Moored for a Moment in Payang Memory Lane

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

After enjoying the elegance of Terengganu Drawbridge, I sat down at a Kite Bus Stop. The existence of a city bus stop on Dataran Shahbandar shows that this stretch of Pesisir Payang is the economic pulse and tourism destination of Terengganu.

Even after six hours, I have explored the right places for newcomers to know.

Many times I drank bottled mineral water to fight dehydration when more and more locals came to Pesisir Payang. Oh, I would just leave the coast when the situation got busier. Maybe the sun was starting to fall and the atmosphere would soon be cool which made this place become crowded.

Again, I measured Sultan Zainal Abidin Street with my feet heading west, bypassing the Kuala Terengganu Post Office at the main bend of a road, through the back of “Bukit Puteri” foothills which managed to instill curiosity in my heart, quickly passing Kedai Payang Market which I enjoyed a few hours ago, quickly avoiding from the dust cloud of the Kerajaan Persekutuan Project in perfecting Kedai Payang Market in the west side and arriving at the intersection right on the side of Balai Bomba dan Penyelamat Jalan Kota (fire department).

“Hmhhh….Better to find another way”, I muttered to myself for a moment. Maybe that was the best way to be able to explore the city’s treasures more. It was Kampung Cina Street which had a similar texture to the road in front of Kedai Payang Market, thick concrete with a pink paving block pattern that I finally chose.

I just realized that the smooth flow around Pesisir Payang and Kampung Cina was influenced by the presence of a five-story parking building right at the golden fork. According to the tradition of the Chinese community, Kampung Cina Street was lined with complexes of shop houses and commercial shops. As I went west, I noticed that old Chinese buildings seemed to dominate.

That time, I planned to spend the afternoon walking in the city streets to the inn, of course with a different route from my departure route this morning. Walking along Kampung Cina Street made my stomach even more hungry. The distinctive aroma of Chinese cuisine pierced my sense of smell I never gets tired of sucking it. The terrace of a row of two-story shophouses directly appeared adjacent to the street so that passing vehicles only slowly drove to maintain the safety of pedestrians.

My steps suddenly stopped because of the appearance of an alley full of artistic taste. I was standing right in front of it. Meanwhile, what could be seen inside was an arrangement of colorful umbrellas neatly arranged as the roof of the forty-meter-long alley.

“Payang Memory Lane”, I silently read the alley header. “Then there is history here”, I began to conclude.

I was in the front of the hall…
Two of the seven Chinese figures are enshrined along the hall.
View from the end of the hall.

I began to slowly enter the mouth of the alley. My gaze automatically turned to the left. Lined with reliefs of seven prominent Chinese community leaders who were said to be devoted to the Terengganu Sultanate. In that order, the names of Dato’ Tan Eng Ann (once served as Chairman of MCA Terengganu), Dato’ Toh Seng Chong (formerly served as Exco of the State Kingdom), Jang Chow Thye, SMT (formerly served as Expert of the Royal Malaysian Council), Dato’ Tok Teng Sai (formerly Terengganu MCA State Chairman), Senator Dato’ Ir. Wong Foon Meng (formerly the Lead Yang Di-Pertuan State Council), YB Toh Chin Yaw (formerly the State Executive Councilor), and Tan Sri Dato’ Lau Yin Pin (formerly the State Council Expert).

Meanwhile, mural paintings occupied the remaining stretch of walls along the hallway. The paintings depicted the richness of Kuala Terengganu’s stories, which were nicknamed Bandaraya Warisan Pesisir Air. Therefore, ocean-themed murals were very thick in this hallway.

Actually taking shelter in that three-and-a-half-meter wide alley was really very comfortable in the midst of the surrounding atmosphere which still left heat even though the sun had slipped in the west. It was just that I certainly didn’t have much time, I had to quickly step through other corners of the city before the sun really set.

So I came out of the hallway which was also known as Payang Memory Lane. Oh yes, actually there were other alleys that of course, I couldn’t visit one by one. It was Turtle Alley that tells the story of turtle conservation efforts in Terengganu, several other alleys are called Eco Lane, Seven Wonders Alley, and Lorong Haji Awang Besar.

Come on, just followed my steps…. What else would I meet in Kuala Terengganu?

