Kuala Terengganu is located on the east coast of Malaysia and an important cultural and historical part of Malaysia. For the most modern tourist, Kuala Terengganu is a gateway to some of the best Island on the east coast of Malaysia including the Perhentian Islands, Radand Island and Pulau Kapas. Not only this, large lakes and waterfalls mark some unique locations in the region that touches some of the oldest Rainforests in the world (Taman Negara).
My trip to Kuala Teregnnau in 2019 took me down some amazing and memorable adventures into the rich history of Kuala Terengganu. Being predominantly a Muslim state, the city of Kuala Terengganu has a number of amazing mosques as well as historical buildings. Spending 4 days in this amazing city gives you a chance to explore the rich history of sultans that controlled the region for centuries.
Travelling to Kuala Terengganu from Kuala Lumpur
Catching a flight from KL to KT is probably the best way to travel. 45 minutes, the flight is a time saver and you can enjoy the whole day to yourself if you catch an early morning flight. I booked a car a the airport. Surprisingly, the airport rental agencies are quite flexible and accommodating and willing to pick up the car from Kuantan in case you plan to travel south to explore some coastal towns.
A roadside restaurant in Kuala Terengganu
Driving from Airport to the city area we stopped at a roadside cafe for lunch. People prefer to eat out as food is very cheap across Malaysia and there is a lot more choice of vegetable and seafood dishes. Fish and prawn dishes are quite common and prepared in a number of different ways with a spicy mix of sauces and coconut milk. I tried rice with prawns, chicken curry and some vegetables. The restaurants are packed at lunch and dinner time, and it seems eating out is a common practice.
The CBD has a number of modern buildings, an administrative office a central bus station. Exploring the city on foot is quite enjoyable you will see the KT is a busy coastal town with plenty of trade-in past.
Wall Murals in Kuala Terengganu City
Our first visit after exploring the city area was Abideen Mosque. The beautiful white structure sits beautifully in the middle of the city and exudes a strange warmth and peaceful ambience. I offered Zuhr prayers at this amazing mosque. The interior is spacious and well laid out. The ablution area has a beautiful marble fountain.
After the prayers, we decided to explore some other parts of the city. The commercial area is quite large with plenty of shops and it seems this city caters to plenty of small towns around Kuala Terengganu.
Abideen Mosque is centrally located in Kuala Terengganu City
There is a huge mix of modern and cafes and restaurants. The Chinatown is a must-visit location f you want to explore some of the early settlers in the area.
Kuala Terengganu is definitely not the place for party goers and nightlife lovers as being a predominantly Muslim country.
Driving to Resort at the outskirts of the Kuala Terengganu City
During our stay, we stayed for two night at a resort located adjacent to Tengku Zahara Mosque. The locality has a number of homestays located in this neighbourhood. There are plenty of local cafes, restaurants and fast-food chain located on the main road connecting the city with Tengky Zahara Mosque. The resort is lately converted to Terrengau Equestrian Resort.
The floating Mosque – Tangku Zahrah Mosque is a popular location in KT
At night we decided to explore the local cuisine of Kuala Terengganu and found a nice restaurant serving plenty of local seafood dishes. Talapia is a common variety of dishes eep fried and cooked with a number of different sauces. This time, we tasted the deep-fried fish with peanut sauce and mango salad. The taste was unbelievable. We also taste some other deep-fried dishes including prawns and vegetables. The general quality of food in roadside cafe and restaurants is great and quite affordable.
At night-time, Batu Buruk is filled with holidaymakers and people visiting KT city for surrounding town. The beach is a popular hangout for families as the kids can fly kites and enjoy the rides in the play area. There is a Macdonald near the beach area as well. Batu Buruk is not suitable for swimming due to deep water and riptides. The location is developed more as a tourist place of attraction.
Batu Buruk Beach in Kuala Terengganu
It is not possible to explore Kuala Terengganu without visiting the famous Kristal Mosque located near the bridge. The Mosque is an important Landmark and rated as one of the most beautiful mosques in Malaysia.
We decided to explore Kuala Terengganu State Museum and Kristal Mosque on the same as both locations are located close to each other. The Museum is a massive structure with various sections dedicated to art, history, culture and crafts of this amazing state. The museum offers a great opportunity to learn about the life and culture of people who lived in KT for the last couple of centuries.
I enjoyed the art and crats including the art of kite making, puppetry and batik (printed fabric) which is unique to Kuala Terengganu. KT is a home of a unique style of traditional ship making and craftsman and adept in working with wood cutting.
At lunchtime, we decided to explore Chinatown which has a number of quality restaurant serving a mix of Chinese-Malay dishes. We decided to try famous chilli crab and some local seafood dishes.
Lunch in Chinatown Kuala Terengganu
The Chinatown is connected with the KT River area with a narrow alleyway called Turtle Alley that commemorates the Turtle conservation efforts in Kuala Terengganu. Bar 45 is a popular hangout for drinking as it stays open till late. We enjoyed a nice lunch at one of the Chinese Restaurant. The food was very spicy and cooked using local ingredients in including crabs and fish fillets prepared in sauce.
The river is located at a walking distance from Chinatown and boat river ride is a popular tourist attraction. The tour boat is a single-engine boat that takes you all the way to Kristal Mosque and stops for 10 minutes to take photographs of this amazing location.
Visiting Kristel Mosque in Kuala Terengganu
I highly recommend visiting the Kristal Mosque for a day tour as there is another very important attraction located next door called “Taman Tamudun Islam” where you can find replicas of many important architectural wonders from across the Muslim world. (https://www.tti.com.my/).
The riverboat ride cost around RM 15 and last for 45 minutes. This is definitely a great way to explore some interesting parts of Kuala Terengganu at day time.
Visiting Pualau Kapas from Kuala Terengganu
One of the most enjoyable and memorable parts of visit KT was spending a day at Pulau Kapas or Kapas Island located 10 km south of Kuala Terengganu. The beautiful island is accessible by a boat charter that costs RM 45 for a return ticket. The boat ride takes about 15 minutes and the pilot drops you around the main beach area of Pulau Kapas. Kapas Island and Jamia Islands are ideal for snorkelling and swimming. The snorkels can be rented for RS 15 at the Marang Jetty area.
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