In conjunction with Terengganu Expo 2018, Tourism Terengganu, in collaboration with Gaya Travel Magazine, organised a familiarisation trip to Kuala Terengganu to promote the destination with the following hashtag #TerengganuMolekDoh, which colloquially means ‘Terengganu is Better Now’. The trip was participated by 17 social media influencers, bloggers and members of the media.
The Terengganu 2018 Expo #TerengganuMolekDoh was held on the grounds of Terengganu State Sports Complex in Kuala Nerus, Terengganu from 25 February until 3 March 2018. During this expo, various exhibition booths were set up to showcase unique products and specialties from each of Terengganu’s districts. During the trip, the participants savoured the delights of Terengganu’s capital.
Where to Visit?
Terengganu State Museum (museum.terengganu.gov.my)
The Terengganu State Museum is a museum consisting of five massive structures modelled after the distinctive traditional Terengganu houses. Travellers will definitely be in awe of the museum, which houses information, exhibits, dioramas and valuable artefacts relating to Terengganu. It is being said that the tall pillars used as the base of the museum serve as the means to protect the museum’s structure and contents from perennial flooding during the annual monsoon season that hits Peninsular Malaysia’s east coast from November until March.
Travellers are invited to walk around the museum’s nine main galleries that are interestingly educational: Islamic Gallery; Textile Gallery; Royal Gallery; Historic Gallery; Craft Gallery; Petroleum Gallery; and Natural History Gallery.
As travellers step into the main entrance, they should not miss checking out the iconic and original Inscribed Stone of Terengganu that has been in existence since 1303 A.D., proving that Islam had arrived at the state as early as the 13th century, earlier than the Melaka Sultanate.
Terengganu State Museum also organises the annual ‘Night at the Museum’. If you’re the kind of person who love to spend a night at the museum, be sure to be on the lookout for the date!
Saturday to Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Malaysian: Adult RM2 | Child RM1
Non-Malaysian: Adult RM5 | Child RM2
The museum is closed during Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji holidays.
Kampung Cina (Chinatown)
Believe it or not, Kuala Terengganu also has its own Chinatown, which looks lovely with lanterns hung between old shop houses, alleyways decorated with pictures of scholars, aesthetically pleasing decor, love locks and murals. If you’re looking for a spot where there’s Instagram-worthy shots in Kuala Terengganu, then this is the place. It is also worth travellers’ time to learn that the Chinese community in Terengganu has been around for centuries and their forefathers had intermarried with locals, giving rise to a breed of Chinese called the Peranakans who were raised in a predominantly Malay culture and adopted local customs and lifestyle.
Located just a stone’s throw away from Chinatown is Pasar Payang (Payang Market), a must for travellers to experience when being in Terengganu. This is the place to get local delicacies, goods, produce and household items, including souvenirs and various handicrafts such as batik, songket (fabric woven in golden and silver thread), and silk. Most of the things sold are handmade. Be sure to taste some of the traditional kuih muih (cakes) when travellers come here.
Taman Tamadun Islam (Islamic Civilisation Park) (www.tti.com.my)
Want to see the famous symbol of love in India, the Taj Mahal, but can’t afford to travel there? Fret not, for the Islamic Civilisation Park can make your dreams come true. This is the place where travellers can find the replicas of the 22 iconic Islamic monuments from 21 different countries across Asia, Europe and Africa. Each monument – which is represented as a replica scaled between 1:1.7 and 1:22 from the original – holds its own wondrous history. Among the famous Islamic monuments available here are the Taj Mahal, Masjidil Haram, and Al-Hambra Citadel. The replicas themselves are built to exactly copy the original monuments. Apart from that, the park provides interactive edutainment whereby travellers can learn more about the monuments, watch educational videos, solve quizzes, play games and go on treasure hunts. The park spans 10 hectares, thus travellers are recommended to utilise the bicycles and trams provided to cover all of the monuments. Information regarding the monuments come in three languages: Malay, English and Arabic. Though the concept of the park is Islamic, non-Muslims are definitely welcomed.
Tip: Do visit the famous Crystal Mosque made from steel, glass and crystals, which is located close to the Islamic Civilisation Park.
Terradala (which means ‘Land of the Dala flower’) is a cafe, mini museum, crafts and souvenir store rolled into one. We get to know about Terradala after spending a night at the beautiful Terrapuri resort. Some of the items used for decorating each villa at Terrapuri is available at Terradala for sale. At Terradala, travellers are also invited to savour the drinks and delicacies available at affordable prices. The café also encompasses an outdoor garden that features a wooden gazebo made from chengal. Terradala souvenir items come in the form of exclusively designed batik sarong, artworks, t-shirts, pants, and pareu, including coffee-table books and products made from woven leaves of the pandanus plant.
What to Eat?
