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Jewel in Terengganu’s tourism crown

2007/05/18

By : Sean Augustin

A ‘Rumah Bujang’ that has been restored to its former glory at the Terrapuri Heritage Village in Kampung Mangkok.

A ‘Rumah Bujang’ that has been restored to its former glory at the Terrapuri Heritage Village in Kampung Mangkok.

SETIU: A high-end resort that combines Terengganu’s uni-que architectural heritage with all the latest modern conveniences is set to open its doors next year. The Terrapuri Heritage Village in Kampung Mangkok is said to be the first of its kind in the state.

In a 19-year labour of love, tour operator Alex Lee, the managing director of Ping Anchorage, has spent close to RM2 million buying 28 traditional Terengganu Malay houses, such as the "Rumah Bujang" and "Rumah Berserambi Terengganu". Some are being restored, and some are being reconstructed using old building materials, some up to 200 years old, that Lee has salvaged.

The layout of the resort is inspired by the 19th century palace of Sultan Mansur II and its surrounding buildings. Nineteen of the houses will be turned into villas and seven will be used as a restaurant, a spa and a gallery displaying Terengganu artifacts and crafts.

Construction is 60 per cent complete and should be finished by September.

Lee said he was inspired to build the resort after the state government demolished a traditional guest house in Marang in 1994.
"I’ve always had a passion for history and I noticed that many of my clients did too. After the demolition of the Marang guest house, many western tourists stopped visiting the town.

"The state has such a colourful history. And every piece of architecture here is meaningful. I wanted to give it a new lease on life," he told the New Straits Times.

Each unit is made of cengal wood and is being restored using traditional methods. No nails are used, only wooden pegs call "pasak".

"I want both the tourists and workers to feel the essence of the buildings," he said.


Each unit will have boards explaining the design of the houses and their carvings.

Not only is the "Terengganu Palace" unique architecturally but it is also located right near a painted terrapin sanctuary. Last year, about 200 green turtles landed on the nearby beach to lay their eggs. And the mangrove swamp behind the resort is home to fire flies.

Combine that with stunning views of Pulau Perhentian, Lang Tengah, Redang and Bidong and the small resort could be one of the jewels in Terengganu’s tourism crown.

 

Ping Anchorage Travel & Tours Sdn. Bhd.
77A, Jalan Sultan Sulaiman, 20000 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia.
Tel : (609) 626 2020  Fax : (609) 626 2022 / 622 8093 E-mail :
patrvl@tm.net.my
(KPL/LN2117 / 209874W)

 

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