Tuesday, October 20, 2015

5 interesting places to visit in Terengganu

Terengganu is a coastal state stretched along the eastern coast of peninsular Malaysia. There are many places of interest in Terengganu. On this post, I'm listing 5 of most interesting places in Terengganu

1. Redang Island

marine park
Redang Island Marine Park

This is the most beautiful and popular island in Terengganu. White sandy beach, crystal clear water, well preserved corals and fishes. This island is a very must visit place in Terengganu. How to go there? Take a direct flight to Kuala Lumpur (KUL) then take a connecting flight to Terengganu (TGG) then take a ferry in Shahbandar Jetty. Also available direct flight to Redang Island from Kuala Lumpur but you must book through travel agent. Read my last visit to Redang Island here

2. Terengganu State Museum

The largest museum complex in South East Asea consisting of 9 galleries namely textile gallery, royal gallery, Islam gallery, craft gallery, petronas gallery, history gallery, natural resources gallery, trade and sail gallery and fishing and marine park gallery. Ticket prices for Malaysian citizen are MYR5.00 adult, MYR2.00 children, MYR1.00 school student with uniform. For non citizen MYR15.00 adult and MYR10.00 children.

Opens every day

3. Islamic Heritage Park (Taman Tamadun Islam)

This is a 6 section big park complex :

1. Monument park
This park homes 22 monuments represent 22 mosques from 21 countries all over the world. There are 5 interactive galleries containing presentation materials in form of artifacts and exact copies of artifacts also video presentation. Choices of vehicles for rent including buggy, bicycle and motorised bicycle. Also a hop on hop off train with a cheap ticket.

2. TTI river cruise
A 45-50 minutes cruise along Terengganu river with a talentful and experienced guide. You will be amazed with the unique islands along Terengganu river. Also provided fun cruise to Kapas Island for a day trip.

3. Convention center
Available for rental and wedding ceremonies

4. Crystal Villa
Villas with 3 bedrooms complete with kitchen and other utilities. Special ticket prices for river cruise and free entrance to monument park for 2 adults are given to villa guest

5. B'beteng cafe
Cafe providing local and western foods. Discount and voucher available with purchase of monument park ticket and villa guests

6. Crystal Mosque
Constructed from steel and glass give a crystal like look. Built atop of  Terengganu River, this mosque is appearing to become shiny viewing from Sultan Mahmud Bridge.

Opening hour TTI

monument park
Ticket price monument park
TTI river cruise ticket price
TTI river cruise ticket price
Ride price Monument park TTI
Facilities price at TTI Monument Park

All prices are inclusive 6% GST

This park share the same route with Terengganu State Museum

4. Noor Arfa Batik

This is the most successful commercial batik industry leader. Located in Chendering Industrial Area, you can find most of Noor-Arfa products here ranging from child to adult , man and woman categories. Also available demonstration of traditional batik making as the complex also land their batik production facility. More information available in their website.

5. Kenyir Lake

lake kenyir
"Kenyir Lake 1" by RoB - Karya sendiri. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kenyir_Lake_1.JPG#/media/File:Kenyir_Lake_1.JPG

The largest man made lake in South East Asia constructed for electricity production for the whole peninsular Malaysia. Among attractions in Kenyir lake are Kelah(Mahseer fish) sanctuary, Langsir waterfall, mini water park and herb park. Visitors may choose to stay in houseboats operated by several local operators or stay in couple of resorts available in Kenyir lake. Fishing enthusiasts will love to be here especially in the monsoon season from November - January.

Air Asia is having Year End Sale right now. Don't wait anymore, grab the cheapest ticket to Kuala Lumpur and Terengganu now.

Find hotels in Terengganu here

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Segmen Bloglist Blogger Baru 1437H

Segmen Bloglist Blogger Baru 1437H

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Peladang Agro Resort, Setiu

Earlier last month, me and my family had a family vacation to Peladang Agro Resort, Setiu, Terengganu. Attracted by its reputation as an agricultural resort, the first in Malaysia we choose the resort as our vacation spot.

