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Kuala Terengganu Travel Guide: 140 reviews and 358 photos
Kuala Terengganu is the state capital and royal town of the state of Terengganu Darul Iman. The name Kuala Terengganu (or "KT" in short) is literally means "River Mouth of Terengganu", referring to the Terengganu River estuary which empties into the ocean at this point. As the town is located at the river mouth of the Sungai Terenganu facing the South China Sea, it has a scenic view of the open sea.
From its humble begining as a fishermen village, KT has evolved and grown tremendously to its present state, particularly after the discovery of oil in the 1970s along the coastline of Terengganu. Despite the booming oil industry, KT remains relatively small and easy to navigate around as it is clustered around a port at the mouth of Sungai Terengganu.
Most travellers come to KT to visit the islands off its coast, such as Pulau Redang and Perhentian. However, KT is more than a hop off point to the islands with its old world charm, heritage and culture as it is home to many local crafts and cottage industries.
As a predominatly Malay-Muslim town, its most recogniseable landmark is probably the Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah. Also known as "The Floating Mosque of the East", the mosque is built on a lagoon by the mouth of Sungai Ibai, giving the illusion that it is floating on the water - the first ever of its kind in Malaysia before similar concept is adopted by Masjid Putra in Putrajaya.
Another first for the town is the Jambatan Sultan Mahmud, a bridge that links the two river banks via Pulau Duyung Besar, the largest of several islets found in the estuary of Sungai Terengganu. It is the first ever bridge with such design ever build in Malaysia. There is also a plan for land reclaimation work along the bank of Sungai Terengganu which will later be turned into a riverside park with its main attraction is a mosque made out of crystal.
Modern architectural feat aside, KT can also be proud of its well preserved heritage and culture. Pulau Duyung for instance is well known for its reputation as a centre of traditional boat-making industry that was established since the late 1800s. The town's chinese settlement - Kampung Cina or Chinatown - is another interesting heritage of KT that is made up of rows of pre-war chinese shophouses that are still remain intact and are still maintained by the original owners. Interestingly, the back of some of the shophouses extends out onto the river - an interesting contrast to the street sceene at the front portion of the shophouses.
The pace of life in Kuala Terengganu is relatively unhurried and unaffected by the hustle and bustle of a big city, a good place indeed for a relaxing breakaway from the city. Time seems to stood still in KT as it is said that the town today is a reflection of the slow pace of life in most Malaysian towns in the 1970's.
Buying turtle eggs is illegal even though they are easily availble in and around Kuala Terengganu, especially in the... more travel advice
The Inter State Coach Station in Kuala Terengganu is located on Jalan Tok Yam. more travel advice
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