7 Unforgettable Stops To Make In Kuala Terengganu


Amongst other highlights, Kuala Terengganu is also well-known for its attractive landmarks around town. From its vibrant markets to remarkable places of worship, Kuala Terengganu takes you on a memorable journey as you travel through its bustling streets.

The state's capital city, Kuala Terengganu stretches across 60,528.1 hectares facing the South China Sea and is situated at the mouth of the Terengganu River. The history of the state is also an interesting one. Terengganu and Kuala Terengganu have been known for hundreds of years, in fact, in historical Chinese texts, it appears that Terengganu was already mentioned since. Greek astronomer, Ptolemy, recorded down two ports on the East Coast of the Malay Peninsula, Primula and Kole. Kuala Terengganu was said to be called Primula back then. The Terengganu River was also a crucial factor in the trade route. Foreign traders would use the Terengganu River trade route to exchange commodities such as agarwood, high-quality ivory for silver and gold and camphor wood during the 12th century.

Pasar Payang

This local market is a sight to behold for all its visitors. Located in a large warehouse at the heart of Kuala Terengganu, Pasar Payang is open daily from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, featuring a variety of stalls selling local items at affordable prices.

Pasar Payang is a treasure trove of local gems with everything from traditional handicrafts from Terengganu to locally-made fish crackers. Here, you can also find the prettiest selection of batik prints, silk cloths and songket. As you stroll along the corridors of the warehouse, keep your eyes peeled for colourful fabrics, which hang at the entrances or meticulously arranged on the walls of each stall. As you venture further into the warehouse, you will find many local sellers selling a large selection of Terengganu’s specialty kuih and fresh vegetables.

To get to Pasar Payang in Terengganu, visitors can take a bus from Terminal Bas Selatan (TBS) in Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu. From the Kuala Terengganu Bus Station, it is a 7-minute walk to Pasar Payang. Alternatively, if you are travelling from Kuala Terengganu, hop into a taxi or any e-hailing service that will take you straight to the market. It is an 18-minute journey to the market from the Kuala Terengganu Bus Station.

Terengganu Drawbridge

Officially opened in August 2019, the Terengganu Drawbridge was inspired by the famous Tower Bridge of London, and is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. Stretching over 638 metres across the Terengganu River, this drawbridge connects Kuala Terengganu to Seberang Takir.

Standing tall at 15 storeys high, the Terengganu Drawbridge consists of two towers, which are linked by a sky bridge. The architectural design of the bridge includes intricate elements and motifs that resemble the minarets of a mosque. Other Islamic designs can also be seen along the bridge, such as the green granite that adorns the sides of the towers.

Come nightfall, the bridge is lit up in vibrant hues, its facade stunningly reflected on the Terengganu River, making it a true wonder to behold.

To reach the Terengganu Drawbridge, take the bus number 102, which will bring you to Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu. From there, you can take a taxi or any e-hailing service to the bridge.

Masjid 8 Kubah

Built in 2012, Masjid 8 Kubah can seem like a Russian replica at first glance. With its unique design of eight colourful domes in vibrant blue, white, green and yellow colours, Masjid 8 Kubah bears close resemblance to the St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. This mosque is a fan-favourite across both locals and tourists alike who travel far and wide for an up-close view of this Russian-inspired mosque. Masjid 8 Kubah is actually a beautiful replacement for an old wooden mosque dating over 100 years old that was able to house over 500 people.

Masjid 8 Kubah is located amongst a paddy field, which can be reached in multiple ways. Visitors can take the bus from Terminal Bas Selatan (TBS) in Kuala Lumpur to Jerteh and from there, hop into a taxi or any e-hailing service for a 12-minute drive to the mosque. Alternatively, you can also take the bus from TBS to Pengkalan Kubor in Kuala Terengganu. Once you reach the bus station, take a car (taxi or e-hailing services) to the mosque, which will take you approximately 19 minutes to reach.

Chinatown Terengganu/Kampung Cina

Chinatown in Terengganu is truly the city’s hidden gem. It is a main street that stretches across small, old shophouses that date back to the late 1800s, preserving the precious Peranakan heritage. This area is over 300 years old and is believed to be one of the oldest Chinese settlements in Malaysia. 

