Blessed with breathtaking beauty, Terengganu is a land steeped in ancient traditions.
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Located on the East coast of Malaysia, Terengganu epitomizes the best of traditional Malaysia – quiet countryside, a beautiful coastline dotted with idyllic villages, and the casual and tranquil pace of a life without worry. The state is blessed with beauty, with a string of beaches stretching almost unbroken all along its coast. If that was not enough, some of the loveliest islands of Malaysia lie within the waters of the state, including the Perhentian islands and the highly acclaimed Redang Island.
Terengganu is also a state proud of its traditional heritage and views itself as the birthplace of Islam for Malaysia. Age old Malay customs and traditions are still very much a way of life here, and local art forms and games are lovingly preserved and practiced by many. Local performances and demonstrations of the traditional arts are common throughout the state. The warmth of the people here is well known, and visitors to the state often are charmed by the gentle nature of Malay hospitality.
The state takes its role as a bastion of Islam rather seriously and the is home to a few Islamic themed attractions, including the most recent Islamic Civilization Park, which showcases replicas of the world's most exquisite examples of Islamic architecture. This mixture of strong traditions and natural wonders, including Kenyir Lake, a breathtaking man made lake in the state's interior, make Terengganu one of Malaysia's top tourist destinations.
Although not much is known about the early settlements in Terengganu, its strategic location along the coast of the South China Sea made it a part of the trade routes that existed during the ancient times. Historians note that Terengganu traded extensively with the Majapahit and the Khmer Empire, as well as the Chinese whilst under the influence of Srivijaya. There is also evidence that suggests a kingdom in Terengganu had embraced Islam as its main religion as early as the 14th century.
The modern Terengganu Sultanate, however, began in 18th century under the rule of Tun Zainal Abidin, who was said to be a member of the Johor royal family. Johor's influence over Terengganu would wane and be replaced by Siam in the 19th century. Terengganu grew and prospered during its time as a vassal state of Siam, which was marked by yearly tributes of bunga mas, a bouquet of gold flowers, to the Siamese King.
Siamese influence in Terengganu finally came to an end in 1909, when the British took control of the state under the terms of the Bangkok Treaty. A British advisor was elected to advise the Sultan, and Terengganu was reorganised as one of the Unfederated Malay States soon after. After the end of World War II, Terengganu would become a founding member of the Federation of Malaya in 1948.