Main Lobby
peladang agro
Camp site
I went there together with my family of 4, my parent in law, sister and brother in law together with their family. We booked 3 rooms with 2 of them are connecting room. Actually we only booked 2 rooms through Booking.com and add another room at the check in counter. The receptionist in-duty was so kind to give the third room same price as the other two. It was a great deal actually.

peladang agro
We arrived at the lobby and were astonished with the tranquility of the lobby and restaurant which are seems to be built on a man-made lake which also serve as the kayaking trek. Check in was a bit confusing because this is the first time we used Booking.com, we need to pay full amount at the resort because the credit card details inserted at Booking.com was only for booking confirmation. Luckily we have enough cash with us, credit card facility had been broken that day. So guys, if you are coming here, spare enough cash for room charges and MYR100 per night security deposit.

peladang agro

We arrived on 10.30 and was given a room for early check in without additional charges. The other 2 rooms are not ready to check in. We headed over to the room and put all our luggage there. There was no trolley present at the lobby area, so please keep your luggage to minimum weight as there are rooms that are located far away from the lobby.
peladang agro
Road to rooms and chalet
Setting our luggage and eating some foods that we had bring from our home, then we headed over to the pool which is the main attraction here. It was advertised as a mini water theme park. Unlucky, the mini theme park pool was closed and the water level was very low and seemed poorly maintained. They only open a child pool and adult pool which could only cater for 20-30 persons per session.

peladang agro
ordinary pool

peladang agro
adult pool
The pools are not only open to the resort guest but also open to public which could make the guest feel nonexclusive. The public only had to pay MYR2.00 per person to us the pool. It is about USD0.50.
peladang agro
Mini theme park

peladang agro

The resort is maintained by an NGO so you could expect their government servant level of services. No standby person on public holiday, only a trainee assigned to collect pool money. When asked on the closure of the mini theme park, he could only tell us that he is a trainee, no authoritative staff works that day, water pressure is too low. He was not authorized to operate the pump. What all could we do except to accept it and just use the ordinary pools.
peladang agro
Poor pool maintenance
peladang agro
Way poorer

peladang agro
Pump house
Our childrens were having so much fun at the pool, their main activity here is swimming and playing in the pool. Morning, afternoon, evening. There are many gazebos around the resort which we used one of them located in front of our room as our grilling station. We brought with us portable mini stove and use them for grilling.
peladang agro
Closed. At first I thought there was a police case seeing the famous do not cross yellow tape

At the night, nothing much could we do except for resting and sleeping. WIFI is not available at the resort and 3G reception is very low. So, don't dream of updating your blog here.

The next morning, which is a working day for Terengganu and Malaysia, we had the pools to our clan only. The mini theme park was also being open but was not properly cleaned. We had some kind of gross feeling soaking our feet in the pool.

The resort once had a very great name during its early days. Poor maintenance, poor management and poor financial made the resort very poor. They need to hand over the resort to private company to manage it. Surely, tourism is not Peladang expertise. The resort really need to be managed in the hand of an expert in tourism.

peladang agro
1 queen bed and 1 single bed
If you really want a very cheap budget agrotourism resort, head over to Peladang Agro Resort. Join the jungle trekking activity in the jungle behind the resort and have a taste of local fruits here.

peladang agro
Very basic
peladang agro
work station. Do you dare working there at night?

peladang agro
Dusty and antique feels
Welcome to Terengganu, Malaysia Truly Asia

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Kuala Ibai Lagoon Park

Kuala Ibai Lagoon Park is located in Kuala Ibai, Kuala Terengganu sharing the same location as PrinzPark Hotel, Terengganu Equestrian Park and Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque or famously known as the Floating Mosque among the locals.

kuala ibai
recreational park area

kuala ibai
sand field area

The park is divided into 2 section which is recreational park on the land side and water park on the water side. There is also a section which is located beside the main park area connected by a bridge that is a sand field area.

kuala ibai
sand field area

The lagoon water actually is the border between river water from Ibai river and saltwater from Terengganu Water. If we stand on the sand field, we could see a long line resembling the border. Water level in the lagoon area is quite low during low tide, several sand island could be seen emerged during low tide. However visitors are reminded to stay alert on water level increment as there are several cases where visitors got drawn away by the water not realizing the increasing water level.

