Saturday, August 28, 2010

Crystal Mosque (Masjid Kristal)

The Crystal Mosque is the icon of the Islamic Civilization Park and a popular landmark of the Kuala Terengganu City. Built using steel and glass, it was first open  on the 8th February 2008.

The Crystal Mosque  which can fit up to 700 visitors at any one time, is equipped with state of the art technology and WIFI coverage that allows visitors to access the internet for Quranic recitations.

A trip to the crystal mosque at night is a breathtaking sight as the colorful display of lights reflects a beautiful background of the crystal mosque.

Tune into more interesting travel information on Terengganu in the next issue of Terengganu Travel Guide, until then have a great weekend.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Islamic Civilization Park (Taman Tamadun Islam)

Islamic Civilization Park  or Taman Tamadun Islam in Terengganu is the first edutainment park in the world. Built on the uninhabited Pulau Wan Man covering an area of 22.3 hectares, among the popular attraction here is its 21 replicas of mosques and Islamic monuments. 

There is the replica of Masjidul Haram of Mecca, the Tajmahal of India, Dome of Rock in Juruselam, the AlHambra of Spain, the Samarra Grand Mosque of Iraq and the Citadel of Aleppo in Syria.

The Islamic Civilization Park also offers guided tour around the island and river cruise along the Terengganu river. Tickets are priced at RM39 for Adults and RM35 for children for the family trip. Visitors will be taken to the Monument Park, Convention centre, Crystal Mosque, Guest House and B'Beteng. The river cruise will take approximately 3 hours.

Learn more about the Islamic Civilization in fields of science, technology, arts, architecture, engineering and heritage by visiting the Islamic Civilization Park. To learn more about it, you can go the site below :-

Pasar Payang

Located by the Terengganu river, the Central market in Kuala Terengganu also known as Pasar Payang is favorite place to shop among tourists. Here you can get almost anything under one roof. Pasar Payang is a combination of a wet market aswell as a shopping bazaar.
Beautiful batik cloth sold at Pasar Payang

Traditional snacks and delicacies sold here
Fresh produce sold at Pasar Payang
You can get fresh produce  such as fish, vegetables, fruits and local snack and delicacies such as keropok, keropok lekor, bepang, dodol, sagu and even telur penyu (turtles eggs). There are also many stalls selling handicrafts  such as brassware and textile dealers selling batik and songket aswell.

The new Pasar Payang under construction
So if you're looking for a place to get local delicacies and souvenirs from Terengganu, then Pasar Payang is the place to go. Pasar Payang can be acessed through Jalan Sultan Zainal Abidin or Jalan Hiliran. The moment, construction is undertaken to modernise Pasar Payang to provide a more convenient shopping atmosphere for its visitors.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Satar Terengganu

I still remember the first time I tasted satar, during our first trip to Terengganu. It was a curious and interesting looking food. Like the satay, it is served on a stick. However it is also wrapped in banana leaf and grilled over flaming charcoal fire, making it look more tempting then ever.

Satar is a traditional Terengganu dish  made up of  deboned  fresh fishmeat  blended and mixed with fresh coconut, shallots, ginger, garlic, chillies and some spices. Then this mixture is wrapped up in banana leaf in a shape of a cone. The satar is then grilled over fire on a stick.

So the next time you see satar being sold near the roadside in Terengganu, stop and get some. It's hot, its fresh and simply delicious, once you start eating them, its hard to stop. They make great snacks while you relax by the beach or tired from travelling. You'll just have to taste it for yourself.

It's hard to get satar anywhere else in Malaysia but Terengganu has the best satar I've ever tasted because it contains lots of fresh fish meat and the taste is not too sweet. Meanwhile take a peek at how satar is made in the video below.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Terengganu Shutter Bus

Tired of walking ? Don't worry. If you're in Kuala Terengganu, you might come across the unique Terengganu shutter bus.The bus provides hop on and hop off bus service to local and tourists.

