A street with two names in Kuala Terengganu’s Chinatown

kuala terengganu

[I haven’t written a lot about my last Visit Malaysia trip which I did with my friend Debbie. As a break from my past posts about my round-the-world trip, I’d like to take you to Kuala Terengganu.]

When I was in Kuala Terengganu, I was surprised to find that the street passing through Chinatown had two names: Jalan Bandar (City Street) and Jalan Kampung China (Chinese Village Street). If someone told me this sooner, I might have felt less anxiety when I was searching for a food outlet.

When preparing for our trip to the east coast of Malaysia, Debbie scouted a list of food places to check out. Among the eateries was Madam Bee’s Kitchen in Kuala Terengganu’s Chinatown which specializes in Peranakan food.

On Madam Bee’s website, her address was Jalan Kampung Cina so I set that location on my Google Map.

Detour from Madam Bee’s

When we arrived in Kuala Terengganu, we were famished so we decided to head to Madam Bee’s. All was well as we walked to the street, based on my Google Map app.

We decided to get of the map and turn into a very Chinese street. The whole road was over-the-top Chinese with many lanterns and colorful walls. It was already a month after Chinese New Year so I don’t think the deco were put up for the festival.

End of Kuala Terengganu Chinatown
End of Kuala Terengganu Chinatown

While on the street, I kept checking my Google Maps app to see if we were on the right street. The apps showed that we were on Jalan Bandar so I thought that we might run into Jalan Kampung Cina if we just keep on walking.

We walked and walked. It didn’t help that the only sign I looked at listed Jalan Bandar.

Sign with Jalan Bandar
Sign with Jalan Bandar

I was quite embarrassed that I’ve brought us to the wrong place.

Then suddenly, we saw Madam Bee’s Kitchen with its prominent sign. Hurray!

Madam Bee's Kitchen at Kuala Terengganu's Chinatown
Madam Bee’s Kitchen at Kuala Terengganu’s Chinatown

I also saw that one of the road signs kept the old name Jalan Kampung Cina.

Jalan Kampung Cina sign at Kuala Terengganu Chinatown
Jalan Kampung Cina sign at Kuala Terengganu Chinatown

Sights from Kuala Terengganu’s Chinatown

The only thing I knew about Terengganu was that it has a large Malay population so I was curious about Kuala Terengganu’s Chinatown.

The street had many Chinese-influenced shop houses but since it was a public holiday period, I didn’t see a lot of inhabitants.

Kuala Terengganu Chinatown shophouses
Kuala Terengganu Chinatown shophouses
Retro hair saloon sign at Kuala Terengganu Chinatown
Retro hair saloon sign at Kuala Terengganu Chinatown
Reflection of Kuala Terengganu Chinatown
Reflection of Kuala Terengganu Chinatown

Do you know any streets with two names?

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Glutton in east coast of Peninsula Malaysia

Food in east coast Peninsula Malaysia keropok lekor, tapai, nasi kerabu, patin

D and I visited the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia during a 5-day trip in March. We crossed out Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan (again) off our list of 13 Malaysian states.

Five days is a lot of food so I will only be highlighting some of the best yummies we had.

Glutton in Kuantan, Pahang

We visited only Kuantan while in Pahang. On our first day, we visited the famous Akob Patin House which was (almost) right behind our hotel.

The Malay eatery is a medium standalone stall/house. It serves ready-cooked food for customers to scoop into their own plates.

The most famous dish there is their patin fish. I got a small piece cooked in tempoyak (fermented durian). The fish melted in my mouth but the fermented durian tasted strange (sort of like stinky tofu in Taiwan).

D found something strange in her plate of mixed rice. The strange food looked like a sliced cucumber but was mushy. Then D discovered that it was green durian cooked in curry. BANANA COOKED IN ITS SKIN!!

For dessert, there was tapai which was sticky glutinous rice wrapped in leaf. Sticky liquid dripped out. It turned out to be rice wine which was really strong and hit me in the head. BAM.

Find Akob Patin House: Tapak PCCL Jalan Besar 25000 Kuantan Pahang

Glutton in Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu

Madam Bee's Kitchen

In Chinatown of Kuala Terengganu, Madam Bee’s Kitchen serves peranakan food. D and I head there for a late lunch and tea on different days.

