Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Terengganu - the perfect holiday gateway

I am down with flu and a very bad headache now, but something urge me to pen down a few words about how beautiful  Terengganu is. Alhamdullillah (Praise be to God) that after having spent over 4 months on updating this tourism blog about Terengganu, I've come to realise how truly special and magical Terengganu is.

It's not just the beautiful beaches, the picturesque islands, the rustic fishing villages that makes Terengganu special. Terengganu has so much more to offer for everyone. Tasik Kenyir, Sekayu waterfalls and Tanjong Mentong provides nature lovers with a kaleidoscope of flora and fauna, wildlife and mother nature.

For those who love arts and craft there are Terengganu's traditional handicraft such as batik, woodcarving, songket, and brassware  that they can appreciate and learn more about. 

The mystic dance of Ulek Mayang, Gasing and Wau kites reflects an interesting culture and heritage of Terengganu that it has managed to preserve despite the modernisation of urban cities in Terengganu since petroleum was found off the shores of Kertih.

And what's important is that the Terengganu people are simple people who are friendly , straight forward and always welcoming to tourist. This plays an integral part in sustaining Terengganu as a perfect holiday getaway. As without its people how can Terengganu manage to sustain and preserve its natural environment to remain intact and uspoilt, aswell as preserve its interesting culture and heritage.

Terengganu truly is a vacationeers paradise. It has a unique blend of the good of mother nature and a beautiful culture and heritage that is lacking in other places. Terengganu has panoramic beaches, exotic and idyllic islands, lush  tropical forest, rustic fishing villages, dazzling waterfalls, interesting culture and heritage and deliciously  delightful cuisines to try out. The accommodation here too varies in terms of prices, providing something for everyone from 5 star resorts to budget chalets and homestays.

So what are you waiting for, come to Terengganu and experience it all

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Terengganu Kampung Lifestyle

Refreshing Village life
One of the beauty of living in a village is that the time seems to slow down here. It's strange but true. I've been living in the city for most of my life and somehow, have always hated the idea of how time flies. Perhaps due to all the traffic jams and how busy people are, everyone seems to be in a rush. Creating  a feeling of  how time seems to move faster in cities. It can get so stressfull at times.

It's a bit different, when I go back to the village (kampung). Here the time seem to move slower, much much slower, that you get the time to smell the roses. To enjoy doing things that you never have time to do in the city. To breathe the fresh air, rejuvenate and reinvigorate your senses with the beauty of nature all around. To relax and  relief yourself from all the stressful things in the city.

And in Terengganu, you get the chance to feel all this, even for a few days. There are homestay packages that cater for such needs. Infact there are some  travel agents that conduct Terengganu Countryside tours. They'll take you to the local Terengganau  malay villages to witness the daily activities of kampung folks.

Watch how they weave the mengkuang and pandanus leaf, make dodol (sweet coconut  chewy candy) and gula nisan (coconut sugar). Learn how they weave the songket and make keris (traditional malay dagger). Visit the fishing village, charcoal making and wood carving factory. Enjoy the antiques of the monkey plucking coconut and while you're there, try out the  fresh coconut juice and keropok lekor. refreshing. If you're in doubt how special this experience is just watch this video below.

Interested ? Click the highlighted link  below for details of the tour
 Terengganu Countryside Tour

Or if you prefer to stay in Homestays which offer kampung style life, click the link below for the list of homestays in Terengganu.
List of Terengganu Homestays

Stay tuned to the next issue of Terengganu Travel Guide for more useful tips and interesting places to visit in Terengganu.

Kijal Beach (Pantai Kijal ) and Awana Kijal

Pantai Kijal is yet another beach in Terengganu  that is famous with tourists. The beach here is rather secluded yet picturesque with coconut trees and casuarina trees that fringe the beach. At times the the winds from the South China Sea and the currents here are strong that some have even surfed here. You can also spot rustic fishing villages scattered along the beach here. There is also a long jetty here for those who enjoy fishing.

