Discover Kelantan Institution

Kelantan

As Malaysia’s most northeastern state, Kelantan sits on the border facing Thailand. An agriculture-focused state, most of the states consists of picturesque paddy fields, coastal fishing kampungs (villages) and white sandy beaches. The state also boasts archaeological sites dating back to prehistoric times and is home to many natural wonders.

Quick Facts

Number of Higher Education Institutions

3

Main City

Kota Bharu

Population

2,001,000

Airport

Sultan Ismail Petra Airport (KBR)

Living in Kelantan

Arriving in Kelantan

Sharing a common border Thailand, the northeastern state of Kelantan is largely rural whose culture is quite distinct from other Malaysian states. The capital city Kota Bharu is a Malay cultural gem.

Airports

Sultan Ismail Petra Airport – Domestic flights

Airport Transportation

Bus

Buses are available from the airport to the city centre and major tourist spots. Do check with the information counter on how to purchase tickets.

Car

Rentals are available at the airport and Malaysian road signs are easy to read. Driving is on the left side of the road and do note that there are toll fees for major highways.

Taxi

All vehicles are able to enter and drop-off passengers. Do note that fares will include highway toll fees. Flag downs and ride-hailing apps are popular as well.

Getting Around Kelantan

Kelantan has its many quirks and with enough time, visitors will find Kelantan endearing enough.

Bus

Long distance sleeper buses are available from Kota Bharu Central Bus Terminal and Kelantan is linked to other states by the East-West Highway.

Car

Renting a vehicle is a good option for travelling around Malaysia over extended periods. As a near-developed country, there are well-maintained roads, signs in English, and a comprehensive highway system (some of which have toll fees). Using navigation apps such as Google Maps or Waze to get around is quite convenient too.

Taxi

Kelantan has metered taxis plying its routes, do ask them to use the meter. Otherwise, ride-hailing apps provide alternative options at a fixed price.

Train

The nearest KTM Intercity station is 6.5 KM away at Wakaf Bahru and passengers can get there via public bus or taxi. Trains go to Negeri Sembilan and Kuala Lumpur.

Walking

Exploring by foot is encouraged within city and the plenty of sights are within walking distance of each other. Roads are well-lit after dark, making evening strolling pleasant. Signs are instructive and well-placed and pavements are wide to accommodate human traffic.

6 Things You Need To Do in Kelantan

Visit Siti Khadijah Market

Named in honour of Prophet Muhammad’s entrepreneurial wife, the Siti Khadijah Market pays homage to the many entrepreneurial women who drive the local economy since time immemorial despite Kelantan not being a matriarchal society. You can drop by the market for fresh produce, traditional handicrafts and local dishes.

Sample Some Kelantanese Fare

Tuck into local flavours and mouth-watering street food at a few places. A more unique attraction a short drive away is the Floating Street Food Market in Pulau Suri. As you eat, look out for the anchored boats selling traditional snacks and handicrafts. There are also other evening markets in the local area, so check with one of your friendly locals who would be eager to help.

Visit Buddhist Temples and Islamic Museum

Steep yourself in the local culture by visiting local mosques and temples. Wat Maisuwankiri boasts many fine artworks and a ‘Dragon Boat Temple’. Wat Phothivihan’s 40-metre reclining Buddha statue is also the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia.

Muzium Islam currently hosts exhibits about the root of Islam in Kelantan along with various artifacts and inscription documents. The two-story building was built to resemble a mosque.

Ride the Jungle Railway

Discover the old ways of travelling by train. Known officially as the East Coast Line, the Jungle Railway starts at Tumpat linking Kelantan to the rest of Malaysia. The entire line connects Singapore to Bangkok by rail and passes by Taman Negara National Park providing spectacular views. You can stop off at any station to explore relatively rural parts of Malaysia.

Gunung Stong State Park

Gunung Stong State Park provides many with a challenging yet rewarding trek. Wonders await such as the seven-tiered Jelawang Waterfall and wildlife like the Asian elephant, great argus pheasant and tapir for those lucky enough to spot them.

Pantai Cahaya Bulan (Moonlight Beach)

Known for picturesque sea views and delicious seafood, Pantai Cahaya Bulan still draws many visitors and cyclist who visit many handicraft shops along the way.

Find out more here.

Kelantan

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