Holidays in Terengganu
Situated on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Terengganu is an ideal holiday getaway. It has the longest coastline in the country, with stunningly beautiful islands that sparkle like gems in the South China Sea. Many are gazetted as Marine Parks. The state is characterized by a strong Malay culture, laid-back lifestyle, tranquil coastal towns and rustic villages. Traditional pursuits such as kite-flying and top-spinning are highlights here. Kuala Terengganu is its capital city.
There is a wide range of accommodation to suit all tastes and preferences, from luxurious beach resorts, boutique hotels to budget accommodation. Major islands are equipped with well-appointed resorts as well as comfortable budget chalets. The state has a tempting variety of local delicacies. Continental cuisine is available at hotels while fast food outlets can be found in major towns.
Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia offer daily flights from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to Terengganu. By road, Terengganu is accessible via a four-hour drive along the East Coast Expressway. The private carrier Berjaya Air operates direct flights from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Kuala Lumpur to Redang.
Places of Interest in Terengganu
Dungun is the place to go if you like to throng night market or pasar malam where the food, people and the setting are just too tempting to refuse!
An enchanting holiday paradise, Redang offers breathtaking blue waters teeming with a wealth of marine life and corals. The most popular beaches here are Long Beach, lined by a number of chalets and Teluk Dalam Kecil, a sheltered cove with a five-star resort.
Made up of the larger Perhentian Besar and smaller Perhentian Kecil, the enchanting islands abound with exciting activities for sun-seekers. Go on a boat ride, swim, snorkel, dive or simply relax by the trendy beachside cafes.
Hailed as one of the state’s best kept secrets, the island has sparkling white sand and aquamarine waters. The varieties of hard and soft corals and prolific marine life make it a paradise for divers.
The tiny tropical gem of Kapas is well-known for squid fishing. Its solitary resort offers complete seclusion. The nearby Gem Island is another splendid getaway. Tenggol, the furthest island from the mainland, is home to a kaleidoscope of colourful corals and marine life.
Even though Pulau Tenggol is a small island with just 2km wide and 3km long, it’s still a popular diving getaway. Its size doesn’t prevent this diving paradise from being visited by thousands of diving enthusiasts yearly.
Tanjung Jara Beach is an excellent location for windsurfing, boating, kayaking, snorkelling and diving. Marang Beach is popular among photographers for its spectacular sunrise. Other beaches include Paka and Kijal. Batu Buruk is a popular spot for locals; equipped with a playground, park benches as well as food stalls offering local delicacies.
Take in the picturesque view of traditional wooden homes of fisherfolk, scattered along the palm fringed shores. An interesting sight here is fishing boats returning with their daily catch.
Situated in the Cemerong Forest Reserve, the multi-tiered waterfall is truly a spectacular sight. It has four cascading rapids, the highest of which falls 600m. Also within the area is the biggest Chengal Tree in Malaysia, said to be 1,300 years old. The Lata Tembakah Waterfall is another popular spot for relaxation.
The picturesque Kenyir Lake is the largest man-made lake in Southeast Asia. Surrounded by a vast tropical jungle, the lake area is a popular spot for angling, boating, canoeing, jungle-trekking, 4WD driving and golfing. Accommodation includes houseboats and floating chalets.
Sekayu Recreational Forest
This is the site of the seven-tiered Sekayu Waterfall. The natural pools are ideal for a refreshing swim amidst lush greenery. The area is equipped with picnic spots, resting huts and furnished chalets.
Tanjung Mentong (Gateway to Taman Negara)
Tanjung Mentong is the state’s entry point to Taman Negara, Malaysia’s premier national park. It has one of the world’s most complex and rich eco-systems. Taman Negara straddles across Terengganu and two other neighbouring states.
Bewah and Taat Caves
These caves are situated at the southern end of Kenyir Lake. Bewah Cave is the largest with an entrance that lies 40m above lake level. Climb the flight of steps from the floating jetty to view archaeological pits and thriving cave fauna. Gua Taat, situated opposite, is the site of pre-historic findings.
Adventure seekers can enjoy a thrilling mountaineering experience at the 1,376m Gunung Gagau. Other activities include rock climbing and mountain biking.
Stay with a local family to experience traditional Malay hospitality. Homestays are available at Pasir Raja and Kampung Jenang. The Nelayan PNK homestay offers a chance to live with fisherfolk.
Unlike most homestay programmes where participants experience the local way of life, the Kampung Buloh Homestay programme in Kuala Berang, Terengganu, offers a taste of history instead with tales of merchants from afar who came to Kuala Berang in the 13th or 14th Century.
Traverse the Marang River to view a quaint village, mangrove swamps, animals such as monitor lizards and otters as well as cottage industries. Nature enthusiasts should not miss a trip to the Yak Yah Riverbanks, one of the few places in the country with a thriving firefly colony.
Avid golfers can tee-off at pristine locations. Major golf resorts are situated in Kuala Terengganu, Kijal, Marang and Dungun.
Boat Building at Pulau Duyong
This island is noted for its traditional boat building activities where local craftsmen make beautifully handcrafted vessels. Amazingly, these skilled builders work from memory and without any blueprint. This is the venue of the Terengganu Monsoon Cup, an international sailing event.
Handicrafts and Souvenirs
Pasar Payang or Central Market is one of the most popular tourist spots in the state. Take your pick from fresh produce, tasty local snacks to traditional fabrics such as batik and songket or handcrafted ornaments. Other popular shopping spots in the city include
Kraftangan Malaysia and Sutera Semai.
Terengganu State Museum Complex
This is the largest museum complex in Southeast Asia, consisting of four main blocks, an adjacent Maritime Museum and five traditional houses. Set amidst beautifully landscaped gardens, the museum offers a glimpse into the rich history of the state.
Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque
Dubbed as the ‘Floating Mosque’, it features a combination of modern and Moorish architecture. It is a sight to behold, especially when lit up at night. Kampung Cina This is the town’s main Chinese village. The preserved entrance to Kampung Cina is a richly decorated archway with protective dragons. Restoration of elegant homes in this district highlight the cement embossed wall patterns, and long wooden shutter windows.
Batu Bersurat (Inscribed Stone)
Dating back to 1303 and discovered in 1887, this stone marks the significance of Islam in Terengganu. It features hand inscriptions in the Jawi script, declaring Islam as the official religion. The original stone is kept at the State Museum while a replica stands in Kuala Terengganu’s main town circle.
Built with a hint of French architecture, the royal palace was the official home of the previous state ruler. It is currently used for royal ceremonies and state receptions.