The coastal roads here are lined up with food stalls selling lemang, otak-otak and satar. A good idea is to grab some and have a picnic here by the sea while you enjoy the magnificent view of the sea. If you plan to stay the night, there are lots of homestays and inns here offering accomodation. However the most famous one here is Awana Kijal Golf, Beach & Spa Resort. Below is a description of this popular resort adapted from
Panoramic view of Awana Kijal

Golf course by the sea
Famed for its 18-hole golf course, beautiful architecture and world-class Javanese spa, this five-star resort is located on the east coast of Terengganu, with a 7.6KM private beach and surrounded by 800 acres of natural greenery. Other activities offered at Awana Kijal Beach & Golf Hotel include tennis, windsurfing, canoeing and fishing. The well-equipped children’s playground has a giant chess set as well as Waterfall Pool, the biggest landscaped pool in the East Coast., making it a perfect place to stay if there are kids. Among the many fine dining options available is the renowned Windows Steak House. Spacious and comfortable rooms all have panoramic views of the South China Sea. 
For reservations and enquiries, click the highlighted link below :
Awana Kijal Resort

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tanjong Jara - Luxury resort with a great view

Located in the district of Marang, Tanjong Jara is a famous 5 star resort by the beach. Beautifully landscaped tropical gardens, friendly and welcoming Malay culture together with elegant architecture of 17th century wooden palaces becomes the centerpiece of Tanjong Jara apart from the magnificent view of the beach and the open sea.

This is a beautiful resort that exuberates luxury if you have the money to spare. There are 4 types of rooms offered here, each beautifully decorated with a splendid view of the South China Sea. Here are the description of each type of room as described in the Tanjong Jara website.

The Anjung Suite
The Anjung Suite rest above the river that flows into South China Sea and has a stunning view of the sea. Anjung Suite is furnished with comfortable sofas in a spacious living and dining hall with its own bar and powder room. The bedroom provides a king-sized bed, a large writing desk, a sunken bath, two vanity units and a separate water closet. This is the premier suite within the Resort and is a one-of-a-kind location for a most memorable experience.

The Anjung Room
Situated along the beachfront are 10 single-storey beach rooms, each 88 square metres in size. Each room is furnished with a king-size bed, as well as a sofa bed. A symmetrical sunken outdoor bath sits in its own private garden, and an indoor bathroom features two vanity units with a large indoor shower. The doors and windows open out to a canopied verandah looking over the beautifully landscaped tropical gardens and sea. An ideal location for a romantic honeymoon.

The Serambi room

Situated on the ground floor of a double storey unit, there are 44 rooms in all. Each room is 55 square metres in size, and features a king-size bed and a spacious indoor bathroom with two vanity units, separate bath and shower facilities. A partially covered verandah overlooks the tropical gardens and is perfect for a private barbeque dinner.

The Bumbung Room

These 44 rooms are situated above the Serambi Rooms and are similar in size and furnishings, excluding private terraces, however the windows open out to a magnificent view of the ocean and gardens.

                    Fine dining with a magnificent view
Tanjong Jara also offers  fine dining in all of its restaurants. Each of them are wonderfully located to give you a splendid view and put you in a relax mood.  Visitors have a choice of delicious Malay, Asian and Western cuisines to choose from. And if you're tired just hop over to the award winning spa to relax, reinvigourate and revive yourself with stress releasing massage.

Various packages can be requested here at your convenience such as  the  snorkelling or diving in Tenggol Island, cooking class with the resort's chef, Chemerung waterfall excursion, the Marang, river cruise, traditional handicraft tour and the guided bicycle tour.

So come pamper yourself in luxury in the presence of nature's beauty here at Tanjong Jara. For reservations and enquiries, click on the highlighted link . Tanjong Jara Resort.  Meanwhile enjoy this short video clip of Tanjong Jara and see what they have to offer.

For more information about the main attraction in Terengganu, don't forget to catch the next issue of Terengganu travels. Until next time have a great day.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gasing (Giant Top Spining)

Gasing or (Giant top spinning) is a popular traditional game played in Terengganu and Kelantan. Yet it is no child's play as each gasing may weight as heavy as 5kg. The size too may be as big as a dinner plate. Which explains why most of the players are adult men or young men, as hurling the gasing using a piece of rope wound around the gasing requires strength, coordination and skill to ensure that the gasing remains spinning for the longest time.

The gasing is made out of  a fine piece of hardwood such as merbau, keranji or cengal . The wood is then left to dry naturally before it is shaped into a discus. A good gasing  needs to be properly grooved and perfectly  symmetrical in order to enable it to spin for a long time.

