Today's tour takes in the cultural sights of the state capital, Kuala Terengganu. The colourful food markets showcase the wide array of spices, fruits and seafood that make the region famous for its fresh food and distinctive cooking style. Spices are mostly grown in the state and the seafood is as fresh as you can get with the fishing boats docking literally right outside. Above the food market are shops selling everything from brassware, local medicines, songket — hand-woven cloth — and batik clothes.
A local water taxi will take you to the fishing village of Seberang Takir where you can see the local families earning a meagre living in different cottage industries such as small fish farms, prawn-cracker making and batik printing.
The remains of a mid-19th-century fort along with superb views of the city can be found at the summit of the 200 metre high Princess Hill. Nearby you can see the sultan's palace and state mosque, although these are normally closed to the public. After the climb you will take a well-deserved lunch at one of the local restaurants in town.
One particularly unique place to visit just outside Terengganu is Pulau Duyong. On this island the legendary boat builder Abdulla Muda has been making handcrafted wooden boats, all made from memory, for the last 50 years. You can wander around the tiny boatyard, seeing the unfinished vessels taking shape, and have a chat to some of the workers. With orders from as far afield as New Zealand and Canada, Abdulla Muda is famous the world over for his traditional methods and the reliability of his boats.
To finish the day you have the option of going to Terengganu State Museum, which is reputed to be the largest museum in Southeast Asia. There are some superb displays in the mammoth 270,000 square metre site housing century-old artefacts and artworks of rich and colourful heritage. The complex is an impressive architectural feat in itself, based on the design of Terengganu’s old palace, and comprises a main museum, maritime museum, fisheries museum, four traditional houses and botanic and herb gardens. The entrance fee of around five ringgit per person needs to be paid by you at the entrance.
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