Terengganu – a fragrant potpourri of many cultures endowed with the longest stretch of powdery beaches and turquoise blue waters.
Situated on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia and bordered on one side by the South China Sea, it is one of the well kept holiday spots of Malaysia. Speckled with pristine white sandy beaches, amazing marine world, glittering mosques and warm friendly locals, Terengganu is a delightful mix of the old and the new.
Historically, it has been a center of maritime destination and is also considered to be the Cradle of Malay Civilization. It’s Arab honorific Darul Iman meaning Adobe of Faith. It is from here that Islam spread through entire Malaysia.
We were fortunate enough to visit the beautiful state during our last visit to Malaysia.
We had the opportunity to sample the local cuisines, take in the local culture and experience the unique adventure on our 5-day visit.
We have recapped some of the top places to visit in Terengganu, Malaysia.
The coastal city of Kuala Terengganu is both the state and the royal capital of Terengganu.It is the ideal starting point to slip into the languid pace of life of this beautiful state. To start with…
Kuala Terengganu Walking Tour
Go out for a walk on the laid back and relaxed streets of Terengganu which are filled with colorful graffiti, warm and friendly people and the yummiest street finds.
Terengganu State Museum
The largest museum in Malaysia spread over 75,000 square meters and has 4 interconnected buildings that houses the Terengganu Inscription stone, the earliest evidence of advent of Islam in Malaysia, various artifacts, textile work and showcases with the finest artwork. The museum also hosts traditional Malay weddings.
You cannot miss the colors of China Town. Bustling with people and shops. Go on and help yourself to some Chinese treats and if you visit around the festival time you get a chance to marvel the lion and dragon dance too.
Central market of Terengganu is full of people who come here for the daily finds. Like any other local markets, in Pasar Payang, you can buy almost everything, from fruits, groceries to clothes and souvenirs. Brush up your bargaining skills and hit the tiny shops of the market for locally sourced food and traditional handicrafts such as batik, silk, songket, brocade and brass wares.
Islamic Civilization Park or Taman Tamadun Islam
It is a miniature theme park that houses replica of around 22 famous Islamic architectural wonders (National Mosque, Malaysia, Kudus Al-Minar, Indonesia, Pattani Mosque, Thailand, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, Brunei, Taj Mahal, India, Badshahi Mosque, Pakistan, Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Grand Mosque of Samara, Iraq, Lutfallah Mosque, Iran, Mausoleum of Abu Nasr Parsa, Afghanistan, The Sacred Mosque, Saudi Arabia, Aleppo Citadel, Syria, Mohammad Ali Mosque, Egypt, The Prophet’s Mosque, Saudi Arabia, Suleyman Mosque, Turkey, Al Hambra Citadel, Spain, Kalyan Minaret, Uzbekistan, Agadez Grand Mosque, Niger, Kul Sharif Mosque, Russia, Minaret of Xian, China, Sultan Mosque, Singapore, Great Mosque of Qairawan, Tunisia ) and the famous glittering Crystal Mosque which is made of steel, glass and crystal. The park has a buggy service that operates and takes tourists around the park.
( Note: Park is closed on Tuesday. )
Hit the Beaches
Watch the sunrise and the sunset on the pristine beaches of Terengganu.
Visit Floating Mosque
Visit the first real floating mosque in Malaysia situated in Kuala Ibai Lagoon near the estuary of Kuala Ibai River, 4 km from Kuala Terengganu Town.
Setiu Wetlands is the largest natural wetlands in peninsular Malaysia. The mangroves in this region are a perfect place for the majority of the migratory birds. Dotted with beautiful white sandy beaches, swaying palm trees and an enormous beautiful coastline, a drive through Setiu is irresistible. There are numerous fishing villages in Setiu where you can hire a fishing boat and get your hands dirty by digging for clams and mussels from the river beds. Even maritime turtles pay their visit to the beaches between May to September.
We never thought in our life that picking mussel could be so much of fun.
Kenyir Lake is the largest man-made lake in South East Asia and is spread across 260 square km. The lake contains 340 islands, numerous waterfalls, and rapids.
Home to numerous species of fish, the lake also is a major tourist attraction for kayaking, river rafting, canoeing and a water park which has been opened up recently. Kenyir lake is quite popular with tourists and locals alike.
There is also an elephant conservation park which is a perfect place for kids to watch elephant shows. Located just an hour’s drive from Kuala Terengganu.
Redang Island is one of the nine islands which forms the Marine Park. It is famous for its crystal clear turquoise water, white sandy beaches and the marine park which is famous for snorkeling and diving activities. There are many resorts which are located on the island offering luxury and upmarket stays and the beaches are blessed with scenic splendor.
A perfect escapade to enjoy a glorious sunrise, sunsets and leisurely romantic strolls on the beach.
How To Reach: Ferries from/to the mainland are operated every day.
Perhentian islands are one of the most beautiful islands of Malaysia located off the northeastern coast of West Malaysia in the state of Terengganu. It consists of two main islands – Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil. The Malay name Perhentian is translated as “place to stop” and long ago traders from Malaysia and Bangkok used to rest here before they embarked on their onward journey. The island boasts of untouched forests, hidden gems, and crystal clear water. It is a perfect hideaway for backpackers and luxe traveler alike in picturesque settings.
How To Get there :
Kuala Terengganu is about a 45 minutes flight from Kuala Lumpur. Airlines such as Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia frequently fly to Terengganu. There are also buses that ply from KL which takes around 7 hours and from Kota Bharu where it’s a 3 hours bus ride.
Have you been to Malaysia? Share with us your favorite place in the below comment box.
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Special Thanks to Terengganu Tourism and Gaya Travel Magazine for inviting us. We had an amazing time.