Impromptu Photographer in Terengganu Drawbridge

<—-Previous Story

My eyes were getting heavy, the impact of sitting under a tree for too long, of course still in the Padang Maziah complex. Now and then the sound of car horns gave a pulse to the deserted palace garden. However, my reason still said “no”, when the heart’s intention persuaded it to immediately go to the beach.

What could I do, my eyes preferred to continue their sleep, “Who wants to be hit by the hot sun”, my reason was determined to stay for more moments in the coolness and beauty of Padang Maziah. Because of that, I was more and more confident leaning against a concrete wall that has functioned as a giant pot in that palace park. This was the first time I could sit and relax in a park out of my country.

The blink of my eyes grew tighter as the sun slowly slipped to the west. Almost half past three in the afternoon, I finally decided to get up and walked again.

I headed back down a four-lane and two-ways road heading west. Ahead there was a large city gate. Through the left side of the road, slowly but surely I was getting closer to it. The gallant city gate, straddling Sultan Zainal Abidin Street.

“Sovereign My Sultan – Hope God Keep Terengganu’s Sultan and Sultanate”, was the three-line sentence plastered above it. “Terengganu is Islamic,” I quietly thought as I stood still looking at that sentence from below.

After the gate, only a row of four-story shophouses could be seen which be built parallel to the road on its right side, while on the left side was acquired an expansive green area titled Dataran Shahbandar. It was a community park complex combined with gathering & events venues which will usually be crowded at important moments such as Ramadan, New Year, and national holidays.

Dataran Shahbandar itself covers an area of ​​ten hectares with three main sections, namely parks, plazas, and piers. From the naked eye, I could estimate that the park dominated up to 60% of the total area. Meanwhile, the plaza used for tent areas, car boot sales, or food trucks took up 30% of its portion, while the remaining area was used as the Shahbandar Jetty, which was a wooden pier used for the transportation terminal to Redang Island, which was 40 kilometers offshore.

I leisurely walked through a pedestrian path in the middle of a lush park to reach the plaza area. The spacious but quiet plaza was decorated with a signboard that reads “Bandaraya Warisan Pesisir Air”. The day after tomorrow this place would be filled with local citizens to celebrate New Year Countdown. Meanwhile, at the same time, I would be in Kuala Lumpur.

Park @ Dataran Shahbandar.
Plaza @ Dataran Shahbandar.

Meanwhile, the focal point of the New Year’s celebration the day after tomorrow would be on iconic bridges on the right side of the Dataran Shahbandar complex. It was the Terengganu Drawbridge that had become the sea gate of Kuala Terengganu. That lift bridge perfectly stretched connecting Seberang Takir Village on the north of the bridge and Ladang Padang Cicar Village on the south.

This was the first lift bridge in Malaysia, even in Southeast Asia which was only 2 years old. So I still had time to enjoy its new face that afternoon. With a length of more than 600 meters, the bridge proudly fenced off Kuala Terengganu from the vastness of the South China Sea.

And you needed to know that all of the Terengganu Drawbridge complexes, Dataran Shahbandar, and Kedai Payang Market were tied together in a management area nicknamed Pesisir Payang.

Now I was at the beach and trying to take the best picture of Terengganu Drawbridge. On the other hand, residents often came to capture themselves in various Pesisir Payang spots. I even occasionally volunteered to be an impromptu photographer for several families who wanted to capture all of their members in a picture. Of course, I was happy because I got to know so many very friendly families, and didn’t even hesitate to talk to me for a while after they found out that I was from Indonesia. Of course, my accent was easy for them to guess. In that conversation, some of them gave many references to tourist attractions that must be visited in Kuala Terengganu.

It could be said that I spent my afternoon hanging out with residents. At the end of the session, I decided to rush toward the Terengganu Drawbridge and as a result, I managed to enjoy that architectural beauty from a hundred meters away.

Terengganu Drawbridge.

Around the Terengganu Drawbridge viewpoint, five young Malaysians of Indian descent were very busy. I dared to approach them.

“Hi, I can help you to take a photo, so everyone can fit in a photo”, I offered myself with a small smile.

