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Located on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia facing the South China Sea is a city with colonial and traditional Malay architecture, cultural enclaves and great food. Kuala Terengganu is a new city, claiming city status in 2008, though it has been noted in historical Chinese sources since the 7th century. Historically, the city was part of Siam until the Bangkok Treaty of 1909, making it an interesting place for Thai, Malay and foreign visitors.
Kuala Terengganu Attractions
There are a lot of nice buildings to gaze at in Kuala Terengganu in addition to recreational activities and most need at least a few days to truly appreciate the city.
If you are interested in the history of Kuala Terengganu visit: The Terengganu State Museum, the 200-metre high Bukit Puteri and Chinatown, where there are rows of 17th century Chinese buildings.
Other things to do in Kuala Terengganu include horseback riding along Batu Buruk Beach, riding the beautiful Cas Ligas bus, taking a boat trip to the fisher village of Seberang Takir. Around 10kms outside of the city centre is the impressive Masjid Terapung (floating mosque), while Abidin Mosque (white mosque) is right within the city. Those interested in Islam should visit the Taman Tamadun Islam (Islamic Heritage Park) that shows replicas of different mosques from around the world.
Finding Good Food in Kuala Terengganu
Like the rest of Malaysia, eating is quite pleasing in Kuala Terengganu, with the city’s specialty being Keropok Lekor Losong (fish sausage). The night markets are a great place to find good, cheap eats, while Pasar Besar is the best place to pick up fresh fruit. The most up-market restaurants are located in the high-end hotels and resorts. There are not a lot of places to drink in Kuala Terengganu, as it is predominantly Muslim, though there are a handful of small bars near the waterfront.
Shopping in Terengganu
Kuala Terengganu is known for its beautiful batiks and songkets, with Pasar Besar Kedai Payang (Central Market) having the best selection and bargains in town. The market also has loads of other items like clothes, fresh food and souvenirs, as do the night markets. On Fridays there’s a market near Dataran Shahbandar, which is the best of the bunch.