Kuala Berang’s glorious past

An interesting piece about the ancient history of the Malaysian state of Terengganu, from neolithic burials, to the port city of Fo-Lo-Ann during the classical period, to the more recent Islamic finds.

19 March 2007 (New Straits Times’ Travel Times) – An interesting piece about the ancient history of the Malaysian state of Terengganu, from neolithic burials, to the port city of Fo-Lo-Ann during the classical period, to the more recent Islamic finds.

New Straits Times, 19 Mar 2007

Kuala Berang’s glorious past

It’s a place that few people will notice. It does not arouse any excitement, unlike Tasik Kenyir located 35km away.

Yet, centuries ago, the district of Kuala Berang was one of the busiest ports in Terengganu where traders from as far as China came to trade and to replenish their supply of food and fresh water.

Back then (12th-14th Century), the Chinese called the place Fo-Lo-Ann. The locals, however, named it Kuala Berang after the bamboo species known as buluh berang that grew wildly along the banks of Sungai Terengganu and Sungai Berang.

According to records at the Terengganu State Museum, a Chinese historian, Chan Ju Kau, wrote that Kuala Berang was once a very busy port with traders buying local goods like kayu cendawan (candan), elephant tusks and scented kayu gaharu for export to China, the Middle East and West Asia.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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