10 Things to Do on your First Trip to Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

10 Things to Do on your First Trip to Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

With a brimful of traditional culture and Instagram-worthy spots, Kuala Terengganu will vivify your Malaysia getaway!

Ask any traveller where they’ve been in Malaysia and they’ll say Kuala Lumpur, Malacca or Penang, more often than not. It’s time to traverse beyond the popular attractions and discover Malaysia’s hidden gem, Kuala Terengganu.

Home to the delicious keropok lekor (fried fish sausages), scenic turquoise oceans, exquisite mosques and a long-standing culture bulwarking against modernisation, Kuala Terengganu’s charms are endless. On your next getaway to Malaysia, discover Kuala Terengganu with these ten things to do!

1. Taste THE most amazing keropok lekor  

Image credit: didiz rushdi

What’s Terengganu without keropok lekor? Keropok lekor is a fried fish sausage made of fish and sago flour. Dip your crunchy keropok lekor in a sweet chilli sauce. The taste is one you will never forget! You can easily get a taste of keropok lekor at the roadside stalls as you drive down the roads of Terengganu. Terengganu has the best keropok lekor hands down so be sure to try this famous local snack you’ll be back for more!  

Tip: There are packaged pre-cooked keropok lekor for you to buy and bring back home if you’d like.

2. Marvel at the picturesque Crystal Mosque

Image credit: didiz rushdi

The Crystal Mosque or Masjid Kristal is certainly a sight to behold! The mosque is made of steel, glass and crystal with a Moorish-infused architecture. Located at the Islamic Heritage Park on Wan Man island, the mosque stands above the waters facing the river mouth. The majestic Crystal Mosque juxtaposed against the calm blue sky will surely make for an Instagram-worthy shot!

Address: Pulau Wan Man, 21000 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

3. Lay your eyes on the dazzling Floating Mosque

Image credit: Adib Wahab

The Floating Mosque or Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah is another picturesque mosque in Terengganu you can’t afford to miss! Built by the late Sultan Mahmud, the mosque’s architecture is imbued with Middle Eastern influences and brought to the fore by its dazzling whiteness. On your next visit to Terengganu, indulge in the spectacular views of the Floating Mosque located at the edge of the Ibai River.

Address: Kuala Ibai, 20400, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

4. Volunteer at Lang Tengah Island’s Turtle Watch

Calling all oceanophiles! The pale turquoise waves of the Lang Tengah beach will soothe your soul as you bask in the breathtaking view. Nestled in between Redang and Perhentian islands, Lang Tengah is a relatively less-popular destination but promises a picturesque and relaxing getaway nonetheless!

There are four boat rides to Lang Tengah at 8am, 10am, 1pm, and 4pm which takes approximately 40 minutes and the fare is RM 80 (~S$27) per person. Additionally, there is no motorised transportation on the island so you have to traverse the island by foot.

If you’re in for a unique and meaningful experience, try the Lang Tengah Turtle Watch where you can volunteer and protect nesting turtles on the island, and live in a jungle campsite near the Turtle Bay! Note: The volunteering fee for a week is USD 240 (~S$326).

5. Bask in the simplicity of Pulau Kapas

Image credit: OMP Production

Pulau Kapas has just as much to offer! Pulau Kapas is a mere twenty-minute ride off the mainland. Round-trip boat tickets are approximately RM 30 (~S$10) to RM 40 (~S$13) per person. Note that Pulau Kapas is inaccessible during the monsoon season between November and February the best time to visit the island is between April and August.

Don’t expect fancy resorts or expensive restaurants in Pulau Kapas because here, it’s all about simplicity. Bask in the glistening clear waters and camp at the LongSha Campsite where you will meet like-minded budget travellers. Lie on a hammock, breathe in the ocean air and indulge in the beauty of Pulau Kapas!

6. Indulge in an authentic local experience at Pasar Payang

Image credit: Beautiful Terengganu

If you want to get a taste of local life in Terengganu, don’t miss out Pasar Payang. Located by the Terengganu River, Pasar Payang is home to a variety of local products from handicrafts like batik and brassware to local snacks. It is one of the most popular tourist spots in Kuala Terengganu, providing an authentic local experience as you witness the makciks and pakciks (elderly men and women) selling their goods and customers haggling away!

You can also board the local trishaw near the entrance of the market and get a glimpse of the town at a very affordable price.

Address: Jalan Kampung Daik, 20200 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

7. Explore hipster alleys at Terengganu’s Chinatown

Image credit: Beautiful Terengganu

Think Terengganu and what comes to mind is a Malay Muslim majority comprising 96% of the population, but you might be surprised. Catch a glimpse of Terengganu’s very own Chinese ethnic enclave in Chinatown! Terengganu’s Chinatown is located along Jalan Bandar at the river mouth of Terengganu River.

With its colourful shophouses, hipster cafes and alleys, as well as local coffee shops, Chinatown’s quaint charm is simply irresistible. Don’t miss out on the different lanes for your hipster shots at Turtle Alley, Heritage Lane and Love Lane!

Address: Jalan Bandar, Kuala Terengganu 20100, Malaysia

8. Learn about Terengganu’s history at Kota Lama Duyong

Image credit: Beautiful Terengganu

Learn about the history of Terengganu at Kota Lama Duyong, a building located on Pulau Duyong Kecil. It was built in the 1920s by Dato’ Biji Sura’, a man who held prominent posts in the government and had good relations with the British. This building is emblematic of the traditional Malay architecture infused with British influence. The Kota Lama Duyong was later restored as a museum, which displays local artefacts detailing the history of Terengganu.

Tip: To get to Kota Lama Duyong, take a 10-minute “water taxi” or bot penambang ride from the Shahbandar Jetty. The first bot penambang ride is at 8.30am and the last is at 5.30pm. There is no service on Friday.

Address: Pulau Duyung Kecil, 20100 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

9. Glimpse at famous mosque replicas at Islamic Civilisation Park

Image credit: Beautiful Terengganu

The Islamic Civilisation Park or Taman Tamadun Islam is located in Pulau Wan Man, spanning ten hectares. This notable park houses replicas of 22 famous mosques around the world such as the Grand Mosque of Mecca and Grand Mosque in Niger.

This Edutainment Park aims to educate visitors on world Islamic history and civilisation via audio, visual and interactive features. You can also hop on a river cruise which allows you to witness local kampongs along the Terengganu River.

Address: Pulau Wan Man, Losong Panglima Perang, 21000 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

10. Discover Rural Terengganu at Marang River Estuary

Image credit: Beautiful Terengganu

Want a scenic panorama of rural Terengganu? Visit the Marang River Estuary to see fishing boats and village homes on the right bank. You also get a partial view of Pulau Kapas across the sea. Alternatively, visit shophouses nearby and chill the afternoon away.

If you have been contemplating on where else to go in Malaysia, the aforementioned ten things to do in Kuala Terengganu can kickstart your itinerary planning. Pack your bags and wait no more. Kuala Terengganu promises a rejuvenating rural retreat with an abundance of culture to indulge in and discover!

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Siti Nurfatin
Siti Nurfatin

Fatin is a Thai milk tea lover who yearns to try all the Thai milk teas she can get! With her wavy short hair and undercut, Fatin may look a tad bit unapproachable but she’s a big softie at heart. Greatly inspired by Ellen DeGeneres, “be kind to one another” is a motto she lives by. Fatin is also a proud mother of three endearing felines named Korra, Bubu and Mochi.

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