“It’s okay….Thanks. In a moment, let me adjust the lens setting firstly”, one of them approached me and was busy adjusting the camera settings, occasionally he peeked at the iconic bridge from his camera hole. “It’s ready”, he handed it to me.

For a while, I adjusted their positions, swapped short positions for taller ones, ordered left and right, and asked for some styles. I showed some photos to the owner of the camera until he said enough.

And as a reward….They turned to take my photo….Get ready, check it out…..Snap-Snap……..

I was….Wow

Next Story—->

Sponsored Message in Maziah Palace

<—-Previous Story

For me, visiting a country would be perfect if I were able to visit the palace of its president or king. I don’t know why the president palace or king or sultan has become a separate icon of a country. Therefore, if possible I will try my best to visit this special building. I have visited many state palaces during my journeys. Nurul Iman Palace (Bandar Seri Begawan), Grand Palace (Bangkok), Malacanang Palace (Manila), Istana Negara (Kuala Lumpur), Gyeongbok Palace (Seoul), Ōsaka-jō (Osaka), Mulee-aage Palace (Maldives) and Al Alam Royal Palace (Muscat) are some examples.

Likewise with my trip to Kuala Terengganu this time, I managed to take the time to visit the palace of Terengganu Sultanate…..Ulala, I finally added another palace collection

Unmitigated, I visited it on the first day, of course because I was afraid of missing it……

—-****—-

Exactly one-thirty on afternoon, the air was still stinging, burning the skin on my face that I had never protected. I left the gazebo which was starting to fill with locals to escape the hot sun. Makes my mood to enjoy the charm of Terengganu River no longer solemn.

I went away….

I decided to finish the curve to the west from Sultan Zainal Abidin Street which was made of concrete with a pavling block motif. Zainal Abidin himself is taken from the Sultan name of Terengganu who is currently in power.

I know that around Kedai Payang Market there is a tourist destination located right on top of a hill.

Known as the Bukit Putri which became the monitoring point of Terengganu Sultanate against enemy attacks from the ocean. While the name Puteri itself is taken from a myth that is said to tell the story of a princess living on a hill and likes to help the surrounding community.

That’s it….Bukit Putri which is being renovated.

“Where is the gate to Putri Hill, Ms? “, I asked a clothes seller at the bottom of hill.

“Closed, Sir, undergoing renovation”, she softly answered while inserting a sweet smile….. God.

Hmmhhh, how can….Finally, Bukit Puteri wasn’t crossed off from my Terengganu bucket list.

Still under the scorching sun, I rushed away from the foot of Bukit Puteri to continue my exploration.

Because actually Bukit Puteri was part of the defense of Terengganu Sultanate in the 1800s, so the existence of imperial palace wouldn’t be far from the hill. Sure enough, two hundred meters later I found the palace gate….Maziah Palace was its name.

Without hesitation, I entered the gate of four twin pillars with the imperial coat of arms in its center. The symbol is golden in color, culminated in a crown symbolizing sovereignty, in the middle is a kris crossed sword that marks the typical weapon of the sultanate, flanked by two main books, namely the sultan’s law and the Qur’an as well as the entanglement of shawl as a marker of the greatness of the sultanate.

The quiet atmosphere in front of the sultanate made me free to enjoy the palace of Terengganu Sultanate from its outer garden. The garden nicknamed Padang Maziah was more than enough for me to get asylum from the threat of the sun.

It took a little while to be able to enjoy this palace because I had to be busy with some sponsorship messages. Yupz, the sponsors which certainly helped reduce the cost of my trip. Struggling with a mini tripod, made me look busy in front of palace gate. Hope no guards kicked me out while doing that “business activity”.

Half an hour later, I could really enjoy the beauty of the palace building from Padang Maziah. Taking a seat in the shade of large trees growing around the garden, I spent my midday in that special place.

Maziah Palace Gate.
Halo RICH….
That was the palace….
Padang Maziah.
Shady……

Several young couples looked in and out of the garden area just to capture themselves in iconic places around the palace. Made me feel not alone. I deliberately lingered in Padang Maziah to wait for the sun to slip from its highest point, because my next destination was an open area which was located right in the north coast of Malaysia.

Ah sustenance wasn’t going anywhere, I never thought I could explore the coast of Malaysia…. Never thought about it before.

