Kuala Nerus, a small part of Kuala Terengganu, was declared as the newest district of Terengganu Darul Iman on 18th September 2014. The announcement was made by the Prime Minister during his official visit to Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin. The border surrounding Kuala Nerus is from the north of Sungai Nerus until the edge of Setiu district. This new district took out almost 40 hectare or 65% of Kuala Terengganu district and around 200,000 people.
Dubbed as the Lembah Ilmu by the Terengganu government as Kuala Nerus is where institutes of higher learnings are located; the Universiti of Malaysia Terengganu, the Institut Pendidikan Guru Dato Razali Ismail, the teaching hospital for Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin and an industrial training institute. With these higher learning centers, it is more than fitted for Terengganu to be called as Ambang Ilmu, not to mention that this state always scored the top spot for the UPSR, PMR and SPM examinations.
The official language in Kuala Nerus is still Bahasa Malaysia though a lot of locals will speak with a thick Terengganu dialect. It may sound like an alien language for those who isn’t familiar but fret not, as they do understand and speak Bahasa Malaysia. The Terengganu dialect is usually associated with words frequently ending with ‘-ng’ such as makan (eat) changed into makang, though not necessarily all words are ended with ‘-ng’. The dialect is easily learnt and spoke, just mingle with them and keep your ears open for their unique words.
Reaching Terengganu is now easier than ever, with driving and flying as the main options. For those who much prefer to drive, the trip from Kuala Lumpur to Terengganu via East Coast II Highway will take approximately four hours and forty minutes, with the exit in Kuala Nerus district. If long ride is not your cup of tea, you can definitely fly in into Terengganu from Kuala Lumpur with AirAsia that scheduled four trips daily from KLIA2 to International Airport of Sultan Mahmud, which also located in Kuala Nerus district. Kuala Nerus is easily the main gate for entering Terengganu with these two options are located in this district.
Other than public universities, in Kuala Nerus district itself, there are not many attractions. Go a little bit further, into Kuala Terengganu, this is where the gems of Terengganu state are located.
The main, and one of the oldest shopping centre in Terengganu. For decades, Pasar Payang is still the main attraction in Terengganu. Covering from clothing, especially Terengganu’s beautiful batiks and songket, to antiques, to pots and pans, ready-to eat meals, such as local’s delights, Nasi Dagang and kuehs, to wet ingredients such as fresh fish and vegetables, Pasar Payang is definitely one-stop shopping centre that is not to be missed while visiting Terengganu. From airport, it’s located only 11 kilometre away.
Keropok lekor is the local and one of the famous snacks in Malaysia. Made from fresh fish flesh, mixed thoroughly with flour into a paste, it’s rolled into 20cm long sausage shaped and boiled to cook it. For locals, it’s enjoyed by either only boiling them or by deep fried, this local delight is best eaten hot and with the homemade chilli sauce that’s rather sweet with a tad of spiciness. For the famous keropok lekor in Terengganu, one can visit Kampung Losong, where you can find a lot of stalls selling keropok lekor. Look out for the stalls that has people lined up. Some of the stalls even have numbering system (like the one you found in banks) to buy their delicious snack. Kampung losong is located 17 minutes away from the airport or about 10 minutes from the city.
This resort offers a secluded, tranquill ambience stay as it is located in a small island, Pulau Duyong. It is also the home for the Monsoon Cup as they accommodate the top sailors from all over the world.
It provides a spacious, comfortable and clean room with the starting price of RM300++ with a 24-hour room service, free Wifi, and even bicycle rentals.
Owned by Tabung Haji, this four-star hotel located just a kilometre from the airport. The rooms are spacious, and some are able to accommodate quadruple beds. Iron is also provided in each room, so you don’t have to call when you need it. The hotel also provides laundry and dry cleaning, 24-hour room service and shuttle services. The starting price for a room is around RM 230.
A tiny hotel, occupying two-floors of a building in Seberang Takir, a quick 3 kilometre drive from the airport, it offers a great bang for the buck. With price starting less than RM60 per room per night, this lodge has received such a great review, 8.5/10. Known for its cleanliness and cheap price, the conveniences make people come back again. Despite being a small hotel, the rooms are quite spacious and very comfortable. If you’re on a budget and looking for a good place to stay, this is definitely it.