Chinatown in Terengganu is filled with many ancestral shophouses, clan townhouses and temples. The area is a perfect blend of both Chinese and Malay cultures within one unique space. Take a walk around the area and discover exciting sites, olden buildings and colourful street art that can be found peppered along the alleyways as well as new cafes that still conserve the heritage of the building.

To reach Chinatown in Terengganu, visitors can opt for Kuala Terengganu’s Bas Bandar service. This service is provided using uniquely designed buses that look like traditional Malay houses. There is a flat fee of RM1 from any station along the bus route. Visitors can alight at Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu, which is an 8-minute walk away from Chinatown Terengganu.

Masjid Kristal

Masjid Kristal, also known as the shining jewel on the river, is one of the many must-visit places in Terengganu. Located in the Islamic Heritage Park, Masjid Kristal was constructed between 2006 and 2008 and sits above water, facing the river mouth of Kuala Terengganu.

The mosque is uniquely built using steel and glass, and exudes Moorish traits and Gothic elements. There are four minarets that appear to radiate a golden hue during the day under the bright sunlight. The interior of the mosque is decked out with huge crystal chandeliers that hang from the ceiling, while the corridors are decorated with magnificent latticework and the yellow mihrab (a niche in the wall of a mosque) is decorated with calligraphy. 

To discover more about Masjid Kristal and Taman Tamadun Islam, click here for an enriching experience and a deeper insight into these cultural landmarks.

Terengganu State Museum

The Terengganu State Museum stretches over 75,000 square metres and covers an area of 27 hectares with four interconnected buildings. The building is made up of concrete stilts, landscaped gardens, ponds and beautiful roofs. The architecture of the Terengganu State Museum is heavily influenced by Terengganu’s palatial designs. 

The museum consists of over nine different galleries including The Natural History Gallery, the Textile Gallery, the Islamic Gallery, The Historical Gallery, The Royal Gallery, the Craft Gallery, the Petroleum Gallery, the Seafaring and Trade Gallery and the Fisheries and Marine Gallery. 

The outdoor displays of the museum feature old maritime vessels and old palace buildings as well as reconstructed houses and palaces that depict traditional Malay architecture and maritime history. The Batu Bersurat, which has classical Malay inscription in Jawi writing can also be found in this museum. A diverse range of century-old artefacts and artworks such as textiles, historical artefacts, royal regalia, crafts and Islamic and contemporary arts and weaponry can also be found here.

Photo Credit : Beautiful Terengganu Malaysia

To reach the Terengganu State Museum, you can take a bus from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) to Kampung Panji. Once you arrive, hop into a taxi or any other e-hailing service to take you to the museum. The car ride from the Kampung Panji bus terminal to the Terengganu State Museum is approximately seven minutes.

Operation Hours for the Terengganu State Museum

  • Saturday to Thursday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
  • Fridays: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Entry Fees for the Terengganu State Museum

  • Malaysian Citizens:
    • Adults: RM 5
    • Children: RM 2
    • Students in Uniform: RM 1
  • Non-Malaysians:
    • Adults: RM 15
    • Children: RM 10

*Prices are subject to change. Visit the Terengganu State Museum’s official website for price confirmation.

Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah

Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah is known as Malaysia’s first-ever floating mosque, sitting above a lagoon, giving the illusion of the building resting above waters. Built by Sultan Mahmud, this mosque is said to be a personal tribute to his mother. 

Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah features Middle Eastern design elements as well as 25 years of Moorish-influenced architecture. Painted in white, the mosque is adorned with shimmering white marble that shines brightly under sunlight. The interior of the mosque is also carefully filled with bomanite paving and mosaic works. The bomanite pavings of the balconies bring the religious shrine to life.

Together with the combination of mosaic, ceramic and glass work in the passageways, courtyards and ablution area, the mosque evidently leaves you in awe as you step foot inside. Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah is able to accommodate up to 2,000 people, with its main prayer hall downstairs allocated to males only, while the upper hall is for females only.

To get to Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah, visitors can take a bus from Terminal Bas Sepadu (TBS) to Kampung Panji, where they can hop into a taxi or any e-hailing service to reach the mosque. 

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