Terengganu Darul Iman is a state on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Often spelled Trengganu, it faces the South China Sea, sharing a border with Kelantan to the northwest and Pahang to the southwest. The Arabic honorific Darul Iman attached to the official title of the state means "Abode of Faith", and in a sense reflects the state's Islamic grounding. Kuala Terengganu, at at the mouth of the broad Terengganu River is the state and royal capital as well as the largest city in Terengganu.
Terengganu covers an area of 12,955 sq km (5,002 sq mi) and has a population of 1.2 million people (2011 estimate). Its capital and biggest city is Kuala Terengganu, a town on the estuary of the Terengganu River.
According to popular belief, the origin of the name Terengganu is attributed to terang ganu, Malay for 'bright rainbow'. Another theory, based on narration attributed to the ninth Sultan of Terengganu, Baginda Omar, tells of a party of hunters from Pahang roving and hunting in the area of what is now southern Terengganu. One of the hunters spotted a big animal fang lying on the ground. A fellow party member asked to which animal did the fang belong. The hunter, not knowing which animal, simply answered "fang of something" which in Malay, is taring anu. The party later returned to Pahang with a rich hoard of game, fur and sandalwood, which impressed their neighbors. They asked the hunters where did they source their riches, to which they replied, from the land of taring anu, which later evolved into Terengganu.
The traditional Malay name for Terengganu has been dingjianu in Pinyin, a direct transliteration of the Malay name. However, in recent years, the Chinese community in Terengganu has raised objections to the name, citing that the name loosely translates to "giving birth to a child who will become a slave". They successfully petitioned the regulatory commission for Chinese language in Malaysia to change the Chinese name for the state to dengjialou, which can be loosely translated to "aspiring/stepping up to a higher level", in September 2004. It is worth noting, however, that the new name has been in unofficial use by the state's Chinese society for at least 30 years before its official adoption.
There are certain segments of the Chinese society who opposed to the name change, citing the fact that the new name contains too many character strokes, making it much more difficult to write. They have proposed to revert the name back to the version used before 2004, but with the word "slavery", which was mainly the cause of the controversy) to the similar sounding, but more positive "perseverance".
Terengganu is blessed with long stretches of beautiful unspoilt beaches. Offshore are beautiful islands that are drawing sun seekers, snorkellers and divers.
Terengganu also has the biggest museum in Southeast Asia, and as a state with a predominant Muslim population, it has beautiful mosques with architectural styles from various periods. I hope that my website will do justice to everything that this state has to offer, and after browsing this website, hopefully you will feel like setting off to explore Terengganu.
The Sultan Mahmud Airport (TGG) received a number of flights from Kuala Lumpur and twice daily from Penang.
The best way to explore Terengganu, in my opinion, is by road. This allows you to enjoy the coastal scenery, which is often nothing less than breathtaking.
If you are coming from Kuala Lumpur, you would approach Terengganu by way of Pahang, on the East Coast Expressway (E8). From Kuala Lumpur, take the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Expressway (also E8) to Karak, then onwards on the East Coast Expressway to Balok in Pahang. There, you continue on Federal Route 3 along the coast of Pahang northwards to Chukai in Terengganu, and proceed to your next destination in Terengganu.
If you are coming from Penang, start by taking the Butterworth-Kulim Expressway to Kulim. Then continue on Federal Route 67 to Baling. From Baling, continue on Federal Route 76 to Gerik, where you take the East-West Highway (Federal Route 4) to Jeli and onwards to Pasir Puteh. At the junction just before Pasir Puteh (follow road sign, please), you head south on Federal Route 3 into Terengganu, and onwards to your destination.
If you are coming from Johor Bahru, take Federal Route 3 all the way to Terengganu, passing through Kota Tinggi, Mersing, Pekan and Kuantan along the way.