First of all, I would like to thank the team of Gaya Travel Magazine and Tourism Terengganu for the opportunity to be in Terengganu and attend this cultural festival. I certainly had an amazing time and learned a lot from the journey.
After 13 hours in the air, I arrived in Terengganu, Malaysia. The smell of the ocean already hit on my nose directly the moment I walked out of the airplane. I was welcomed with big smiles on people from the group of Gaya Travel and Tourism Terengganu. Joining that trip with me were more than a hundred bloggers and journalists and we were about to experience a full cultural week together. A whole programme was scheduled with full of interesting activities that I guarantee you might have never ever experienced. How exciting!
It was the second time that the Terengganu International Squid Jigging Festival was held. This year happened on 2nd – 7th June 2015. The date for the festival is usually not fixed because it depends on the moon.
About Squid Jigging
We experienced two days of squid jigging. The first Squid Jigging Flag-off was held on the beautiful Redang island. In late afternoon, we were sailed to the middle of the ocean by a traditional fishing boat and guided by skilful fishermen. On that day, we all learned something, for some of us like me, that was some new information. I am Vietnamese, but I have never been on a boat to catch squids in Vietnam but then I learned it in Malaysia.
You will be given a circle reel that is wrapped with few km of twine. The fishing line carries two jiggers and those will bring squids to us. Simply enough, you just have to throw the jiggers to the water and let the weight carry them all the way to the bottom of the ocean. The technique is to pull the string up and down continuously and wait till the squid get jigged.
It requires your patience which not many people of our group had. Our boat managed to catch one squid but we were already very satisfied. However, if you want to train your bicep, it could be a good way.
It’s not only about jigging squids
You will be spending 4 to 5 hours on a boat. To be honest, it might get a bit boring if you cannot get any squid. However, the good thing is you are not alone, you will be put on a boat with some people. Let’s spend some time jigging squids and catching some talks with people around you. For me, it was a quality time to know someone better, in my case, I learned a lot from other travel bloggers, listened to their stories and understood better their perspectives of travelling.
The second Squid Jigging day, I was put on another boat, got a chance to know more people. Sooner than I expected, we sang songs on the front deck of the boat, we talked and shared our stories and laughters.
There is more
The programme did not just stop at squid jigging. It was full of interesting and cultural activities. We all got a chance to do snorkelling on Pulau Redang Island, to see the life under the water, to chase fish… The other day, we went to the town called Setiu and joined the local picking clams and that was quite a fun experience for me too. In between, we visited Kenyir lake which is unbelievable to be the biggest man-made lake in South East Asia, and we were introduced and participated in some folk games there. Despite of being under an intensive heat, everyone still enjoyed very much all the activities on that day.
Since we were in Kuala Terengganu, we sure did not miss out a visit to this town. In one night, we were taken to the China town and attended the Peranakan festival. I was blown away by the traditional Chinese Dragon Dance, by the street food offered and the colourful street decors.
You might have not heard about Terengganu or the Squid Jigging festival but let me tell you, it is absolutely a life experience if you are in Malaysia. With Tourism Terengganu, you will not only learn about squid jigging, but you will also be taken to the most beautiful island in this country, introduced to the most amazing Malay food and you sure will learn a lot more about the culture of Peninsular state as well as Malaysia. At least, that was my experience and I can assure you that you will have a great time here as well. Maybe, we will see each other next year in Terengganu.
For more information on squid jigging tours in Terengganu, please contact:
If you are on Instagram, don’t forget to check out the gallery of Squid Jigging Festival 2015 with the hashtag #SquidJiggingTGG
Here are some shots taken from my trip