What's unique about the Terengganu shutter bus is that it is designed with woodcarvings and the roof of the bus resembles that of the old typical Malay Terengganu houses.

It is fully air conditioned and tourists should take the opportunity to tour the city using it. To have a closer look at what this bus looks like from inside, watch the video below.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Songket Terengganu

Songket is a traditional  malay cloth made by weaving together cotton or silk interwoven with golden, silver or colored threads to make up beautiful geometric designs. The term "songket" in Malay means to embroider with gold or silver threads. Kain songket or the Songket cloth is usually made into samping or baju kurung. Both are traditional malay garments used in weddings or festive season.
Beautiful Terengganu Songket

There main types of Songket in Terengganu  are :

  • Songket Bunga Telur - this beautiful handmade Songket is usually used to make kebaya, kebarung or other ladies traditional dresses.

  • Songket Kain Samping - these creative  handmade and intricately designed men's wrap cloth are usually worn by Malay men during wedding, major festive season or in formal events.

  • Songket Tenun Sutera - these are songket made from 100% silk and are much demanded by ministers or VIPs for its beautiful and fine handmade craftsmanship.
The Terengganu Songket is well known in Malaysia for its high quality  cloth as they are handmade and use materials of high quality. So if you're planning to buy a souvenir for someone special a songket cloth makes a fine gift. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Istana Maziah

Located near Bukit Puteri, Kuala Terengganu, Istana Maziah is the official residence of the state ruler in the olden days.Now, it is only used for royal official functions and  the state official events such as the coronation of Sultan Terengganu, royal weddings and birthdays, conferment of titles and reception for local and foreign dignitaries.

Constructed during the reign of Sultan Zainal Abidin III in  1897, it was built to replace Istana Hijau which was burned down during World War II. The palace is build using a mixture of building materials including limestone, clay, egg white , sugar, coarse salt and timber. 20 craftsmen were given the task to construct it. If you look closely, you'll notice that the shuttered windows resembles the French chateau.

In order to get to Istana Maziah, you can take a car, taxi or the bus to Jalan Sultan Zainal Abidin or Jalan Hiliran.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Redang Island

If you love scuba diving and enjoy snorkelling then Redang Island is the place to go.

Comprised of  9 islands namely the Lima Island, Paku Besar Island, Paku Kecil Island, Kerengga Besar Island, Kerengga Kecil Island, Ekor Tebu Island, Ling Island, Pinang Island and the main Redang Island, this area has been gazetted  as a marine park for its brilliant underwater world and reputed to be one of the best in Malaysia.

Like all the other picturesque islands on Terengganu, Redang complete with its pearly white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, swaying coconut tress and rich marine life makes it one of Malaysia's most idyllic islands.

Try snorkelling or scuba diving and you'll discover the marvellous marine fishes of different kinds and colors, sea turtles, coral reef, sea anemones and yes even shipwrecks such as the H.M.S Price of Wales and H.M.S Repulse which sank during the Worlds War II. The popular dive sites in Redang are Tanjung Lang, Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Gua Kawah, Pasir Panjang and Batu Mak Cantek.

If you're lucky you might come face to face with the whale shark with a school of fishes following it like the video below.

Apart from diving, there are lots of other activities one can do here such as kayaking, swimming, fish feeding, jungle trekking, jet skiing,sun bathing, playing frisbee on the beach, building sand castles or simply enjoy the peace and quiet amidst mother nature at its best. So come to Redang Island for a memorable and exciting adventure.

To get to Redang Island, take a  boat from Merang, a small fishing village about 30 minutes away from Kuala Terengganu. It takes about an hour to get there. There is also a ferry service available from Kuala Terengganu which takes about 45 minutes to get to the island.

Be sure to tune in to more useful  information on Terengganu Travel Guide in our next issue. Untill then have a nice day.

