Monday, July 25, 2011

Chukai, Kemaman, Terengganu

 Kemaman map

Terengganu has a beautiful coastal road that takes you through most of the fishing ports and cities in the state. Kemaman district expanded considerably during the economic boom of the mid-90s, when the housing projects mushroomed overnight. Modern shops replaced the picturesque old wooden shops and roads have been widened to accommodate increased traffic. But the economic slowdown has left a clear mark on cities. 

Aside from a stop to refuel and for certain foods, Kemaman has little to offer. Kemaman Port is the main port where large tankers anchor and not too far away, Star Cruises dock at their private dock near the station Awana Kijal. Star Cruise is a luxury liner that sails frequently along the coast of Terengganu on the way to Phuket, Thailand.

Awana Kijal Resort

The first excise and customs department on the east cost was set up at Chukai because of the busy port at the estuary. Chukai means 'tax' in Malay. However, the beauty of Chukai's old town has been reduced to a few landmarks here and there but not impressive enough to make one stay.

 Mercu Tanda Kemaman

Just on the outskirts of town, along the river sits a little fishing village little known to outsiders. The tiny river jetty is often crowded with colourful Terengganu fishing boats. Noises from fishermen sailing in after a day's catch can be heard from afar, blown in with the sea breeze. During the hot afternoons, the fishermen are seen mending their nets and traps under the shady trees nearby.

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