A microcosm of Malaysia’s economic explosion: fishing village strikes oil, modernity ensues. Kuala Terengganu is surprisingly attractive despite the number of newly built (with petro-wealth), sterile-looking skyscrapers. There’s a boardwalk, a couple of decent beaches, a few old kampong-style houses hidden among the high rises, and one of eastern peninsular Malaysia’s prettiest and most interesting Chinatowns. With seafood-heavy local cuisine and good transport links, KT is worth a day or two in between the islands and jungles.

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