Among other attractions found in this public park are banana boat ride(actually tow away), sofa like floats tow away, children playground and public jog and exercise circuit. Visitors could reach the park using their vehicles using the one-way road built around the park and park at couples of parking area in the park.

lagun kuala ibai

lagun kuala ibai

Local food stalls are available around the mosque parking area and food hawkers could be found parked in the park area. Visitors could also head to Prinzpark hotel's restaurant to find variety of local and western foods there.

If you are coming to Malaysia, Kuala Ibai Park could be reached using flight or land transportation. Direct flights are available using Air Asia, MAS, Firefly and Malindo Air either from Subang Airport or LCCT terminal to Sultan Mahmud International Airport then rent a taxi to Kuala Ibai Lagoon. Land transportation available using express bus from Terminal Bus Selatan(TBS) to Kuala Terengganu Bus Terminal then rent a taxi to Kuala Ibai Lagoon. You could also opt to board the 'bas bandar', a wooden bus frame resembling traditional Terengganu house and stop in front of Kuala Ibai Mosque. 

bas bandar
Bas bandar image credit : www.unisza.edu.my
Welcome to Terengganu, Malaysia Truly Asia

Monday, October 5, 2015

Redang Island. A journey to remember

On 1-3rd October 2015, me and my family had a family vacation Redang Island, Terengganu, Malaysia. We have a very joyful and memorable moments there. Redang Island is one of many islands in Terengganu water. Among other attractions to Redang is Redang Marine Park which is located near Redang Island.

We departed to Redang Island on ferry from Shahbandar jetty on 9.00 a.m ferry. We took 3D2N package direct from Redang Lagoon Resort which we found the cheapest and worth for money package for our trip. There are many other packages offered by other resort operators and travel agents ranging from medium range to high luxury package. Of course the price will be higher for the more luxury package.

redang island ferry
Inside the ferry

redang island
The door lead to open deck area
Our sail took about 1 and a half hour along the beautiful Terengganu water and passing by 1 to 2 islands in our route to Redang Islang. Redang Lagoon and most of resorts in Redang Island are located in the seashore of Pasir panjang. There is no ferry jetty in Pasir Panjang, so we have to transfer ourselves and our luggage to a floating platform which can move right on the beach. Arriving there, we have our ground transport ready to move us from the beach to resort. The transport is actually a wagon attached to a tractor. It was very thrillling as we move along the beach and climbed the higher gorund.

redang island transfer
Floating platform

redang lagoon

Canteen and snorkeling center

redang lagoon

redang lagoon
Our transport from the ferry arrival to resort

Check in proccess was smooth, the recepionist asked for the deposit payment slips. It is very lucky for me to have the slip downloaded in my phone. Mobile phone line got a problem on our arrival that day. We were given a quad sharing room near the canteen and near the beach. It is very pleasant for us as we have our 6 years old daughter and 23 months toddler with us.