Fishing in Terengganu

Catch of the day
Terengganu is an anglers paradise. If you love to catch fish, then fishing in Terengganu is a dream come true. You can fish almost from anywhere, on the beach, in the lake, in the sea,  near the islands and even near the oil rig. Yes, there lots of fish here and the best part is you can cook them fresh and eat them too.
squid fishing (candat sotong)

For more information relating to fishing tour packages, click in this link, fishing tour packages. You can hire a boat to go deep sea fishing or squid fishing (candat sotong), go night fishing, island fishing and lots of other fishing packages. Some operators do not provide fishing equipments while some may hire them at reasonable rates.Be sure to ask the tour operators for tips, pointers on fishing and fishing hotspots as most of them are experienced fisherman.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wau Kite Flying

If you happen to be near the beach and the wind is blowing hard, you might be lucky to catch some  people playing the wau kite.

Wau kite flying is a  popular traditional game played in the large open areas such as the  padifields and on sandy beaches especially when there is a strong wind blowing. In the past, wau is played by farmers after the harvesting season, while fishermen played wau when they could not go out to sea, due to unfavorable weather conditions.

There are various types of wau such as wau bulan (moon kite), wau burung (bird kite), wau merak (peacock kite) and the the wau kuching (cat kite). Each carries a differant design and vary in sizes. A good kite is one that takes flight quickly and continues to fly gracefully.

Watching  the wau kite flying is a chance not to missed. It is a happy  moment that many share as they watch the colorful kites flying  and dancing across the blue skies. If you listen closely you can hear the wau kite humming sounds as the stretched kite string glides through the strong wind blowing.

Penarik Beach (Pantai Penarik)

Whenever I travel to Terengganu with my husband by car taking the coastal road, he always insists that we stop at Penarik Beach. So what's so special about Penarik Beach. There is the splendid view of  wide open sea, swaying coconut trees and a few fishing boats docked by the beach and the wonderful sea breeze. But most of all, we just love the to eat the fresh seafood dipped in flour (goreng celup tepung) which you eat with special chilli sauce.
Ikan celup tepung

Yes these wonderful seafood snacks are simply delightful. Whats more they're incredibly fresh and delicious that will have you craving for more. And to make things more interesting, have some keropok lekor and refreshing coconut water aswell. And while you enjoy your meal, you might also spot the Perhentian Island, Pulau Lang Tengah Island and Redang Island in a distance.
ketam celup tepung

sotong celup tepung
udang celup tepung
So next time you pass by Penarik, don't forget to stop by and try out the delicious and fresh seafood here whilst enjoying  the incredible view and wonderful sea breeze.

Lake Kenyir (Tasik Kenyir)

Situated 55km inland of  Kuala Terengganu, Lake Kenyir (Tasik Kenyir) is the largest man made lake in Southeast Asia covering an area of 260,000 hectares. It is also Malaysia's largest hydroelectric dam.

Surrounded by tropical rainforest in Terengganu, Lake Kenyir is a rich assortment of flora and fauna including rare ferns, orchids, hornbills, owls, elephants and  panthers. It is a nature lovers paradise as there is more than 8,000 species of flowers, 2,500 species of plants and trees aswell as 800 species of orchids.

There is  more than 14 waterfalls, rapids and rivers and about 340 islands which are once actually mountain tops before the completion of the hydroelectric dam.

Large Arapaima fish (Ikan naga) caught in Lake Kenyir
There are many activities one can do here such as fishing, bird and wild life watching, jungle trekking, canoeing or simply enjoy the peace and quiet in the beautiful surrounding. If you love fishing then Lake Kenyir is a home to hundreds of species of freshwater fishes such as Toman, Kelah, Baung, Kelisa and Lampam. It's an anglers paradise and you can even ask the restaurants  to cook the fish you've caught. Accomodation is not a problem, as there are resorts, chalets on the islands as well as houseboats and floating resorts for you to choose from.