Gasing competitions are an annual feature in the east coast. These annual competitions help  the younger generation  to preserve  the gasing as a proud heritage. In  Wakaf Changak, Batu Rakit, Terengganu the gasing competitions are an annual affair that create lots of excitement and frenzy among the viewers and the participants as they watch  the gasing spin round and round, sometimes as long as 3 hours.

Rhu Hentian Island (Pulau Rhu Hentian)

Still a newcomer in the tourism industry, Rhu Hentian Island may not be well known as the famous Pulau Redang or Pulau Perhentian. Yet its still has all the charms of the islands in Terengganu, complete with the white powdery beach and crystal clear waters.

Located only 15 nautical miles away from offshore Kuala Besut, a boat trip from Kuala Besut terminal will take only 20-30 minutes only. Visitors here will be able swim, go snorkelling,  diving, kayaking or simply relax and enjoy the magnificent view of the sea. It is reported that the island is gaining popularity among fishing enthusiasts as there are plenty of fishes here.

Being small in size (only 1.4 hectares), tourist will be able to explore the whole island within 2 hours and discover the lush tropical jungle fringed by captivating view of the white sandy beaches and  blue sea.

At present there is only one resort here, The Rhu Hentian Resort which is managed by Fisheries Association of Kuala Besut, as a first step to develop this charming little Island. 

Tanjong Mentong National Park

Being  the the new gateway and part of the Taman Negara (Malaysia's National Park), Tanjong Mentong is interconnected with Tasik Kenyir (Lake Kenyir). As such, you have to take a boat from Sg. Gawi jetty in Lake Kenyir to get to the Tanjong Mentong.

Tanjong Mentong has one of the world's most complex and rich ecosystems, as it is part of the world's oldest untouched tropical rainforest estimated to be 130 million years old. Here you can find a variety of exotic collection of  flora and fauna as well as  wildlife in their natural  habitat and sorroundings.

Climb the Mount Gagau (one of the highest peak in Taman Negara at 1,376m) where you'll be able to get a birdseye view of the National Park that spans across three states (Pahang, Kelantan & Terengganu).

Discover and experience the thrill of cave exploration at  Gua Bewah and Gua Taat situated close to Tanjong Mentong.

There is a minimum charge of RM1 per person for entrance permit, while fishing licence cost RM10 each and camera licence is RM5 per camera. Accomodations are provided by Tanjong Mentong Resort which has  5 chalets and 60 bed hostel. There is also a jetty, restaurant , meeting hall and a viewing tower for visitors convenience.

For enquiries, kindly contact :
Deputy Superintendent,
Taman Negara Terengganu National Park, Tanjong Mentong,
Hulu Terengganu, Terenggnu
Tel : 09 622 7751


The Manager,
Tanjong Mentong Resort
Tel : 09 623 6684

Chendering Beach (Pantai Chendering)

Located  about 6 km away from  Kuala Terengganu, Pantai Chendering is yet another famous beach in Terengganu with a great view. It has a long jetty which makes it an excellent place for fishing enthusiasts.

The Malaysian Handicraft Center is also in Chendering. Here visitors get a chance to witness the skills of local artisans in songket weaving, batik printing and  mengkuang basket weaving. There are plenty of handicraft items such as songket, batik, bags, mats, vase, wallets and hats made of pandanus leaves sold here. The famous Noor Arfa Batik and Permint Sutera Semai is also in Chendering for those who are interested to buy exquisite batik products such as batik silk cloths, sarong, kaftan or batik silk shirts.

Apart from that, there are many keropok lekor stalls by the coastal roads to Chendering. One of the popular stalls which sells delicious keropok lekor here is the 007 brand. The famous Mak Ngah Nasi Dagang which sells delightful nasi dagang is in Chendering too.

