Langkawi

Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The islands are a part of Malaysia’s Kedah state, but are adjacent to the Thai border. By far the largest of the islands is the eponymous Pulau Langkawi with a population of about 45,000. The island is a declared duty-free zone.

The peak season is from December to March when moonson at the eastcoast shuts down most of the Islands there (Perhentian etc.). This makes Langkawi a good island alternative during that time period. Generally though, Langkawi can be visited all year around.

Pulau Kapas

Pulau Kapas is a small island located only about 6km off Marang in the east coast state of Terengganu (about 1h north of Kuala Terengganu). It has quite and relaxed atmosphere because it is bypassed by the majority of the backpacker circuit looking for a more remote place like the Perhentian Islands. Pulau Kapas only get fairly busy on the weekends when locals come to island. There are a few good snorkeling spots around the island. All accommodations and beach are on the west coast facing the mainland. The west coast is the weather side has no sand beach, only rocks - it can be reached after a short walk through the jungle. Pulau Kapas shuts down during the monsoon season between November and February.

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Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

Chinatown (Kampung China)

address: Jalan Bandar, Kuala Terengganu
kuala-terengganu-kt-kampung-cina-dragon-arch.jpg, KT's Chinatown is located along Jalan Bandar. It is small but charming with colorful shophouses and still has the traditional feel with small stores, cafes and restaurants
the Chinatown gate on Jalan Bandar
KT's Chinatown is located along Jalan Bandar. It is small but charming with colorful shophouses and still has the traditional feel with small stores, cafes and restaurants

KT's Chinatown is located along Jalan Bandar (formerly known as Jalan Kampung Cina) at the river mouth of Terengganu River that empties into the South China Sea. If you overnight at the hotel / hostel in town and wish to pay the islands a visit, it is convenient and easy as the boats depart from the jetty next to Chinatown to the islands. The town is small but charming with colorful shophouses along both sides of the road that carries traditional flavor. Small grocery shops, a morning market, butcher shops, hardware shops, kopitiams (literally means coffee shops), cafes, restaurants and so on can be found in this humble little town. The kopitiams, cafes and restaurants offer local delicacies from mostly Chinese, but also Malay and Indian food. Start your day in town with an empty stomach and you will be sure to be satisfied with the food at the end of the day.

street art
Many walls and alleyways have been transformed with street art recently giving plenty of photo opportunities

 

Town City Foodcourt
indulge Bak Kut Teh at the popular Town City Foodcourt
Bak Kut Teh literally translates “meat bone tea”. Bak Kut refers to the pork and pork ribs used for the dish, and Teh refers to the tea that usually served alongside with the dish.


Jalan Kampung Cina
view along Jalan Kampung Cina with a shop on the right selling items for Chinese / Buddhist rituals like joss sticks, paper money and altars


traditional Kopitiam
traditional Kopitiam (Chinese coffee shop) selling fried noodles, noodles soups and the local specialty Roti Paung (a soft bun served with Kaya and butter)


Chinese shophouses
Chinese shophouses with five-foot covered walkway built with 2 types of material: the older ones with wood (in the middle) and the newer ones with brick


back road
the back road (running parallel to Jalan Kampung Cina) offers idyllic scenery
The houses on the left are the back of the houses that are facing the main road in Chinatown (Jalan Bandar). Chinese shophouses are narrow but long.


Pulau Warisan, Chinatow
view from the hanging bridge to Pulau Warisan towards Chinatown
The area had been reclaimed from Sungai Terengganu (Terengganu River) between 2009-11.
Before that, most of the traditional shophouses were cantilevered above the river.


reclamation works
reclamation works in 2010 to create a new road, parking and the yet unused island of Pulau Warisan between Chinatown and the River


pulau warisan
the same view 2 years later (2012)

 


shophouses extending into the river
shophouses extending into the river (image from the year 2009) before the extentions had to be torn down to make way for the land reclamation



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