A ‘Rumah Bujang’ that has been restored to its former
glory at the Terrapuri Heritage Village in Kampung
SETIU: A high-end resort that combines Terengganu’s
uni-que architectural heritage with all the latest
modern conveniences is set to open its doors next year.
The Terrapuri Heritage Village in Kampung Mangkok is
said to be the first of its kind in the state.
In a 19-year labour of love, tour operator Alex Lee, the
managing director of Ping Anchorage, has spent close to
RM2 million buying 28 traditional Terengganu Malay
houses, such as the "Rumah Bujang" and "Rumah Berserambi
Terengganu". Some are being restored, and some are being
reconstructed using old building materials, some up to
200 years old, that Lee has salvaged.
The layout of the resort is inspired by the 19th century
palace of Sultan Mansur II and its surrounding
buildings. Nineteen of the houses will be turned into
villas and seven will be used as a restaurant, a spa and
a gallery displaying Terengganu artifacts and crafts.
Construction is 60 per cent complete and should be
finished by September.
Lee said he was inspired to build the resort after the
state government demolished a traditional guest house in
Marang in 1994.
"I’ve always had a passion for history and I noticed
that many of my clients did too. After the demolition of
the Marang guest house, many western tourists stopped
visiting the town.
"The state has such a colourful history. And every piece
of architecture here is meaningful. I wanted to give it
a new lease on life," he told the New Straits Times.
Each unit is made of cengal wood and is being restored
using traditional methods. No nails are used, only
wooden pegs call "pasak".
"I want both the tourists and workers to feel the
essence of the buildings," he said.
Each unit will have boards explaining the design of the
houses and their carvings.
Not only is the "Terengganu Palace" unique
architecturally but it is also located right near a
painted terrapin sanctuary. Last year, about 200 green
turtles landed on the nearby beach to lay their eggs.
And the mangrove swamp behind the resort is home to fire
Combine that with stunning views of Pulau Perhentian,
Lang Tengah, Redang and Bidong and the small resort
could be one of the jewels in Terengganu’s tourism