Who are they and what they do


Pura Tanjung Sabtu is a collection of centuries-old Terengganu Malay timber houses, located in Tanjung Sabtu village, 14 km from Kuala Terengganu on Malaysia’s East coast.

This architectural treasure is the private residence of Tengku Ismail bin Tengku Su and also a guesthouse for travellers who would like to experience Terengganu country living and a little bit of royal luxury.Between 1992 and 1996, Tengku Ismail bought traditional Terengganu timber houses and reassembled them at the Tanjung Sabtu village. Using the original house-forms of eleven abandoned 150 to 200 year old timber houses, he rehabilitated them into this centuries-old reincarnation. Wall-panels, pillars, clay tiles and gables from other houses were also salvaged to replace elements that were missing or rotten.
Pura Tanjung Sabtu is located on 6.7 ha (14 acres) of lawns, gardens and fruit orchards on the bank of the Nerus river, a tributary of the Terengganu river. The complex is divided into two wings; one is Tengku Ismail’s private residence, while the other wing contains the guesthouses. Visitors and guests enter through a Balai or main entrance hall, consisting of an open one-sided wall-panelled house that leads to wooden decks that link the houses to each other,three meters above ground.
As you pass through the Balai it seems as if you have been transported through time and you enter a haven from another century. It makes you want to stop time entirely to allow you to completely enjoy your surroundings.

What a traveller can experience

  • Spend one night at Pura Tanjung Sabtu : there are three guesthouses with modern facilities that ensure a comfortable stay (electricity, AC, wireless internet, private bathroom with hot water…). You will feel as if time has stopped and that you are so relaxed that you won’t want to go home. Children will enjoy the place even if there is no swimming pool: they can play freely in the lush garden. The surroundings will inspire them with never-ending stories from another time (as they pretend to be part of the sultan’s family or pirates from the South China Sea)… or they could join a football game in the village. It is also an ideal retreat if you need to get de-stress or if you need a quiet place to write or meditate. It is not a budget destination but it is quite affordable for a royal homestay that you would not find anywhere else in Malaysia.
  • Take a few days to learn about Terengganu: Tengku Ismail can advise you on cultural, historical or natural sites to visit or even organize excursions for you. A visit to the traditional boat building workshop in Duyong Island (under the K.Terengganu bridge) is always enjoyable. There are plenty of books about Terengganu heritage, old photographs, ancient objects and furniture, and pieces of songket to be found within Pura Tanjung Sabtu; always an invitation for the guest to explore and discover the true beauty of Terengganu.
  • Read about traditional Terangganu architecture and heritage in the Pura Tanjung Sabtu Website
  • Visit the Terangganu Museum which displays Terangganu artifacts and a nice collection of textiles.


Meet the songket weavers: observe and appreciate their weaving skills in the workshop underneath Tengku Ismail’s house. They weave unique pieces of silk and gold textiles on traditional wooden looms for the pleasure of those who collect and love songket. Tengku Ismail is a songket designer and he supplies the Royal Court with both unique and traditional pieces.


Experience slow travel and traditional river transport: take the 7 am taxi boat (Bot Penambang) to the Kuala Terengganu market (Pasar Kedai Payang). It stops at the Pura Tanjung Sabtu jetty and brings you down the Nerus River. It stops at some villages and individual jetties to pick up people who go to the market to selling their goods or to shop. You will arrive around 8 am when the stalls are just opening; an ideal time to enjoy the market.


For further details or bookings, please call 609-6153655 or at  purakota@streamyx.com

Location : 5728 Kampung Tanjung Sabtu, Mukim Manir, 21200 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Darul Iman
Pura Tanjung Sabtu 

How to get there

Pura Tanjung Sabtu lies 14km north from Kuala Terengganu and 12km from KT airport.

  • By car from Kuala Terengganu : take the Sultan Mahmud bridge across Pulau Duyong to the Batu Enam roundabout. Turn left and drive for about 1.2 km until the traffic light. At the second traffic light turn right into Jeram. After about 3 km you will see the Tanjung Sabtu mosque. Turn right there through the village, and after 1 km you will see the gateway leading to Pura Tanjung Sabtu.
  • By boat from Kuala Terengganu : you can take a boat (Bot Penambang) at the jetty near the market (in Chinatown Pasar Kedai Payang). There should be a boat that sets off at 11am. Ask the boatman for Pura Tanjung Sabtu. It is roughly a 1 hour trip up-river until the Pura TS jetty. Check at the tourism information center for updated and more detailed information.

If you know of any other sustainable means of transport, or have any bot penambang experiences to share, please email us at greenselipar@gmail.com.

Written by C.Bossis, Kuala Lumpur, 5 nov.08
Permission granted to reproduce for personal use only.
Commercial use is prohibited.