Terengganu Wood Carving

The Terengganu woodcarvers are well known and reputed in creating beautiful works of art made out of high quality hardwood. Many of the woodcarvings are found in houses, old palaces, beams, doorways, window shutters, traditional boats, bed frames, and  pieces of furniture. As carving human figures is totally prohibited in Islam, the Terengganu woodcarving is inspired from flora and fauna, Islamic art and  animal motifs.
Beautiful lattice masterpiece
Intricate floral designs 

Not a single nail used to make - Rumah bujang berserambi selasar

Desa Ukiran Kayu
Realising the importance to preserve this heritage, Terengganu has set up the Desa Ukiran Kayu at Tengku LongPalace, Besut. Desa Ukiran Kayu is a vocational institution offering studies and education in woodcarving, entreprenuership and carpentry. The objective of its formation is to generate professional woodcarvers who not only produces beautiful masterpieces but also will be able to present woodcraft as succesful business aswell.
Rumah Potong Belanda

The Construction of Desa Ukiran Kayu is a manifestation of  Besut as the Woodcarving District of Terengganu and as a tribute to the famous woodcarvers from Besut such as Che Long bin Yusof, Tengku Ibrahim bin Tengku Wook (Tokoh Seni Negara 1997), Abdul Rahman Long, Wan Mustaffa Wan Yusof (Tokoh Seni Negeri Terengganu 2003) and Norhaiza bin Nordin.

Desa Ukiran Kayu is constructed on the palace grounds of Tengku Long. The palace and the traditional houses  built here are decorated with wonderful woodcarvings. The good teamwork of  professional woodcarvers and carpenters has produced beautifully designed traditional houses  that has adequate lighting and good circulation of air to ensure the comfort for its occupants.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tenggol Island (Pulau Tenggol)

Pulau Tenggol - divers paradise

Cited  as "The best diving in peninsular Malaysia" by the Asian Diver Magazine 2002 annual edition, Pulau Tenggol lies 14 nautical miles (26km) off  the coast of  Kuala Dungun. This rocky islands is about 50 hectares in size, although small in size, Pulau Tenggol  is one of the most beautiful island in the peninsular Malaysia that offers excellent dive sites.

Pulau Tenggol has been gazetted as part of the Terengganu marine park as such much of the reef remains intact as fishing, spearfishing and harvesting marine life for decorative purpose or as food are strictly prohibited.

 As such, the pristine coral formations and the rich marine life here ranging from turtles, stingrays, whalesharks, sea anemones and  barracudas makes Tenggol island a divers haven. The diversity in the structure of seabed aswell as the strong currents offers divers a great diving experience ranging from deep diving, drift diving  and wreck dive for the more advanced and experienced divers. Watch this video and be amazed by the fascinating and spectacular sight that lies beneath Tenggol Island.

