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Kuala Terengganu

Kuala Terrengganu

General Information

Located in north-eastern Peninsular Malaysia, and is bordered in southwest by Pahang, the northwest by Kelantan, and the east by the South China Sea. Several outlying islands, including Pulau Perhentian, Pulau Kapas and Pulau Redang, are also a part of the state. The state has a total area of 12,955 km2.

Kuala Terengganu is the state and royal capital of Terengganu state, Malaysia as well as its largest town. The town has a population of 250,939 (2000 census) and is also the seat of a district of the same name. Kuala Terengganu is located about 500 kilometers northeast of Kuala Lumpur on a promontory surrounded on three sides by the South China Sea. The name means the “river mouth of Terengganu”, referring to the broad expanse of the Terengganu River estuary which empties into the ocean at this point.

It soon becoming into a main trading post between the two countries. However, after the Melaka Empire conquered the town, its influence as a leading port in the Southeast Asian region diminished as most of the traders preferred to stop at Melaka, which was the center of trade between China, India and Southeast Asia.

Attractions

Extraordinary Beach

The East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia have always been well-known for its long stretch of amazing beaches and even so in Terengganu, home to the longest coastlines in Malaysia.. Simply breath taking scenery, the stunning clean and powdery white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters in Terengganu’s islands are famous. It is the most satisfies places for those seeking a good time in the sun, sand and sea. The panoramic, untouched beaches of 244 kilometers from the District of Kemaman in the south, along the charming coast up north to the District of Besut, overlooking the South China Sea.

The Emerald Island - Pulau Redang

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 snorkelling and scuba-diving experience. Redang Island which is approximately 7km in length 6km in width, is the largest of all other islands in the Marine Park.

How do you get there?
By Air: Kuala Lumpur - Terengganu (45 min)
Coach Transfer: Kuala Terengganu Airport - Shahbandar Jetty (30 min)
By Road: Kuala Lumpur - Terengganu (5 hr)
By Boat: Shahbandar Jetty - Redang Island (1.75 hr)

* Require to be at Shahbandar Jetty at least 1 hour before departure time for registration.
* The ferry transfer is subject to sea or weather conditions.
* Please double-check your boat schedule during your booking.

The Most Beautiful Island In The World - Pulau Perhentian

For the passive, do enjoy watching turtles lay eggs or feeding the vibrant coloured fish or just sitting back and enjoy the sun and breeze at the Three Coves Bay. Pulau Perhentian is reachable from Kuala Besut Tourist Jetty and the 21km journey by speedboat takes 1.5 hours. Perhentian Island consists of two islands with endless stretches of palm-lined beaches, clear water sea and coral reefs. The lush rain forest on the island is just an ideal for jungle trekking. Ping Anchorage package will offer you snorkeling trip with mask, snorkel and float to explore the reefs.

How to get there?
Most people travel to the islands via the state capitals of Kota Bharu or Kuala Terengganu. The nearest railway station is Tanah Merah, however most travellers opt for Kota Bharu’s better-serviced Wakaf Bahru station instead. All travellers to the islands is compulsary to pay a marine park conservation within the period you stay.

Since the islands have no roads and no airport, getting to the islands will require a ferry, a speedboat rigged with two large outboard motors. You wil expecting yourself and your belongings to soak in seawater, depends on the wind conditions and how fast the boad speeding. Note that all ferries will take you directly to your destination, wherever it may be on the islands; you may have to pay an extra money or so for the last leg on a taxi boat if the beach has no jetty though. There are two jetties of importance:

  • Kuala Besut Ferry Terminal
    The main ferry terminal is at Kuala Besut. From here you have two options: speedboats, which cover the distance in 30 minutes and depart according to demand (4-5 times a day). The other alternative is slow boats, which take several hours for the same trip, leave infrequently and irregularly (usually in the early morning). However, slow boats wil be the only choice during off peak.

    On the way back, if you feel that you are not enjoying enough, you can always make an arrangement transfers to Taman Negara, Cameron Highlands & Kuala Lumpur. But somehow you’ll need to catch an early boat to make in time, so advance reservations are recommended.

  • Tok Bali Terminal
  • A second private jetty is at Tok Bali which is several kilometers north of Kuala Besut. The boat trip itself is longer at 45 minutes and there are only 3 ferries daily. On the way back, the only way back is only taxi which wil charge at slightly higher price. On the positive side, while some guidebooks still note Tok Bali as a “pirate jetty”, the Ministry of the Environment has set up a booth to collect the marine park charge.

    Aside from walking, the only means of transport are water taxis. Prices are negotiable either for hops from one beach to another or crossing from one island to another.

