Terengganu, which overlooks the South China Sea on the east coast of Malaysia, is another charming holiday destination. Its long coastline is endowed with truly beautiful beaches of white sand washed by clear warm waters.

It is small wonder that this east coast paradise is renown for activities such as beachcombing, sea sports, fishing and boat making. Its numerous islands offer ideal gateway spots for those seeking the unhurried pleasures of real tropical island holidays.

Among the islands that are certain to captivate visitors are the marine parks of Redang, Kapas, Perhentian and Tenggol. Redang, in particular offers excellent dive sites with superb settings of coral reefs and an amazing diversity of marine life.

Between May and September each year, at Rantau Abang, 60 kilometres south of Kuala Terengganu, visitors gather to watch giant Leatherback turtles clamber ashore to lay eggs. Some of the turtles weigh as much as 375 kilograms and measure as long as 2.5 metres.

It is a rare treat to take-in the sight of the creatures laboriously digging holes in the sand to lay eggs, covering them again and heading back to sea. Rantau Abang is acknowledged to be one of the six in the world where this rare phenomenon unfolds.

Despite the offshore oil and gas activities, life in Terengganu is still less hurried compared to some other Malaysian states. This is apparent in the quaint villages as well as the towns.

Kuala Terengganu is the capital town and places of interest include the State Museum, Central Market and Istana Maziah. Six kilometres away from the town at Chendering, is the Sutera Semai Centre, the country's first silk weaving venture that offers interesting insights into the whole process of silk weaving. It is also the site of the Malaysian Handicraft Centre.

Near the mouth of the Terengganu River at Pulau Duyong, you can see skilful boat builders constructing colourfully decorated vessels purely from memory. At Rusila, just outside Kuala Terengganu, visitors can watch local artisans weaving exquisite handicrafts such as baskets and mats as well as beach and fishing activities.

On the extreme west of the state, Tasik Kenyir, Southeast Asia's second largest man-made lake is a major tourist attraction. The huge lake with its hundreds of islands, numerous caves, waterfalls and luxuriant tropical jungle is a paradise for a wide range of outdoor activities like fishing, swimming, canoeing, trekking, cave exploration and camping.

For golfing buffs, there is a fabulous golf resort with a panoramic sweep of the lake. The Sekayu Recreational Park, west of Kuala Terengganu, is a popular picnic spot famous for its seven-tier cascades making up the Sekayu Waterfalls and its orchards.

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