Kuala Terengganu Things to Do

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    Keropok Tasting
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    Named after a famous rock singer Awie
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Most Recent Things to Do in Kuala Terengganu

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    Masjid Abidin Kuala Terengganu

    by mansionion Written Oct 23, 2005

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    Masjid Abidin (Abidin Mosque) Kuala Terengganu is located on Jalan Sultan Zainal Abidin in Kampung Masjid, Kuala Terengganu. It is nicknamed "Masjid Putih' (the white mosque) or "Masjid Besar" (the big mosque) by local folks.

    The mosque was originaly a wooden structure build during the reign of Sultan Zainal Abidin II. However, during the reign of Sultan Umar it was later replaced by a new one made of stone. It was subsequently renovated and painted with white color, hence giving it the nick name of "Masjid Putih' (the white mosque) or "Masjid Besar" (the big mosque).

    The mosque's was further enlarged in 1972 during the reign of Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah, with addition of its Masjid Negara Masjid Negara like minaret. (I personally feels that the minaret made the mosque lose it unique character and look pretty odd). Currently (August 2005) renovation work is being carried out to further up grade the mosque.

    Masjid Abidin Masjid Abidin
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    Take a boat ride

    by mansionion Updated Oct 22, 2005

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    Follow the local folks - take a ride on the passenger boat crossing the Terengganu river to experince life in Kuala Terengganu.

    You can chose to go to Pulau Duyung Besar to see the traditional boat-making industry. Alternatively, you can also take the boat ride accross the river to go to Seberang Takir, a throbbing fishing village. Here, you can see the fishermen coming in with their catch in the early afternoons or late evenings. Seberang Takir also offers an interesting view of Kuala Terengganu's skyline and the South China Sea. You can also chose to a boat or ferry ride to one of the many beautiful islands off the coast of Kuala Terengganu for day trip or over nite stay.

    Passenger boats lining along KT Main Jetty KT's skyline as viewed from the boat
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    Kuala Terengganu Waterfront

    by mansionion Updated Oct 22, 2005

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    As a coastall town, the waterfront of Kuala Terenggau span across almost the entire of the town. Most of the town's activities and main places are also located along the waterfront area, just like in the old days when KT was merely a fishermen village. Kuala Terengganu's main jetties, central market (Pasar Payang), Chinatown, inter state bus station and public park (Taman Shahbandar) are among the town's main places that are located in the waterfront area, making the area full of activities with hustle and bustle during the day.

    If you are here early in the morning, you can view fleets of fishing boats passing along the waterfront area leaving for the sea. While in the late afternoon you can see the same fleet of fishing boats returning back home. City folks may find it's really interesting looking at the boats and hearing the sound of the boats' engine moving slowly along the waterfront area - truely different from the fast pace of live in the city. However, this may changed soon as land reclaimation works are currently on going in some part of the waterfront area for its proposed re-development.

    Fishing boats leaving for the sea Boats along KT Waterfront KT Waterfront as viewed from Seberang Takir
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    Arial view of KT town from Bukit Puteri

    by mansionion Written Oct 22, 2005

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    At 200 meter above sea level, Bukit Puteri is the highest point in Kuala Terengganu. Hence, visitors standing on top of Bukit Puteri can witness the magnificent view of the areas surrounding it.

    At one side of the hill is the view of Sungai Terengganu - where you can see fishing boats coming back home after a hard day in the late afternoon. To the other side of the hill is a panoramic view of Kuala Terengganu town, where the town's tallest building (Wisma Darul Iman) and Masjid Zainal Abidin can be identified prominently.

    View of KT town from Bukit Puteri
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    Singahsana

    by mansionion Written Oct 22, 2005

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    As Bukit Puteri was used as the official residence of the Sultan as well as a defensive fotress in its early days, a "singgahsana" (raised platform or dais) was built within the fotress itself. Unlike other singgahsana comonly found in the royal palaces, the singgahsana is very simple in its design. However, this singgahsana plays an important role then as it was here where the Sultan discussed about war strategies with his generals during the civil war.

    At the back of the singgahsana is where the other components of the fotress are located - a flag pole, a light house and a small cave (Gua Puteri). Just like in the old days, the 18 meters high flag pole is still being used until today to raise the royal flag when ever there are any royal ceremonies held. The light house still functioned primarily as a guide for fishermen and sailors that sail into the river mouth of Sungai Terengganu. As for Gua Puteri (it is actually just a hole on the ground, not really a cave), it was used then as a place to keep the gun powder, stone and iron bullets to defend the fort in case of enemies attack.

