Kuala Terengganu is the largest city on the east coast of the Malacca Peninsula and the administrative center of the state of Terengganu. The city is located at the mouth of the river of the same name, on a picturesque promontory that juts out into the South China Sea. Kuala Terengganu was founded by Chinese traders in the 15th century, and their descendants still live in the colorful Chinatown. Although these days, most of the townspeople are Malays.
Today Kuala Terengganu is the main economic and cultural center of the state, as well as a rather conservative city where generally accepted norms of behavior should not be neglected. The appearance of Kuala Terengganu is made up of urbanized areas and picturesque natural landscapes, which gives it a rather unusual look that you just want to capture on film. Also, the state capital is famous for its folk artisans and craftsmen who make incredibly beautiful fabrics. Over the past decade, the city has begun to position itself as a popular tourist destination, as it is the point of departure for the coastline and islands of the Tarenganu River, which are teeming with resorts and beaches. The most famous holiday destination is the beautiful island of Perhentian.
state of Terengganu
|Population||396 433 people (2009)|
|Population density||590 people / km²|
|Currency||Malaysian ringgit (MYR)|
|Timezone||UTS + 8|
|International dialing code||+ 60-9|
Climate and weather
On the territory of Kuala Terengganu, weather conditions form a pronounced tropical monsoon climate. As a rule, always in sunny and hot ( +26 … + 32 C ° ), while in the period from November to January, which is the rainy time, the temperature can drop to +21 ° C . The average rainfall in this area is 2032–2540 mm per year, and the relative humidity is 82–86% .
Kuala Terengganu is located on the east coast of the Malacca Peninsula , 500 km from Kuala Lumpur. The city is surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Terengganu River and the South China Sea . Due to this location, its name is translated as “the mouth of the Terengganu River”. Pulau Duyung Island is located very close to the city and is connected to it by a bridge.
The state of Terengganu is rich in natural attractions and is an ideal destination for beach lovers. Sekayu forest park with a waterfall of seven cascades is located 60 km from the city . Further away is the Pelagat Forest Reserve and the La Hot Springs . 55 km from the city is Lake Tasik Kenyir , the largest artificial lake in Southeast Asia.
The best beaches in this region are Rantau Abang , where amazing leatherback turtles lay their eggs, Bukit Kluang Beach and the beaches of Perhentian Island .
Perhaps the main attraction of Kuala Terengganu can be called the impressive complex of the Central Museum of Terengganu State. Its main building includes ten galleries, four traditional palaces, the Maritime Museum and the Fisheries Museum. Also on the territory of the complex there is a garden of medicinal herbs and a botanical garden. Another notable object of Kuala Terengganu is the “Princess Hill” Bukit Putri , where a fortification was erected in 1830. A fort, several cannons, a large bell and a flagpole have been preserved here. At the foot of the hill is the Istana Mazia Palace… It was erected on the site of an old palace that was burned down during the Second World War. The current building is a wonderful blend of modern and traditional architecture. The bridge to them is also noteworthy . Mahmud , which connects the city and the island of Pulau Duyung, known as the famous center of traditional shipbuilding.
Also, one cannot fail to mention the amazing Crystal Mosque , the minarets and domes of which are covered with glass, the color of which changes when you look at them from different angles. The mosque is located in the Islamic Heritage Park on the small island of Van Man, where you can see replicas of the greatest architectural masterpieces from all over the world.
An equally amazing place is the Center for Folk Crafts in Chendering (6 km from Kuala Terengganu), on the territory of which the Center for Folk Crafts and the Center for Silk Weaving are located. In the first of them, you are invited to get acquainted with the process of manufacturing handicraft products, and then buy your favorite souvenirs. Well, the Sericulture Center will introduce you to the traditional methods of producing painted silk fabrics.