Lunch was served on 12 noon. The lunch served was variety of local foods. It is absolutely worth for money that I paid for the package. After filling ourselves, we took some rest and waited for the first snorkeling trip. Open sea snorkeling. On 2.30pm we were called to board the snorkeling boat. We rented the life jacket and snorkeling gears from the resort for MYR20.00 per set (life jacket - MYR 10.00, snorkeling gear- MYR10.00). The boat was parked in the water. At first I walked in the water carrying my baby boy in my arm and my wife holding our daughter in her arm. Then when we realized the water level at the boat parking area is way higher than our head, my wife started trembling and a kind and supporting beach boy offered to carry my daughter but my daughter refused. Then my wife asked the beach boy to carry our baby boy and i carry our daughter. Our baby boy have more bravery than his sister. I passed our baby boy to him and continued walking toward the boat carrying our daughter. The beach boys were very kind and helpful. One of the main attraction in checking in to Redang Lagoon is their beach boys which are reportedly to be kind, helpful and very supportive.

Our journey to the open sea snorkeling area took about 15 minutes. Arriving near an isolated rock island, I felt the adrenaline to jump in the sea and start snorkeling. There was a very beautiful and magnificent underwater scene in the area. The fishes, the corals, the clear water. It was very beautiful.

open sea snorkeling
That was very deep water. yeah

open sea snorkeling

open sea snorkeling
me in my mask

Returning form the first trip, we rushed over to the canteen and had our evening tea with a local food called 'jemput-jemput'. The canteen was built to cater dry and wet occupants. There is no restriction to enter the canteen in wet clothes. Done eating , we headed over to the beach in front of the resort to continue our snorkeling and water fun activity. Yet the beach alone is very beautiful and got a full load of fishes and corals underwater. I got myself some pics and video underwater using my Xperia Z wrapped in DiCaPac underwater bag bought from Shashinki Lelong store. It got USD1000.00 device warranty to fill up my confidence on the bag. Honestly, I'm not 100% confident to use my phone underwater continuously because maybe I'm a paranoid introvert type of person. I passed over the phone to my wife after snapping some pics and videos.



We started the second day with a trip to marine park. This is the most awaited moment for every persons coming to Redang Island. Our journey took about 30 minutes from the resort to Marine Park. We were briefed on the do's and don'ts in marine park which we are not allowed to bring anything back with us, we cannot step on the corals, we cannot swim outside the free boat area and we are not allowed to catch the baby turtles.

redang island
Feeding the fishes

redang island

redang island

Marine park was like an underwater paradise. The water is so clear and the underwater living creatures were very beautiful. We fed the fishes with a couple of bread slices, my daughter and baby boy were so delighted to see the fishes gathered around us to eat the bread slices. After couples of snorkeling tour, I got up to the beach and let my wife to snorkel. On approximately 11.30 a.m we were called to board the boat returning to the Resort. On the jetty, we had seen a miraculous show by a school of fishes swimming under the jetty and sometime jumped over the water. There were so many of them, they were like a grass on the field.

marine park
There were so many of them

On the evening we were supposed to have another open sea snorkeling trip but we were too tired to get up from the beds so we ended up sleeping and then snorkeling in the beach in front of the resort. This time I braved myself to explore the sea further away from the beach but I found out that fishes were gathered around the coral and reefs which is located not too far away from the beach. The reefs were a kind of eery with a small cave like hole below the reefs. I feared to be pulled into the hole by something so I kept myself at a distance from the reefs.

redang island
The beach
On the next morning, we took another last beach activity before check out. We could see smaller fishes swimming around us finding for foods. My wife and childrens had a very fun time in the water that morning as the tide is low and the waves were calm.



We checked out on 10.00 am and transferred to the ferry arrival area using the tractor pulled wagon. Our ferry arrived on 11.00 am and the journey ended in Shahbandar jetty on 12.00 noon. We are so grateful to the beach boys which helped us a lot during snorkeling trip and in the resort. They even helped my wife to pour out the porridge in the bowl seeing my wife had a difficult time controlling my baby boy and pouring the porridge. Also to the other staffs of Redang Lagoon which were very helpful and supporting. We indeed felt like we are a family to them. We will surely come back after my wife finishes up her study in Australia next 2 years. The islands in Terengganu will be closed starting 15th October until End of March next year due to the monsoon.


view from the back end of the resort

Night scene at the resort