The Terengganu arts scene has been built on the highly skilled craftsmanship of its dedicated artisans producing items of handmade batik, songket, rattan, keris, brassware and wood carvings.
With Hand Drawn Batik the designs are drawn onto the fabric with hot liquid wax then brushes are used to paint dyes within the outlines thus allowing for the creation of shaded and multi-hued designs.
The Terengganu State Museum has been recorded as the largest museum in Malaysia and reputed to be the largest in SE Asia and is located in Bukit Losong, Kuala Terengganu.
It is sometimes referred to as the floating mosque because it creates the illusion that it is actually floating on the river and on days when the flow is slow it gives a beautiful reflection off the water.
Built on a floating platform in the estuary of the Terengganu River its combination of Moorish and modern Malay architecture is an inspiration to behold.
Houses of worship are often looked upon as works of art because of a certain uniqueness in design or architectural magnificence and the Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque is certainly in this category.
The Terengganu state museum consists of a further 4 adjoining attractions which are the Maritime Museum, a Fisheries Museum, 4 traditional Malay houses and botanic and herb gardens.
The Main Terrengganu Museum structure is built on 16 concrete stilts with galleries showcasing textiles and weaving techniques, traditional weapons, crafts, historical, royal regalia’s, nature, petroleum development, Islamic arts and contemporary Terengganu arts.
The Desa Craft Centre was developed by the Terengganu State Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) as part of its effort to promote Kuala Terengganu as a cultural tourist destination. The Desa Craft Centre showcases songket, brassware, batik, souvenir items and also fashion wear using the latest hot batik designs.
The making of high quality traditional keris is considered a dying art in Malaysia but a visit to the keris making centres in Kampung Pasir Panjang or Kampung Ladang Titian (both Kuala Terengganu) will allow you to see the keris forged from 8 different metals with an ornate carved handle in all its ancestral glory.
Synonymous with the Malay culture and way of life is the Keris which is a form of double edge dagger that is produced as a keris lurus (straight keris) or keris luk (meandering keris).
Traditionally designed items of Brass and Copperware are still available to this day in Terengganu arts and handicraft shops where the intricate design and artwork can be really appreciated.
The Noor Arfa Craft Complex in Kuala Terengganu specialises in the Hand Drawn method of Batik making and they are noted for selling some of the most fashionable batik in Malaysia today.
Visitors get the opportunity to witness these creative Terengganu arts in the making with local artisans showcasing the art of songket weaving, batik painting and basket weaving.
There is a wide variety of handicrafts showcased at the Malaysian Handicraft Centre including songket, batik, rattan, vases, mats, hats, wallets and bags made from the fibre of pandanus leaves.
Both methods are used in producing Terengganu batik and there are many artistic outlets selling these highly sought after handicrafts and a good place to start is the Malaysian Handicraft Centre in Chendering, Kuala Terengganu.
Block printed batik involves an artistic patterned wooden stamp that is dipped into wax and press printed onto the fabric, which is then dip-dyed.
The Terengganu artisans have taken batik making to new creative heights in taking a versatile art form to express their inspirational designs on a number of mediums including lampshades, footwear, picture frames, bed-sheets, wall paneling, paintings and other items of lifestyle design.
Another magnificent example of Islamic architecture is the Crystal Mosque in Terengganu. This is another photogenic building that captures the imagination of not just devotees of the faith but all tourists who float by on one of the various boat tours.
The Terengganu Arts Scene
It is best viewed in the evening when the setting sun turns the building into a glorious golden colour worthy of any photograph.
The two methods used to create Terengganu batik are Hand Drawn and Block Printed Batik.
Part of Terengganus' traditional legacy is Brass and Copperware making that dates back to 500bc when it is thought that Chinese visitors introduced their skills to Malaysias' East Coast.