    Pulau Tenggol dive sites
    Tenggol island dive sites as described by the Tenggol Aqua Resort :
    Tokong Talang
    • Depth : 90 - 110 feet 
    • Level : Advance Open Water and above 
    • On Tokong Talang you will find quite strong surface current. If you like drift dives - this is your dive spot. As for the the fish life we find here black stingrays, big schools of jacks, cave dwellers and nudibranchs.
    Tokong Burung
    • Depth : 80 - 100 feet 
    • Level : Advance Open Water and above 
    • It is possible to do a drift-dive at 80 feet from Tokong Kamudi to Tokong Burong. The condition is generally calm, with surface and deep water currents. The surface can get choppy after bad weather. Schools of barracudas, jacks, fusiliers, snappers and tunas have been sighted here. This site is also a nudibranch haven. Slope rocky corals will be found at 85 feet. Excellent dive site for the months April to November.
    Tokong Kamudi
    • Depth : 50 - 100 feet 
    • Level : Open Water and above 
    • A wall extends down to 100 feet. There is a good covering of soft, encrusting and stony corals, sponges and christmas tree worms. In deeper waters, you will find soft tree corals, sea anemones and nudibranchs. Fish here include angelfish, butterfly fish, surgeon fish, wrasses, snappers etc. Most of the fish sighted are mainly small corals fish but it happened to be a feeding area for sharks too. This appears to be a nudibranch haven. On the south side you can dive into several caves.
    The Highway, Pulau Nyireh
    • Depth : 70 - 100 feet 
    • Level : Advance Open Water and above 
    • A favourite site of many repeat divers, it's also known as "The Highway" as schools of pelagic fish are ply along this "highway". Divers may experience strong currents in this area. The terrain is generally rocky with huge boulders forming walls, tunnels and swim throughs. A photographers haven as there are interesting coral formations to be found on the walls of these boulders and there are also a few interesting variety of the smaller creatures too.
    Fishbowl, Pulau Nyireh
    • Depth : 120 feet 
    • Level : Advance Open Water and above 
    • You will find at this dive site beautiful corals covering a nice pinnacle. Nudibranchs in different colors and various shapes will be a highlight for divers who enjoy the smaller fish life.
    Amazing Graze, Pulau Nyireh
    • Depth : 90 - 120 feet 
    • Level : This dive site offers a excellent visibility. Divers as well as snorkelers will enjoy the variety of fish life here. At 2 m depth the snorkelers will see baby sharks, where as the divers will find nice coral formations at 15 - 17 m intercepted by sandy areas. Literally "tons" of gubies and blue spotted stingrays have made their home here.
    Gua Rajawali, Pulau Tengool
    • Depth : 20 - 60 feet 
    • Level : Advance Open Water and above 
    • The best time in the year to dive here is in March and April. Lots of small colorful fish can be found here cruising between soft corals.
    Rajawali Reef, Pulau Tenggol
    • Depth : 90 feet 
    • Level : Advance Open Water and above 
    • This dive site offers a "easy Sunday afternoon dive". With no current at all novices will easily pass their check-out dive. 3 pinnacles, 2 holes to dive in and lots and lots of fish, what more can a diver expect?.
    Coral Garden, Pulau Tenggol
    • Depth : 20 - 60 feet 
    • Level : Open Water and above
    • The gradients of the bays are gentle with sandy bottoms, rock outcrops and many coral heads. A favourite spot for coral lovers. At an average dept of 40 feet, the area has soft and hard corals, Christmas tree worms, sponges, sea anemones etc. A one-foot length Christmas tree worm can be found in this site.
    Teluk Air Tawar
    • Depth : 20 - 90 feet 
    • Level : Open Water and above 
    • This is a well sheltered bay and the waters is generally calm. Considered the house reef of the resorts which is about 200 meters from shore, its slopes from 10 to 40 feet with sand bottom covers with hard and soft corals. Other marine life includes garden eels, our resident turtle, moray eel, box fist and even lion fish. There are three wrecks located in this bay. Two at 60 feet and the other is at 90 feet. Doing a dawn dive here is like visiting Raffles Place MRT station during the morning peak hours. Jump into our house reef right in front of your chalet and enjoy a close encounter with one of the resident turtles and a chance upon a herd of grazing hump head parrot fish as shallow as a few feet of the bay water. Night dive here are gratifying with exquisite black and white spotted baby barramundi cod and our favorite little resident baby torpedo ray, a mere 15 cm long.
    Tanjung Gemok
    • Depth : 148 ft. Highest point Bridge Wing at 120 Ft.

    • Level : Open Water and above
      • The Cement Wreck (Name: Unknown)
      • Nationality: Indonesian
      • Type: Cargo (Cement)
      • The ship lies on its starboard with its bow facing NE (Note: UK hydrographic survey states that it is lying on the port side). The wrech is known locally as the "Indonesian Cement Wreck". It is about 235 ft. in length and was built in 1955 by the Japanese. The exact date of its sinking is unknown. But it was suspected before 1965 (most likely between 1963 and 1965). The Malaysian flag taken from the wreck showed 14 strips. It was the flag used when Singapore was still part of the Federation.
    • Article from The Decom Stop by Paul Tan .
    Tanjung Sarong Lang, Pulau Tenggol
    • Depth : 90 - 125 feet 
    • Level : Advance Open Water and above 
    • This dive site consists actually of two dive spots. The "wall" and the "edge" or "rock". Both places can be dived in one go. In the morning you will find sharks feeding here. On the rest of the day you will see barracudas, yellow tale fish and schools of fish.
    Ratu Chachang, Pulau Tenggol
    • Depth : 60 - 100 feet 
    • Level : Open Water and above 
    • A high concentration of fish life - jacks, trevilies, fusiliers, barracudas, tunas, hump heads and eagle rays. The bottom of this area houses an interesting collection of rock outcrops covered with soft and hard corals, sea anemonies and sponges. 

How to get there :

Ferry services have to be arranged from Kuala Dungun as Pulau Tenggol is not serviced by public or regular transport. Tenggol Aqua Resort provides ferry services between the island and Kuala Dungun.

The nearest airport are the Kerteh (30mins. From Kuala Dungun), Kuala Terengganu (1hr) and Kuantan (2hr 30mins). Visitors can fly in and hire a taxi to Kuala Dungun.

