Essential Travel Information to Terengganu
Overview of Terengganu
Hailed as the ‘Gem of the East Coast’, Terengganu is a magical destination steeped in culture and heritage. Its long coastline offers sweeping vistas of aquamarine waters fringed by white powdery sands. Away from the shores lie a cluster of islands that gleam invitingly in the South China Sea. Kuala Terengganu is the charming capital of this state.
Meandering rivers lit by the glow of fireflies, cascading waterfalls and sprawling lakes form some of the state’s most impressive natural sceneries.
Home to charming coastal villages and a wealth of traditional crafts, Terengganu beckons with a grace and beauty that is distinctly Malay.
Come and experience the treasures of Terengganu!
Best travel companion
Planning a vacation to Terengganu as a family is a great way to strengthen bonds among family members. If you prefer traveling alone or as a duo, you will get a chance to explore many spots in the shortest time.
Ultimately, Terengganu is the perfect spot for relaxing and discovering more about Malaysia. Its best season for visitors is from February to October when the weather is warm and perfect.
How to Get There
Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air operates direct flights from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to the Sultan Mahmud Airport in Kuala Terengganu. The flight takes about 55 minutes. In addition, Firefly airlines flies to Kuala Terengganu. Alternatively, visitors can take the budget airline AirAsia from KLIA2.
The journey from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu covers a distance of 455km via the East Coast Expressway. Visitors can see panoramic views of the countryside. Although driving along the scenic route is very pleasant, visitors are advised to practice caution when driving along rural villages and farms.
Express buses to various towns in Terengganu are easily available from Kuala Lumpur and other parts of the country. Visitors can board the buses from Kuala Lumpur. The journey takes about five to seven hours. Tickets must be purchased early during festive periods and public holidays.
Where to Go in Terengganu
Beach & Island:
With warm currents and clear visibility underwater, enjoy the corals from a sea kayak or swim with the fishest at this favourite dive site. Or if you don’t want to dive, spend the day at Adam & Eve Beach getting a tan, snorkel close to the shore at Teluk Pauh or Shark Point, and catch a breathtaking sunset view at Coral Bay, before watching baby turtles make their first journey from egg-shell to the ocean at night. If you prefer to avoid crowds, check out the beautiful PIR beach, or stay in a tree house rented out by locals!
With lots of wildlife, beautiful beaches and the Chagar Hutang Turtle Sanctuary, Pulau Redang is the place to go if you want to feel soft white sand under your feet. With waters so clear you can see coral and fish from the beach, be sure to check out the snorkeling and diving opportunities available. There’s also a Marine Park centre you can visit, and the island is full of jungle trails where you can see monkeys, colourful birds, unique plants and even giant lizards!
Pulau Kapas (Cotton Island)
Another beautiful island that Terengganu has to offer, Pulau Kapas offers snorkelling and diving opportunities, or super scenic beach walks up and down a set of beautiful golden staircases that lead the way. A place for the budget traveller, you can even spend a night beach camping under the stars.
Pantai Batu Buruk (Batu Burok)
A windy beach by Kuala Terengganu, take part in one of the many beach activities available for visitors like kite flying, ATV rides on the beach, and even a pony ride! With a large number of vendors providing food and drink nearby, this is a great place to kick back in the late afternoon or evenings.
Pulau Tenggol (Tenggol Island)
As one of the “forgotten” islands in Terengganu, explore the pristine corals underwater that teem with marine life. Divers here have seen beautiful corals, sharks, rays, and a large variety of nudibranchs that will take your breath away with their vivid colours.
Pantai Penarik (Penarik Beach)
A straight and sandy beach lined with coconut trees and dotted with sleep fishing kampungs, this beach makes a good drive and is an ideal spot for relaxing and getting tanned. You can also see Redang and Bidong islands from here, and watch as the fishermen send their boats out to sea, and return with a boatful of the day’s catch.
Pulau Lang Tengah
A 40 minute boat ride out from Marang jetty, this upmarket version of Pulau Kapas has several activities including beach walks, jungle trekking, and snorkeling. Choose from one of the upmarket resorts here to enjoy the beach in luxury.
Rantau Abang Beach
A long stretch of beach famous for leatherback turtles, the Rantau Abang beach has lots of space for beach activities like kite flying and beach volleyball. While the turtles seldom visit this beach due to its popularity with humans, you can learn about the turtles from the Turtle Information Center located at the main road.
Pulau Gemia (Gem Island)
Gem island is a privately owned island where you can expect the same crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches like the other beaches in Terengganu. For a 20 minute boat ride out from Marang jetty, escape the crowd and enjoy the beach, or stay in one of the water villas that line the coast of Pulau Gemia.
Kemasek Beach is rather deserted beach with a lagoon and rocky headlands. Do take a long walk here and collect seashells as the day floats by, or take a dip in the cool blue waters.
