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Terrapuri Heritage Village, Terengganu

By Bella Enveeus

Terrapuri Heritage Village

“The Land Of Palaces” or better known as Terrapuri (“Terra” is land in Latin & “Puri” is palaces in Sanskrit) is a project restoring 29 antique Malay houses aged between 150-200 years old. Nestled between the South China Sea and the mangrove river Setiu Wetland, it is only a short walking distant to enjoy the sea breeze and inviting blue ocean opposite the heritage village. As you rest under the shade amidst the coconut trees, you can see Perhentian Islands, Lang Tengah Island, Cepu Island, Redang and Bidong Islands in the distant.

Lucky for me, I got to stay in one of these beautiful “palaces” in Terrapuri Heritage Village and get to enjoy the scenery and cultural existence here.

History of Terrapuri

It took the owner, Mr. Alex 18 years to collect all 29 palaces and gather them at Terrapuri Heritage Village. These “palaces” mostly belonged to aristocrats in the olden days. When the British came to Malaya in 1909, most of the local houses are changed to colonial-styled houses and many of these Malay “palaces” were being left in abundance. Mr. Alex decided to collect some of these “palaces” to keep the culture and history alive for future generations.

History of these “palaces” :

  • Most of these “palaces” have carvings near their foyers with special writings on Malay philosophies.

  • The houses are built high to prevent from flood. The pillars are built thick and sturdy to keep from falling when elephants accidentally hit the pillars, especially at night.

  • Each “palaces” are never of the same measurement. This is due to the fact that in the old days, the houses are measured based on the women’s (wife/mother) arm’s length. From this, they will find the center which they then place the “tiang seri” or main pillar.

  • Underneath each “tiang seri” is then placed a bottle of magic oil called the “Minyak Cenuai Kampung”. The oil is made by local shamans by cooking the first fruit of a coconut tree while facing the sunlight to get the coconut oil. It is later mixed with a root pecked by a rooster when its calling a hen (this believed to be the law of attraction). Prayer will be said to the oil before it is placed under the “tiang seri” of the house. This oil is believed to make the residents of the house look radiant and young.

Spiritual Influence

There are many interesting carvings on the wood surrounding each “palaces”. What makes it more interesting is that each “palaces” have different and distinctive carvings and stories behind it.

For example, the “palace” called Kampung Paloh have many “baris laksamana” (Admiral Line) surrounding it. After Islam came to Malaya, “baris laksamana” was changed to the sign لا (pronounced as “lam alif”). History said that when the British were looking for Mat Kilau at Kampung Paloh, they couldn’t find any door or source of entry at this house and they left, not knowing there are people inside. That is the power of the “baris laksamana”.

The three colored cloths

At the top of each pillars at each “palaces” are three colored cloths called “Bunga Palang”. This practice was influenced by the Langkasuka Kingdom. The cloths are supposed to work as lightning arrester as well as for keeping bad spirits away. The three colors signifies :

  • White – Purity

  • Red – Courage

  • Black – Spirit

Terrapuri Room Interior

The “palace” that I stayed in was called Rumah Seberang Takir. This is a 1 king bed “palace”. Each “palace” comes with fridge, coffee and tea making facilities, sarongs, hairdryer, pandanus slippers and complimentary mineral water. Our “palace” had the fisherman theme, which is why there are oars around our “palace”. The themes for each “palaces” differ from each other.


Services & Tours at Terrapuri

Terrapuri Heritage Village practices community based tourism, which means they work closely with the local villagers. The locals are taught English for easier communication with international tourists. They also work with WWF for conservation of the environment. There are also tour packages available for tourists such as :

  • Kenyir Lake Tour

  • Redang Island Tour

  • Sekayu Waterfall & Terrapin Conservation Centre Tour

  • Kuala Terengganu City Tour

  • Bidong Island Day Trip

  • Fireflies Sanctuary
    and many more.

Personally, my stay here was amazing. I especially love learning the histories behind each “palaces” and of course, I love the sunrise tremendously. Terrapuri Heritage Village is located at Kampung Mangkuk, Setiu, which is about 1hour and 15minutes drive from Kuala Terengganu. You can get more info on the village, dinings, rates and many more from Terrapuri Heritage Village website below.


Terrapuri Heritage Village
 Kampung Mangkuk, Penarik, 22120 Setiu, Terengganu,
 Phone : +6 09 - 6245020 / +6 09 - 6312081
 Email :
 Web :



Terrapuri | Kampung  Mangkuk, 22120 Setiu, Terengganu, Malaysia.  T : +(609) 6245020  +(609) 6312081  F : +(609) 6228093  E :