Kelantan, a state in Malaysia, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. From its rich cultural heritage to its breathtaking natural wonders, there is no shortage of attractions and activities that will captivate any traveler. Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, Kelantan has something to offer for everyone. Join us as we uncover the top 10 must-see attractions and activities in Kelantan.
Exploring the Cultural Richness of Kelantan
One of the main highlights of visiting Kelantan is immersing yourself in its vibrant culture. The state is known for its traditional Malay customs, arts, and crafts. The cultural heritage can be seen through the various attractions scattered throughout the region.
Unveiling the History of Kelantan Through its Attractions
For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Istana Jahar museum is a must. This former palace showcases the rich history of Kelantan through its exhibits of royal artifacts and traditional costumes. As you wander through the halls, you will gain a deeper understanding of the state’s royal lineage.
Another significant historical site is the Kota Bharu Heritage Trail. This self-guided walking tour takes you through the old town, allowing you to explore ancient buildings, mosques, and temples that have stood the test of time. The trail offers a glimpse into the past and showcases the multicultural heritage of Kelantan.
The Unique Art and Craft Scene in Kelantan
The art and craft scene in Kelantan is like no other. The famous Wooden Mosque of Kampung Laut is a testament to the intricate wood carvings that can be found throughout the state. The mosque’s detailed motifs and designs are a true reflection of Kelantanese craftsmanship.
Additionally, a visit to the renowned Handicraft Village and Craft Museum is a must for art lovers. Here, you can witness local artisans creating beautiful handicrafts such as batik textiles, silverware, and traditional Malay instruments. Don’t forget to purchase some souvenirs to bring home as a reminder of your Kelantanese adventure.
Top 5 Historical Attractions in Kelantan
If you have a penchant for history, Kelantan will not disappoint. The state is home to several historical sites that offer a glimpse into its royal past and cultural heritage.
Delving into the Royal Palaces of Kelantan
The grandeur of Kelantan’s royal palaces is awe-inspiring. The Istana Balai Besar is a must-visit attraction, featuring intricate architecture and beautifully landscaped gardens. The palace served as the official residence of the Kelantan Sultan until the early 20th century.
Another palace worth exploring is the Istana Mahkota Puri, which houses the Kelantan Royal Museum. Here, you can learn about the royal customs and traditions of the state. The museum boasts an impressive collection of royal regalia, including ceremonial weapons, costumes, and jewelry.
Visiting the Ancient Temples and Mosques
For those seeking spiritual tranquility, Kelantan is home to several ancient temples and mosques. The Wat Photivihan Temple is renowned for its reclining Buddha, which measures a staggering 40 meters in length. The temple is a place of serenity and offers visitors the chance for quiet contemplation.
The fascinating Kampung Laut Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in Malaysia, is another must-see attraction. Its distinct architecture and tranquil surroundings make it a perfect spot for photography enthusiasts and anyone interested in religious history.
The Natural Wonders of Kelantan
Aside from its cultural richness, Kelantan boasts an abundance of natural wonders that will leave you in awe. From stunning beaches to lush national parks, nature enthusiasts will be spoiled for choice.
Discovering the Breathtaking Beaches and Islands
For beach lovers, a visit to Pantai Cahaya Bulan is a must. Also known as Moonlight Beach, this pristine stretch of golden sand offers a serene escape from the bustling city life. Lounge under the shade of swaying palm trees, indulge in water sports, or simply soak up the sun.
For those looking to explore beyond the shores, a trip to the beautiful Perhentian Islands is highly recommended. These idyllic islands are a snorkeler’s paradise, boasting clear turquoise waters teeming with colorful coral reefs and marine life.
Hiking and Wildlife Spotting in Kelantan’s National Parks
Nature lovers will be delighted by the numerous national parks in Kelantan. Taman Negara National Park offers a diverse range of activities, from jungle trekking to river cruises. Immerse yourself in the lush rainforest and spot a myriad of wildlife, including rare species such as the Asian elephant and the Malayan tiger.
For a more off-the-beaten-path adventure, head to Gunung Stong State Park. This park is home to the magnificent Jelawang Waterfall, one of the tallest waterfalls in Southeast Asia. Embark on a challenging hike to the summit and reward yourself with breathtaking views of the surrounding rainforest.
Experiencing the Local Cuisine of Kelantan
No trip to Kelantan is complete without indulging in its mouthwatering cuisine. Kelantanese food is known for its bold flavors and unique combinations of spices.
Traditional Dishes You Must Try
One dish that should be at the top of your list is Nasi Kerabu, a vibrant blue-colored rice dish served with an assortment of herbs, vegetables, and grilled fish or chicken. Another must-try is Ayam Percik, succulent grilled chicken marinated in a fragrant blend of herbs and spices, topped with spicy coconut gravy.
For dessert, don’t miss out on the delectable Akok. This traditional Kelantanese cake is made with a mixture of eggs, coconut milk, and flour, resulting in a sweet and creamy treat.
Popular Street Food and Night Markets
Kelantan comes alive at night with its bustling street food scene and night markets. Explore the vibrant night market at Wakaf Che Yeh, where you can sample a wide array of local delicacies such as Murtabak, a stuffed pancake filled with savory fillings like minced meat or cheese.
At Pasar Siti Khadijah, the largest wet market in Kelantan, you can immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy freshly grilled seafood, traditional sweets, and aromatic local spices.
Thrilling Activities for Adventure Seekers
If you’re an adventure enthusiast, Kelantan has plenty to offer in terms of thrilling activities that will get your adrenaline pumping.
Water Sports and Outdoor Activities in Kelantan
Embark on a heart-pounding water adventure with white water rafting on the Sungai Galas or Sungai Lebir. Navigate through rapids and experience the rush of adrenaline as you make your way downstream.
For a more laid-back yet exciting experience, try your hand at traditional Malay fishing techniques with a fishing tour along the rivers of Kelantan. Learn from the locals and cast your net into the water, hoping for a bountiful catch.
Exploring the Rural Landscapes: Cycling and Trekking Routes
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and explore the rural landscapes of Kelantan on two wheels. There are plenty of cycling routes to choose from, offering picturesque views of paddy fields, quaint villages, and scenic countryside.
If hiking is more your style, head to Gunung Reng, a popular trekking spot known for its challenging trails and breathtaking vistas. Embark on a journey to conquer the summit and marvel at the panoramic views of Kelantan’s stunning landscapes.
With its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking natural wonders, delectable cuisine, and thrilling activities, Kelantan is a destination that promises an unforgettable experience. Explore the historical sites, immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, and soak in the beauty of nature. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, a food lover, or an adventure seeker, Kelantan has something to offer for everyone. Plan your trip to this enchanting state and embark on a journey like no other.