A family of Chinese traders who were trading between China and the Malay Peninsula established Kuala Terengganu as early as the 15th century. Soon after it was founded, the town grew into an important trading post between the two countries. However, after the Malacca Empire conquered the town, its influence as a leading port in the Southeast Asian region diminished as most of the traders preferred to stop at Melaka, which was the center of trade between China, India and Southeast Asia.
The oldest streets was called Kampung Cina (Chinatown), a settlement where buildings are hundreds of years old. After these very old buildings were threatened with demolition by the city the district was listed in the 1998 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund (WMF). The site was listed again in 2000 and 2002. In 1998, with funding from American Express, WMF helped Badan Warisan Malaysia (Heritage of Malaysia Trust) to develop a plan to improve the current shop structures. The organization prepared a conservation outline for a pilot project on No. 51/53 Jalan Bandar, and created a video to encourage the local community and others to take part in the preservation effort