These Old Photos Of Terengganu Show A Fishing Village Stuck In Time

For those unfamiliar with the state of Terengganu in Malaysia, it is the place you stop at to go to Pulau Redang, Pulau Lang Tengah and Pulau Kapas. While tourism booms and big fancy resorts are developed on those famed islands, the mainland of Terengganu stood still in time as seen in the beautiful archived photos below.

Tanjong Chenering (Kampung Chendering as it is known today) captured in the 1950s: 

Fishing boats gathered on the beach at Tanjong Chenering near Terengganu (Pic credit: © IWM [TR 3390] )
Fishing boats gathered on the beach at Tanjong Chenering near Terengganu (Pic credit: © IWM [TR 3390] )
Fishermen beaching their boat at Tanjong Chenering near Terengganu (Pic credit: © IWM [TR 3391])
Fishermen beaching their boat at Tanjong Chenering near Terengganu (Pic credit: © IWM [TR 3391])

Tourists didn’t start arriving in Terengganu until the 1970s. The 1950s was a time where Terengganu was truly unspoilt with leatherback turtles abound. At 244KM-long, Terengganu has the longest coastline in Peninsular Malaysia.

Malayan women drying fish. (Pic credit: © IWM [TR 3386])
Malayan women drying fish (Pic credit: © IWM [TR 3386])
Working on the boats ashore (Pic credit: © IWM [TR 3388])
Working on the boats ashore (Pic credit: © IWM [TR 3388])

Before the proliferation of electric motorboats, the fishermen of Terengganu built their own boats. Intricately carved wooden boats known as bangau could be found in the harbour of every village and town.

Malayan women drying fish (Pic credit: © IWM [TR 3384])
Malayan women drying fish (Pic credit: © IWM [TR 3384])
Fishermen in their boats by the shore (Pic credit: © IWM [TR 3383])
Fishermen in their boats by the shore (Pic credit: © IWM [TR 3383])

Terengganu was one of the poorest states in Malaysia. Agriculture and fishing were the main economic activity as the sea and land were rich in resources.

Marang town and Pulau Kabu captured in the 1980s: 

An old photo of Marang town in the 80s. (Pic credit: Majlis Daerah Marang)
An old photo of Marang town in the 80s (Pic credit: Majlis Daerah Marang)

Terengganu Tourism describes Marang as “once a tiny fishing village with only two rows of zinc-roofed wooden houses in the town centre”. The village is separated from the town by a shallow river. Marang was also known as a cowboy town back in the days.

The coastline in Marang (Pic credit: Majlis Daerah Marang)
The coastline in Marang (Pic credit: Majlis Daerah Marang)
A boat on the coastline in Marang (Pic credit: Majlis Daerah Marang)
A boat on the coastline in Marang (Pic credit: Majlis Daerah Marang)

When tourists started arriving in Terengganu in the 1970s, Marang became a quick stopover before the pristine islands.

A small village on Pulau Kabu (Pic credit: Majlis Daerah Marang)
A small village on Pulau Kabu (Pic credit: Majlis Daerah Marang)
Pulau Kabu (Pic credit: Majlis Daerah Marang)
Pulau Kabu (Pic credit: Majlis Daerah Marang)

In 1974, offshore oil was discovered in the waters of Terengganu. This gave the sleepy fishing village a significant development in its economic, technology and social structure.

Pulau Kabu, Marang (Pic credit: Majlis Daerah Marang)
Pulau Kabu, Marang (Pic credit: Majlis Daerah Marang)
The streets in Marang (Pic credit: Majlis Daerah Marang)
The streets in Marang (Pic credit: Majlis Daerah Marang)

The combination of oil and tourism led an exponential development in Marang. Old houses were demolished and replaced by modern concrete shop lots, leaving only the fishing village.

AT_7
Terengganu in the 1980s

Now compare these with archived photos of Kuala Lumpur from the 70s. Read: This Family’s Holiday Photos Of Kuala Lumpur From 1975 Will Make You Nostalgic

Kuala Terengganu, Kampung Nelayan Seberang Merang and Kampung Jambu Bongkok captured in 2016:

terengganu1
Repairing fishing net in the afternoon (Pic credit: Kelvin Chan Photo)
terengganu2
Afternoon at Kampong Nelayan Seberang Merang, Terengganu (Pic credit: Kelvin Chan Photo)

Terengganu’s main industry today is petroleum, gas and tourism. However, agriculture, fishing and crafts remain an inseparable part of the villager’s life. Their lifestyle is one that is deep in tradition and culture.

Catch of the day in Terengganu (Pic credit: Kelvin Chan Photo)
Catch of the day in Terengganu (Pic credit: Kelvin Chan Photo)
terengganu4
Boats that have seen better days abandoned at Kampong Nelayan Seberang Merang (Pic credit: Kelvin Chan Photo)

From fishing, building boats to creating traditional crafts like wau (Malaysian kite) and batik, Terengganu villagers still live the simple, traditional lifestyle. 

terengganu5
Dehusking coconuts in Kampung Jambu Bongkok, Terengganu (Pic credit: Kelvin Chan Photo)
terengganu6
Traditional hand crafted boat in Kuala Terengganu (Pic credit: Kelvin Chan Photo)

Idyllic fishing villages are still standing among coconut trees along the coastline, men still go out on fishing boats to cast their nets, women still make delicious keropok lekor (traditional Malay fish cracker snack). 

terengganu7
Boat making in progress in Terengganu (Pic credit: Kelvin Chan Photo)

terengganu8

Despite industrialisation and development, Terengganu has managed to retain its all its rustic charms. If you only go to Terengganu to laze on its islands, you should plan to spend some time on the mainland. Visit the charming coast and experience a fishing village that is stuck in time.

H/T: Amazing Terengganu, Tourism Terengganu

 

PageEnd2

Read next: 

mimimahsud brunei guiltfreeholidaysmall

How To Discover Travel Differently, With Mimi Mashud’s Beautiful Hand-Drawn Travelogues

Brunei Is Southeast Asia’s Most Underrated Travel Destination

Guilt-Free Holiday: 10 Best Ethical Travel Destinations Of 2016

 
Get the latest travel stories from Zafigo. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
 
Mei Mei Chu
Mei Mei writes to afford her wanderlust. Her (mis)adventures as a solo female backpacker have shown her the best and worst in mankind, and some of the funkiest toilets in the world. Read her honest travel stories at www.meimeichu.com.

What Do You Think?



You May Also Like

julentto-photography-364077 (1)

Forbes’ List Of Budget Travel Destinations For 2018

Get a head start in planning your budget friendly 2018 travel adventures. (Or gain a little inspiration at least.)
averie-woodard-111831 (1)

Last Chance To Sight S.E.A With Traveloka

All you have to do is sign up for Traveloka and log in to access all deals, rewards and more.
julian-gentilezza-414681 (1)

How Soon Is Too Soon To Go On A Couple Vacation?

Do you have a rulebook you play by when it comes to the couple vacay?