Some of the items on the menu were not available that day (watch out for the orange round sticker!)

The food was tasty but very down-to-earth. The menu did not have fancy peranakan food such as buah keluak or kong ba pao.

Find Madam Bee’s Kitchen: 177 Jalan Kampung Cina, Kuala Terengganu 21100, Malaysia

D and I stumbled upon Warung Pak Aziz while looking for breakfast in Kuala Terengganu. (McDonalds was not open until 9am!)

This little stall was in the middle of a carpark, next to office buildings. All the patrons looked like office people and we were the odd one out.

The best food here was the keropok lekor which was a deep fried fish cake. (I usually think of keropok as being thin.)

The owner, Pak Aziz, was delighted that D wanted to have another serving of keropok lekor. (Yes, I ate a lot of them too.)

Warung Pak Aziz address on Foursquare: Parking Kotitab

Glutton in Kota Bahru, Kelantan

Right opposite our hotel in Kota Bahru was a 24-hour hawker center. For our late-late-lunch, we had martabak and nasi air.

Martabak is a pancake-like dish with great filling. I had beef with mine.

Nasi air was a new discovery for D and I. It’s an interesting porridge-like bowl of rice and soup. The rice always seem to be in an interesting lump, instead of the watery grains found in Chinese cooking.

Have you had any of these dishes?

Heading to Malaysia’s East Coast

River seen from door of Jungle train

It’s been more than a year since I made the promise to visit all 13 Malaysian states. Now, I have only two states to conquer.

Can you believe it? I didn’t really think it was possible when I made the goals but here we are with only Pahang and Terengganu left on the list.

Good news is, I’ll be crossing out these two states very soon. D and I have made plans to head to the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia and visit the towns in the two states.

Next Friday night, I’ll be taking a night bus to Kuantan. The rest of the plans have not been confirmed but our general plan is to head to Kuala Terrenganu and back to Kota Bahru.

From Kota Bahru, we will take a morning train back to Singapore. The train route is known as the Jungle Line and has a great view. I’m looking forward to the magnificent view but not the 14 hour train ride on a seat.

I haven’t discussed the itinerary with D but I’ll list a few interesting places which I hope to check out.



When I was in primary school, I did a project on Kuantan but I still get it mixed up with Kelantan because the name sounds so similar.

Kuantan is famous for its nature stuff like beaches and waterfalls. I’m not sure how much nature we would be seeing but it’s a good-to-know.

State Mosque, Kuantan
State Mosque, Kuantan

Image credit: Phalinn Ooi


When I first found out about Pekan, I was very amused by its name. In Malay, “pekan” means town. And this town’s name is Pekan. Imagine a town called town. Haha!

After I calmed down, I read a little more about Pekan (on Wikipedia). Turns out, it’s the royal town of Pahang and the hometown of our current prime minister (which means this place gets a lot of perks!)

Masjid Sultan Abdullah, Pekan, Pahang
Masjid Sultan Abdullah, Pekan, Pahang

Image credit: Shamsul Liza


Poor Terengganu, despite having so much land, it is most famous for its islands and beaches (which isn’t too bad, I guess).

Kuala Terengganu

The state museum is said to be really good. (I’m still hurting from the not-that-awesome museum in Alor Setar.)

Terengganu State Museum
Terengganu State Museum

Image credit: macloo

I am interested in the Chinatown. Terengganu is one of the muslim dominant states, I’m curious how the Chinese community lives. (This brings back memories of the kopitiam in Perlis where the shopowner was Chinese and the stalls owner was muslim. I couldn’t figure out their living arrangements.)

Kuala Terengganu Chinatown
Kuala Terengganu Chinatown

Image credit: kayb_82

Jungle Rail

The train ride to end all train rides in Malaysia. (Is that how you use the phrase?)

River seen from door of Jungle train
River seen from door of Jungle train

You know what long train rides mean? PICNIC!!

Image credit: Albert Freeman

Have you been to Pahang and Terengganu? What do you recommend doing there?