The Best Diving Site In Peninsular Malaysia - Pulau Tenggol

There is something for everyone from simply relaxing to exciting and reinvigorating diving. Pulau Tenggol is gazetted as a marine sanctuary and offers the avid diver over 20 diving spots which include - Batu Cancang noted for its clear waters and good visibility, the southern end of Telok Ayer Tawar famous for resident white tips, Napoleons and and Batu Tokong Kamudi, home to large pelagics, turtles and whale sharks. Also present for divers to explore are pinnacle and caves, many tabletop corals and even a shipwreck.

How to get there?
By car: Coming from Kuantan turn right into a road leading to Kuala Dungun. This turn off is roughly 1.5 to 2hrs from Kuantan on the coastal road heading towards Kuala Terengganu. Coming from Kuala Terengganu, the drive takes approximately 45mins - 1hr. Go through Kuala Dungun (referred to as Dungun by the locals) and head down to the end of the town; following the bend to the jetty. Dungun jetty is your take-off point to Pulau Tenggol.

By coach: From Dungun to Kuala Terengganu - buses leave every 1/2hr from 6.30am until 9.30pm.
Fishing boats plying the Kuala Dungun-Pulau Tenggol route take 2 - 2.5hrs to get to the island. There are also speedboats that accommodate a maximum of 8 and these take about 45 minutes one way. Of course especially with fishing boats, price may depend on economies of scale, For example, more people leaving per trip, the more negotiating power one has. But if time is not on your side and in order to avoid the hassle, then you can have a pleasant trip by making an arrangement with your travel operator.

The Highest Waterfall In Malaysia (305 metres) - Cemerong Waterfall

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 diversed 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 weariest travellers.

The Largest Man-Made Lake In South East Asia (340 Islands and 14 Waterfalls) - Tasik Kenyir (Kenyir Lake)

Spanning over 260,000 hectares, Tasik Kenyir is the largest man-made lake in South East Asia. Sharing its border with Kelantan in the west and Pahang in the south, this giant lake also serves as another gateway to Taman Negara (National Park). Consist of 340 islands, which were once hilltops and highlands, more than 14 waterfalls, abundant rapids and rivers, Tasik Kenyir is also home to numerous species of freshwater fishes and exotic wildlife. Rich with numerous types of flora and fauna, its vast boundary leads to endless discoveries and adventures. Its scenic landscape of natural grandeur and tranquil peacefulness transforms Tasik Kenyir into a perfect getaway for city dwellers. Tasik Kenyir is the perfect place for an adventure holiday.

The World’s Oldest Tropical Rainforest (130 Million Year Old) - Tanjong Mentong National Park, Tasik Kenyir

Tanjong Mentong is a latest and attractive new first step to the famous Malaysia’s premier National Park. As a part of the National Park itself, it is interconnected with the Tasik Kenyir. As one of the oldest untouched tropical rainforests, its 130 million years old ecosystem surroundings necessitate the growth of exotic flora and fauna. From Sungai Gawi jetty, it is accessible amidst serene waterfalls, herbal islands and rapids. The coolness and the serenity of the water evoke a sense of being a part of nature itself.

How to get there?
Visitors can reach Tanjung Mentong through the two jetties in Gawi or the Jenagor jetty, all in Terengganu. The town of Kuala Berang is the nearest town to the jetties. The trip cuts across Tasik Kenyir, the largest man-made lake in Malaysia. Visitors will be transported by boat to their lodgings. Below is the correspondence address:
Jabatan PERHILITAN
Taman Negara Terengganu, Tanjung Mentong,
Hulu Terengganu, Terengganu
Tel : 09-622 7751

Shopping

You find so many different places selling so many different things on every street. With weekend markets, night markets and handicraft centres in practically every village and town, shoppers will be spoilt for choice in shopping for batik, songket, silk, keris, woodcarvings, woven mats and baskets, silverwear and brasswear; not to mention all kinds of costumes, beachwear and even fresh seafood. Indeed, Terengganu, an east coast state of Peninsular Malaysia, is the most well-kept secret for bargain hunters, souvenir collectors and craft lovers.

Batik Chop (Seberang Takir)

Seberang Takir is a fishing village which can be reached by road, or a 3-minute riverboat ride from the Kuala Terengganu jetty. There are about 50 families living here and most of them are involved in some form of cottage industry like batik chop to supplement their income. The handmade batik is of high quality yet attractively priced.

Brassware (Kuala Terengganu)

Brassware items usually come from the cottage industries in Terengganu. They produce candle stands, vases, ashtrays and plaques and are best bought at handicraft centers in Kuala Terengganu and other towns.

Weekend Markets (Kuala Terengganu & Kuala Dungun)

Two of Terengganu’s most popular weekend markets are in Kuala Terengganu (Friday) and Kuala Dungun (Thursday). Visitors are encouraged to take their time to look for for the best bargains, ranging from local handicrafts to traditional clothes to fresh seafood. These markets also offer interesting insights into the art of handicraft making. They also provide us demonstrations of the various crafts and also local craftsmen and women making wonderful handicrafts such as mats and baskets.

