Located in the northeast region of Malaysia, Kelantan is a state that is rich in culture and nature. If you’re planning a trip to this fascinating state, there are plenty of exciting things to do, from exploring its vibrant arts scene to indulging in its delicious local cuisine. Here are 10 must-try activities that will make your Kelantan adventure one to remember.
Discover the Rich Culture of Kelantan
Kelantan is a state in Malaysia that is known for its rich cultural heritage. Its capital city, Kota Bharu, is a hub of traditional arts and crafts, and a visit here is a must for anyone interested in the country’s cultural heritage. There are several activities that you can do to immerse yourself in the local culture.
Visit the Handicraft Village and Craft Museum
A visit to the Handicraft Village and Craft Museum is a great way to start your Kelantan journey. Here, you can witness the art of traditional crafts, such as woodcarving, batik painting, and silverwork. You can even participate in workshops and try your hand at these crafts yourself. The museum also showcases various local artifacts and displays, providing a glimpse into Kelantan’s rich cultural heritage.
The Handicraft Village is a bustling hub of activity, with artisans working on their crafts in small shops and stalls. The air is filled with the sound of chisels carving wood, the smell of wax and dye used in batik making, and the clinking of silver as it is shaped into intricate designs. You can watch the artisans at work and even buy some of their creations as souvenirs to take home.
Explore the Royal Museum of Kelantan
The Royal Museum of Kelantan offers another opportunity to delve into Kelantanese culture. Here, you can learn about the state’s royal history and see the palace’s elaborate collection of artifacts and heirlooms. The museum also showcases traditional Kelantanese costumes and accessories, giving you a chance to learn more about the state’s unique fashion sense.
The museum is housed in a beautiful palace that was once the residence of the Kelantanese royal family. The palace is a stunning example of traditional Malay architecture, with intricate carvings and decorations adorning its walls and pillars. Inside, you can see the royal family’s personal belongings, including their furniture, clothing, and jewelry. You can also learn about the history of the state’s monarchy and its role in shaping Kelantanese culture.
Attend a Traditional Shadow Puppet Show
One of the most popular cultural activities in Kelantan is watching a Wayang Kulit, or shadow puppet show. This traditional form of entertainment involves the use of intricately crafted puppets made from leather, which are manipulated by skilled puppeteers behind a lit screen. The show is often accompanied by live music and narration, making for a truly immersive experience.
The shadow puppet show is a unique art form that has been passed down from generation to generation in Kelantan. The puppets are often made by hand, with each one taking several days to complete. The puppeteers are highly skilled and use their expertise to bring the puppets to life on the screen. The stories told in the show often revolve around local legends and folklore, providing a glimpse into Kelantanese mythology and beliefs.
Overall, a visit to Kelantan is a must for anyone interested in the cultural heritage of Malaysia. With its rich history, beautiful art, and unique traditions, Kelantan is a fascinating destination that is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits.
Immerse Yourself in Kelantan Nature
Trek through Gunung Stong State Park
For nature enthusiasts, a trek through Gunung Stong State Park is a must-try activity. With its breathtaking limestone formations, dense rainforests, and stunning waterfalls, the park offers a wide range of hiking trails to suit different levels of fitness. You can even climb to the peak of Gunung Stong, the park’s highest peak, for a stunning panoramic view.
Relax at the Tropical Beaches of Pantai Cahaya Bulan
If you’re looking for relaxation, head to Pantai Cahaya Bulan, a picturesque beach with clear blue waters and soft sandy shores. Here, you can soak up the sun, swim in the sea, or take a stroll along the beach. There are also plenty of food stalls and cafes nearby, so you can indulge in some local snacks and drinks while enjoying the view.
Visit the Lata Beringin Waterfall
Nature lovers will also appreciate the beauty of Lata Beringin Waterfall, located in the small village of Kampung Lata Beringin. With its sparkling cascades and lush green surroundings, the waterfall is a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. You can take a dip in the cool pools or simply admire the scenery from afar.
Experience the Local Kelantan Cuisine
Taste the Famous Nasi Kerabu
Kelantan is known for its unique cuisine, and one of the most famous dishes is Nasi Kerabu. This colorful rice dish is made with blue rice cooked with butterfly pea flowers, accompanied by flavorful grilled chicken, fish, or beef, and an array of side dishes such as pickles and crackers. You can find this dish in almost any food stall or restaurant in Kelantan, so be sure to try it for a truly authentic taste of the state’s cuisine.
Try Traditional Kelantanese Desserts
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a taste of Kelantanese desserts. Two popular choices are Akok, a sweet coconut and egg cake, and Kuih Akok, a steamed coconut pudding. There are also plenty of other unique sweets to try, so make sure to sample as many as you can during your visit.
Visit the Vibrant Night Markets
Kelantan’s vibrant night markets offer a feast for the senses. Here, you can find an array of street food, as well as handicrafts, clothing, and other local goods. Some popular night markets include the one at Wakaf Che Yeh and the one at Kota Bharu, where you can mingle with the locals and soak up the lively atmosphere.
Participate in Unique Kelantanese Activities
Learn the Art of Batik Painting
Batik painting is a traditional art form that involves the use of wax and dyes to create intricate patterns on fabric. In Kelantan, you can join a workshop and learn how to make your own batik masterpiece, under the guidance of skilled artisans. Not only will you get to unleash your creativity, but you’ll also gain a deeper appreciation for this ancient art form.
Join a Silat Martial Arts Class
Silat is a traditional martial art that is practiced widely in Kelantan. It involves various forms of combat and self-defense techniques, as well as philosophy and ethics. You can join a class to learn more about this fascinating art form and gain some new skills and insights in the process.
Attend a Traditional Kite-Flying Festival
Kelantan is also known for its vibrant kite-flying culture, with various kite festivals held throughout the year. These festivals offer a chance to see intricately designed kites soaring through the skies, accompanied by live music and other forms of entertainment. It’s a fun and unique way to experience Kelantanese traditions and enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors.
With such a rich cultural and natural heritage, Kelantan offers a wealth of exciting things to see and do. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or foodie, there’s something for everyone in this captivating state. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!