There are many good restaurants and eateries in Kuala Terengganu offering Asian and European menus, but most of them specialize in traditional Malaysian cuisine. Its main feature is the wide use of spices and seasonings, and the main product is nasi rice . Most often it is made bland and served as a side dish. Also, rice is steamed, fried with spices and vegetables, or stewed in coconut milk, as well as noodles, pastries and desserts are prepared from it. For this reason, at any local restaurant you can try cha quai chiu rice noodles with eggs and shellfish, nasi goreng fried rice and fish curry with nasi dagang rice , as well as nasi lemak“- rice cooked in coconut milk, with cucumbers, nuts and eggs.
In addition to rice, local exotic fruits, vegetables, coconut milk and soybeans occupy an important place in traditional cuisine. For example, gado gado vegetable salad with coconut milk, pepper and peanut sauce has a very unusual taste .
Local cooks do not use meat too often, mainly on holidays. Most often, you can taste the chicken kebabs ” sati ayam “, rice with chicken ” haynaniz ” and spiced meat ” rendag “, which is quenched directly in coconut milk.
While meat is rarely used in local cuisine, fish and seafood, on the contrary, are very popular. There are many restaurants in and around the city offering shark fin soup, cuttlefish salad, fried scallops, fish curry and much more.
The most common drinks are fruit juices and coconut milk. Alcohol is generally only offered in hotels and expensive restaurants. It is also worth trying the local beer, which is sold in many shops.
Kuala Terengganu and the surrounding area boast a wide range of temporary accommodation options, from resort hotels to small guesthouses. The best resort place for relaxation is considered to be the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina SPA hotel (from $ 122), which is located in the nearby town of Palau Duyong. Well, the best hotels within Kuala Terengganu are Primula Beach Hotel (from $ 72) and Hotel Grand Continental (from $ 53). There is also a fairly large number of 3 * hotels and hostels, guest houses and small budget hotels in the city.
Entertainment and recreation
Over the past decade, Kuala Terengganu has managed to establish itself as an excellent tourist destination with a well-developed entertainment and resort infrastructure. This prosperous and prosperous city has excellent restaurants, shopping and entertainment centers, cinemas and gyms. At the same time, Kuala Terengganu is known for its conservatism, so there are very few nightclubs and bars here.
Among the townspeople, Buruk beach is considered the main place for recreation , which is located very close to the city. Unfortunately, this beach is not very suitable for swimming, but there are many street food stalls and picnic areas. Horseback riding and fun activities such as flying kites into the sky are also available on the beach. If you want to swim, it is recommended to go to Rantau Abang beach (60 km from the city), to the town of Besut with a white sand beach or to Perhentian Island , which, by the way, is a great place for diving.
Well, for lovers of nature and travel, the city organizes excursions to the Sekayu forest park , on the territory of which there are the Sekayu seven- cascade waterfall , an orchard, a mini-zoo, a bird park and a pond with picnic shelters. It is also recommended to take a trip to the Pelagat Forest Reserve and La Hot Springs , and then just take a walk in the surrounding area, which is teeming with rivers, waterfalls and jungle. And finally, it is worth going to the artificial lake Tasik Kenyir , where you can fish, swim or go canoeing.
First of all, Kuala Terengganu is famous for its beautiful batik and songket fabrics (silk woven with golden patterns). The best examples of these magnificent fabrics can be found at Pasir Payang Market , which is a modern complex with stalls and parking. In addition to textiles, it offers all kinds of handicrafts, food and industrial products, fish and seafood, the most exotic fruits and light snacks such as crispy fried slices of sago flour and fish powder.
Another great place for interesting shopping is Desa Kraft , where you can buy original bronzes, woodcarvings, wayang kulit shadow theater puppets, songket fabrics and batik. The Pasar Besar Kedai Payang market also offers a good selection of souvenirs .
The Chinatown district can also become an interesting place for shopping, as its shop houses are not at all like ordinary shops in other Chinatowns. The fact is that they have an atmosphere of conservatism and old-fashionedness, and their counters are filled with both ordinary oriental souvenirs and true works of art.
