Socio-Historical Development of the Kampung Cina Settlement in Kuala Terengganu
No other Chinese settlements in Terengganu could match the socio-historical significance of the Kampung Cina settlement located at the estuary of the Terengganu River. This settlement has evolved out of early Chinese maritime trade in insular Southeast Asia. This is demonstrated by the fact that Terengganu is regularly mentioned in many early Chinese records. But for some reason, these records did not mention the existence of any Chinese settlements in the state. It was only in the early eighteenth century that a Chinese settlement at the Kuala Terengganu port town was recorded by European traders who traded at the port town. The port town had by then become an international trading port and the Chinese were actively involved in commercial activities at this port town. By the nineteenth century, the Kampung Cina settlement had been firmly established. Based on the origin of the pioneer settlers and other evidences, the settlement could have evolved from the seventeenth century during the late Ming period, making it one of the earliest Chinese settlements in the country.