This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Kuala Terengganu. To help you make friends with Kuala Terengganu before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, is the capital city of Terrenganu state, one of nine royal states in Malaysia. Located in the northeast of Peninsula Malaysia on an estuary of the Terrenganu River, the city borders the South China Sea and is a common stopover destination en route to accessing the Terrenganu islands of Pulau Redang, Pulau Perhentian, and Pulau Kapas. The weather tends to average around the high twenties Celsius. If you aren't a fan of the rain, you might want to avoid the rainy monsoon season affecting the east coast of the peninsula between September to February.
Commonly referred to as KT by locals, within the city itself, Kuala Terrenganu has a collection of tiny islands on the Terrenganu river, such as Pulau Sekati, Pulau Duyung, Pulau Besar, and Pulau Wan Man. Most hostels in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, are located on the south side of the river, toward the Kampung Tiong area. As is the case in most of Malaysia, hostels in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, are not as common here as homestays or hotels. Hostel amenities in Kuala Terrenganu tends to be basic, catering for short-stay visitors who have missed their onward journeys to the various islands.
On the shores of Pulau Wan Man, you can visit the Islamic Heritage Park, home of the picturesque Crystal Mosque, aptly titled due to its construction out of steel, glass, and crystal. Non-muslim visitors are welcome during non-prayer hours, however you should check mosque visiting etiquette and ensure you are appropriately clothed before visiting.
For a view of the city, head to Bukit Panorama (literally Panorama Hill), a recreational area where you can admire the city and the sea. A visit to Pasar Payang (Payang Market) is recommended for your local shopping fix. Here you can sample local delicacies from little hawker stalls ubiquitous in Malaysia; observe the locals haggling over goods at the wet and dry markets, and shop for little knickknacks and antiques to bring home. Terrenganu Batik (a traditional style of decorating cloth using wax and paint), wood carvings, Keris (traditional Malaysian sword) and Wau (kites) are famous wares you could still find in Pasar Puyung that are now rarely found in other parts of Malaysia.
About an hour south of Kuala Terrenganu is Rantau Abang Beach (translated to "Brother's Region" Beach), an old stretch of sand where leatherback, green, and hawksbill turtles come to lay their eggs annually between May and August. Previously a popular tourist destination, nowadays there are fewer visitors due to the decline in turtle numbers. It is still worth visiting the Rantau Abang Turtle Conservation and Information Centre, where you can see exhibits about turtles and further help to support further turtle conservation efforts. In a recent year, the centre successfully hatched and released more than two million turtle hatchlings.
Written by local enthusiast for Kuala Terengganu hostelsSteph