    Singgahsana The lighthouse and the flag pole The light house The flag pole
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    Pondok Genta

    by mansionion Updated Oct 22, 2005

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    On top of Bukit Puteri is a small hut that housed a big bell called "genta". The genta that is still exists today was built during the reign of Sultan Zainal Abidin III in the year 1908 and was made from yellow copper. The circumference and height of the genta were 228 centimeters and the weight was 175 kilograms.

    In the old days, the genta will normally be rang during emergency - rampage, fire or enemies attacking the state. It was also used during royal ceremonies as well as for call of prayers. It is believed that the genta was guarded by a boy from the royal family whose job was to ring the bell if any emergency or natural disasters occurred.

    Today, the genta is still performing its function but no more to alert the existence of enemies instead as a breaking fast reminder during the month of Ramadhan when Muslim fast during the day.

    Genta (big bell) on top of Bukit Puteri
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    Bukit Puteri

    by mansionion Updated Oct 22, 2005

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    Forming a nice backdrop for Kuala Terengganu is Bukit Puteri (Princess Hill), a 174 years old hill located at the centre of the town. It covers an area of about 658 hectares and the height is about 200 meters from the sea level. The name Bukit Puteri is said to have originated from its pioneer residence - a Puteri Bunian - who has since left the hill. The hill was later opened by a chieftain from Johor named Tuk Raja Menteri who came to Terengganu to install the first Sultan of Terengganu, Sultan Zainal Abidin I; in 1831.

    On top of the hills are a few historical artifacts that have significant link to the history of Terengganu, some of which are still in used now. Among the historical artifacts that can be found here a an old fort, a "genta" (big bell), cannons, a flag pole, a light house, old graves and a defence wall. A small cave known as Gua Puteri can also be found here. From the top of the hill, you can have a nice bird eye view of the entire Kuala Terengganu town. Nowadays, Bukit Puteri is used as a firing range for cannon when royal ceremonies are held.

    Bukit Puteri is open to visitors from 9am to 5pm everyday with minimal entrance fee of RM1.00. It is best to visit the hill early in the morning or late afternoon when temperature is not so hot. Plus, you will get to see the fishermen boats plying along Sungai Terengganu during this time.

    Entrance to Bukit Puteri Flag pole and light house on top of Bukit Puteri View of KT town centre from Bukit Puteri
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    Meriam Beranak

    by mansionion Written Oct 22, 2005

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    Standing guard on top of Bukit Puteri are a few set of canons that the local folks referred to as "Meriam Beranak" (literally, canons that give birth). According to the story, there were many cannons on Bukit Puteri in it early days. The cannons were believed to be originated from as far as Spain, Portugal and the Malay States and were given specific names such as Seri Jamlor, Seri Buih, Seri Johor and Laila Majnun.

    The cannons were purposely built in a set of two in different sizes - big and small - hence the name "Meriam Beranak". It is also said that every evening, the canons were "feed" with bubles from the ocean to maintain their magical power. However, most of the cannons were taken to Siam (Thailand) during the period when they ruled Terengganu in 1843-1845 and were never returned back, leaving only few sets of the canons that still remain on Bukit Puteri until today .

    Seri Jamlor & Seri Buih Seri Johor Laila Majnun
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    Pasar Besar Kedai Payang

    by mansionion Updated Oct 19, 2005

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    Pasar Besar Kedai Payang or Pasar Payang in short (also known as Central Market) is the lifeline of KT. Located by the Terengganu River, it is one of the most popular tourist spots in KT, not only for shopping but also to have a taste of life in KT. It is also close to the Shabandar jetty, making it ideal for a short stop en route to the islands off the coast.

    The Pasar Payang is housed in 2 storeys building consisting of a wet market and a shopping arcade, it offers visitors a variety of items to purchase - from grocery items such as such fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, "keropok lekor" etc to traditional products and souveniers like batik, brassware, brocade and songket.

    Visitors to this market will have a delightful experience shopping in local fares at reasonable prices.

    Pasar Besar Kedai Payang
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    Kubu Bukit Puteri

    by mansionion Updated Oct 16, 2005

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    The Kubu Bukit Puteri (Bukit Puteri Fort) lies on top of hill. It is a small fort that was build during civil war in Terengganu in 1830s. The fort was built by Tengku Omar (the then Yang Dipertuan Besar of Terengganu) in his effort to de-throne the then Sultan of Terengganu, Tengku Mansur who was conferred the title of Sultan Mansur Shah II. It is said that the fort was build from bricks and cemented with honey, lime and egg white.

