|Terengganu is a state on the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia in Malaysia. The state lies between Kelantan to the north and northwest and Pahang to the south and southwest, and has a long coastline of over 240 km facing the South China Sea. Terengganu was also formerly spelled Trengganu or Tringganu, is a sultanate and constitutive state of federal Malaysia. The state is also known by its Arabic honorific, Darul Iman ("Abode of Faith"). The coastal city of Kuala Terengganu which stands at the mouth of the broad Terengganu River is the state and royal capital as well as the largest city in Terengganu.
The largely Islamic state of Terengganu is home to some of Malaysia’s most authentic heritage. Once visitors leave the resort areas, they quickly encounter a very candid window into Malaysia’s culture. Despite being a conservative destination, locals are welcoming of tourists and there’s plenty of friendly hospitality to enjoy here. Visit this site for further information about Terengganu.
Terengganu is endowed with a wealth of superb natural landscapes. It is often said to have the most amazing geographic and natural diversity of all the states in the nation. Few visitors would disagree.
It has beaches, exotic islands, lush virgin tropical jungles, quaint fishing villages, dazzling waterfalls and much, much more. Miles and miles of white, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters stretch the length of its coastline from Besut in the north to Kemaman in the south.
Her islands are among the most picturesque and romantic in the country. From its myriad of colourful pastimes, which include batik-printing and songket-weaving, to the celebration of its many cultural and traditional heritages handed down from generation-to-generation, Terengganu is indeed a very blessed state.
Terengganu's population is predominantly Malay and speak in a dialect almost foreign to the rest of the country. The pace of life in Kuala Terengganu, the state capital, and all the towns and villages in Terengganu is countrified and unhurried.
Terengganu did not receive many Indian or Chinese migrants, and therefore Malay cultural influences predominate. Traditional pursuits such as kite-flying contests, top-spinning contests, and traditional arts & crafts, such as batik and songket are still very much alive. The people of Terengganu have always had a reputation for being socially conservative and devout Muslims. The major tourist attractions in the state include: Kuala Terengganu, the capital; Tasik Kenyir, a large artificial lake; Sekayu Waterfalls; Kuala Ibai Lagoons; Batu Burok Beach, Kemasik Beach, Rantau Abang, Marang, Chukai town and several offshore islands such as Pulau Redang, Pulau Lang Tengah, and Pulau Kapas, and the Pulau Perhentian, which attract beachgoers and snorkelers because of their picture perfect beaches. Many travellers find the relatively rural and tranquil atmosphere in the state conducive to a relaxing holiday. Terengganu has recently been known internationally as the host of Monsoon Cup, which was first held in 2005 and then became an annual national sporting event. The event brought millions of ringgit of investment into the state from the private sectors and Malaysian Government. Tourists flocked to Kuala Terengganu and Duyung to witness this event, held during the monsoon season, which had previously been low season for tourism in Terengganu.
With 2008 has been declared ‘Visit Terengganu Year’, spectacular events and activities are being planned to give honoured guests the time of their lives.
- Pulau Duyung, in the middle of the estuary, has some interesting shipyards and an old wooden mansion (Kota Lama). This is also a fishing village.
- Terengganu State Museum. Where you can see local folks in a very nice building and can have a walk in a park where there are local boats.
- Seberang Takir, across from the market jetty, has some interesting cottage industry ranging from keropok lekor to batik.
- Bukit Puteri is a 200m high historical hill, situated next to Istana Maziah. It was used as a fortress between the years of 1831 to 1876 to defend the state from enemy attacks and many relics from that era remain. Today, the hill serves as a historical remainder and also as a scenic lookout over magnificent view of Kuala Terengganu.
- Cultural Centre a visit to Pengkalan Budaya or the Cultural Centre, a venue for cultural performances, is a must on the itinerary for all visitors to Kuala Terengganu. Ideally located along Pantai Batu Buruk (Batu Buruk Beach), it offers visitors an opportunity to see for themselves, the performance of silat which is the Malay art of self defence, traditional dances such as ulek mayang and joget and a wide selection of games and pastime. The performances are held every Friday and Saturday, between 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m. to 11.00 p.m. so, do not miss the opportunity to witness the fascinating diversity of Terengganu's culture.
- Istana Maziah is believed to have been constructed during the reign of Sultan Zainal Abidin III. it was built in 1897 to replace the Istana Hijau (Green Palace) which was burned down during world war II. Located next to Bukit Puteri, it is the venue for royal birthdays, weddings, conferment of titles and receptions for local and foreign dignitaries. A product of the blend between splendid modern and traditional architecture, it is also well-known as one of Malaysia’s cultural attractions.
- Kampung Cina was the home of first Chinese traders during the mid-18th century in Kuala Terengganu. The famed one-street China Town runs parallel to the Terengganu River. The houses of Kampung Cina have architecture designs that are peculiar to Kuala Terengganu. Built of wood and stone with slanted roofs, the two storey houses are built on stilts and extend into the river which flows behind them. a great variety of handcrafts, souvenirs and antiques shops lined the street.
- Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah, also known as the floating mosque was built on the estuary of Sungai Ibai and its intricate design gives viewers the impression that the mosque is actually floating on water. This place of worship is beautifully lit at night and provides a holy landmark for the city.
- State Museum, the Terengganu State Museum complex is the largest museum in Southeast Asia. The complex consists of a main museum, a maritime museum, a fisheries museum, 4 traditional houses and a botanic and herbs gardens. The main museum is built on 16 stilts, in accordance with the traditional architecture of Terengganu. Its 4 blocks are adjoined, to represent a big family. There are 10 galleries showcasing textiles, crafts, historical, royal, new generation and contemporary arts.
- Terengganu Planetarium, 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 are 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 centre offices are also situated in the complex.
- The Abidin Mosque situated at Kampung Masjid was originally known as the white mosque or the big mosque. The timber structure building was built by Sultan Zainal Abidin II between the year1793 - 1808. During the reign of Sultan Umar, it was replaced by a stone structure building. a unique Islamic architecture feature of the mosque is the calligraphy of the verses from the holy Quran prayers and arabesques which were carved onto the entrance door and the grilles of the mosque.
- Waterfront, visitors to the Waterfront of Kuala Terengganu will be in awe of and fascinated by the hustle and bustle of activities taking place there. stroll down the Waterfront and watch fishmongers haggling for the price of fish and other seafood, or take a boat ride to one of the many beautiful surrounding islands. another appealing alternative is to take a passenger boat to Seberang Takir, where the most incredible view of the south china sea can be seen.
- Chendering located 6 km south of Kuala Terengganu, is the site for a national deep sea fishing project. the long jetty and extensive structure of water breakers at the fishing complex make it an excellent site for fishing. Pantai Chendering is hauntingly beautiful beach with tall coconut palms and fine white sand which inspired the composition of an equally beautiful song singing praises of its captivating chasms.
- Sutera Semai Centre, approximately 6 km south of Kuala Terengganu is Sutera Semai Centre at Chendering. it is Malaysia’s pioneer silk weaving centre, where visitors can witness different stages of silk manufacturing. There, witness the painting of batik designs onto the fabrics, resulting in beautiful batik shirts, kaftans, scarves, handkerchiefs, and a lot more stuff.
Food for Thought
- About 6km off the coast of Marang is Pulau Kapas, an island renowned for its clear waters, sandy white beaches and swaying palms. Kapas Island is situated offshore about 30 minutes by slow boat or 10 minutes by fast boat from Marang jetty, 20 minutes south of Kuala Terengganu. Relatively isolated from the hustle and bustle of the mainland, this island is the perfect getaway for those looking for some blissful relaxation. It is a lovely small island with beautiful, quiet, unspoiled sandy beaches; cool and clear blue waters, swaying coconut trees and caves with swallows’ nests. Its waters are home to beautiful marine life such as fish, turtles, corals and others. Making it a must-visit destination, especially for discerning divers and snorkelers, is the incredible variety of hard and soft corals, seashells, fish and turtles. The laidback atmosphere gives a perfect excuse to do nothing. Still, if you are feeling restless, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied. Take your pick: diving, swimming, snorkelling, windsurfing, kayaking, boating and even fishing. Accommodation varies from deluxe and budget chalets offering air conditioned or fan.
- Pulau Perhentian, meaning 'Stopover Island', is not to be missed. Situated 21km off the coast of Terengganu, it consists of the islands of Pulau Perhentian Besar and Pulau Perhentian Kecil. Covered by unspoilt jungle, windswept palms, powdery white beaches and surrounded by sapphire blue waters, Pulau Perhentian is a sanctuary for fishermen, migratory birds and of course, discerning holiday-makers. Located just off the edge of the Pulau Redang Marine Park, Perhentian's coral-fringed waters have excellent underwater seascapes for snorkelling and scuba diving. Arrangements can also be made for island cruises, and boats can be hired to go exploring for private bays and secluded coves. A trip to these tropical islands is also a must for those who enjoy windsurfing, sailing, canoeing and deep-sea fishing. Of the two islands, Pulau Perhentian Kecil is more geared towards backpackers. Here, you'll find a wide range of budget options for both food and accommodation. Pulau Perhentian Besar, on the other hand, is more developed and therefore offers better facilities. Nevertheless, there are chalets, dormitories and campsites on both islands.
- Redang Island, located 45km off the coast of Kuala Terengganu, is the largest of a group of nine protected islands dotting the South China Sea off the Terengganu coast. The island offers crystal clear waters and numerous dive sites for enthusiasts. Sheltered within the Pulau Redang Marine Park, the waters here are rich in marine life. At midday when sun rays penetrate the sea, brilliant hues of coral, anemones and fish can be seen. The waters around Pulau Redang also contain two historic shipwrecks: The H.M.S. Prince of Wales and H.M.S. Repulse, which sank here at the start of World War II, setting the stage for the Japanese occupation of Malaya. This paradise island is perfect for snorkelling, swimming, scuba-diving, jungle trekking, boating and canoeing. No fishing is allowed within a 3.2km radius of the island as Pulau Redang is gazetted as a marine park. The collection of corals and other aquatic life is also strictly prohibited.