Air-conditioned coaches from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu also stop at Kuala Dungun. Or you can drive to Kuala Dungun, park at the office of Tenggol Aqua Resort, and take the resort ferry to Pulau Tenggol. From Kuala Lumpur, it is a leisurely and scenic 7hr 30mins drive to Kuala Dungun.

Tune in to more exciting  travel facts about Terengganu on the next issue of  Terengganu Travel Guide

Batu Bersurat Terengganu

Batu Bersurat Terengganu or the Inscribed Stone of Terengganu is an important historical artifact of Terengganu that proves Islam has reached Terengganu earlier than 1326 or 1386. Wrtitten in Jawi, Batu Bersurat Terengganu was found by an arab trader by the name of  Sayid Husin bin Ghulam al Bukhari in 1899 by the banks of the Tersat river after a flash flood hit Kuala Berang.

It was then transported back to Kuala Terengaanu on a raft where it was presented to the Sultan Zainal Abidin 111, the ruler of Terengganu at that time. As nobody at that time knew how to read Jawi, Mr. H.S. Peterson, an englishman who was working in Terengganu took photographs of it and sent them for transcription.

The message on the Batu bersurat mentioned how islam was the religion of the country at that time. It also spoke of the various  commandments and  punishments of the country at that particular time. The inscriptions was believed to be written on friday in the month of rejab, 702 hijrah or 22 February 1303. This therefore proves that Islam has reached Terengganu before the 14th century long before Melaka was founded.
Replica of the Batu bersurat at the roundabout in Kuala Terengganu

Today the Batu bersurat is one of the important historical artifact displayed at  the Terengganu State Museum. A replica of the Batu Bersurat can also be seen near the roundabout in Kuala Terengganu.

Kuala Terengganu

Kuala Terengganu - the capital of Terengganu
If you are short of time, but still wish to feel the essence of Terengganu, then a visit to Kuala Terengganu, the capital and the royal state of Terengganu is what you need. In Kuala Terengganu and the sorrounding  areas, there are many places of interest which you can visit such as the Pasar Payang, Bukit Puteri, China Town, Istana Maziah, Seberang Takir, The Floating Mosque, Muzium Losong, Pulau Duyong and Pantai Batu Burok.

Learn the process  of  making of beautiful batik and Songket that Terengganu is famous for at the many Batik and Songket shops here or pay a visit to Desa Craft. Discover the interesting  history and rich culture and heritage from the Terengganu State Musuem.

Climb the Bukit Puteri and get a birds eye view of the city. Try out the delicious local delicacies of Terengganu such as Nasi Dagang, keropok lekor, satar and otak-otak. Shop and bargain for beautiful works of art, food and souvenirs at the Pasar Payang .
Places of Interest in Terengganu :

Terengganu State Museum Complex : Consists of a Main Museum, a Maritime Museum, a Fisheries Museum, 4 traditional houses and botanic and herbs gardens. The Main Museum is built on 16 stilts, in accordance with the traditional architecture of Terengganu. Its 4 blocks are adjoined, to represent a big family. There are ten galleries showcasing textiles, crafts, historical, royal, nature, art, petroleum, Islamic, new generation and contemporary arts.

Bukit Puteri, is a 200 m high historical hill, situated next to Istana Maziah. It was used as a fortress between the years of 1831 to 1876 to defend the state from enemy attacks. Some of the historical remains which can be seen on Bukit Puteri are cannons, a flagpole, a large bell and a fort. Today, as it is the highest point in Kuala Terengganu, visitors standing on top of Bukit Puteri can witness the magnificent view of the areas sur-rounding it.

Istana Maziah  is believed to have been constructed during the reign of Sultan Zainal Abidin III. It was built in 1897 and it is the venue for royal birthdays, weddings, conferment of titles and receptions for local and foreign dignitaries. A product of the blend between splendid modern and traditional architecture, it is also well-known as one of Malaysia's cultural attractions.

Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah (The Floating Mosque), located outside Kuala Terengganu is just 4.5km away. This is not an ordinary mosque but said to be the only one of its kind in Malaysia. Combining modern and traditional architectural designs, the mosque creates an illusion of itself as floating on water

Pasar Payang (Central market)  is located by the Terengganu River is one of the most popular tourist spots in Kuala Terengganu. Housed in a modern building complete with a shopping arcade and a car park, it offers visitors a variety of traditional handicrafts such as batik, silk, songket, brocade and brassware, other fresh produce such as fruits, vegetables and 'Keropok Lekor', which is a special local delicacy made from a mixture of fish and sago. Visitors to this market will have a delightful experi-ence shopping in local fares at reasonable prices.

Desa Craft  formerly known as Usaha Desa, is an interesting handicraft centre which showcases songket, brassware, batik, souvenir items and also fashion wear of current batik designs.

Pulau Duyung is the most well-known boat building ground in Terengganu. There, you can see boats being made by skilled boat builders who implement skills which have been passed down from generation to generation. Boat building is an art form therefore the boat builders take pride in their skill. The boat builders are unique, for they work entirely from their memory and experience, and without any set plans. Pulau Duyung is also renowned for its dried and salted fish, and fish crackers industries. It is easily accessible by the Sultan Mahmud Bridge, or for those who enjoy using sea transportation, take a boat from the Kuala Terengganu waterfront.

 You can even  take the  boat to travel between Kuala Terengganu and Seberang Takir for a small fee. If you're in Seberang Takir then try out the delightful Terengganu specialties like the keropok lekor, laksam, nasi dagang  and the big glass fruit juice while you relax and enjoy the view of  the serene fishing village scene here.
Ride the boat to explore the city
Spectacular view of the bridge
And if you are tired after travelling , stop over and have a big glass of fruit juice drink to quech your thrist and refresh.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fireflies Sanctuary - Sg. Yak Yak, Kemaman

I've been to Kemaman a few times, but I did'nt know that there is a Fireflies Sactuary here until recently, due to the lack of publicity  about this place. Perhaps more promotion  should be made about this magical place which comes alive at night, so that more will learn to appreciate the beauty of nature that lies in Kemaman.

Located in Sg. Yak Yak,Kg. Ibok, Kemaman (not far from the Kemaman Mini Zoo, about 11 km from the Cukai town ) the Fireflies Sanctuary of Sg. Yak Yak happens to be the biggest Firefly Sactuary in Malaysia.
The abundance of Berembang and Putat trees growing  all around this area serve as a home and natural habitat for the fireflies. The fireflies feed on the Beremban leaves.

magical experience - Sg Yak Yah firefly sanctuary
When it is dark (8 o'clock and upwards), you can see the flickering lights of the fireflies as they hover over the trees by the side of the river, creating sort of a Chrismas tree look with neon light all around. It feels almost magical here, as if you've just stepped into the fairy land.

nature's wonder - the firefly
 The best time to come here to watch the fireflies is when it is pitch dark at night, between the months of July to September which is the mating season for the fireflies. During the mating season, the male fireflies emit glowing light in their abdomen  to attract the females. The females would response in the same manner creating more flickering lights all around.

Interested ? Then come to Sg Yak Yah for a magical experience. For enquiries or to hire a boat for this trip you can call Che Ghani or his friend En.Zainal Ibrahim who runs firefly tours along the Sg.Yak Yah. They can be contacted at 019-9336458 or 0134-9365681. They charge about RM20 per person for the firefly tour.
Prawn (udang galah) fishing anyone ?

In case you wish to stay the night, then try the Chalet Kg. Ibok that charges RM60.00 per night. In the daytime, you can try your hand at prawn fishing along  the Yak yah river or visit the quill farm in Kg. Ibok.

So don't forget to catch the next issue of  Terengganu travels for more fascinating travel information about Terengganu.

Gemia Island (Pulau Gemia)

Crystal clear waters of  Pulau  Gemia

Located on 800 metres of Pulau Kapas, Gemia Island is another perfect holiday island in Terengganu. Although small in size (only 9 acres in size), Gemia Island is a haven for both tourist and wildlife due to its peaceful, quiet and serene atmosphere here. Sea eagles, reef herons and giant leatherback turtles come to this island to nest every year. The Hawksbill turtle and Olive Ridley turtles are regular visitors to this island too. In fact there is a turtle hatchery on this island where turtle hatchlings are cared for in a safe place and fed with jellyfish and  released to the sea once they are mature enough to make it on their own.