Sudut Selera Kak Pah
When in Terengganu, travellers must eat nasi dagang at Sudut Selera Kak Pah, a stall located in a food court in Batu Buruk! If you ask locals what is Kuala Terengganu’s specialty, they are bound to say ‘nasi dagang’, which is a dish comprising a special rice steamed with coconut milk, shallots, ginger and fenugreek. When eaten, the rice is accompanied with flavourful tuna fish curry and pickled cucumbers and carrots. Travellers should take bits of everything in a bite and taste the goodness of each component. Expect a long queue at Sudut Selera Kak Pah every morning because locals and tourists swarm the place. The stall opens at 8:00 a.m.; whatever is on sale would be sold out by 10:30 a.m.
Z&S Selera Kampung
Lunchtime in Terengganu is the time when travellers savour local specialties eaten with rice. Yes, rice, AGAIN! Locals love to eat nasi campur or mixed rice where steaming hot fluffy white rice is served with various types of protein and vegetable dishes of choice. At Z&S Selera Kampung, there are various choices of fish, chicken, beef and vegetable dishes cooked in different ways. Foodies will love this place for its affordable dishes.
B’Beteng Restaurant (www.tti.com.my/bbeteng-restaurant)
After touring around the Islamic Civilisation Park, the participants of #TerengganuMolekDoh fam trip replenished their energy by enjoying the packed lunch prepared by B’Beteng Restaurant while taking the TTI River Cruise, allowing participants to enjoy the view of the Islamic Civilisation Park form the water.
Keda Dapo Barokah (facebook.com/kedadapobarokah)
Still feeling hungry after walking and sightseeing? Then head to Keda Dapo Barokah that serves roti Kullahuk (Kullahuk bread), which is soft bread grilled on charcoal eaten with lamb curry. Another diosh that travellers should try is the Mongolian grilled lamb, which is grilled to perfection, succulent and tender, served with homemade black pepper sauce and salad and French fries on the side. This eatery is open every day from 5:30 p.m. until late night.
Uptown Kontena (facebook.com/UptownKontena)
Uptown Kontena (Container at Uptown) is a place built using old containers that were repainted and decorated. It is a hipster concept eatery where each container is a restaurant selling different kinds of food and snacks for people to eat and hang out whilst enjoying the cool sea breeze in the evening.
Warong Satay Chikeng Mamamia (www.facebook.com/Kedai-Satey-Chikeng-Mamamia)
At Warong Satay Chikeng Mamamia, travellers get to have breakfast like a king with choices ranging from roti bollok, satay, nasi kuning (yellow rice), roti gedik (quivering soft-boiled eggs on toast), nasi lemak hijau (rice cooked in coconut milk with pandan leaf), keropok lekor (fish fritters) and more. Don’t miss indulging on the eatery’s famous roti bollok (toasted white bread with half-boiled eggs, baked beans and beef bolognaise sauce) and roti gedik when being here.
Mr Celup Tepung Station (facebook.com/celuptepungstation)
Since travellers should never expect anything less than fresh seafood when being in Terengganu, they should stop by at a seafood restaurant called Mr Celup Tepung Station that serves mainly batter-coated seafood like crab, fish, prawn, shrimp and squid. Since this place is open in the afternoons, it becomes the best place to take in the breeze and the view of the Penarik beach while enjoying fresh deep-fried seafood.
Dynar Lekor – Keropok Lekor BTB 2209 (www.dynarlekor.com)
Before heading back, stop by Dynar Lekor-Keropok Lekor BTB 2209. BTB stands for ‘Bukit Tok Beng’, where the shop is located. Terengganu is famous for its keropok lekor (fish fritters) in its authentic form because the fitters would normally contain more fish than sago flour. Travellers can enjoy keropok lekor at the place or having it vacuum packed to bring home. The keropok lekor is eaten dipped into Dynar’s special homemade sauce, which is different than any other sauces. Travellers can also buy the special sauce, which comes in bottles.
Where to Stay?
Primula Beach Resort (www.primulahotels.com)
As guests step into the lobby of this landmark property, they will be mesmerised by the resort’s clean lines, Terengganu-inspired décor and picturesque view of the beach and the sea. This international class, business-friendly 248-room property has been opened since 1984, located close to Kuala Terengganu’s business hub and attractions. Besides well-appointed rooms, Primula Beach Resort is also ideal for business meetings, seminars, conferences, conventions and wedding receptions.
Terrapuri Heritage Village (www.terrapuri.com)
Terrapuri (which means ‘Land of Palaces’) is a charming resort made up of 20 exclusive heritage villas collected elsewhere in Terengganu and reassembled on the grounds. It is a restoration and conservation project of Terengganu Malay classic houses. Each of them had different owners and has its own story. Some of these houses once belonged to religious scholars, Chinese Peranakan family, and even fishermen. Each house was constructed to suit the built of the former owner’s wife. When staying at this resort, travellers can indulge in various activities such as cycling around the surrounding villages, visiting firefly sanctuary, reading books at the atmospheric reading room, having meetings at the classic-looking meeting room, immersing in the resort’s spa, kayaking and more. Travellers should just ask at the tour desk at the resort what is being offered during their stay. Terrapuri is also able to hold private functions such as intimate wedding receptions and events for small groups.