Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque….Spiritual Decoration in Ibai River Estuary

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Failing to get off at Batu Burok Beach due to entrusted my trip too much to the Bas KITē driver, I was dropped off at my second target destination. It was Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque, the first floating mosque in my neighboring country.

Bas KITē stopped on the north side of the parking area which was also known as the Floating Mosque Ramadhan Bazaar area. Once down, I didn’t directly enter the mosque. I took a standing position on the north side of Ibai River’s estuary to enjoy the full view of Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque with its thirty-meter minaret from a distance.

Zaharah….is a word taken from the name of Sultan Mahmud’s mother, Tengku Intan Zaharah. The thirty-year-old mosque is truly enchanting to my naked eye from my standing position, it is appropriate that long wooden seats are provided on the north side of the estuary, allowing any visitor to sit at dawn or dusk to enjoy the beauty of the mosque which can accommodate a thousand worshipers.

Not only the building but I was also stunned by the water below. The estuary water is filled with tame fish which beautifully flock when fed by visitors from the connecting bridge on the north side. Visitors got fish food from a fish pellet seller in the parking area at a price of only one ringgit per pack.

I started to enter the mosque from the north bridge which was intentionally provided with a canopy along it, making it comfortable for visitors to linger to feed the fish. Along the canopy, signs bearing the words of the Prophet managed to become a shade of heart before actually entering the mosque.

The first thing I did when I arrived at the mosque’s door was to walk around the mosque and saw its view from all sides. Some amazing views of the surroundings were easy to find when I stood at the best spots on the mosque’s terrace. Do you want to see that beautiful view?…. Here it is:

Visitors who enjoyed fishing activities.
Cactus plant on the mosque’s veranda.
The connecting bridge on the south side is without a canopy.
Clear green….This is the form of the Ibai River estuary where the mosque stands.
An elegant pavilion that provides seating for visitors to enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.

After finishing recording memories in my head about all the beauty around the mosque, I rushed to the purification room. The time for Dzuhur hadn’t yet come, but I was very excited to perform the “tahiyatul masjid” prayer.

Entering the purification room, I washed my face solemnly, preparing myself to worship at the mosque whose position was very famous as an important landmark of the State of Terengganu.

Now I would enjoy the mosque inside which was the core part of the building, of course also the core part of this visit. The stretch of soft red carpet on the front row combined with a light blue carpet on the back makes the room come alive. Twelve large pillars support the entire mosque body and the side poles of the pulpit are decorated with beautiful lights looking up. While in the middle of the building perched a dome with a hexagon structure base. Then the dominant green windows enrich its color. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to look upstairs.

I finished praying while some mosque staffs were still busy cleaning its terrace. I returned out of the mosque through the bridge on the north side and walked around the river estuary to the garden on the south side. I had to complete the point of view. After enjoying the north side, now I sat in the south garden and enjoyed the beauty of the Tengku Tengah Zaharah mosque from the other side of the estuary.

The visitation was completed by enjoying the beach on the east of the Lagun Kuala Ibai Public Park. That was a substitute beach for the Batu Burok Beach destination which I couldn’t reach because I was dissolved in the speed of the Bas KITe.

At one o’clock in the afternoon, I finished relaxing on the beach. I had to immediately take a seat in the area of ​​the Floating Mosque Ramadhan Bazaar which was widely stretched on the north side of the mosque to wait for the arrival of Bas KITē which would arrive in an hour. I didn’t want to be left behind because I had to immediately go back to the Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu. I still wanted to look for opportunities to go to Crystal Mosque which I decided this morning to cross off my bucket list.

Let’s pray!
The door and window designs are cool.
The windows of the mosque on each side…
Southside garden.
The view from the south side of the estuary.

This time I deliberately didn’t attend the congregational Dzuhur Prayer which would soon be held, I decided to just do it later. I had to catch the bus that time because the Bas KITē might come sooner.

I decided to sit on a side of the grassy area under the Rhu trees to avoid sunlight directly. Rhu trees certainly made my body more comfortable in waiting for the arrival of the C01 A KITe Bus.

I was now preparing to leave the Kuala Ibai District.

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Peeking Sultan Mahmud Airport, Kuala Terengganu

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

In online searching before leaving for Kuala Terengganu, I never found the word “International” attached to its name. I just kept guessing that the airport I was going to was only a domestic airport which only served domestic flights.

Turned out I was only slightly right, but still horribly wrong in the end. Because this airport also provided international flights, although only for Hajj and Umrah purposes, i.e direct flights to King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.

Now I was hovering over Kuala Nerus District. Terengganu River was seemed when Malaysia Airlines MH 1326 slowly lowered all its flaps on its two iron wings. That iron sheets slowly pushed the plane down towards the sole runway belonging to Sultan Mahmud Airport.