Due to its size, there is only one resort on Gemia Island. There is a rocky rock face here which provides an excellent view of the island aswell as an ideal spot for birdwatching. There are  excellent diving and snorkelling spots here as  Pulau Gemia is sorrounded by beautiful corals and rich marine life. You can also explore the island by kayaking here, go deep sea fishing and try your hand at squid fishing (mencandat sotong) here.

 How to Get Here :
There is a daily bus service from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu. From here, transfer to Marang by bus or taxi. Gemia Island is about 30 minutes from Marang by boat.

So tune in to the next issue of Terangganu travels for more fascinating information about Terengganu

Desa Craft

Beautiful  brassware

Creative batik works
Traditional Songket weaving

Desa Craft or formerly known as Usaha desa is an interesting handicraft center which showcases local handicraft products such as brassware, songket weaving, the traditional and contemporary batik

The center was first established by the Terengganu State Development Corporation in its effort to promote local handicraft  products of Terengganu  in Kuala Terengganu as a popular tourist destination.

Desa Craft is located in the center of Kuala Terengganu and is acessible by taxi, bus or on foot. For enquiries please contact :

Desa Craft
Ground Floor, Wisma Maju,
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
20200 Kuala Terengganu
Phone : +609 636 627
Terengganu Tourism Office  Tel : 609 622 1433 /1893 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Otak-Otak Terengganu

Otak-otak-so good once you start, its hard to stop

Otak-otak is yet another speciality dish of Terengganu. Made out of fresh fish which is marinated in spices. It is then mixed with coconut and special spicy paste and wrapped up in coconut leaf. Once wrapped up, the otak-otak is line up and cooked over fire, much like how the satay is cooked.

Otak-otak are famous teatime snacks, but don't be surprised if some shops that sells otak-otak finish selling them by 4 p.m. One famous otak-otak shop is Otak-otak Che Wan at Pantai Teluk Mak Nik, Kemaman sells delicious otak-otak. So good that sometimes customers que  from 12 o'clock in the afternoon eventhough the shop opens at 2 p.m. Otak-otak Che Wan cooks about 5,000 pieces of otak-otak daily, yet it is sold out most of the time. So if you're thinking of trying it out, come early.

For those of you who wish to cook it yourself, here is the recipe as described by the Terengganu tourism website :

  400g ikan merah (red snapper)

  1/2 tsp salt
  1 tsp pounded anchovies (ikan bilis)
  A dash of pepper

(B) Spice, pounded together:
  3 fresh red chillies, seeded
  3 cm galagal (lengkuas)
  2 cm fresh turmeric root (kunyit)
  or replace with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  5 buah keras (candlenuts)
  2 stalks serai (lemon grass), sliced thinly
 10 shallots
  4 cloves garlic

  1 tbsp chilli boh
  1 tsp  belacan
  1/2 tbsp rice f1our
  1 tbsp cornflour

  1/2 tsp salt
  1 1/2 tsp sugar
  Pepper to taste

  1/2 cup pati santan
  3 eggs, well beaten
  5 limau purut leaves, finely sliced
  Daun Kadok leaves (aromatic creepers)
  Banana leaves, cut into 20 x 18 cm pieces, softened by steaming or scalding in hot water

1. Cut fish fillets into thin slices and season with (A) for 15 minutes.

2. Grind ingredients (B) into a paste. Mix well the ground ingredients with (C). Blend in (D) and seasoning. Add fish slices into the mixture.

3. Take 1 piece of banana leaf, place three to four daun kadok in the centre. Put three slices of fish and 2 tbsp gravy over it. Form a bundle by folding up both the sides to meet in the centre. Fold up both the ends and staple the middle portion to secure. Make as many bundles of otak-otak as possible.

4. Steam the bundles for 10 minutes over rapid boiling water. Serve hot with rice or white bread.

Other Places to get Otak-otak :
KualaPengadang Baru Weekend Market (Tuesday)
TerengganuPanji Alam Weekend Market (Thursday)
Batu Burok Hawker Centre (Friday)
Pasar Payang Central Market
Cabang Tiga Market
MarangKg. Kelulut Weekend Market (Saturday)
DungunKuala Dungun Weekend Market (Thursday)
KemamanKerteh (Tuesday), Kemasik (Sunday, Wednesday), s Chukai (Tuesday)
Alongside Geliga Beach
Related Posts with Thumbnails