MY COUNTRY (KELANTAN) MALAYSIA
By Road – There is an excellent network of roads linking the major towns in Peninsular Malaysia to Kelantan. From Kuala Lumpur, the overland route takes one eastward along the Karak Highway to Kuantan in Pahang a journey of about 3 hours.
The rest of the journey from Kuantan to Kota Bharu takes about 4 ˝ hours. The route heads northward along the coast passing through picturesque villages and providing scenic vistas of the palm-fringed beaches overlooking the azure waters of the South China Sea.
The inland route to Kota Bharu turns of the Karak Highway at Bentong and proceeds northward to Raub in Pahang and then to Gua Musang in Kelantan a journey of about 3 ˝ hours. The rest of the journey from Raub to Kota Bharu takes about 2 hours. An alternative route exist the Karak Highway at Temerloh and passes to through Jerantut, Benta and Gua Musang en-route to Kota Bharu.
From Penang one has to get to Grik via Sungai Petani in Kedah and then travel along the scenic East-West Highway to Jeli in Kelantan before continuing the journey to Kota Bharu.
There are regular air-conditioned express bus services between Kuala Lumpur as well as major towns in Kota Bharu.
By Rail – Express train from Kuala Lumpur to Kelantan terminate at Wakaf Baru and Tumpat. From these two points, one can get to Kota Bharu either by taxi or bus. Stop over point en-route include Gua Musang, Kuala Krai, Tanah Merah and Pasir Mas.
Once you are in Kota Bharu, it is relatively easy to get to nearby districts, as regular bus and taxi services are available from the main bus terminal.
For those who are interested to visit places of intrest in the interior of Kelantan, it is advisable to enquire with the Kelantan State Tourist Information Center or any registered travel agent in Malaysia.
By Air – Malaysia Airlines operates daily flights to Kota Bharu from Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Pelangi Air also flies daily to Kota Bharu from Kuala Lumpur.
Kelantan literally translated, as the ‘Land of Lightning’ is a veritable, treasure trove of delights. Its rustic fishing villages, verdant paddy fields and languid, palm-fringed beaches have captivated many of its visitors. Kelantan offers a world of gracious beauty and an old-world charm that few can resist.
Tucked away in the northeastern corner of Peninsular Malaysia, Kelantan is known as the cradle of Malay culture as the Kelantanese have carefully preserved their age-old customs and traditions over the centuries.
Here it is not an uncommon sight to see colorful kites soaring upwards-defying gravity and giant drums reverberate in unison. Wayang Kulit or shadow puppet shows, a rare from of entertainment in other parts of the country, mesmerize audiences and giant top competitions provide hours of endless fun.
Kelantan has a population of about 1.5 million, of which 95% are Malay and the rest consisting of Chinese, Indians and Thais. The people of Kelantan are renown for their warmth and friendliness.
Kelantan boasts of a historical past dating as far back as 8000 B.C. Interestingly, ancient Chinese historical records mention the existence of a government in the Peninsular, which had ties with the Imperial Court of China.
In the 18th century, the provinces that now form the state of Kelantan came under a powerful warrior, Long Yunus whose descendents presently make-up the royal house of Kelantan. The state came under Thai and British influence before becoming part of the Federation of Malaya in 1957.
Kelantan’s economy is primarily agrarian with the main cash crops being paddy, rubber and tobacco. Fishing and livestock rearing are important economic activities.
Cottage industries, which utilize traditional skills such as batik painting, woodcarving, songket weaving and silverware, are an interesting feature of the local economy. In recent years, tourism has also become a major money-spinner.
The best place to begin for visitors wishing to experience myriad – of attractions in the state is at Kota Bharu, the state capital. The sights and sounds of this bustling town is evidence of the Kelantanese penchant for free enterprise.
The focal point of the town’s activities is the Kota Bharu market. Elsewhere, the artistic qualities of its people can be seen in its museums and the colorfully decorated trishaws playing the streets.