You can anticipate a myriad of cultural and historical attractions to come from this coastal heritage city of northeast Malaysia. The capital of Terengganu, also known as KT boasts spectacular architecture of grand royal palaces and mosques.
How To Get There
The fastest mode to get there is via a domestic flight to Sultan Mahmud Airport. There are also direct flights from Singapore and Medan to Kuala Terengganu. If you fancy a journey through the East Coast Highway from KL, it takes about 5 hours to reach by car and 7 hours by bus. Many buses depart from most major cities.
What To Do
On a clear day, take a climb up Bukit Puteri to see the historical fort. Located 200 meters above sea level, you can catch a view of the entire city and even peep into the Sultan’s royal palace, Istana Maziah. At the foothill, traditional crafts and artworks are sold at Bazaar Warisan. You can also visit Pasar Payang, a popular market that features many locally made batik and handicrafts.
For an overall experience, take a traditional boat cruise to the largest museum in Southeast Asia, the State Museum of Terengganu. It is built with the layout of Terengganu’s palace on a 27-hectare land that showcases bountiful antiques and artworks. At nighttime, be amazed by the extravagant Crystal Mosque that illuminates the dark with its dazzling modern Muslim architecture.
Where To Eat
Kuala Terengganu is a major fishing port in Malaysia, therefore, there are many famous fish-based local food for you to try. Keropok lekor is a traditional Malay snack made by blending fish and flour into a paste then deep-frying it. Another Terengganu local food is Satar, spicy grilled fish in banana leaves. The famous keropok lekor and satar can be found in Pasar Payang, the central market.
For a heavy meal, try Nasi Dagang at Nasi Dagang Mak Ngah, a mixture of white rice with glutinous rice in coconut milk for a savory mouthful. This dish is often eaten with Gulai Ikan Tonggol, a spicy fish curry cooked with starfruit.
Where To Stay
Strategically located in the city is J Suites Hotel, a 3-star accommodation that offers accessibility to nearby attractions such as Chinatown and the city coastline. You are in for a luxurious stay as each room is equipped with a king-sized bed for a snuggly night sleep. However, if you opt for a simplistic lodging, Asia Premium Hotel is more budget-friendly albeit situated in the city center. The hotel is within walking distance from Istana Maziah as well as Pasar Payang.
Local Tips & Facts
1. Friday is a holy day for Muslims, therefore, Fridays and Saturdays are considered as weekends in this state.
2. Shahbandar Jetty in the city and Merang Jetty (50mins outside KT ) are the gateways to the state’s scenic islands like Redang and Lang Tengah Island.
3. Travellers are advised to dress appropriately if you wish to enter the many mosques in the city.