In Kuala Terengganu there is an airport. Sultan Mahmud , where there are direct flights from Kuala Lumpur and other cities of the country. The flight from the capital will take approximately 50 minutes. Also, a federal highway passes through this state, so there are numerous buses and intercity taxis from Kuala Lumpur, Kota Bahru, Ipoh, Johor Bahru and Penang. Most of them arrive at the Central Bus Station of the city. The nearby Pulau Duyung Island can be reached via the Sultan Mahmud Bridge.
Public transport is represented by buses, mostly of outdated models and without air conditioning, so it is rather tiresome to ride in them. Tickets for the journey can be bought by the driver. It should be borne in mind that local drivers rarely follow the schedule.
Taxis are a good alternative to buses, which are quite inexpensive here. When landing, it is important to make sure that the counter is turned on. At night, fares increase by one and a half times.
To rent a car, you will need an international license, while the age of the renter must be at least 23 and not older than 60 years. A bicycle is also a great and inexpensive way to get around.
All of Malaysia has a modern and high quality communications system. In this regard, Kuala Terengganu is no exception. There are many payphones in the city, mostly found near shopping centers and public institutions, as well as on the main streets. You can call from them using cards that are sold at gas stations, shops and newsstands. Sometimes there are still outdated telephones that accept coins, from which only calls within the country are possible.
Mobile communication operates in the GSM standard, it is provided by several local operators, whose coverage area includes the entire territory of Malaysia and neighboring Singapore. Roaming rates are quite high, so for local calls it is worth buying a SIM card from one of these operators.
Internet access is provided by city Internet cafes and most hotels.
Kuala Terengganu is considered a safe city, so tourists can feel at ease here. As a rule, most often travelers are faced with pickpocketing or theft of handbags and photographic equipment. In this regard, in crowded places, one should not neglect the precautionary rules. Also, recently, Malaysian scammers began to quickly master various frauds with credit cards, so they should only be used to pay in reputable establishments.
It is recommended to get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, polio, typhoid and malaria before the trip. Be sure to bring a set of essential medicines with you. It is not advisable to drink tap water; it is better to buy or boil it. Solar radiation can be hazardous, so be aware of hats, sunglasses and protective creams.
Previously, the state of Terengganu and its capital were considered not very rich and successful places. The basis of the city’s economic life was fishing, wholesale and retail trade, and agriculture. However, the discovery of coastal oil and gas fields was a real success for the entire state, after which Kuala Terengganu turned into a successful and prosperous city that is constantly developing and growing. The tourism industry also generates a lot of income, as the state abounds in excellent vacation spots.
Thus, a very attractive business climate has developed in Kuala Terengganu, which, together with a simple taxation system and a number of state benefits, attracts many large and small investors here.
In Kuala Terengganu, as well as throughout the country, real estate is available to any solvent foreigner. Its main advantage is the favorable ratio of its price and the cost of maintenance. The only condition for the purchase of local real estate by a foreigner is the price threshold: the object must cost at least 500 thousand ringgit (161 thousand $). This restriction protects the country’s low-income residents from inflationary pressures when buying a home. Transactions with objects, the price of which exceeds the above amount, must take place under the mandatory supervision of local authorities. According to experts, foreigners will have to wait 1–2 months for a purchase permit.
Guests of Kuala Terenggan should take into account that the locals are quite conservative, so here you should try to comply with all the norms of behavior characteristic of Muslim countries. For example, women are strongly advised against wearing provocative clothing with open wrists and knees. It is better to give preference to light clothes with long sleeves. When visiting temples, all visitors must take off their shoes, the same should be done when entering local houses. The consumption of alcohol and pork is prohibited in Malaysia, although this prohibition does not apply to guests of the country. Of course, you shouldn’t drink alcohol in public places. During Ramadan, Muslims eat only after sunset, so it is indecent to eat in their presence during this period. You cannot eat and use your left hand when transferring something, since in Islam it is considered “unclean”.