Tioman to Kuala Terengganu

Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Sat 25 May 2024 11:18
Tioman had been a great stopover and our next main stop was to be the city of Kuala Terengganu. The river at KT is crossed by a lifting bridge which was being opened especially for us at the start of our four day visit and again at the end. If you want it opened at any other time it costs 1500MYR about £250. To coordinate our arrival we were to stop at Puala Kapas and then all sail on from there together.
There were a few places to stop on the way but only one really appealed to us, this was 
Puala Tenggol, a small island with reportedly good diving and snorkelling but with a very poor anchorage. There were said to be some mooring buoys but only two were usable by yachts, otherwise you had to anchor in deep water on small sand patches in between the coral (mega fines if you damage the coral). We decided that if we arrived off Tenggol in daylight and there was a mooring available we would stop if not we would pass it by and go straight to Kappas.
Starting from Tioman, visiting 1. Tenggol, 2. Kapas.
Clearing with the Harbour Master, Customs and Immigration was easily done on Tuesday and early Wednesday morning we left. As is normal here we had a bit of wind and we’re able to sail for 80 minutes of a 24 hour passage.
We arrived off Puala Tenggol at 06.45 just as it was getting light and could see that catamaran Lida Girl was by one of the moorings but the other was free, we were in luck and picked it up. It was probably the best of the two moorings with a thick rope tied to a wreck 20m below us, at about 7m this became a doubled up 10mm rope tied in many places and then a 6mm line as a pick up from the buoy. We passed one of our mooring warps through a loop in the 10mm rope and hoped that the weather stayed calm. The visibility in the water here was good and we could see the wreck below us. Tenggol is a dive resort with just two sets of accommodation in the bay, we snorkelled on the coral nearest to us and there was some good colour and plenty of fish, big and small. 
Snorkelling at Tenggol, it was better light in the morning and lots of fish.
Catamaran 9 Lives arrived late afternoon and picked up a mooring very close to the shore, it wasn’t a marine park mooring but nobody complained. Not wanting to overstay here and to free up the mooring for other boats we left in the morning for the relatively short sail to Kapas, and it was a sail for nearly 7 hours out of 8.
Kapas had a large Sandy anchorage and easily accommodated the rally boats, we enjoyed a couple of nice meals ashore including on Phil’s birthday, had an interesting walk and more snorkelling.
Good snorkelling at Kapas.
 Sasli, the rally organiser, came over from Terengganu on the last evening along with representatives of the marina/boatyard and tourist board to explain how our arrival and the bridge opening was to be handled and a game of ‘cricket’ was organised on the beach. 
Cricket on the beach.
We had been asked to ‘dress’ our boats for passing through the bridge at Terengganu so we had our full set of signal flags and most of our courtesy flags up as did the other boats who had flags to fly, it made quite a spectacle as we went through the bridge. There were men in traditional dress below the bridge welcoming us with horns and lots of photographers. The tourist board had gone all out to welcome us and also provided a traditional welcome in the marina and laid on a special dinner.
Dressed and approaching the bridge
On Wednesday we were given a bus tour of local sights. 
Inside the local bus, all of the bodywork is timber.
A traditional boat yard still making the local 70ft fishing boats, planked with Chengal, held together with ironwood dowels and caulked with a soft bark. 
The cultural village, where we spent so long that we didn’t have time to visit the Museum. There were demonstrations of crafts and games as well as types of traditional houses.
We then drove past an Islam theme park which was closed for rebuilding and the ferry car park for a quick view of the Kristal Mosque (no time to stop). Next was a fish products factory/shop (we didn’t bother) and at long last Chinatown to buy lunch.
The final visit was a Batik centre where we could see different methods of producing Batik’s and of course buy in their shop. This was a hand drawn and dyed piece drying, two days work for an artist.
We then had two days for doing our own thing, curtailed a bit by the time it took to deal with refuelling at the boatyard. Phil was able to fill our new gas cylinders by decanting gas from a larger cylinder. It is not possible to have foreign cylinders filled in most of Malaysia, where it is possible they do it by decanting. Phil has been given a pipe to use with a Malaysian fitting on one end and standard Aus/NZ fitting on the other. You connect the two cylinders together with the pipe, turn the local cylinder upside down and let the liquid gas flow into your empty one. When liquid comes out off the bleed valve on the side of the fitting the cylinder is full. After lunch we took a Grab into town and did a bit of essential shopping.  We were leaving our main shopping run for Friday, a big mistake. 
Kristal mosque.
Friday we visited the Kristal Mosque, very decorative made from stainless steel and glass. Then headed into town to go shopping for food. Friday is the most religious day of the week and all Muslim men must go to the mosque for afternoon prayers. We are very used to this but nowhere else have we experienced everything closing. Here in Terengganu even the main doors of the malls were shut.  We had decided to go for a coffee before starting to shop, this turned into a very nice lunch as it was about time. Then just as we entered the supermarket they started closing up, we walked to a nearby mall, all of the doors were shut until 2.30. All we could do was wait.
Saturday was departure day and we exited through the bridge and headed for our next destination.