Terengganu is a bastion of traditional Malay culture on Peninsular Malaysia. Guests of hotels near Terengganu enjoy some of the warmest hospitality on the Peninsula in an area that has maintained much of heritage despite the country's modernization. Beaches are a local highlight, and tourists use these fishing ports to launch retreats to the Perhentian Islands, one of Malaysia's most sought-after island resorts.
The best sightseeing is concentrated in capital, Kuala Terengganu, a former fishing village that blossomed over oil reserves in the 20th century. The floating mosque is the city's most iconic site, joined by the lively Central Market and the merchants and Buddhist temples in Chinatown. Visitors can charter a boat down the Marang River to visit traditional Malay villages in the countryside.
While much of Malaysia's forests gave way to loggers in the 19th and 20th centuries, Terengganu maintains a lot of primary growth. Pasir Raja Forest Reserve, with its diverse plant and animal life, is an ideal city escape. Trekking trails in the old-growth forest lead to caves and waterfalls.
Kuala Terengganu has a few popular beaches, especially Pantai Batu Buruk. But as far as tourists are concerned, these pale to what's available on the Perhentian Islands. Between the budget offerings of the smaller Perhentian and the massive resorts of the larger, guests find some of the best hotels near Kuala Terengganu. These islands are the exception to Terengganu's otherwise quiet night scene.
Flights from Kuala Terengganu Airport connect mainly to Kuala Lumpur and Penang. From here, it's two hours on to Kuala Besut, where ferries from the Perhentian Islands dock.
For more information on hotels and landmarks in the different areas of Terengganu, click on the interactive Terengganu map on the left-hand side of the page.