Pulau Duyong is an island located in the mouth of Terengganu River in the Terengganu state, Malaysia. There was a smaller island nearby known as Pulau Duyong Kecil, nonetheless the sedimentation process and reclamation activities have joined the two as the Pulau Duyong in present. Unlike the other famous islands like Redang or Perhentian which are known for their beaches and snorkeling spots, Pulau Duyong is much more well-known for boat building, in which most of these boats are built for the fishermen in Marang. The tradition of boat building here is one of the oldest in the country, nonetheless it has waned due to the increasing price of the cengal wood used in making the boats as well as the lack of expertise and resources in boat-building. Meanwhile, the seaward extension has been further developed as the Heritage Bay Resort, which becomes the venue for the annual Monsoon Cup yacht race. Because of this, tourism has also flourished in the island. From the historical point of view, Pulau Duyong was used to be a place of residence of a scholar known as Tok Sheikh Duyong who has lived from 1802 until 1889. He was a scholar that gained respect from the palace. His descendants later on as well as the people of the island continued his legacy, making the island a seat for religious learning. Due to the geographical location of the island as well as its prominence in the religious scholarship, the island is also known as the tongue of Terengganu.
People driving from Kuala Lumpur may drive via E8 route and cross the Sultan Mahmud Bridge for immediate access to Pulau Duyong. The journey could take up around 4 hours and 35 minutes depending on the traffic.
The bus terminal is at Jalan Sultan Zainal Abidin, and there is a Kuala Terengganu City council bus stop nearby. Take the trip directly to Kuala Terengganu from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) terminal using express bus services such as UBT Group Liner or Express Mutiara before opting for taxi or public transportation.
There are flights to Kuala Terengganu from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) which are provided by both Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia. Upon touchdown, from the airport, guests can head downtown using public transportation to the Pulau Duyong.
Located near the Marina Jetty, the Duyong Old Fort is an old Malay palace built from timber. It was built back in 1919 by a magistrate known as Dato’ Biji Sura. It got damaged in 1986 due to a flood happening in the island. The Ministry of Culture and Arts then decided to rebuild it and the rebuilding finished in 1999. The rebuilt version included brick and cement in its foundation with nine roofs and interconnected kitchen, verandah, bathroom and small bridge. An old well is located within its compound.
It feels incomplete to talk about Pulau Duyong with mentioning this place. Located at the most scenic spot of the Terengganu River, this workshop is the major place for boat building in the island, owing the prominence from the boats built and used in the Monsoon Cup. Here, one can witness the process of boat building from zero till completion. The amazing part of the craft is that the owner, Abdullah bin Muda and his workers do not work using a plan. Instead, they work using only their imaginations while doing the chiseling, chopping and sawing with hardly any mistakes detected.
A well-built hotel situated around three kilometres away from the island. An established four-star hotel with ample facilities and services such as satellite cable television, hair-dryer, in-room safe, minibar, shower, desk, concierge, laundry, tours, money changer, car rental, outdoor pool, meeting facilities and WiFi.