Batu Rakit or literally translated as Raft Stone is a small town as well as a subdistrict or “mukim” located in the district of Kuala Nerus, state of Terengganu, Malaysia. To the north, it is bordered by Setiu; to the west, Hulu Terengganu; on the south, state capital Kuala Terengganu. It is named as such due to the rock formation which is looking similarly to raft, which can be found at its beaches. The beaches here can be quite relaxing with rustic fishing villages nearby and food stalls selling delicious local food such as “keropok lekor” and other deep-fried seafood items.
However, Batu Rakit is not firsthand well-known for its beaches, it is well-known for the rapid spawning of multiple educational institutions such as University of Sultan Zainal Abidin or UniSZA, Kuala Terengganu Teaching College, Petronas Technology Institute or INSTEP and Kolej Universiti Sains & Teknologi Malaysia or KUSTEM. There is also a boarding school here known as Batu Rakit Integrated School or BRaInS. Due to a multitude of educational institutions located closely to each other, the economy here is pretty much driven by the students who would stay here for a couple of years to finish their studies.
Batu Rakit can be accessed by by boarding flights to Sultan Mahmud Airport in Kuala Terengganu. There are flights to Kuala Terengganu provided by Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia. From the airport, guests may hail up a taxi or public transportation to Batu Rakit.
People driving from Kuala Lumpur may drive through the E8 route for direct access to Batu Rakit. The journey could take up around five hours depending on the current traffic situation.
The nearest bus express terminal is at the state capital Kuala Terengganu which is located at Jalan Sultan Zainal Abidin. Take the trip directly to Kuala Terengganu from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) terminal using express bus services such as Transnasional Express or Ekspress Mutiara before opting for local buses to go to Batu Rakit.
One of the interesting places to visit while visitors are in Batu Rakit is the Batu Rakit Mosque which is located in Kampung Batu Rakit. Formally known as the As-Salam Mosque, its history could be traced as far as to the 1930s when the locals collaborated to have a joint effort to build a mosque for their own use. Nonetheless due to the passing of time, the mosque is getting older while the village is getting bigger. Therefore the mosque is rebuilt and given a new look at the old site, being one of the landmarks of the area as visitors make their way into Batu Rakit.
Batu Rakit Beach is situated on the unspoiled shores dotted with colorful fishing boats decorating the area surrounded by a lush forest. The fishing villages adjoining to the beach are home to some of the natives which would be usually coming back with their boats in the evening with fresh fishes ready to be bought by suppliers. Nearby the beach, there are food stalls at the roadside which are selling the state’s famous dishes of “keropok lekor”, “otak-otak and “Satar” in addition to the battered flour seafood tempura of fishes, crabs, squids, prawns and sting rays, bananas fritters and many more. If one yearns for a heavier meal, the area is also famous for fried kuey teow with squid and chicken which is sold at a nearby stall. All in all, it is a nice beach with a distinctive fishing village ambience.
Going closer to the state capital, the Batu Buruk Recreational Park is a more well-known recreational park located nearby the infamous Batu Buruk Beach. This place is much more crowded due to its close vicinity to the town center, however it is much merrier here as well. There are a multitude of activities for family and friends such as kite-flying and horse riding with food stalls nearby selling nasi dagang, another trademark dish of Terengganu and fried ice cream.