Batik/Songket Specialist Shops (Kuala Terengganu)

For the best quality batik or songket, make it a point to visit exclusive outlets such as Batik Noor Arfa Batek, Myriam Atelier and Atikah Songket.

Pasar Payang (Kuala Terengganu)

Easily the most popular tourist spot in Kuala Terengganu,Pasar Payang is located beside the Terengganu River. You can find everything local and exotic in this massive market housed in modern building complete with a shopping arcade and car park. Feast your eyes on the wide array of traditional textiles like batik and songket, as well as brassware. You can also get fresh produce and local delicacies such as keropok.

Kraftangan Malaysia (Kuala Terengganu)

Kraftangan Malaysia is an interesting handicraft center that showcase songket, brassware, and modern batik fashion wear. Other items found here are woodcarvings, wau (giant kites) and souvenir items.

Sutera Semai (Kuala Terengganu)

Located five minutes from Kuala Terengganu, this popular destination is Malaysia’s pioneer silk-weaving center. Here you can discover and experience the wonder of silk manufacturing. Watch the various processes of silk productions, from spinning into yarns, textile-weaving and also batik printing. Beautiful hand-painted and printed batik is available at the showroom.

Food & Beverages

You can find arrays of tasty culinary delights at Terengganu. Its cuisine ranges from the sweet, the sour to the spicy. As Terengganu is situated along the coast, most of its dishes outstandingly made by fish, coconut and rice. The most favourite of the local’s delights is Nasi Dagang or traders’ rice. It is a mixture of normal and glutinous rice, eaten with spicy tuna fish curry and piquent vegetable pickles. Side dishes of boiled eggs and meat curry are available upon request.

A delightful yet simple dish, the Laksa is made using both wheat and rice flour and the dough is steamed. The gravy is made of fish meat that is boiled, pureed and later mixed with coconut milk.

Sata 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.

Keropok is a popular snack in Terengganu. It is made of fish meat ground to a paste and mixed with sago. Prepared in two different forms: the long chewy ones are called Keropok Lekor (fish sausage) while the thin and crispy ones are called Keropok Keping. Keropok is best eaten hot with its special chilli dips.

Other mouth-watering dishes in Terengganu are Nasi Kerabu, Nasi Minyak, Pulut Lepa, Ketupat Sotong (stuffed squids), just to name a few. Most of these dishes can be found at the central market or visit the night markets to sample the local delights.

Mak Ngah Nasi Dagang

Opens 07:00 - 11:00 am. Best stall to go for nasi dagang is Mak Ngah Nasi Dagang, a little stall about 2km from Kuala Ibai Bridge, by the road of Chendering. It is local breakfast suggestion. Nasi dagang in Mak Ngah’s stall always sold out before 11:00am. Other choice will be at any stalls in Kuala Terengganu that offer similar feel.

Nasi Minyak John

Located at Jalan Petani, besides AEON building. Opens 09:00-10:30am. Nasi minyak or ghee rice is another typical food for this state. It is normally eaten with vegetable pickles and Chicken, egg or beef curry.

Meka

Located at Jalan Sultan Omar, Mat Binjai at Jalan Sultan Sulaiman and Misya at Batu Buruk Hawker Centre. Opens 11:00-2:30pm: Offers large selection of Terengganu traditional kampung dishes such as fried ayam kampung (free range chicken), bovine lungs, grilled fish, grilled squid etc. Ulam or the Malay salad is a combination of raw vegetables such as ulam raja, cucumber, petai(stink beans), pegaga etc. Some are more unfamiliar, like daun kentut, daun kudu, cekur, daun larak and kucing seduduk etc. It is eaten with rice or just dip into sambal belacan, budu (fish sauce) or tempoyak (fermented durian paste). There is piping hot white rice to go with the dishes.

Kedai Nasi Kerabu

Opens 11:00-3:30pm. Located right across from the main entrance to Wisma Darul Iman (the Terengganu state government buildings). Nasi kerabu, a dish of rice tinted bright blue and eaten with ulam, fried salted fish, fish crackers and other garnishings. The blue that comes from the petals of bunga telang (clitoria) is used in the cooking variety, but there are many versions depending on the colour of the rice. Prices are a bit more expensive here but they have good local specialties.

Central Market & Jalan Sultan Sulaiman

Open at 08:00am-2:00pm and 4:00pm-12:00pm. They serve numerous good local Malay foods. Try Laksam is quite similar to the western pasta except the wheat and rice flour mixing dough is steamed but not boiled. It is eat with boiled and pureed fish gravy that is mixed with coconut milk. Some warong serves good nasi lemak, Nasi lemak is another typical Malay food. The rice is cooked with coconut milk then eaten with ikan bilis, sambal, and slices of cucumber, egg and peanut.

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