Published: March 30th 2007March 30th 2007
Terengganu is a Malay town on east coast of Malay Peninsula.
On March 9 (Friday), we flew from Denpasar, Bali to Kuala Lumpur.
We got in at around 9 pm (after a few hours of delay by Air Asia) and took a taxi to our guesthouse.
We have about 2 weeks to tour Malaysia and could not decide on which places to visit. We thought we could visit Kota Baru (northeast end of Malaysia) and the Perhentian Islands, and then work our way south to Singapore.
The next morning, we went to the bus station and tried to get bus tickets to Kota Baru. We quickly learned that it is now school holidays, and the tickets were sold out for Sunday.
Rather than staying in KL for another day and leave on Monday, we decided to change our destination and go to Kuala Teregganu, also on the east coast, and also a Malay town like Kota Baru.
Cities like Penang and Kuala Lumpur have a mixed culture (Chinese, Indian, Malay), are not as "Malay" as the east coast towns.
So, after we bought our bus tickets, we decided to tour KL a bit.
We found out that there are "white" buses (numbered 100, 101, 102,
Women in traditional Malay dress boarding a boat.
etc) that are called KL Commuter buses. For RM2 (about US 60 cents), each person can ride those buses for the entire day. So, we hopped on and went to KL City Center, where the Petronas Twin Towers are located. We went to the food court of the Suria Shopping Mall and were really impressed. The food court has about 1200 seats, with at least 30 vendors, each offering different kinds of food, from steak, to Indian, to Malaysia, to Chinese, to Italian, to Icecream and Yogurt, to Roti, etc....Yum....
On Sunday, March 11, we took the bus from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Teregganu. It took about 6 hours, including a one hour break for lunch.
As it is the beginning of school holidays (I suppose high school), guesthouse and hotels are quite full, as many students travel with the school group. We managed to get the last room of a backpacker guesthouse (Ping Achorage).
Kuala Terengganu, is much bigger than what's described in the guidebook. However, it is very laid back, with an atmospher of a sleepy town. It has a beautiful waterfront walkway and many locals come here for their evening strolls.
Going to Pulau Duyong, a small island off Kuala Terengganu.
day, we took a long tail boat and went to Pulau Duyong (island). It is like a vllage there, with many children greeting us. By the time we are ready to go back to Kuala Terengganu, the boatman was having his afternoon nap. We waited for two hours, and then have to hail a taxi to return to the mainland (and luckily there was a bridge).
The following day, we visited the "Floating Mosque" and had some nice pictures taken. We forgot to wear long pants and therefore we did not go inside the mosque.
While in Teregganu, we visited the Chinatown area and had some wonderful fruit drinks. One of them is called "Pink Lady" and is a mix of Dragon Fruit and Coconut juice. We learned from our guidebook that some of the Chinatown houses are vacant, but they are now used to house swallows, for their bird's nest, which sells for an exorbitant amount of money.
We did see a lot of birds (presumably swallows) in the chinatown area.
Our impression of Teregganu is that it could be good place to retire. There is a huge hospital in town. We are sure there will
be someone who can speak English or Chinese in the hospital. The housing is not expensive, about US$25,000 for a condo. And it is not busy like Kuala Lumpur. We bought some nice mangos at the nearby market for about US 15 cents each. There is nice Hainanese chicken rice in Chinatown too !
There are more photos below