Chinatown of Kuala Terengganu

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to take photos of Chinatown of Kuala Terengganu. The lighting and weather on that day were very favourable to me. The fine weather and clear sky in the early morning resulted in beautiful lighting with warm cast as well as flattering constrast.

The history of Kuala Terengganu Chinatown dates back to the 15th century while the existing buildings that are still around boast more than 200 years of history. Kuala Terengganu’s tiny Chinatown is a compact area centred on Jalan Kampung Cina (also known as Jln Bandar). It’s home to the usual array of small Chinese shops and restaurants, as well as Terengganu’s oldest Chinese temple, the Ho Ann Kiong, dating from the early 1800s, though much restored since.

Kuala Terengganu Chinatown was first established by the Chinese community in the late 18th century. It was once a hub for commercial activities that helped shape Kuala Terengganu into what it is today. The Chinese built the traditionally designed shop houses according to their place of origin in Mainland China. The buildings have been declared a heritage site by the United Nation’s UNESCO under its World Monument Watch Programme to ensure beautification and preservation of this pre-colonial heritage.

The Chinese have been living harmoniously with the majority Malays in the state. They blend with the local culture and heritage, speak fluent local dialect and share the likings of traditional delicacies while retaining their identity. Souvenir shops, restaurants, electronic and grocery shops lined the colourful buildings. It is also home to two grand temple or toapekongs, the Ho Ann Kiong and the Tien Hou Kong.

To all my Chinese friends and Chinese readers, I wish all of you a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year. Gong Xi Fa Chai.

The entrance of Kuala Terengganu Chinatown

The entrance of Kuala Terengganu Chinatown

Kuala Terengganu Chinatown in the early morning

Kuala Terengganu Chinatown in the early morning

Kuala Terengganu Chinatown is bathed in the warm low-angled light of the beautiful early morning sun light

Kuala Terengganu Chinatown is bathed in the warm low-angled light of the beautiful early morning sun light

A shophouse bearing Art Deco architectural style

A shophouse bearing Art Deco architectural style

One of the shophouses in Kuala Terengganu Chinatown with Utilitarian architectural style

One of the shophouses in Kuala Terengganu Chinatown with Utilitarian architectural style

One of the shophouses with Neoclassical architectural style mixed with Chinese-influenced motiffs

One of the shophouses with Neoclassical architectural style mixed with Chinese-influenced motiffs

Beautiful and cartoonish

Beautiful and cartoonish

Another gaily decorated shophouse

Another gaily decorated shophouse

Whitewashed windows

Whitewashed windows

Classic and typical Chinese shop

Classic and typical Chinese shophouse

A brick shophouse is attached to a more traditional wooden shophouse in the same row of shophouses

A brick shophouse is attached to a more traditional wooden shophouse in the same row of shophouses

A more plain and less decorated wooden shophouse exists side-by-side with the opulent ones.

A more plain and less decorated wooden shophouse exists side-by-side with the opulent ones.

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