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International Squid Jigging Festival 2015 Terengganu

Terengganu, Malaysia or 登嘉楼 in Chinese or Trangkanu by the Siamese is situated in north-eastern Peninsular Malaysia.

It consist of 300 islands but only 6 of the islands are re-developed for recreational activities. Also, 70% of petroleum in Malaysia is exported from Terengganu.

According to Wikipedia there is an interesting history on how the name was being formed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terengganu

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“There are several theories on the origin of the name ‘Terengganu’. One theory attributes the name’s origin to terang ganu, Malay for ‘bright rainbow‘.[3] Another story, said to have been originally narrated by the ninth Sultan of Terengganu, Baginda Omar, tells of a party of hunters from Pahang roving and hunting in the area of what is now southern Terengganu. One of the hunters spotted a big animal fang lying on the ground. A fellow party member asked to which animal did the fang belong. The hunter, not knowing which animal, simply answered taring anu (Malay: ‘fang of something’). The party later returned to Pahang with a rich hoard of game, fur and sandalwood, which impressed their neighbours. They asked the hunters where did they source their riches, to which they replied, from the land of taring anu, which later evolved into Terengganu.[3] Terengganu was called Trangkanu by the Siamese when it was under their influence.

The traditional Chinese name for Terengganu has been “丁加奴” (Pinyin: dīngjiānú), which is a direct transliteration of the Malay name. However, in recent years, the Chinese community in Terengganu has raised objections to the name, citing that the characters used loosely translate to “giving birth to a child who will become a slave” (Chinese: 丁加). Therefore, they successfully petitioned the regulatory commission for Chinese language in Malaysia to change the Chinese name for the state to “登嘉楼” (Pinyin: dēngjiālóu), which can be loosely translated to “aspiring/stepping up to a higher level”, in September 2004. It is worth noting, however, that the new name has been in unofficial use by the state’s Chinese society for at least 30 years before its official adoption.”

There are certain segments of the Chinese society who opposed to the name change, citing the fact that the new name contains too many character strokes, making it much more difficult to write. They have proposed to revert the name back to the version used before 2004, but with the word “” (slavery, which was mainly the cause of the controversy) to the similar sounding, but more positive “” (perseverance).”

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According to our tour guide, 95% of the population are Malay, which explains the strong Malay cultural influences and traditions. Congkak , top spinning, traditional martial arts, kite competition are some of the rich malay culture activities that we got to experience during the Setiu Cultural Fest at Pantai Peranginan Rhu 10.

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We visited the largest Museum in Malaysia to soak into Terengganu’s rich heritage. Of course a heritage or cultural tour in Terenggananu won’t be deem as fulfilled if you have yet to visit the Crystal Mosque or Masjid Kristal, an impressive structure made up of mainly, steel, glass and crystal.

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The night came alive as we experience the heritage and culture of the Chinese/ Peranakan-(which makes up of 5% of the population in Terengganu)

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Organised by the Terengganu Chinese Chambers of Commerce with support from Terengganu State government, The Peranakan Festival is not to be missed. The narrow street lined with shop houses that were crafted with a mix of Chinese and Malay architecture. The brightly and colourful lights on each of the stall together with the bustling crowds and awesome performance such as dragon and lion dance liven up the small community of Terengganu.

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If land activities are not your cup of tea, head on down to Muara Kuala Baru, Kampung Mangkuk jetty and experience the joy of mussel picking.

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Brave hearts who are all ready to get out to the open sea, consider squid jigging and soak into the beauty of the open sea and the magnificient sight the sunset.

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However do be prepare your sea sick pills for those who are prone to motion sickness. To add on for those with several drug allergies, do consider the pills that are made from natural ingredients such as ginger roots.

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As we departed from the shore and into the open sea, the gentle movements turned choppy and the waves in the open sea were hitting against the sides of our boat. There were moments that we felt like we could be devoured by the sea waves.  Despite the rough conditions and coaching with language barrier- as most of the fishermen on board the boat spoke little english, (We were like having a little game of charade onboard.) we are glad to have experienced the squid jigging session.