Gliding on the runway, I was presented with a view of a small yellowish building gracefully standing and showing off its distinctive style. The beautiful carvings at its wooden ornaments along airport’s wall seemed to take me to the gates of old sultanate era. Meanwhile, terraced roofs in airport corners add to its authority and classic impression.

Arrival Hall

The plane had done its job and came to a gentle stop in an apron which made from solid-uncoated concrete. The aerobridge line welcomed and provided a way for me and other passengers to enjoying the beauty of airport inside.

Malaysia Airlines 1326 in the apron.
Corridor leading to arrival hall.

Yellow….became the color of Malay majesty which was consistently exhibited. The waist-high wooden planks lining its walls made me feel like I wasn’t far from home. While the motive of three-color tile patterns made the atmosphere along arrival hall more lively.

Stepping into Domestic Arrival Council, the feel of Malaysian tourism was evident in advertisement wall throughout the room. Pictures which were familiar to my mind, beautifully displayed, the legendary Mining Boat which had been sailing for 90 years, Batu Burok Beach with its beautiful white sand and Traditional Trishaw which offered the beauty of a city tour made me impatient to be closer to downtown.

Malaysia’s tourism jargon also created an euphoria which always grew my longing for Malaysia. “Leave Malaysia” was a jargon for domestic tourism, “Malaysia Truly Asia” which was the marketing campaign of Ministry of Tourism and “Beautiful Terengganu” which was the last tourism slogan belonging to the State of Terengganu, seemed crowded to fill the arrival halls.

I arrived at Domestic Arrival Council after descending the escalator, in downstairs I found an unguarded tourism counter which allowed me to freely pick up Kuala Terengganu tourism brochures.

Like airports in general, of course this Arrival Hall was dominated by car rental counters, taxi ticket counters, souvenir shops and restaurants. There was also an ATM Area and Ticketing Counter on this floor. There were ticket counters belonging to Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia and Firefly.

While the public seating area utilized an empty space around airport poles with the presence of seats without a backrest.

Arrival Hall.
Vehicle lane in front of the arrival hall.
Sultan Mahmud Airport was so beautiful.

My intention to exploring the airport, whose its name was taken from the name of the 16th Sultan of Terengganu, made me in no hurry to leave. Now I had stepped out of the airport building to see beautiful facade of airport which was built to replace the old airport building thirteen years ago.

Crossing a lane lined with airport taxis, I began walking down a corridor with a typical Terengganu roof splitting a large parking lot. Finally at the end of corridor I could freely enjoy the beauty of this airport.

Departure Hall

To complete visitation, I stepped into Departure Hall upstairs. After all, the day after tomorrow I wouldn’t visit this airport again to go back to Kuala Lumpur. I prefered to take an interstate bus which of course offered cheaper ticket. I would buy it right away when I got to downtown later.

Using escalator, I arrived at top floor. Of course I just found a row of impenetrable check-in counters and screening-gates. I prefered to walk out of Departure Hall and enjoyed airport’s atmosphere from Drop-off Zone upstairs. Arriving outside, I found ancient cannons which were neatly arranged to decorate Departure Hall’s face.

This top floor drop-off zone was where I would wait for almost 45 minutes just to be able to enjoy airport bus service to downtown.

Parking lot seen from Departure Hall.
 Vehicle lane in front of Departure Hall.

The adventure at Sultan Mahmud Airport was completed.

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Sejenak Mengintip Bandar Udara Sultan Mahmud, Kuala Terengganu

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Dalam pencarian di dunia maya sebelum keberangkatan ke Kuala Terengganu, aku tak pernah menemukan sematan kata International pada namanya. Aku hanya terus menduga bahwa bandara yang akan kutuju ini hanyalah bandara domestik yang hanya melayani penerbangan dalam negeri.

Ternyata aku hanyalah sedikit benar, tetapi tetap saja salah besar pada ujungnya. Karena bandara ini juga menyediakan penerbangan internasional, walaupun hanya untuk keperluan haji dan umrah, yaitu penerbangan langsung menuju King Abdulaziz International Airport di Jeddah.

Kini aku melayang di atas Distrik Kuala Nerus. Sungai Terengganu nampak lamat ketika Malaysia Airlines MH 1326 perlahan menurunkan segenap flap di kedua sayap besinya. Lembaran-lembaran besi itu perlahan mendorong pesawat ke bawah menuju landas pacu tunggal milik Sultan Mahmud Airport.

