live out their deserted Island fantasies, exploring the pristine beaches and crystal clear waters of the south china sea.
Batu Buruk Beach
Pantai Batu Buruk is located within the town of Kuala Terengganu and is a lovely stretch of golden sandy beach amidst rows of casuarina grove. It is the favorite evening outing sport for local. Ideally located along the beautiful beach is the Cultural Center where regular cultural performances are held. Other sporting and recreational facilities are also available. They include swimming pools, hockey stadium, lawn-bowling field, football field, children playground, jogging tracks and garden.
Bukit Keluang Beach
Bukit Keluang has some of the best coastal scenery in Malaysia with lovely beaches, a wooden walkway along the cliff edge, sea caves and a 141 meter high hill with a superb view over the South China Sea.
Approximately 140km north of Kuala Terengganu and 6 kilometers from Kuala Besut, The view in this area is one of the most breathtaking and magnificent in Malaysia. It is also an ideal site for swimming, snorkeling and wind surfing.
Batu Rakit Beach
It is 30km from Kuala Terengganu or 15 Km from Merang in the north. Pantai Batu Rakit is on the unspoiled shores dotted with colourful fishing boat and surrounded by lush forest. There are fishing villages adjoining to the beach, catch the coming home fishing boats in every good weather evening for fresh fish or look for stalls by the road selling Terengganu famous keropok lekor, otak-otak and Satar. In some sunny days, the famous Pulau Redang and former Vietnamese refuge island, Pulau Bidong are visible from the beach. Try seafoods tempura (goreng celup tepung) at the Batu Rakit beach stalls, the stall serves varieties tempura such as fishes, crabs, squids, prawns, sting rays, bananas, kerepok etc. Batu rakit also famous for fried kew teaw with squid and chicken, try the stall opposite the mosque along the main road.
Rantau Abang Beach
Rantau abang, 60 km south of Kuala Terengganu, is one of the six Beaches in the world where giant letherback turtles come ashore to lay their eggs from the month of may to september. These giant turtles, up to 2.5m in length and sometimes weighing More than 375 kg is indeed a phenomenal sight to behold.
Tanjung Jara Beach
Timeless beauty and serenity you often dream of can all be found in this enchanting beach resort 60 km, south of Kuala Terengganu. The Tanjung Jara Beach resort’s alluring attractions is its specially designed architecture and landscaped hotel, designed after an old Malay palace. Built entirely of wood, the resort has won the prestigious aga khan award for outstanding architecture. And there’s plenty to do too. Sea sports, turtle watching and an exciting organized river safari up the Dungun river for the rugged and adventurous at heart.
Merang is the gateway to world famous archipelago of Redang islands. The beach, although not the most famous in the east coast, its long sandy beach and stretches of tall coconut trees and sparkling crystal clear sea water is somehow making Pantai Merang a good stop to enjoy the sea breeze before proceeding to next destination. There are some cheap chalets run by the local offering basic accommodation if you later decided to spend a night or so in this tranquil beach.
THINGS TO DO IN TERENGGANU
Terengganu has a remarkable range of activities catering to almost every market segment and even children will never get bored when holidaying in this eastern coast of Malaysia. Read More…
To sample as many varieties of local Malay cuisine in Terengganu, your best bet is to visit the Central Market food stalls, where you’ll find a variety of freshly cooked dishes for cheap. Read More…
Terengganu has no actual shopping malls but is filled to the brim with weekend markets, night markets, small shops and handicraft centers selling practically all types of handcrafted items. Read More…
Visitors will find most places in Terengganu easily accessible. There is a host of transportation modes that one can choose from, when travelling and within Terengganu, i.e. by air, road, buses and coaches, taxi.
There are regular flights from Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru to the Sultan Mahmud Airport which is located about 15 km from Kuala Terengganu, a city in the state of Terengganu. Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia have daily flights from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Sultan Mahmud Airport and the journey take approximately 45 minutes. Firefly is a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines that connects Terengganu to its regional hub in Penang.
Express coaches depart daily from all major cities of Malaysia including Kuala Lumpur (6-7 hours), Singapore (9-10 hours), Johor Bharu (9 hours) and Penang (9 hours) to Kuala Terengganu. There are a few choices of coaches to get to Kuala Terengganu that provide you with a comfortable ride. Most use the express bus station in the north of the town and usually have ticket counter that sell one way ticket. It is best to book your tickets and tour through local tour operator.
In season (March-October), there are two ferries a day from the central Shahbandar Jetty direct to Redang Island (75 min). These are operated by and intended primarily for guests of the Berjaya Redang Resort, but they’ll take non-guests on board (for a price) if there’s space.
Most travellers to Redang, however, will go via the main jetty at Merang, 45 min north of town.
Taxis are easily available from the airport and long-distance taxi stand that can be hired to move around the place. Local buses also leave from the main bus station in the town centre. Kuala Terengganu is also famous for its bicycle rickshaws which are a popular form of inner-city transport. Prices are highly negotiable.
The only way you can get to the town from airport is by taxis
The local municipality provided buses that roam around the town up to Kuala Ibai , Taman Tamadun Islam and few others attraction areas.Things
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