Anyway, here’s a snippet information for those who are totally clueless about motion sickness, do note that motion sickness has nothing to do with age, it has more to do with the tolerance level of an individual. So if you are an elderly and all gearing up for squid jigging, we say go on and experience it but do be careful of the rough seas.

As according to http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com/disorders/central/motion.htm

“Motion sickness is common and normal. Nearly anyone can be made motion sick by an appropriate stimulus, except for individuals with no vestibular system (William James). According to Benson, nearly 100% of (human) occupants of life rafts will vomit in rough seas. 60% of student aircrew members suffer from air sickness at some time during their training. For vertical motion (heave), oscillation at a frequency of about 0.2 hz is the most provocative. Motion at 1 Hz is less than 1/10th as provocative. About 7% of seagoing passengers report vomiting during a journey (Lawther and Griffin, 1988). In a large study done in India, the prevalence of motion sickness was about 28%, and females were more susceptible (27%) were more susceptible than males (16.8%). However this statistic is obviously dependent on how you define motion-sickness as nearly anyone can be made sick by motion, if it is vigorous enough. Individuals with more active occupations are less susceptible (Sharma, 1997). In medical transport personnel, 46% of personnel reported nausea and 65%, the Sopite syndrome (sleepiness caused by motion). (Wright, 1995)”

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We were well rewarded for our squid jigging experience as we were greeted with a feast of BBQ seafood. The freshness of the seafood was beyond words.

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Redang island with its azure water, surrounded by pristine white sand was awesome. We had immense fun snorkeling and swimming past the marine creatures.  It is to no surprise that Redang island is one of the top 20 beaches in the world.

All right readers, let’s head on back to shore and allow us to walk you through more land activities again.

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After an hour or more of bus ride and a 10 mintues boat ride, we arrived at Kenyir water theme park Aside for its inflatable water slide as well as inflatable obstacles, the water play area strike a seemingly resemblance of what residents in Singapore could experience from the vicinity of their home at various shopping malls.

Perhaps more facilities will be up and ready, as what we were told by the tour guide and a bridge construction that links from the shore of Pulau Poh to Kenyir water theme park was visible too.

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We followed the “sound of elephants trumpeting” and after an enjoyable walk on the suspending bridges at Kenyir Elephant conservation, we got up close and personal with elephants and were well entertained by their remarkable performance.

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We ended the week’s activities with another round of squid jigging. As we were still feeling unwell from the previous round, we opted out. We were told by our teammate who boarded that the sea condition for the second was rather favourable but the boat that they were onboard caught zero squids still. We guess, luck do play an important factor while jigging. So wear your lucky suit too if you are considering squid jigging at Terengganu.

So here we are back in Singapore, bringing back the “jiggles” from the squid jigging session as well as delectable delights from Terengganu.

Squid Jigging Tours

Do you want to experience squid fishing in Terengganu? Squid jigging tours can be arranged by tour agencies and resorts in Kuala Terengganu. A squid jigging trip costs approximately MYR 220 per person for a minimum group of six, inclusive of fishing boat, jetty transfers, driver-cum-guide, and squid jigging gear. If you are prone to seasickness, take medication and bring a sickness bag, as the waters off Terengganu can be rough.

For more information on squid jigging tours in Terengganu, please contact Tourism Terengganu at 9F Wisma Darul Iman, Kuala Terengganu 20503; Tel. no. +60 96262020; Fax no. +60 96262022; Email : info@terengganutourism.com.

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Accommodation: Some readers might be wondering about the accommodation for Terengganu. We decide to leave our comments at various hotel booking sites such as Agoda, booking.com.. etc as that will be a fairer option.

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Photos by : Ryan Ryko

Squid Jigging Festival 2015

This blog post was made possible through the Terengganu International Squid Jigging Festival 2015, a media event held last June 2 to 7, 2015 in Terengganu, Malaysia. The event was organized by Tourism Terengganu and media coordinator, Gaya Travel Magazine.

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