Next Story—->

Moored at Kedai Payang Market

<—-Previous Story

“I’m not from India, I’m from Iran”, the bunk bed neighbor’s traveler answered my question.

“Do you know where is a middle eastern salon near here?. I think I need a salon for relaxation”, he suddenly asked the receptionist and hotel owner.

I inwardly laughed at that “funny” scene that morning, a light conversation before I set out to explore Kuala Terengganu for the first time since arriving.

I rushed down the stairs to get out of The Space Inn, along Engku Pengiran Anom 2 Street, heading north, repeating the original way when heading to the inn. Of course, I went back to Air Jernih Street, met again at the intersection where Politectic Kuala Terengganu became a landmark besides PMINT Tower and retraced Masjid Abidin Street until I arrived back in east side of Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu.

The east side of Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu.
Rows of Interstate Bus ticket counters.
So here it was…. The tree just got “dressed up”……

It was just that, two hundred meters before arriving at bus terminal, I was fascinated by the art of yarn bombing which pinned colorful knitted threads to a row of trees in a side of Masjid Abidin Street’ sidewalk, right on the west side of PB Square. Make the city atmosphere more lively.

Arriving at bus terminal, I immediately struggled to find an Interstate Bus ticket to go to Kuala Lumpur the day after tomorrow.

“There are even cheaper ones, Sir?”, I joked at an Arowana Bus ticket counter staff.

“Nothing…. It’s only 43 Ringgit, Sir…. this is the cheapest”.

“Okay, I’ll take one, Sir …. For the date of 31st”.

A few minutes ago, I had secured a ticket to Kuala Lumpur, now I was a little calmer to start exploring my first destination.

Yupsz, I was going to Kuala Terengganu’s market.

That market is only a kilometer from Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu, so I decided to just walk. I slowly enjoyed the crowds around Kampung Daik Street, under the shade of roofed corridor along sidewalk, what a comfortable way to walk. My steps also had to turn right in front of Balai Bomba dan Penyelamat Jalan Kota’s Office, which were identical in color to the fire brigade offices in Jakarta (my hometown), bright red.

Now I felt reluctant to continue swinging steps due to the scorching heat of sun in the path in front of me that wasn’t longer covered. Finally, I decided to take a break at the end of covered corridor, sitting in a concrete bench, waiting for the cloud to cover the sun.

Kuala Terengganu fire department.

A few moments of waiting while enjoying the passing of local residents, the cloud was present, now the street didn’t sting anymore, I immediately took a quick step down Sultan Zainal Abidin Street. Finally, two hundred meters ahead, I arrived at Kedai Payang Market which was starting to get busy.

The Kedai Payang Market dis seem to show off its beauty, it was said that the two-year-old building functions to replace the old building that had retired.

Rows of tents with white cloth roofs stretched across market’s face, separating the parking area from commercial area. The large tents showed that  market’s interior area wasn’t enough to facilitate the bustling commerce in downtown Kuala Terengganu.

Now I’ve entered market inside which was very crowded, the stalls with red brick motifs still looked new, the alleys seemed full of visitors passing by. Several clowns and pet equipment sellers were seen cramming into several corners of stalls selling songket, batik, handicrafts and traditional snacks from Terengganu. While in the back area, it appeared that a special area was provided for a row of culinary stalls with a mainstay menu of Nasi Dagang, Laksa, Nasi Lemak and several other specialties.

Kedai Payang Market back view.
The market front.
Market atmosphere.
Rows of clothing stalls.
Culinary stalls behind the market.
Come on, first enjoy the beauty of Terengganu River!

I just kept going until I reached its backyard. Apparently that market is right on the outskirts of very clean Terengganu River. Bot Penambang (Passenger Boats) could be seen moving back and forth to mobilize Terengganu residents from a bank to another. The Bot Penambang (Passenger Boat), which is relied upon as the city’s water taxi, seems to have originalized the atmosphere of Terengganu that morning.

The beauty of the expanse of Terengganu River finally started to make me fall in love with that city and managed to tame me to just linger for a while enjoying the gentle breeze in a concrete gazebo which is part of public facilities belonging to Pasar Kedai Payang.

“Don’t be in a hurry, Donny….Sit down and enjoy”.

Next Story—->