So if you're in for an adventure, be sure to visit Lake Kenyir for fun filled time in the beauty of nature.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sekayu Waterfalls - Air terjun sekayu

Ok so you've had enough fun on the beach and wish  for a different kind of adventure. Why not go to the Sekayu Waterfalls located some 16km away from the town of Kuala Berang. Nestled within the Sekayu recreational forest,  you can do some jungle trekking, getting there and enjoy the flora and fauna and cool fresh air. After that have a cool and refreshing dip near the sekayu waterfalls.

 Don't worry there are lots of changing rooms, toilets and camping area complete with fireplace, electricity and clean water supply for your convenience. Its an ideal place to take the family for a picnic, rest, relax and enjoy mother nature. Feel the cool and refreshing water, listen to the sound of the gushing waterfall and the birds chirping in the background.Sounds like a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

After some fun time by the waterfalls, visitors can stop by the  flower park, bird park, orchid park, fruit orchard and minizoo within the vicinity of the recreational forest. Its a good place to take kids so that  you can teach them more about wild life and mother nature and the how to preserve them .

Don't forget to tune in to the next issue of Terengganu Travel guide for more interesting places to visit in Terengganu. until then have a fun filled day.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bazaar Ramadhan

Its Ramadhan and one of the highlights of breaking fast is to visit the bazar ramadhan ( bazaar ramadhan) or pasar ramadhan  (ramadhan market). You can find them almost everywhere in  Malaysia. Every evening between 3pm -7.30pm for the month of ramadhan, small food stalls are set up to form a bazaar or food market selling all sorts of food and drinks.

Ayam golek - yummy barbeque chicken
Nekbat - the sweet temptation
All kinds of fried stuff dip in flour
local kuih and delicacies -must try
All types of drinks to quench you thrist
You can find almost any kind of  food here all at one place. If you are in Terengganu during the month of ramadhan  then don't forget to visit the pasar ramadhan.

There are stalls selling all kinds of rice, local cakes and cuisines such as ayam percik, nasi dagang, nasi ayam, ketupat sotong, keropok lekor, nekbat, satay, ikan bakar, ayam golek aswell as all types of drinks that looks so tempting especially to those who are fasting. And the best thing is you can get them them at reasonable prices too. Just look at all the delicious galore you can get at the bazar ramadhan. Makes you hungry already right.But be careful not to buy too much. You might end up too full to walk.

 And at night, you can join the terawih prayers at the mosques. For a change, try praying at the masjid Terapung or Masjid Kristal. The cool sea breeze at night and beautiful  night scenary will help make it a most memorable experiance

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nasi Dagang Terengganu

Its almost Ramadhan and the people are excited to welcome the blessed month of Ramadhan. Ramadhan the fasting month for Muslims everywhere is a special time for Malaysians. It is a time when they fast together from dawn till sunset, break fast together and in the night time come together to  perform the terawih prayers at the mosques. Indeed Ramadhan is a time that brings us closer.

Just the other day my husband had nasi dagang for breakfast, he said he just had to have one since ramadhan   is almost here and he might miss having them for breakfast. So for this issue of Terengganu travel guide, we are going to talk about Nasi Dagang Terengganu.

Nasi Dagang Terengganu is a rice dish served with tuna curry gravy and fresh acar (mixed salad). So what's so special about it. Well take a look at the short video clip below

So are you ready to try it, if you are in Terengganu, don't forget to stop by Mak Ngah's place in Chendering ( as in the video clip) for a delicious serving of nasi dagang. However, should you like to try and cook nasi dagang Terengganu yourself, here is the recipe.

The Rice
1kg dagang rice
1 cup coconut cream 
5 cups coconut milk 
1 tbsp fenugreek 
5 shallots, thinly sliced 
1 knob ginger, julienne 

Clean and soak both rice and glutinous rice overnight. Drain
Add 2 tsp salt into the coconut milk. 
Steam the rice for about 20 minutes, add in coconut milk slowly. Mix well. 
Steam for another 20 minutes. 
Add in coconut cream, fenugreek, shallots and ginger. Steam for another 5 minutes. 