Meluncur di atas landas pacu, aku disuguhkan pemandangan bangunan mungil berwarna kekuningan berdiri anggun memamerkan corak khas. Ukiran-ukiran indah pada lisplang dan ornamen kayu di sepanjang dinding bandara seakan membawaku ke pintu gerbang era kesultanan tempoe doeloe. Sedangkan atap-atap bertingkat pada pojok-pojok bandara menambah kewibawaan dan kesan klasik.

Arrival Hall

Pesawat paripurna sudah menyelesaikan tugasnya dan berhenti lembut di atas apron beralaskan beton kokoh tak berpelapis. Juluran aerobridge menyambut dan memberikan jalan untukku dan penumpang lain untuk menikmati keindahan bagian dalam bandara.

Malaysia Airlines 1326 di apron.
Koridor menuju arrival hall.

Kuning….menjadi warna keagungan Melayu yang konsisten dipamerkan. Papan kayu setinggi pinggang yang melapisi dinding membuatku serasa tak jauh dari rumah. Sementara permainan pola ubin tiga warna membuat suasana sepanjang lorong kedatangan lebih hidup.

Melangkah menuju Dewan Ketibaan Domestik, nuansa pariwisata Malaysia tampak nyata dalam iklan-iklan dinding di seantero ruangan. Gambar-gambar yang sudah familiar dibenakku, diperlihatkan dengan indahnya, Bot Penambang legendaris yang telah berlayar selama 90 tahun, Batu Burok Beach dengan keindahan pasir putihnya serta Traditional Trishaw yang menawarkan kindahan tur kota semakin membuatku tak sabaran saja berada untuk merapat ke tengah kota.

Jargon-jargon pariwisata Malaysia pun menimbulkan euforia yang selalu menumbuhkan rinduku pada Malaysia. “Cuti-Cuti Malaysia” menjadi jargon wisata domestik, “Malaysia Truly Asia” yang menjadi marketing campaign Kementrian Pariwisata dan “Beautiful Terengganu” yang menjadi slogan pariwisata terakhir milik Negara Bagian Terengganu, tampak ramai memenuhi lorong-lorong kedatangan.

Aku tiba di Dewan Ketibaan Domestik usai menuruni escalator, di lantai bawah aku menemukan konter pariwisata tak berpenjaga yang membuatku leluasa mengambil brosur-brosur pariwisata Kuala Terengganu.

Seperti bandara pada umumnya, tentu Balai Ketibaan ini di dominasi oleh konter-konter persewaan mobil, konter tiket taksi, toko souvenir dan restoran. Di lantai ini juga disediakan Area ATM dan Ticketing Counter. Tampak konter tiket milik Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia dan Firefly berada di sana.

Sementara area tempat duduk umum memanfaatkan ruang kosong di sekeliling tiang-tiang bandara dengan keberadaan tempat duduk tanpa sandaran.

Arrival Hall.
Jalur kendaraan di depan arrival hall.
Sultan Mahmud Airport yang begitu indah.

Naitku untuk mengeksplorasi bandara yang namanya diambil dari nama Sultan Terengganu ke-16 ini membuatku tak terburu-buru untuk meninggalkannya. Kini aku telah melangkah keluar dari bangunan bandara untuk melihat keindahan muka bandara yang dibangun untuk menggantikan bangunan bandara lama tiga belas tahun silam.

Menyeberangi  jalur yang dipenuhi taksi bandara, aku mulai menelusuri koridor dengan atap khas Terengganu membelah lahan parkir yang luas. Akhirnya di ujung koridor aku bisa leluasa menikmati keindahan bandara ini.

Departure Hall

Untuk menyempurnakan kunjungan, aku melangkah menuju Departure Hall di lantai atas. Toh, esok lusa aku tak akan mengunjungi bandara ini lagi demi menuju kembali ke Kuala Lumpur. Aku lebih memilih menaiki Bus Antar Negara Bagian yang tentu menawarkan tiket lebih murah. Aku akan langsung membelinya setiba di pusat kota nanti.

Menggunakan escalator, aku tiba di lantai atas. Tentu aku hanya menemukan sederetan konter check-in dan screening-gate yang tak mungkin ditembus. Aku lebih memilih berjalan keluar dari Departure Hall dan menikmati suasana bandara dari Drop-off Zone lantai atas. Setiba di luar, aku menemukan meriam-meriam kuno yang ditata apik menjadi penghias muka Departure Hall.

Drop-off zone lantai atas inilah yang nantinya menjadi tempatku menunggu selama hampir 45 menit untuk sekedar bisa menikmati jasa bus bandara menuju pusat kota.

Lapangan parkir dilihat dari Departure Hall.
Jalur kendaraan di depan Departure Hall.

Petualangan di Bandar Udara Sultan Mahmud pun rampung.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->