Faces of

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

Pasar Besar Kedai Payang (Central Market)

address: Jalan Sultan Zainal Abidin, 20000 Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
entrance-Pasar-Besar-Kedai-Payang-Kuala-Terengganu.jpg, The colourful wet and dry market of KT is right next to Chinatown and along the Terengganu River. At the entrance are still traditional trishaws taking costumers back to their home.
main entrance to the market
The colourful wet and dry market of KT is right next to Chinatown and along the Terengganu River. At the entrance are still traditional trishaws taking costumers back to their home.

This colourful and charming wet and dry open-planned market is located next to Chinatown (at the end of Jalan Bandar) and strategically located at the river mouth of Terengganu River that opens into the South China Sea. Pasar refers to market; Besar refers to big as it was enlarged in the 60s; Payang refers to the name of the typical Terengganu’s fishermen boat. The market offers huge variety of traditional products and souvenirs such as batik and brocade, metal products such as cooking ware and utensils, grocery items such as spices, seafood (fresh from the sea), fruits, fresh vegetables and so on.

and of course there is no shortage of Keropok, the Terengganu specialty, at the market

It is always busy in the market, especially during the peak hours from 6-9 in the mornings. One gets to watch and indulge in the experience of the local life – trading, where traders unload goods and merchandises in the utmost efficient manner; selling, where pakcik (elderly man), makcik (elderly woman) and younger sellers make announcement of their goods, sometimes melodically; and buying, where buyers (regular or new) investigate their potential purchase and haggle prices. Often the market has window-shoppers, travelers and birds paying a visit. What joyful are the sounds of conversations in the recognizable Terengganu Malay dialect, laughter and birds chirping filling up the space.

Therefore, it is one of the must-visit places if you are at Kuala Terengganu. Besides, one can find the local trishaw that is often colourfully decorated at the entrance or the sides of the market. It is the best way to see the town at an affordable price. The pakcik-pakcik who rode the trishaws are normally in their 50s!, friendly and welcome you to take photos.

the pakciks with their trishaws waiting for customers

Sadly to say that, reported in News Straits Time dated 31st May 2013, the state government is proceeding with the “plan to modernise it into a four-storey, air-conditioned market, together with the construction of a 23-storey, 550-room five-star hotel and a 30-storey apartment”. However, “on 23rd May 2013, the Terengganu State Tourism Association (PPNT) 24th general meeting, its chairman Wan Supian Wan Ishak had asked the state government to review its intention to demolish the central market to make way for an integrated complex with a new market, hotel and apartment.”


Background Information on the market (from 2006)

market along Jalan Sultan Zainal Abidin
the market (on the left) along Jalan Sultan Zainal Abidin, in the background on the right Bazaar Warisan (a handycraft / batik market)

one of the many stalls at the market

inside the market
inside the market

inside the market
the wet market


map and location of Pasar Besar Kedai Payang (Central Market)

Hotels in in Kuala Terengganu
in Kuala Terengganu
Sankris Lodge
hostel in the city center
Things to do & see
Crystal Mosque (Islamic Civilisation Park)
The RM250-million-theme-park was opened in February 2008. It house sreplicas of several world famous mosque and the spectactular Crystal Mosque. ... more
Chinatown (Kampung China)
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 ... more
Things to do & see
Menara KL (KL Tower), Kuala Lumpur
Menara KL or KL Tower, with a height of 421m, is the 7th tallest tower in the world. As it is built on hill, the observation decks offers higher ground than the Twin Towers and the best views in town. ... more

Petaling Street (Chinatown), Kuala Lumpur
Chinatown in KL is one of the oldest parts of city. The main attractions is the roofed street market along Petaling Street which is popular for selling for fake branded goods like bags, shoes, clothes and watches. ... more