More than just a gateway to Malaysia’s East Coast islands, Kuala Terengganu is an intriguing destination of its own. The coastal city, edged by fine-sanded beaches and the South China Sea, has the feel of a big city made up of small kampungs. It’s a fine balance between urban development and rural charm – wooden stilted houses in the traditional style are dotted across the city, taking the edge off the proliferation of steel and concrete Kuala Terengganu has seen in the last couple of decades.
Some of Malaysia’s most beloved traditional arts originate from this part of the country. Beautiful textiles like batik (wax-resist dyeing) and songket (traditional hand-woven brocade) are created here, on both an industrial and artisanal scale, as well as traditional wood carving, the delicately crafted wayang kulit (shadow puppets), and intricate brassware. And of course, with the sea right on their doorstep, you know that KT denizens love their seafood.