Sunday, December 13, 2009

Kuala Terengganu fast impression

Last summer in Malaysia, my wife and I decided to go for backpacking before going back to Philadelphia. So after a short brainstorming, we agreed to do a cheapskate trip to Pulau Redang in Terengganu, Penang and Ipoh before heading back to KL and fly back to Kuching. All together we had 15 days for the trip.

After spending 2 nights at my in law's place at Changkat Bukit Bintang in KL, we headed east at 8.00pm by bus to Kuala Terengganu as our first destination before taking ferry to Pulau Redang. After 8 hours sitting stiffly without sleep in the freezing and fast moving aka daring driving method of Ekspress Nasional bus, we arrived Kuala Terengganu at 4.00 in the morning. Darn! It was ONLY 4.00am and we were totally clueless of what to do while waiting for the sunrise and looking for the ferry at the designated jetty for our next destination.

First warung opened at 4.30am at Pasar Payang

All shops and stores were still closed and we were starving since we didn't get out from the bus and have something to nibble on at the R&R at Kemaman because we were thinking of having our heavy breakfast as soon as we reach Kuala Terengganu. Nevermind lah. We walked towards the dark alley of the shoplots toward the jetty after asking a sleepy looking man at the bus station and hoping to find a cafe or warung, if, we are lucky.

The early birds get to eat the warm nasi dagang and hot cakes. Delicious.

After walking for more than half a km, we arrived at this Pasar Payang. Oh ok, I've been here years ago while on a business trip. But this pasar was still closed and in total darkness. Come on, it was 4.30am and I became pessimistic but my wife asked me to check the second floor out since the signboard says it's an eatery place. Thank goodness there was one warung just opened for business and we had 3 packs of nasi dagang each for breakfast. Best breakfast ever at 4.30 in the morning!
The delicious nasi dagang of Terengganu

After breakfast and the sun has rose, we went to the jetty just to find out it will only be opened at 10am. It was just 7am and we still had 3 FREAKING free hours. So we decided to roam around the town that has just started to get alive with people and their activities.

our first tourist guide cum beca rider. He is one strong old man.

We stopped a beca owned by an old man in his 70s. We were quite hesitate of having an old man to ride us around the town. But come to think of it, he's the suitable person to show us around the place, giving us a tour and telling us stories about the old town. We were wrong! He has such an amazing strength! Can you imagine bringing two full and heavy people + 3 packs of nasi dagang huge backpacks? We underestimated him. After making a round the town, with all his might, he huffed and puffed and made a final stop in front of the biggest shopping complex in K.T, Astaka and paid him RM20 for 20 minutes ride. including tips. Not bad 'ey?

Busy morning at Pasar Payang, Kuala Terengganu

Since it was still early we decided to take a walk along the waterfront and enjoyed the morning fresh air of Kuala Terengganu that started to get busy with people and traffics. Kuala Terengganu is one charming small city with old buildings and shoplots.

Istana Maziah - one of the tourist attraction at KT's Waterfront

Kill the time at the gazebo near Pasar Payang while waiting for the ferry

The people are friendly and my wife really love their soft accent. Coming from Kuching, Borneo part of Malaysia with different culture, language and way of life, Kuala Terengganu is something new to my wife since she never been here before. We didn't really explore Kuala Terengganu that much that morning since we need to catch the ferry to Pulau Redang.

Masjid Zainal Kuala Terengganu - Simple but nice architecture

This signboard is so out of the box. Only in Kuala Terengganu

We will come back after 5 days in Pulau Redang to explore more. We were sure there are more to see in Kuala Terengganu.


  1. Hello Fleece Master, nice posting. I love Trengganu among all the states for its scenic beauty, golden sand beaches and crystal waters.
    Ha ha, I can imagine your bus trip and the driver behaving his bus is a Formula 1 car at Le Mans.

    Gosh, that nasi dagang sure looks fantastic, I miss it. I used to go to Redang, Rawa, Perhentian and Pulau kapas, the years when there were no resorts or hotels yet, go for deep sea fishing.
    From what I hear and read, these places have changed a lot now.
    Glad your Mrs enjoyed the holidays.
    Oh well, time has passed me by.
    You have a nice day, Lee.

  2. Hi Uncle

    Agree with you. Terengganu is blessed with nice beaches and beautiful islands. Hopefully they can conserve it well. And yeap, all those islands are more commercialised nowadays, alot of big resort came and harrased the islands. quite sad to see that to happen esp at Redang and Perhentian.

    Well that is the cost they need to pay in the name of so called development. U should make a trip back someday and visit this places. Im sure your Mrs will love it too. U take care now Uncle. Bye,

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