The best way is to see Terengganu by road. There is no railway line in the state.
There are two major roads. the coastal road which is more slower and scenic. The highway which is faster and inland.
Generally the road condition is excellent and can be straight and easy to drive. But beware of waterbuffaloes, cows or villagers cycling or walking along the road especially in the late evening.
Drive slow and safe. Stop and enjoy the views especially the different beaches.
Caution: During the monsoon season, flooding is common.
Drive along Highway 3 towards Kuala Terengganu. After you passed Dungun and the bridge over Sungai Dungun a sign will point for you to turn right. Go right in and you will be greeted by a series of signs like the one in the main picture strategically located at turn point in a kampung.
Follow them and you will be reach the beach.
Hitchiking is not very effective way of getting around. In my opinion, the Malaysian people don't really simply give a lift to a stranger. This is not the local culture. Maybe they think it is not safe to pick up a stranger. So avoid that if possible.
I did met 2 hitchikers in the middle of the night waiting for somebody to pick them up. Unfortunately they were heading to the different direction, and waiting at the wrong place. So i just droped them about 300m away where the route heading to the direction they were going.
Currently there is ONLY ONE airport connected to Kuala Terengganu airport, which is Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). So if you are in Thailand, Singapore, Australia, Penang (MY), Johor(MY), etc. you need to make a transit in KLIA. So plan your journey so that your previous of next destination is Kuala Lumpur or other country if you are planning to fly to/from Kuala Terengganu.
There is 2 providers for the flight which are MAS(Malaysian Airline System) and AirAsia. The fare for MAS is fixed (about >RM100-RM120), whereas it is budget flight for AIrAia (like RyanAir/JumboAir in Europe). Book your ticket earlier for a cheaper price.
If you are planning to get a taxi from a place to another, make sure that you go to the taxi station. The reason is that you can't see any, or less than 2 on the street. This is because the locals normally don't use the taxies, unless they are going out town. And most of the locals will take the private cars (unlicensed taxi) who will wait for a full car to go to a place. Normally they will be around the crowded area, like the Tanjung Express Bus Station, the Pasar Payang (Kuala Terengganu Market), etc. Ask the locals for more information about other towns.
Remember you ask for the price before boarding the taxi, just in case...
Terengganu express buses provide a lot of destinations coming in or going out of Terengganu. You can go to North, West, South or even Singapore. And if you are not in the capital town (Kuala Terengganu), you still can buy the ticket in the certain big town such as Dungun, Kemaman, Jerteh, etc. and alight or board the bus from there.
But the only problem thing is that the timing is limited. Meaning to say that there might be only 1 or 2 trip per day for some cities. So need to plan your journey carefully or else you will get stuck in the bus station the whole day just to wait for the time to pass. And normally it is advisable to buy the ticket earlier than the journey date so that you will be guarantee for a seat and also for you to plan your time wisely.
The fare for the ticket to Kuala Lumpur is about RM30, and to Singapore might be about RM40. I can't remember as there was a slight increase in the fares due to the world petrol crisis.
The local buses is the cheapest way of getting around the town. BUT..... as far as i know, there is no detail or map stating which route the bus going to take. Only the locals and the bus driver will know. So becareful when you are planning to go to some place. You need to ask around, especially the bus driver where you destination is.
The bus operating hour will be around 7am to 6pm in the evening. Plan your journey safely or else you will be stuck in the middle of nowhere!! The fare from Kuala Terengganu to Dungun (about 80KM) is about RM5. So normally it will be less than that...
From PJ or Damansara to Jalan Kuching & Jalan Ipoh or via LDP to Selayang/Kepong, find your way to the big roundabout. At this roundabout (which also takes you via the old trunk road to Ipoh), follow the signs that say "Genting" and "Kuantan". Along the way, you will pass Batu Caves (see pics) on your left. Selayang town is on your right.
Pay RM4.00 toll (toll rate current as at Dec 2004) and from here it is 60 km to Karak town and 240 km to Kuantan.
After the tunnel, there is a large rest area called Genting Sempah. It has many eating stalls, clean toilets, Petronas petrol station and a McDonalds. This rest stop is recommended! To rejoin the highway from this rest area, look for the "KUANTAN" sign.
After a while you will pass the Bukit Tinggi turn-off (on your left) and soon after, there will be a toll gate - pay RM2.50 toll and continue on your journey.
Additional Info: Immediately after this last toll, you may also exit to the small towns of Bentong, Raub and Kuala Lipis. Along this highway, you will also pass by the Janda Baik Village and Kampung Bukit Tinggi where there are some nice restaurants and fruit orchards.
As mentioned in the previous tip, the Karak Highway is the highway that will take you to Genting Highlands, Bukit Tinggi and Karak town. When driving to Terengganu, follow the "KUANTAN HIGHWAY" green sign.
The Karak highway is rather notorious for its high rate of accidents and some deaths. An older highway, it is full of bends and you should know how dangerous it can be, if you speed here. Please note that the speed limit here is 90 km/h. Beware of speeding traffic and heavy vehicles, especially on the downhill stretches. Check your car brakes and service your car before you start your journey!
If you start timing your journey from the RM4.00 toll in the above tip, you should exit the Karak Highway and get to the next toll plaza in about 50 mins to 1 hour.
The sign here reads:
174 km to Kuantan
56 km to Temerloh
81 km to Chenor
on to the next tip...
For those on their way to Karak town, please take exit 813B. For those who want to visit Jerantut, Metakab, Temerloh & Taman Negara please use exit 819.
After Cukai/Kemaman, when you have driven past the row of lemang stalls, look out for the signs that reads Awana Kijal Resort, which will be on your right. Just before that sign, you will come to a Star Cruise Jetty sign, followed by a row of shophouses, immediately before the junction.
When you see this sign (see pics), you'll know that your journey is over and you have reached Awana Kijal Resort.
Time taken from KL: about 4-4.5 hours
Getting off the East Coast highway, follow Highway 3 to "Pelabuhan Kuantan" and "Kuala Terengganu". (You do not need to drive into Kuantan town-which is using Highway 2.) From here, the signs say 207 km to Kuala Terengganu and 51 km to Cukai/Kemaman. After the couple of sets of traffic lights and some industrial areas, you will pass by the charming Cherating beach area (home of Club Med!), the scenic Kampung Sg Ular (see pics). Further ahead, you will cross a river, pass the rather large Masjid Geliga and the bridge and before you know it, you'll be in the state of Terengganu. Here the roads widen to two lane roads. Follow the roads for a while and here is a very sharp right turn at the traffic lights. You are now in the outskirts of Cukai/Kemaman. Continue on the road, following the signs that say Dungun and Kuala Terengganu.
After the toll plaza and having exited the windy Karak highway, you will now be in for a treat. This highway is brand new and very easy to drive on. It has been completed all the way to Kuantan, and the stretch to Kuala Terengganu is still being completed (as at Dec 2004). The scenery can be interesting in parts. (see pics)
Exit 833-Kuantan Toll RM19.60 From previously mentioned toll to this toll, we took about 1 hour and 40 minutes. There are a few rest areas with toilets but not all the food stalls are open yet.
The speed limit here is 110 km/h and due to the straight roads, it is indeed tempting to speed. However, don't give in to temptation, because your life is precious and there are some police speed traps. This stretch of road is so straight as to be monotonous and boring, so best to drive with another person so that you can keep awake and won't drift off to sleep.
You will need to access the Sg. Kelimin campsite using a 4WD because the road is only a jungle trail.
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