Gong Badak is a new township located at the northern part of the Terengganu River within the district of Kuala Nerus, state of Terengganu, Malaysia. Formerly a part of the administrative capital of Kuala Terengganu, Gong Badak is located in the most populous area of the state, considering Kuala Terengganu aside. The township is originally a cluster of villages situated alongside Jalan Tengku Ampuan Intan Zaharah up till the University Malaysia of Terengganu area before the area is further developed to include more neighborhood and residential areas to accommodate the increasing population size. Despite being placed under the Kuala Nerus district, it is still administered by the Kuala Terengganu City Council, the only city council in this country to oversee two districts at once.
From a historical point of view, there have been earlier records from China about its diplomatic relations with the state in which the relationship largely centered on Gong Badak and areas nearby back when it was still a part of Kuala Terengganu. Meanwhile, the current sultanate can be traced to its establishment way back in 1708, where Kuala Terengganu was still a small town at the time. During those days, Kuala Terengganu has been appointed as the state capital and retained being one despite the state being subjected to Siam and then British control. It is during the British control, where British has set up the the early work of modernizing the governance by the appointment of Kuala Terengganu as a local government area in 1928.
Post-independence, moving forward to 2014, Kuala Nerus is declared as a separate district from Kuala Terengganu, while Gong Badak begin to witness a lot of development work with shopping malls and industrial parks being built around. Gong Badak, like the areas nearby, still retains strong Malay influences interwoven with other cultures from the melting pot of settlers that have resided here since the early days of the town as a port. In terms of tourism, the close proximity of Gong Badak to the capital of Terengganu eases entry into the multitude of tourist destinations that Terengganu has to offer.
People driving from Kuala Lumpur may drive via E8 route for immediate access to Gong Badak. The journey could take up around 4 hours and 40 minutes depending on the traffic.
The express bus terminal 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 Express Kesatuan or Transnational Express before opting for taxi or local buses to go around Gong Badak.
Situated in Jalan Bandar, Chinatown of Terengganu has a vintage setting with colorful shop houses that reeks of traditional flavor. Established by the early Chinese settlers back in the 19th century, it was once a trade and commercial hub that drove the capital economy. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site where preservation and modification projects are rampant in the area in order to preserve the culture and the way of life here.
Another interesting place for sightseeing when visitors are in Gong Badak is this market that exhibits traditional handicrafts such as batik, silk, songket, brocade and brassware, as well as fresh produce for sale. Also known as the Central Market, it is placed on a modern building that is really massive, one needs at least two hours to finish touring around the area to search for goods at a really good price.
Situated in Kem Pengakap Tengku Muhammad Ismail, this one-star accommodation is decent and affordable with facilities that include balcony, minibar, coffee maker, shower, hair dryer and meeting facilities.
A pleasantly welcoming two-star hotel located at Jalan Tok Jembal which is close to the various attractions around the city. The facilities and services come with the stay such as coffee maker, cable television, shower, hairdryer, refrigerator, minibar and restaurant.