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Kelantan Tourist Attraction

 

 

The most rustic of the three states in the region, Kelantan truly lives up to its name as the 'Cradle of Malay Culture'. The state's landscape is a chaming blend of quaint villages, small towns and riverine settlements. Amidst the houses built on stilts and covered with thatched roofs, one can revel in the time-honoured Malay heritage and culture.

 

The capital city of Kelantan is Kota Bharu.

 

Kelantan's hinterland is a framatic mix of mountains caves and pristine jungles Scale the imposing Mount Stong or trek into the Kuala Koh National Park

 

Gunung Stong

Kuala Krai

 

Undoubtedly the most popular eco-adventure destination in Kelantan, Gunung Stong is a favourite among trekkers, mountaineers and nature-lovers. The 1,433m mountain is situated in Stong State Park. Climbers can stay overnight at Baha Camp. Alternatively, Visitors can spend a night at the Stong Hill Resort situated at the foothills.

Must do:

  • Watch the sunrise from Baha camp

  • See a variety of orchids and palms

  • Keep an eye out for Rafflesia, the world's biggest flower

  • Scale to the Jelawang Waterfall

  • Explore the neighbouring Gunung Ayam

  • View endemic plants such as the didymocarpus calcareous, licuala stongensis (a fan palm) and holttumochloa pubescens (a rare bamboo). These plante are only found on Gunung Stong.

~ Plunging some 303m deep, the spectacular seven-tiered Jelawang Waterfall is said to be the highest in Southeast Asia.

 

Kuala Koh National Park

Gua Musang

 

Kuala Koh is the northern entry point to Taman Negara. Spread over 1,043sq km, the park is an undisturbed jungle with a wide range flora and fauna.

Must do:

  • View over 200 species of birds - experienced bird watchers have seen up to 150 species within a few days!

  • Catch a glimpse of the shy wildlife from the bumbun or observation hides

  • Explore the many jungle trails

  • Enjoy the view from the breathtaking 300m-high canopy walkway

  • Go kayaking or tubing

  • Visit the Batek indigenous settlement to watch fire-making and blowpipe demonstrations

  • Camp out and commune with nature

~ This entry point to Taman Negara is touted to have the best potential for wildlife sighting.

 

Handicraft Village (Kampung Kraftangan)

Kota Bharu

 

This is a good place to begin your tour of Kota Bharu. Set within a beautiful courtyard, the complex houses a Craft Museum, souvenir shops, tourism office and a restaurant. Browse through the unique handicrafts and souvenirs or watch the cultural performances held occasionally. Visitors can drop by at the tourism offices here for more information on the state's attractions.

Opening hours: 8.30am - 4.45pm (closed Friday) Admission to the Handicraft Village is free, but there are separate charges to enter the museum.

 

Cottage Industries & Crafts

Kota Bharu

 

Kelantan is famed for its arts and crafts. Although many craft items are now produced on a big scale by factories, cottage industries continue to thrive and handmade crafts are very much in demand. One of the best places to see cottage industries continue to thrive and handmade crafts are very much in demand. One of the best places to see cottage industries is the stretch of road that leads to Pantai Cahaya Bulan. Here, batik fabric in various shades can be seen drying out in the sun, while roadside stalls offer prettily-decorated giant kites, bags and many interesting souvenirs.

 

Homestay

 

Live with the locals and experience the rural lifestyle in these villages:

  • Kampung Batu Papan, Gua Musang

  • Kampung Seterpa, Kota Bharu

  • Kampung Renok Baru, Gua Musang

  • Kampung pantai Suri, Tumpat

  • Kampung Bukit Jering, Jeli

  • Kampung Kubang Telaga, Gunung Bachok

  • Kampung Kemunchup, Machang

  • Kampung Jelawang, Dabong

To arrange a homestay visit, kindly contact Tourism Malaysia's office in Kelantan

 

Cultural Centre (Gelanggang Seni)

Kota Bharu

 

Folk arts and traditional performances are the signature attractions of Kelantan. At the Cultural Centre visitors will get a chance to enjoy some of the age-old cultural performances that are rarely seen anywhere else.

Must do:

  • Watch wayang kulit or shadow puppetry

  • Try your hand at playing the rebana ubi (a huge and colourful drum) orkertok (a coconut husk percussion instrument)

  • Watch silat, the Malay martial arts See how gasing or the spinning top is launched Learn how to fly the wau or giant kite

The Cultural Centre operates from January to November only and is closed during Ramadan. Performances are held three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Shadow plays are only performed on the first and third weeks of the month.

~ During a wayang kulit performance, the master storyteller or Tok Dalang conducts the the show from behind the screen by reciting the tale with oppropriate sounds and movements.

 

Al - Muhammadi Mosque

Kota Bharu

 

Graceful arches and golden-coloured domes make this mosque an impressive sight even from afar. Also known as the State Mosque, this remarkable place of worship was named after the late sultan Muhamad IV who contributed greatly to the state. Visitors are advised to dress appropriately.

