eastern half of the Malay Peninsula is relatively unknown compared
to the west, where Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Malacca draw visitors.
Life is certainly less frenetic in the east; there are no huge
cities with towering skyscrapers, but this charming region boasts
many places of interest.
Kuantan, a bustling
city, is the commercial center for the state of Pahang. At Teluk
Cempedak Beach, there is a showcase for local handicrafts, such as
batik, gold and silver brocades, woodcarvings and
There are many small
villages in this heavily Muslim region, and each appears to have at
least one mosque, some small and simple, others larger and
The fishing village
of Beserah is known for its salted fish. North of Cherating lies
the village of Rantau Abang, whose beach is one of only six in the
world where giant, leatherback turtles lay their eggs.
Kuala Terengganu is
an attractive town at the mouth of the Terengganu River. Its
thriving central market offers a mix of produce and handicrafts
such as songket, which involves weaving gold and silver thread into
intricate designs on silk and cotton.
The town is also home
to the so-called Floating Mosque. Surrounded by a sort of moat, it
seems to sit atop water. On the small island of Pulau Duyong,
visitors can see traditional boat builders at work.
Kota Bahru is the
capital of Kelantan state,which stretches up to the border with
Thailand. Its War Museum houses a collection of material relating
to World Wars I and II, the Communist insurgency and Malaysian
independence. The adjacent Royal Museum focuses on the lifestyle of
the local sultan.
The Cultural Center
in Kota Bahru provides a display of traditional games and pastimes
on select days of the week. These include seni silat, the art of
self defense; gasing uri (top-spinning); rebana ubi (giant drum);
membuat wau (kite making); and sepak (kicking
For more, visit
Tourism Malaysia's Web site at www.tourism.gov.my.
contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].