Terengganu is a state which is situated in north-eastern Peninsular Malaysia, and is bordered in the northwest by Kelantan, the southwest by Pahang. The state has a total area of 13,035 km.
The east of Terengganu faces the South China Sea, making it a popular site among divers, snorkellers and beach bums who are headed for Redang and Perhentian island resorts.
Besides the beach, Terengganu has at least six other attractions to explore.
1) Lake Kenyir
Lake Kenyir is the largest man-made lake in South-east Asia spanning an area of 260 square kilometres. A lush forest is located in Hulu Terengganu, whichlies at 102 degrees 40 minutes and 4 degrees 40 minutes latitude. The forest is also one of Malaysia’s National Parks.
Kenyir Lake became one of the most magnificent tourist sports in Terengganu as well as in Malaysia. Kenyir luxurious forest is located in the district of Hulu Terengganu, which lies at a longitude of 102 degree 40 minutes and 4 degree and 40 minutes in latitude. It is believed that the rain forest is the wo
rld oldest tropical rainforest. The forest also serves as a part of Malaysia National Park.
2) Kelah Sanctuary
Kelah Sanctuary serves as the main gateway to Lake Kenyir. The landscape of Lake Kenyir is dotted with hills and highlands, waterfalls, rapids and rivers dot. Kenyir Lake is also home to numerous species of freshwater fish and exotic wildlife.
Kelah Sanctuary, which is located at Sungai Petang, can be accessed by taking a 40-minute speedboat ride from Pengkalan Gawi, the jetty that serves as the main gateway to Lake Kenyir.
Fishing in Kelah Sanctuary is prohibited. If you are going to Kelah Sanctuary, be sure to wear hiking shoes as some parts of the trek could be slippery.
3) Herbs Park
Another must see at Lake Kenyir is Herbs Park, located on Pulau Sah Kecil. You can find more than 200 types of traditional herbs including Tongkat Ali, a well-known aphrodisiac for men. Kacip Fatima, the female version of Tongkat Ali, can also be found in the Herbs Park.
4) Crystal Mosque
One of Terengganu’s icons, the Crystal Mosque or Masjid Kristal sits atop the Terengganu River. Constructed between 2006 and 2008, the Crystal Mosque was officially opened on 8 February 2008 by 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu. The mosque is a magnificent sight at night.
Non-Muslims who wish to enter would need to dress appropriately. One has to “tutup aurat” (no-body-exposure). Clothing may be rented. Both entrance and the rental of clothing are free-0f-charge.
5) Taman Tamadun Islam
Another replica is the Kubbah As-Sakhrah (Dome of the Rock) found in Jerusalem. The Kubbah As-Sakhrah enshrines the Sacred Rock and it commemorates Prophet Muhammad’s ascension to the heavens.
A recent addition to the Taman Tamadun Islam is Singapore’s Sultan Mosque, which was built at the request of Singaporean visitors, who form the majority of visitors from the ASEAN region.
6) Pasar Payang
For food and shopping, Pasar Payang would be the place to go. In this double-storey complex, the lower floor houses foods like the keropok (fried chips and crisps) and lekor (fish sausage) as well as turtle eggs. The upper floor is filled with stalls selling various items including batik, clothings, utensils and décor items.
Accomodation In Terengganu
In Terengganu, accommodation can be easily arranged from the list of hotels in Terrenganu which can be found online. Seaside resorts and chalets are excellent options.
Hotels in Terengganu such as the Aryanti facing the Redang National Marine Park, and the five-star Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa are popular choices. The Aryanti Resort houses just 25 villa units. If budget permits, take the 100- year Heritage Suite where you can experience staying in a traditional timber hut used by royalty in the olden days. When staying at the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marine Resort & Spa, try the lavender-scented Sembunyi Spa bath treatment.
How To Get To Terengganu
Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia offer daily flights from KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) to Kuala Terengganu Airport. Journey by air takes approximately 45 minutes. If you are travelling from Singapore, you may choose to fly from KLIA or Senai Airport in Johor. Both Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia operate bus services from Singapore to Senai Airport.
To get around Terengganu, it is best to rent a vehicle and engage a local guide to get to the various attractions.