 

War Museum

Kota Bharu

 

This is an excellent place to learn about World War II and its impact on Kelantan. The museum features a fascinating collection of documents, Pictures and military paraphernalia relating to the war and the Japanese occupation in Malaysia from 1941 to 1945. Artefacts include Japanese swords, mortar shells as well as personal accounts of survivors. The  museum is housed within a historical building constructed in 1912.

Opening hours: 8.30am - 4.45pm (closed on friday)

~ In the past, the Museum served as the headquarters of the Japanese Kempetai, the feared secret police.

 

Museum of Royal Traditions and Customs (Istana Jahar)

Kota Bharu

 

Be enthralled by the grandeur of royal Malay customs and traditions. In this museum, visitors can learn all about royal engagements, weddings, births and other ceremonial occasions. Built in 1887, the building is a fine example of the state's supreme craftsmanship, with intricately carved wooden panels, iron grills, elaborate roofs and a beautifully-designed arched stairway.

Opening hours: 8.30am - 4.30 (Closed on Friday)

 

Istana Balai Besar

Kota Bharu

 

Built by Sultan Muhammad in 1840, this resplendent edifice features carved wooden panels and intricate framework. It was the residence of the past Sultans and now serves as the venue for official functions and royal ceremonies. Entrance is restricted to royalty and officials.

 

Siti Khadijah Market

Kota Bharu

 

This bustling bazaar is a landmark attraction and one of the most photographed buildings in the state. Locals flock here for a profusion of items, from fruits, vegetables, pickles to freshly ground spices. A section of the building is devoted to local desserts and goodies.

 

Buddhist Temples

Tumpat

 

Kelantan is the site of some impressive Buddhist Templex. The most well-known is Wat Photivihan in Kampung Jambu. This temple houses the largest Reclining Buddha in Southeast Asia. It measures 40m in length and 9m in width.

Situated in Kampung Bunuhan, Wat Machimmaram is famed for its Sitting Buddha. It is said to be the second largest of its kind in Southeast Asia. Wat Mai Suwankhiri or the Dragonboat. Temple is another famous landmark in the state, featuring replicas of a huge dragonboat guarded by two magnificent dragon.

~ Wat Phativihan is believed to house the largest Reclining Buddha in Southeast Asia.

 

Caving in Gua Ikan and Gua Gelap

Dabong

 

There are a number of caves in Kelantan, especially in the district of Gua Musang. Dabong is the gateway to most of these places. This town is about 160km to the west of Kota Bharu. The most well-known cave is Gua Ikan. Literally meaning Fish Cave, this formation was named after a fish-shaped rock.

Amother popular spot for spelunking is Gua Gelap, which literally means 'dark cave'. It truly lives up to its name, with small crevices on the cave walls being the only source of natural light.

Aside from Dabong, Gua Musang too has a number of caves that are worth exploring. Among the popular caves here are Gua Cha, Gua Pintu and Gua Sidang.

~ Gua Cha is one of the most actively researched archaelogical sites in Peninsular Malaysia. The artefacts that were found here include human skeletons and cultural objects.

 

Kampungi Laut Mosque

Nilam Puri

 

This mosque is acclaimed as the oldest in the state, and one of the oldest in the Malay archipelago. Originally situated in Kampung Laut, Tumpat, this mosque was moved to its present location in Nilam Puri after the site was flooded in 1968. This mosque was said to have been built by Islamic missionaries who travelled between Champa and Java, with the help of some locals. It is noted to have similarities to the Demak Mosque in Jawa, built in 1401. Visitors are advised to dress appropriately.

 

Pantai Tok Bali

Pasir Puteh

 

Idyllic and tranquil, the Tok Bali Beach is a relaxing getaway with warm waters and palm-lined beaches. Accommodation ranges from chalets to affordable beach resorts. Tok Bali is approximately 45 minutes drive from Kota Bharu. The Tok Bali Jetty is one of the staging points to Perhentian Island in Terengganu.

 

There's Much More in Kelantan

Kelantan's attraction are diverse and interesting, Kota Bharu, the capital city, has a number of attractions that can be visited on foot. Some of these places are situated close to one another. Just outside of Kota Bharu, more rustic villages and countrysides begin to unfurl. The state has a number of waterfalls that are situated off the beaten track. For more adventure, make a trip to the jungle-clad hills.

Kota Bharu

  • Padang Merdeka

  • Islamic Museum

  • Tengku Anis Orchid Park

  • Langgar Mosque

  • River Cruise from Kota Bharu to Kampung Laut

  • Pantai Cahaya Bulan (Beach of Moonlight)

  • Pantai Sabak Fishing Village

  • Gerbang Sultan Ismail Petra (Petra Arch)

  • Bazar Buluh Kubu

  • Observation Tower

Bachok

  • Pantai Melawi (Melawi Beach)

  • Pantai Irama (Irama Beach)

Kuala Krai

  • Kusial Bridge

  • Gunung Ayam (Mount Ayam)

  • Lata Rek Waterfalls

Pasir Puteh

  • Pantai Bisikan Bayu (beach of Whispering Winds)

  • Jeram lenang Waterfalls

  • Jeram Pasu Waterfalls

Tumpat

  • Tok Janggut's Tomb

  • Pantai Seri Tujuh (Beach of Seven Lagoons)

Gua Musang

  • Gunung Rabong (Mount Rabong)

  • Gunung Cha,ah (Mount Chamah)

  • Ethnobotany Camp

  • Lojing Highlands

Jeli

  • Gunung Reng

  • Lake Pergau

  • Jeli Hot Spring

 

Shopping & Dining

 

Shopping

A bewildering range of handicrafts in various colours, shapes and sizes fill the shelves at Kelantan's souvenir shops. Take your pick from the intricate handicrafts, silverware, fashionable batik sarongs, pareos and trendy bags to the richly-embroidered songket fabric and many more. In many places, visitors can also watch how the crafts are made. Some items such as giant kites can be custom-made to suit your liking.