Ikan Tongkol  (Tuna) Curry 

1.5 kg ikan tongkol (tuna fish)
2 tbsp of spice powder (Coriander powder mixed with fennel seed powder, 2:1 ratio)
10 shallots 
3 garlic cloves 
Small piece of galagal (finely sliced)
a pinch of turmeric powder2 tbsp chilli paste 
2 cups coconut cream 
5 cups coconut milk 
3 pcs asam gelugor 
Salt and sugar, to taste 
small piece of cinnamon1 small piece gula melaka 
some fresh chillies 

Boil fish with salt and 1 piece asam gelugor. 
Blend together shallots, garlic, ginger. Add spice powder to the blended ingredients. 
Heat oil and fry the chillie paste. 
Add in the blended mixture and santan. Season to taste. 
Add in asam gelugor, fish and fresh chillies. Simmer for another 5 minutes. 

Acar (mixed pickled salad)

1cucumber cut in to chunks
1 carrot slced thinly
2 cuts of pineapple (thinly sliced)
1/4 cabbage (julienne)

Cut up all the vegetables into bite size mixed together with salt and sugar and some vinegar to taste.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pulau Perhentian

If you're stressed out and just want to get away from it all, then Pulau Perhentian is an ideal place to go. Situated about 21km from the coast of Terengganu, you need to take a boat to get there which might take about half an hour. You can  catch the boat ride from the  jetty in  Kuala Besut which is about 75 minutes away from Kuala Terengganu.

The Perhentian islands is made up of two islands namely Pulau Perhentian Kecil ( Small Perhentian Island) and Pulau Perhentian Besar (Large Perhantian Island). Perhentian in Malay means a place to stop and that is exactly what the islands was in the days gone by. A transit and stopping place for traders between Malaysia and Thailand in the past. And today it serves as a place where one could stop, relax and recuperate, away from the hustle and bustle of city life, from the cares and stress.

Lush green tropical rainforest, white sandy beaches, swing palm trees and crystal clear blue that stretches out as far as the eye can see. Its all here in Pulau Perhentian. Still untouched and unspoilt the only way around is by walking through the jungle or taking a sea taxi. If you tread carefully, you may come across some of the islands’ shy wildlife on the way, such as monitor lizards, fruit bats, squirrels or even the elusive mouse deer. Simple chalets and some moderately luxurious resorts line the picturesque beaches along with restaurants, dive centers and boat operators advertising their services with hand-painted signs.

There are many activities one can do to occupy the  time. You can rest and relax by the beach, Go snorkelling or diving and enjoy the  colorful marine and coral life underwaters or simply have fun feeding  the fishes. Yes there are plenty of fishes in the sea. Here's a video that shows what I mean.

So have fun and enjoy yourself, if you still have any doubts about how beautiful Pulau Perhentian really is, take a peek at this short video clip.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

World Gamelan Festival 2010

 The World Gamelan Festival 2010 was recently held in Terengganu on the 23-26th July 2010 at the Dataran Shahbandar, Kuala Terengganu. So what on earth is Gamelan you might ask.

Gamelan is a traditional Indonesian ensemble typically including many tuned percussion instruments such as the gambang, saron pekin, gendang and the gong.

Among the countries which took part in the World Gamelan Festival came from Japan, Europe and Indonesia. The festival was held in order to give the people an opportunity to learn more about traditional music.

The festival was one of the many events that the state of Terengganu had line up for the year 2010 to attract more tourist to the state. It proved to be an interesting and colorful event as many visitors as well as participants enjoyed themselves during this event. Take a look at the video clip below showcasing the Japan Gamelan group performing at the World Gamelan Festival 2010 .

