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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
Cultural Centre (Gelanggang Seni)
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.
- 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.
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)
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)
Siti Khadijah Market
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 Kelantan
Kelantan is the site of some impressive Buddhist Templex. The most well-known is Wat Photivihan in Kampung Jambu. This temple house the largest Reclining Buddha in Southeast Asia. It measures 40m is 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
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.
Pantai Tok Bali Kelantan
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.