Among the popular shopping spots in Kelantan are:

  • Bazaar Buluh Kubu (Bamboo Fort Bazaar)

  • Siti Khadijah Market

  • Wakaf Che Yeh

  • Road to Pantai Cahaya Bulan

  • Kampung Putih, Kubor Kuda and Kampung Badan (batik-making)

  • Kampung Kijang (Wau or giant kite-making)

  • Kampung Penambang (Songket-making)

  • Kampung Sireh, Kampung Morak and Kampung Badang (silversmith)

Duty-fee shopping zones:

  • Rantau Panjang

  • Pengkalan Kubor

  • Bukit Bunga

 

Dining

There is a delightful assortment of local fare and most eateries are open until late at night to cater to the adventurous foodies. Rice, the staple food, is creatively cooked in many ways with the use of different herbs and spices, Local dishes are spicy and pungent and some dishes have Thai influences. The state is also known for its variety of sumptuous desserts.

Alternatively, visitors can opt for Western food served at major restaurants and hotels. Fast food outlets are available at major towns.

Try these authentic local favourites:

Ayam Percik

Crispy, barbecued chicken that has been marinated in spices and coconut gravy.

Nasi Kerabu

A rice-based dish served with coconut milk, fish flakes, desiccated coconut, spices and sauces.

Nasi Dagang

A combination of rice and glutinous rice, nasi dagang is oftern accompanied by spicy tuna fish curry and puckled vegetables.

Budu

This is a fermented anchovies sauce with a hint of lime juice, chilly and onions. According to locals, budu adds that extra zing and taste to an otherwise regular meal.

Serunding (meat floss)

A local savoury snack where thinly sliced meat is cooked until it is light and fluffy. It can be eaten as a snack or served with rice and bread.

Desserts

Take your pick from the wide array of dessets easily available in Kelantan. The use of palm sugar, eggs and coconut milk give the desserts a fragrant aroma and rich taste. Popular desserts include akok, dodol, jala mas, nekbat, lompat tikam and tahi itek.

 

Transportation

 

Getting There

By Air

Malaysia Airline operates daily direct flights to the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan. The flights depart from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), which is situated in Sepang. Alternatively, visitors can board the Firefly airlines which operates from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Airport in Subang, Selangor.

The budget carrier, AirAsia, flies daily to Kelantan from the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) situated about 20km from the KLIA Main Terminal Building.

Self-Drive

There is a good network of roads linking major towns in the country to Kelantan. Kota Bharu is situated about 474km from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital city. Visitors can drive along the East West Highway. The journey from Kuala Lumpur to Kelantan takes about the five hours.

By Bus

There are scheduled air-conditioned express buses from Kuala Lumpur linking most towns in Kelantan. Main destination include Kota Bharu, Gua Musang, Rantau Panjang, Pengkalan Kubor and Tumpat. Visitors can board the bus at Hentian Putra, situated along Jalan Tun Ismail (near Putra World Trade centre or PWTC). The journey takes about five to six hours. Tickets must be purchased in advance during school holidays and festive seasons.

By Rail

Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) or Malayan Railway providies daily rail services to Kelantan. From Kuala Lumpur, visitors can board the Express Wau train from the KL Sentral Station. The train departs at 8.30pm daily and arrives in Kelantan at 10.25am the next day. Visitors from Johor and Sigapore can board the Express Timuran which departs at 6.25pm from Singapore. It arrives at 9.05am the next day.

Getting Around

Getting around Kelantan is fairly easy as there are buses, taxis, trishaws and airport taxis, The local the station is situated near to Kampung Kraftangan or the Handicraft Village. The buses here provide access to various places within Kota Bharu. To go outside of Kota Bharu town, visitors can take the buses that operate from the Jalan Bandar Bus Station. Outstation buses are available at the Jalan Hamzah Bus Terminal as well as the SKMK Langgar Bus Terminal. Buses here connect Kota Bharu to Kuala Lumpur as well as other towns in Malaysia. Taxis can be hailed from any part of the town, but determine the fare first.

The local train is an interesting mode of transport. This train operates within the state, and connects Tumpat (situated in the state's north) to Gua Musang in the south. The service begins at 3.05am from Tumpat.

To explore Kota Bharu in an unconventional way, visitors can try taking the trishaw. Trishaws are usually concentrated at the trishaw. Trishaws are usually concentrated at the Pasar Siti Khadijah area and its vicinity. Visitors are advised to agree on the price in advance.

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