Until the next issue of Terengganu travel guide, have a nice time and remember to tune in to more interesting travel tips and information about Terengganu, the land where nature embraces heritage.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Terengganu State Museum

Situated in Losong about 6km away from Kuala Terengganu , the Terengganu State Musuem covering an area of  27 hectares is acclaimed to be the largest museum in the South East Asia. The design and architecture of the museum itself  is a representation of the ancient palaces of  Terengganu.

There are many galleries in it such as the textile, royal, natural history, craft, petroleum, historical and Islamic galleries showcasing the state's historical artifacts, historal facts and developments. There is even a maritime museum displaying traditional fishing boats and travelling vessels as well as tools and equipments used in the construction of  boats.

Step back in time and experience the life of yesteryears when you visit the Traditional house located behind the Terengganu State Museum. Watch this short video clip of  Terengganu State Museum below.

So don't forget to visit the Terengganu State Museum in your trip to Terengganu. Opening hours are as follows :
Saturday to Thursday
9:00am - 5:00pm
9am - 12pm
3pm - 5pm
The museum is closed during Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji Holidays.

Admission Fee for Malaysian Citizen
Adult: RM5 Children: RM2  Students : RM1

Admission Fee for non Malaysian
Adult: RM15 Children: RM10

Any inquiries can be made at Muzium Terengganu Malaysia,Bukit Losong,20566 Kuala Terengganu
Terengganu, Malaysia. 
Tel: +6 09 622 1444

Traditional Boat Making in Pulau Duyong

At Pulau Duyong  by the mouth of Terengganu river, Hj Abdullah bin Muda carries on the tradition of making traditional boats. He started making boats in 1955 and learning the fine craftsmanship from the village elders. Traditional boats are made from wooden timber which are carefully crafted and carved to became excellent masterpieces.

Boat making requires highly skilled  craftmanship and technique to ensure that the vessal could stay afloat, would not leak and could function properly. High quality timber pieces are carefully selected, measured and crafted to make up the frames of the boat and carefully assembled together in the construction of a boat. Up till now, Haji Abdullah and his team has managed to build more than 65 boats. Some are fishing boats while others are sailing boats.

At present Hj Abdullah is working together with students from the Giat Mara Centre to construct a sailing boat in an effort to share his boatmaking knowledge with the younger generation.Watch this short video clip about Hj Abdullah bin Muda commitmment  in the traditional boat making industry in Pulau Duyong, Terengganu.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Keropok Lekor Terengganu

Keropok lekor - so heavenly
If you haven't tried the keropok losong or keropok lekor of  Terengganu, then you really have not visited Terengganu yet. A trip to Terengganu is not complete without trying out this popular dish. So what on earth is Keropok Lekor.

Keropok lekor is a type of fish cracker made out of fish, sago flour, salt and water. Fish is deboned, minced up and mixed with the flour and other ingredients. It is  rolled about to form a long sausage. Then it is boiled for a few moments. Take it out and it is ready to be served. Best eaten while it still hot. Ummm.. yummy its hard to stop once you start eating. Have a look at this short video showing how the keropok lekor is made.

There are lots of  keropok lekor stalls scattered about all along the coastal roads in Terengganu. The famous places which makes delicious keropok lekor are in Kemaman, Losong and Seberang Takir. And what is so special about Keropok lekor Terengganu ?

Well just about everything, from the way it is made using lots of fresh fish to its delicious chilli dipping sauce which is not too sweet or sour, but just right. You can find keropok lekor in other states in Malaysia too, but it is not the same because the volume of fish used is very little as compared with the Terengganu keropok lekor, which uses lots of fresh fish.

So don't forget to try out the Terengganu Keropok lekor. You can try the fried version or the boiled version for those dieting, both are just delicious. It is cheap and handy too.  You can buy a handful and bring it along with you on a picnic by the sea. Until the next issue of  Terengganu travel guide, have a delicious keropok lekor meal, its delicious, its natural and cheap.
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