    Despite beinmg protected by the fort, Bukit Puteri finaly fall to Tengku Mansur instead and Tengku Omar was forced to flee to Besut.. In 1839, Tengku Omar successfully recaptured the fort after 3 attempts and subsequently de-throne Tengku Mansur. Upon conquering the fort, Tengku Omar spent most of his his early days as the ruler of Terengganu within the fort itself, discussing war strategies with his generals on a raised platform called a 'singgahsana' as seen still at the fort.

    Kubu Bukit Puteri
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    Istana Maziah

    by mansionion Updated Oct 16, 2005

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    Istana Maziah (Maziah Palace) is located at the foot of Bukit Puteri in the heart of KT town. It was build in 1897 during the reign of Sultan Zainal Abidin II to replace the earlier palace - Istana Hijau (Green Palace) - which was destroyed by fire. Architecturally, this brown color 2 storeys building is a blend of modern and traditional architecture with its tall shuttered windows that resembles a French chateau.

    The palace is a symbol for the Terengganu State Sultanate and mainly used today as the venue for offical functions, such as royal birthdays, weddings, conferment of titles and receptions for local and foreign dignitaries. The palace will also be normally opened to the public during the Hari Raya festival, when the Sultan will have an audinece with the peoples of Terengganu.

    Main entarance to Istana Maziah Istana Maziah Istana Maziah
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    Laman Maziah

    by mansionion Updated Oct 15, 2005

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    Laman Maziah (Maziah's Compound) is a small park outside the perimeter fencing of Istana Maziah. Unlike the usual forbidden palace garden in the old days, Laman Maziah is open to all for leisurely walk around the palace compound.

    Within the park, apart from the usual trees and plants, there is also a small pavilion and a Tepak Sirih monument. As tepak sirih (a small tray used to keep betel nut leaves and its condiments) is a common welcoming symbol in Malay culture, the monument is no doubt a sign of welcome to all visitors of the palace's park.

    Laman Maziah Tepak Sirih monument in Laman Maziah Laman Maziah
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    Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah - the floating mosque

    by mansionion Updated Oct 15, 2005

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    The Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah (Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque) is also known as the "The Floating Mosque of the East" due to its unique design that creates an illusion of itself as floating on water. Named after one of the matriach in the Terengganu royal house, the mosque was designed by YM Raja Bahrin, a well known Malaysian architect who himself come from the Terengganu royal house. The mosque is undoubtfully the most recogniseable landmark for Kuala Terengganu or even the state of Terengganu itself.

    It is located in the outskirts of Kuala Terengganu, on a lagoon by the mouth of Sungai Ibai that cleverly gives an illusion that it is floating on the water - the first ever of its kind in Malaysia before similar concept was adopted by Masjid Putra in Putrajaya. At night, the floating affect of the mosque looks even more interesting as the mosque will be brightly lighted and you can see its reflection on the water.

    Just like any other mosques, the mosque and its surrounding area is open to all. However, as usual proper attires are required especially if you plan to have a look inside the mosque - dress conservatively, no shorts, mini skirts or sleeveless. Avoid also visit during prayer times especially on Friday afternoons from noon till 3.00pm.

    The floating mosque
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    Central Market, KT

    by muddybok Updated Sep 19, 2005

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    The Central Market (Pasar Besar Kedai Payang) is a treasure for traditional handicrafts, Songket, Batek & brassware. It also houses a wet market and open fresh market on the left side of the complex.

    To me, Central Market is also a treasure for all the beautiful market scenes and local activities to be imprint on 33mm films or digital storage. I was happily snapping away and some aunties are very willing to pose for the pictures. I also have lots of photos on fresh products in clustered manner which are masterpieces at their own rights.

    Market Scene Market Scene Eggs Lucky 13 Chicks
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    China Town, Kuala Terengganu

    by muddybok Written Sep 18, 2005

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    The China Town of Kuala Terengganu is very well preserved as compare to many Chinese communities in Malaysia. The atmosphere of being Chinese still very much to be felt despite they are the minority group who are living in Islamic states. The window panels from certain homes still remain as original and some wooden blinds found in these Chinese homes are some of the rare collectable for foreigners.

    Do click on extra pictures attached to see some of the great architectural details that still remain on these Chinese homes.

    Something About KT's Kids:
    In my early college day, I am always surprise with the adaptation of my Chinese classmates from Kuala Terengganu. They are quite meek and simple in the beginning and they will transform into someone really sophisticated in very short time.

    After visited the China Town in Terengganu, I am slowly picking up some of their reasons for behaving so. Their eyes are slowly open to the material goods that big city can offer and they are having good times which are hard to come by at Terengganu.

    China Town, KT
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