TERRAPURI – The Land of Palaces

Kak Em, there is one place called Terrapuri Heritage Village that you must visit because I know you like architecture,” a friend told me when we discussed about places that we had and have not been. I was quickly filled with excitement, dreaming to visit the place. One day, I was invited by Sham to join Gaya Travel team to stay at Terrapuri. I jumped at the opportunity and said yes.

My family and I travelled by car to Kampung Mangkuk, Pantai Penarik, where Terrapuri is situated. Upon reaching the place, the gate was closed. Silly me, I didn’t know that I had to pull a string to ring the bell. “Kak Em, you have to pull the string to ring the bell to call someone to open the gate,” Sham told me on the other end of the line when I called him to ask how do I enter the place. I did just that, and voila, someone opened the gate for me.

Majestic! My eyes were rolling and feasting on what I thought as a very beautiful heritage village with houses that were built more than 100 to 250 years ago. The place is set in an idyllic environment where there exists nothing between human and nature. One will certainly feel refreshed. Thoughts are sure to get uncluttered and there would definitely be an inspiration overload.

ThingsTerrapuri

Being the brainchild of Alex Lee, Terrapuri Heritage Village is a conservation and restoration project involving classic Terengganu Malay houses. There are total of 29 antique houses that were collected by Alex for over the period of 18 years. According to Alex, the layout of the heritage village is inspired by the 17th century Terengganu Palace and its surroundings.

Terrapuri villa

The antique houses manifest creative and aesthetic skills of the Malays. They were built using chengal wood with triangular shape, steep gabled roofs and odd-number staircases. The houses were also built on stilts (8 feet high) and employed the tebuk-pasak technique at the joints. The roof was made from rhomboid-shaped Singgora roof tiles while the walls were made from timber panel walls slotted into grooved frame (what the Malay calls Dinding Janda Berhias). The upper part of the walls, windows and doors are decorated with screen with beautiful woodcarving work (Kerawang or Sobek).

Types of houses here include Rumah Kedai Buluh, Rumah Paloh, Rumah Belukar Titian, Rumah Tasek, Rumah Dusun, Rumah Binjai Rendah, Rumah Tembakang, Rumah Gelugor Raja, Rumah Seberang Takir, Rumah Jeram, Rumah Kubang Jela, Rumah Nibong, Rumah Pulau Musang, Rumah Pengkalan Kubu and Rumah Sungai Mas.

kerawang2I stayed at Rumah Nibong. Although it is old, I had the benefits of the villa’s refurbished splendour and unique traditional batik (with Nibong patterns) as décor. For a hot and humid weather, air-conditioning is heaven-sent, and each house in Terrapuri comes with its own unit. My husband said that he prefers the old kampung way instead and said that the house’s natural ventilation system adequately cools and reduces humidity. I agreed but with the temperature of more than 40°C, I doubt that cooling could take place. I switched off the air-con and opened up all windows and doors. After few minutes, my husband started to sweat. He finally gave into the idea of switching on the air-conditioning unit. He switched on the ceiling fan in addition.

Although the house itself is traditional, the interior is half traditional, half modern. So just because the house is over 100 years old doesn’t mean that every piece has to be antique. I love that Alex combines preserved history and progressive design. By progressive design, I mean rain shower, wooden bathtub, bathroom amenities (WC and what not, I can’t imagine myself doing ‘business’ in the old way), hair dryer, fridge and coffee/ tea making facility. Telecommunication medium like TV and telephone is not available in this heritage village to create a real kampung ambience.

My son and I spent some time visiting the library (Rumah Pulau Rusa) and reading room that is furnished with antique furniture, some books and magazine collection, computers with internet and a congkak set. We loved it there. We also dropped by the Serengas Shop that features a handpicked selection of finest antiques, artefacts, books and crafts from Terengganu and other parts of Malaysia.

After that we went walking along the coconut-tree laden beach, admiring the beautiful view that overlooks Pulau Perhentian, Lang Tengah, Pulau Cepu, Redang and Bidong, which are all visible during a clear day.

brasspotIn addition to just feasting our eyes on the beauty of the surrounding village, we also went for refreshing coconut drinks and fried keropok lekor at the nearby food stall. We later drove to Kuala Terengganu, which is about an hour’s drive, to have our dinner.

We really had a great time at Terrapuri and wish to come back again for a family holiday. We missed the attractions nearby, namely the Fireflies Sanctuary and Setiu Wetlands, and plan to visit them soon when we return to Terrapuri.