- Pulau Lang Tengah is a very small island located between Perhentian Island and Redang Island. This little island is accessible by a 30-minute boat ride from the Merang jetty. According to locals, Lang Tengah takes its name from 'Lang' which comes from helang which means 'eagle' in the Malay language, and tengah, meaning 'middle'. Thus, Lang Tengah means eagles resting on the middle island. The island is very small indeed. A round-island trip by speed boat takes only 10 minutes. The beach is narrow and land is limited. However, its small size gives it its best advantage - Lang Tengah Island holds only 4 resort operators, ensuring a peaceful visit. And the winning attraction of this tiny and peaceful island? Some of the best snorkelling and scuba diving in Malaysia!
- Pulau Tenggol is another beautiful diving getaway and lies just 45 minutes off Kuala Dungun in the south of Terengganu. It is small - just 3 km long and 2 km wide. However, this doesn't prevent it from being a paradise, especially diving enthusiasts. The interior of the island is filled with steep, rocky cliffs. This rocky terrain extends from the interior of the island right into the ocean and has created a dramatic 'drop-off' - a sort of vertical canvas of marine life - which divers never seem to tire of.
Terengganu's most famous culinary product is the keropok lekor, which comes in two forms: one is a thin deep-fried cracker much like keropok anywhere else in Malaysia, and the other is a thick hot dog-like sausage entirely unlike it. Both are made from fish paste and sago palm flour and should always be accompanied by a reddish-brown dipping sauce of tamarind, chili, sugar and vinegar. Much good inexpensive food is to be found in coffee shops (kedai kopi or warungs) along roadsides in villages, and of course in cities. And do not miss the chance to buy some of Terengganu's delicious fresh fruits in any of the pasar (bazaars) in the cities and larger towns. Eating in Terengganu wouldn’t be a problem as restaurants, coffee shops, cafes and also stalls can be found almost everywhere on this state. Try the local favourites such as:-
Nasi Dagang. This dish is a mix of white rice and brown glutinous rice (special glutinous rice) which is cooked with coconut milk (santan), blended onions and garlic and some spices (such as fenugreek). Fish or chicken curry comes as an add-on to complete the dishes, so it's recommended to take only a small portion as it is extremely filling. The Nasi Dagang is one of the tastiest dishes in Kelantan and goes well with fish curry, sour salad, hard boiled eggs and curried chicken. The place to have the best nasi Dagang in Terengganu is Mak Ngah Nasi Dagang Restaurant in Cendering.
Nasi Kerabu literally means "salad rice". Kelantan's Nasi Kerabu is a "white rice" or "dyed blue rice" and served with "tumis" gravy with local herbs, leaves and vegetables. The colouring comes from a type of flower, although some sellers use artificial equivalents. Apart from that it is also served with fried fish, keropok, salted egg, "solok lada" (fish fillet and coconut-stuffed chillis), and pickled garlic.
Laksam (or laksang in local Malay dialect), a modified version of Laksa is made from rice flour (thick and soft slices). It is served in a bowl of light fresh coconut milk mixed with boiled fish flesh (mainly mackerel), finely chopped cucumbers, chillies, onions and long beans. It is eaten cold at breakfast.
Another Terengganu specialty is satar, a type of otak-otak or fish cake wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over a grill. This delicacy can also be found along road side stalls and food bazaars. This dish is cooked-wrapped in a banana leaf over a low-fire barbecue. Fish meat, shallots and ginger are pounded to a paste and wrapped in banana leaf before it is cooked. Satar is an interesting blend of succulent boneless fish marinated in spices, wrapped in banana leaves and grilled over a flaming charcoal fire. Its sweet taste is tinged with delicate smell of the wrapping, making it a great appetizer and a healthy snack.
Ketupat Sotong. This popular tea-time dish features squids stuffed with glutinous rice bathed in a sea of cooked thick coconut milk. The stuffing is first soaked in coconut milk before it is stuffed into the squids.
Laksa Terengganu. This dish consists of white rice noodle eaten with delicious fish gravy to which coconut milk, tamarind, onions, pounded chilies, shrimp pastes, bean sprout, long beans and cucumbers are added. The locals normally eat laksa using their hands. Where to eat? Kuala Terengganu Pengadang Baru Weekend Market (Tuesday) Panji Alam Weekend Market (Thursday) Batu Burok Hawker Centre (Friday) Pasar Payang Central Market, CabangTiga Market, Guan Coffee Shop, Golden Dragon Restaurant, Restoran Nill, Rani Endut Restaurant, Chinatown Food Court, Marang Kg. Kelulut Weekend Market (Saturday) Dungun Kuala Dungun Weekend Market (Thursday)