Pantai Kelulut (Kelulut Beach)
Another sandy beach between Marang and Rantau Abang, the pine trees that stretch down Kelutut Beach will capture the mood of fun in the sun!
Nature & Adventure:
Bukit Panorama (Panorama Hill)
If you enjoy aerial views of cities, this is the place to hike up to enjoy the best view of Kuala Terengganu and the ocean off the coast. Enjoy a meal at the restaurant atop Bukit Panorama to complete your trip here!
Taman Tamadun Islam (Islamic Civilization Park)
Divided into the Islamic Civilization Complex and the Public Zone, this theme park features replicas of Islamic monuments around the world The Public Zone features the Masjid Kristal (Crystal Mosque), an iconic Terengganu building made of crystal shine glass and steel. Be sure to take more pictures if you drop by the park!
Terengganu Inscription Stone (Batu Bersurat)
Written in Jawi script, the granite tablet carrying Classical Malay inscription is the one of the oldest testimonies of Islam’s spread into the Malay world.This stone is in the heritage list of “Memory of the World”, and holds a large significance for the Muslims in Terengganu.
Galeri Seni Wawasan (Terengganu Heritage Art Gallery)
Containing several exhibits about life in Terengganu including various batik designs, ornate wood carvings and glistening brassware, learn about the meaning behind the various weaving patterns and Terengganu culture here.
Kampung Cina Terengganu (Terengganu Chinatown)
With several buildings dating to the pre-war period and lovingly restored, Kampung Cina is definitely a place to go if you enjoy cultural artifacts and pre-war architecture. Many of the back alleys have been transformed into lanes with special themes, which makes for great Instagram photos and Facebook moments. Make sure to try the local delicacies there, and don’t forget to visit the Ho Ann Kiong and Tien Hou Kong temples which are over 200 years old and still functioning!
Pasar Payang (Central Market)
Housed in a modern building, find everything you need at the Pasar Payang. From traditional Batik clothes to local foods and other souvenirs like traditional iron belts, watch the locals shop in the day for their everyday needs, or go at night for souvenir shopping. Don’t forget to try your hand at bargaining here, especially if you are buying more than one item!
Waterfront Kuala Terengganu
As a city built at the entrance of the Terengganu river, the waterfront of Kuala Terengganu stretches almost the entirety of the city. Visit in the early morning for a peaceful view of the water, or in the evenings where restaurants with a water view are aplenty. The Waterfront is also close to many of the main attractions in the city such as Chinatown, the Pasar Payang Central Market and the Taman Shahbandar public park , so plan an evening to hang out there after a long day of city exploration.
What to Eat in Terengganu
Sampling local delicacies and traditional dishes is a “must do” for those traveling to Terengganu. You can get these from local restaurants and street vendors when in the city. Some of the popular types of food include a breakfast meal known as Nasi Dagang which is a mixture of white rice and coconut milk served with tuna curry and carrots. For lunch, try Nasi Kerabu, a Malay-style salad with fish floss, grated coconut, boiled salted egg, and salted fish or grilled beef with fish crackers. The meal is light and satisfying, giving you the energy to continue exploring the city. Snacks are also part of the cuisine with a popular one being Keropok Lekor which is ground fish shaped into sausage and then deep-fried. Often served with sweet chili sauce, it can be highly addictive.
Where to Stay in Terengganu
Since most of the beauty of Terengganu lies in the beaches, book your rooms at resorts with good amenities, or select budget options like camping out under the stars.
How to Get Around in Terengganu
When in Terengganu, the most convenient transport within is to hail a taxi or use Grab.
Where is Terengganu
Terengganu is one of the Northern States of Peninsular Malaysia. Situated between Kelantan in the North and Pahang in the South, it forms part of the Malaysian coastline with the South China Sea.
Where is Kuala Terengganu
Kuala Terengganu is the capital city of the state of Terengganu, and lies in the middle of the state, at the coast. it is 450km Northwest by driving, from KL.
What is it Famous For
Most people know Kuala Terengganu as the place to stop en route to Pulau Redang or Pulau Perhentian, but it has a famous Chinatown and Central Market. Terengganu also hosts the largest museum in Malaysia.
How to Go to Kuala Terengganu
International visitors typically fly into Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), before transferring to a domestic flight to Sultan Mahmud Airport (TGG) at Kuala Terengganu. Visitors from Malaysia and Singapore can find direct flights to TGG airport, or take one of the many buses from KL Sentral to Kuala Terengganu.
How to Go to Redang from Terengganu
From Kuala Terengganu, take a coach from the Kuala Terengganu Coach Terminal or Sultan Mahmud Airport to Merang Jetty, From Merang Jetty, the boat to Pulau Redang takes about 1 hour.
How far from KL
Kuala Terengganu is about 450km by road from KL. The journey by bus or car will take about 5 hours.