Although the cost of staying at Terrapuri ranges from RM400 and above per night, it is worth it as the owner had spent a lot of money and time restoring the houses to make it the most beautiful place in Terengganu (perhaps in Malaysia). The best time to stay there is when it is off-season – you might just find the peace and tranquillity that you’ve been looking for. Your heart will certainly be full of joy for having a chance to travel back through time and experience the architecture of a forgotten ancient kingdom. ~EY

Translation:

Kampung – village

Rumah – house

Keropok lekor – cracker which is made primarily from a combination of dough (sago flour) and pounded fish.

tebuk-pasak – mortise and tenon

 

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38 Comments

            1. loves nasi dagang… semalam baru lepas mkn (beli di pasar malam).
              penah mkn pulut udang/panggang kat terengganu sedap sgt.
              tapi yg paling suka keropok losong… hahaha. lapar

              1. hehehe.. meleleh air liur saya… tak sabar nak balik kampung cuti hari raya haji nanti…
                kalau kat KL, orang yang meniaga biasanya tulis je keropok Losong Terengganu… padahal asalnya keropok yang entah dari mana dicedoknya… tepung je banyak… ikan sikit… lepas tu bila makan.. gatal2 gusi saya.. 🙂

                saya tengok tekstur je dah boleh beza.. jangan main2 dengan anak Ganu yang hari2 duk makan keropok lekor.. 🙂

                1. oh yela.. nasi dagang dgn nasi kerabu 😀 lamanya tak makan.. biasa beli hari ahad tapi ahad lepas kedai yg selalu beli tu tutup. kalau tempat lain, mcm tak sedap pulak. keropok lekor or losong pun lama tak makan sbb adik dah grad belajar kat Dungun. takde org lagi nak bwk blk stok keropok losong dari ganu 🙁

  1. Saya asal dari Terengganu.. tapi tak pernah pun tahu pasal Terrapuri ni….
    mungkin sebab dari kecik sampai besar hidup dalam suasana kampung macam Terrapuri, rumah2 tradisional…. hari2 turun naik… so, mungkin sebab tu, Terrapuri bagi saya hanyalah suasana tradisional yang saya rasa zaman saya kecik2 dulu….
    bagi orang2 luar yang tak pernah rasa suasana kampung, rumah2 tradisional lama, bagi mereka.. ia suatu nikmat yang dah lapuk ditelan zaman.. hehehe

    1. saya suka sangat jaja umah kayu mcm ni…
      umah mak ayah saya kat kg dah separa kayu. hihi.
      suami saya pun penah beri cadangan untuk buat rumah tradisional mcm ni… tapi kena kumpul duit la dulu.

      1. kalau orang dulu memang banyak buat rumah pakai kayu… jarang pakai batu-bata… kalau yang buat rumah pakai batu-bata.. mesti orang2 kaya je… hehehe…
        tapi kayu banyak masalah… anai-anai terutamanya..

        1. iye la. dulu batu mahal… sekarang ni dah terbalik… kayu mahal….
          near my house now theres one fully wood tradisional house (entah milik org kaya mana sbb jarang didiami), and i adore the house so much. everytime we pass by, i will slow my car and look at the house…. penah cakap dengan husband, “kalau tuan rumah tu nak jual rumah dia, kita beli nak…” hihi. my dream…

          1. Hmm.. hutan dah byk kena tebang.. sumber kayu-kayan dah berkurang.. tu yg jadi mahal. saya pernah duduk rumah kampung kat Kelantan rumah adik angkat saya. dia kata rumah tu dah 30 tahun tapi still dlm keadaan baik. beza dgn rumah family saya dulu yg batu bata pun byk anai-anai =_=

  2. antiknya Terrapuri ni. wooden bath tub sounds interesting 😉 saya pernah rasa mandi perigi je.. tu pun dah rasa mcm pengalaman yg teramat berharga sbb jarang merasa hidup di kampung 🙂

    1. saya masa kecik2 dulu rasanya hari2 main cedok air dari perigi… hehehe… tapi perigi jiran bukan perigi rumah saya.. hehehe..
      kalau tiba2 ada catuan air ke…. ramai2 angkut air dari perigi… tak ada gaduh2 berebut… owner perigi pun tak kisah…

      1. saya masa pertama kali nak cedok air dari perigi tu gayat jugak. tgk mcm dlm je. dok terbayang kalau jatuh dlm tu, mcm mana la +_+ tapi sejuk betul air perigi.. kalau mandi pagi2, mau sejuk sampai ke tulang..

      1. hehe.. yela.. terutamanya toilet. benda lain saya blh tolerate lagi kalau kurang selesa tapi kalau toilet tak ok, mmg susah hidup.

  3. Hi Kak Emila, this is my first visit here and my first comment. Thanks for sharing about this place. Will definitely go into my to-visit list 🙂

    1. where do you live? skrg dah ada LPT2, cpt sikit kot sampai 😉 saya pun dah 2 tahun tak jejak kaki ke sana walaupun kakak saya tinggal di ganu.. tunggu cuti panjang, baru blh rancang~

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