The Central Market, locally known as Pasar Payang, is located by the Terengganu River and is one of the most popular tourist spots in Kuala Terengganu. Housed in a modern building, it offers visitors a variety of traditional handicrafts such as batik, silk, songket, brocade and brassware, as well as fresh produce.
Visitors to this market will have a delightful experience shopping for local products at reasonable prices. It is also a great place to experience the culture as locals do their daily shopping there too.
There are also a number of shops selling colourful malay and indonesian cakes(kuih). Daintily wrapped in banana leaves, the ‘dodol’ is a strange tasting candy. It may take a bit of getting use to for first-timers – it’s goo-ey in texture, is made from coconut and is extremely sweet. The other local must-have is the ‘serunding’. This is usually sprinkled on rice or on the vegetable/meat dishes. Beef, chicken or lamb pieces are finely grated, fried in a helping of hot oil and generously seasoned with red hot chilli peppers. Serunding goes great with bread too. Try it only if you can take really spicy food.
Occasionally, travelling medicine men are seen peddling their wares on the side lanes. Talking through their microphones, they entertain interested crowds with fancy concoctions for all sorts of illnesses bottled in fancy containers- sometimes throwing in personal demonstrations for added effect.
By Foot or Taxi
Pasar Payang lies in the centre of Kuala Terengganu and is easy to get to from wherever you might be staying. At the end of Jalan Bandar (Bandar Road) is Central Market. This 2 storey square building is the hub of K.Terengganu. The ground floor is bustling with the haggling of vendors selling everyday needs. Fresh fish such as trevally goes for RM10 a kilo. Women dressed in colourful, vibrant tudungs (head scarf) and baju (malay top and long skirt) selling grain, fruits and sundry items. Shops selling brassware, batik items, books, local medicine. On the top floor, there are more shops selling a great selection of baju, scarves, songket- handwoven cloth, batik clothes. Don’t worry if you don’t have cash with you, many of them accept credit cards (Mastercard, Visa).