Kuala Terengganu is a popular base from which to visit the northeastern islands of Peninsula Malaysia, including the famously clear waters and dive resorts of Pulau Redang and the Perhentian Islands, but has enough attractions to merit a pause before catching the boat. The town’s Pasar Basar, is a lively market similar in style to that of its northern neighbour, Kota Bharu.


Chinatown is set along Jalan Kampong Cina and still retains the original architectural features of Kuala Terengganu’s original street. Terengganu State Museum Complex is Malaysia’s largest museum and provides ethnic and historical insight against a pleasing backdrop of both preserved original and reconstructed Malay dwellings and is also host to an interesting collection of locally crafted boats.


Other sites of interest are Princess Hill, Istana Maziah (Sultan’s Palace), Tengku Tengah Zahara Mosque, popularly known as the ‘floating’ Mosque, and the waterfront. The town also has its own beach, Pantai Batu Buruk.

Close to the town is the island of Pulau Duyang at which it is possible to further observe the renowned craftsmanship of the local boat builders in action. Further afield, the Terengganu State coast also has some nice beaches, the best of which can be found to the south at Kijal.


Offshore and to the north from Terengganu, lies the nine-island archipelago of Pulau Redang Marine Park, a diving and snorkelling Mecca, with superb fine powder beaches and a good range of accommodation choices.

Pulau Redang, the ‘parent’ island, is by far the busiest. The whole archipelago is prized for the brilliant clarity of its waters, which are home to over 3,000 species of fish and 500 species of reef corals. With such variety, even snorkelling in the shallows will produce vivid underwater views.


Other islands also well worthy of a visit further up the Terengganu coast include Pulau Lang Tengah, Pulau Perhentian Kecil and Pulau Perhentian Besar, whilst to the south, the island group of Pulau Tenggol is also a favourite diving haunt, with underwater cliffs and diverse marine life.


West of Terengganu are many inland sights worthy of a visit for those needing a break from the sparkling ocean gems, or who simply prefer the delights of forested slopes and waterfalls.

Although the lake at Tasik Kenyir was man-made to enhance Malaysia’s power generation, it is host to 340 forested islands and a number of interesting waterfalls, including Tembat Waterfall and the 152m (500ft) multi-tiered Lasir Waterfall. The lake is a good place to see otters and eagles, and its tributaries are also popular with anglers hoping to catch some of its diverse fresh-water fish.


Taman Negara National Park is one of Malaysia’s premier forest reserves, centred on the peninsula’s highest mountain, Gunung Tahan (2,187m - 7,175 ft), with several hundred kilometres of forest trails to entice visitors to its wildlife rich greenery.

Popular activities include, among walking its many trails, the canopy walkway, Gua Telinga Cave, and travelling upriver on the Sungai Tembeling or Sungai Tahan rivers.

Birdwatchers might catch sight of Fish Eagles, Ospreys, Hornbills, Bee-eaters and Kingfishers, whilst animal lovers may come across Long-tailed Macaques and Elephants, with elusive and shy Black Panthers, Tapirs and Tigers harder to spot. From short trips to extensive trekking and camping over two weeks, Taman Negara can fulfil any jungle-trekkers dream.

South of Taman Negara lies another National Park, Kenong Rimba Park, which is particularly renowned for its bird and insect species, and also provides a number of satisfying walks, from 3 hour trails to 5 day treks.