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home > Malaysia > Kelantan  





Kelantan Darul Naim, Malaysia

myMalaysiabooks shares with you the culture and traditions of Kelantan, on the east coast of the Malaysian Peninsular.


Map of Kelantan, Malaysia

kueh Malaysia

Location: North-eastern state in West Malaysia/ Malaysian Peninsular.

(Map of West Malaysia)

Land Area: 15,024 square kilometres

Capital: Kota Baru


fruits of MalaysiaKelantan is a mainly rural state where you can enjoy beautiful beaches along the South China Sea. The state is also rich in petroleum and it is the only state in Malaysia under an opposition state legislative assembly (not the ruling coalition government). Be prepared to follow strict Muslim laws here (no sunbathing in bikinis please!).

     Kelantan is fame for her Malaysian batik and open markets or pasar. Visit the central market in Kota Baru (capital) and see the array of food displayed; you are bound to see many women traders. Kelantanese women are know for their business skills.

The state of Kelantan is linked by roads and air to other parts of Malaysia. As you travel from Kuala Lumpur, you will pass through scenic, typical Malay kampongs along the coast. You can fly here by AirAsia or Malaysian Airlines from KLIA.

    Check out our transport page on how to get there and see location at our road Map of Peninsular Malaysia. 

What to see and do in Kelantan

Kelantan is known to every Malaysian as the only state in Malalysia under the governance of an opposition party, called PAS (not the ruling coalition government). So  be prepared to see some different Islamic state laws that differ from other states. At supermarkets and department stores male and females have to have separate queues.

In Kota BaHru (Capital of Kelantan)

Central Market Kota Bahru     Its a great place to visit, as it is the most vibrant shopping area in this part of Malaysia, perhaps the most fascinating fresh market to visit.  Traders display brilliantly coloured fresh produce and you will see the traders dominated and 'ruled' by the women of Kelantan.

Royal Museum    Istana Batu in Kota Baru, built in 1939, was fomerly used as a venue for royal weddings as well as to house royal guests. Today, it is the Royal Museum where items belonging to former Sultans are on display. These include silverware, bedroom items and furniture from the royal household. There are also photos on the royal household on display.

Istana Balai Besar was built by Sultan Muhamad II in 1840 is now used as a venue for ceremonial functions.

songket Malaysia - hand woven cloth of Malaysia

wau Malaysia - kite of Kelantan, Malaysia

Mangos, local fruits Malaysia


Kelantan is famed for her batik, songket, wood carvings, silverware and wau (kites).  Visit the Handicraft Village and Craft Museum to see and even buy Kelantan's exquisite range of handicrafts. (Songket is traditional Malay cloth hand woven with silk or cotton threads, and has silver or gold threads interwoven with it. Songket existed since the 15th century.)


Cahaya Bulan Beach / Pantai Cahaya Bulan, sometimes called the Beach of Passionate Love or Pantai Cinta Berahi is just like a picture post card. (see Kampong stay)

Pantai Bisikan Bayu (Beach of the Whispering Breeze) - is located near Semerak, District of Pasir Puteh, about 50 km from Kota Bharu. It is also called  Pantai Dalam Rhu.

Pantai Irama (Beach of Melody) - in the district of Bachok, about 25 km south of Kota Bharu, is considered as the most beautiful beach along the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is popular with picnickers and campers.

Home stay at Kampongs

Kampung Blok Ulu Kusial  in Gua Musang offers a home stay programme. For more information, contact the South Kelantan Development Authority (KESEDAR) in Gua Musang at 609- 912 1788 or the Kota Bharu Tourist Information Centre at 609-7485534.

External links: Kelantan State Government

For more on Kelantan check Tourism Malaysia websites



Where to stay in Kelantan

Hotel Accommodation, Motels, Resorts    

Compare rates for hotel accommodation before booking. Search from  multiple websites for hotels in Kota Bahru, Gua Musang, beaches, etc.

Hotels in Kota Bahru  Kelantan

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Kampong Stay     For a village styled experience, you can stay Stay in Pasir Belanda at Pantai Cahaya bulan, Kota Bharu. Run by a Dutch couple, visitors get to stay in a Malay Kampung in traditional wooden chalets...


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How to get to Kelantan

By Road

From Kuala Lumpur

Route 1: From Kuala Lumpur, travel eastward along the Karak Highway to Kuantan in Pahang, a journey of about 3 hours. Take the coastal route from Kuantan to Kota Bharu (4 hours). that passes beautiful fishing villages and kampongs.
Route 2: Inland route to Kota Bharu turns off from Karak Highway at Bentong and then northwards to Raub and Gua Musang, before reaching Kota Bharu.

Route 3: exits the Karak Highway at Temerloh and passes through Jerantut, Benta and Gua Musang en-route to Kota Bharu.

From Penang, Kedah or Perak

Travel to Grik, (via Sungai Petani if from the North) then travel along the East-West Highway to Jeli in Kelantan then to Kota Bharu.

There are bus services from KL and many major towns to Kota Bahru

By Rail

Train services from Kuala Lumpur to Kelantan terminate at Wakaf Bharu and Tumpat. From there take a taxi or bus. Its still a long way to go and certainly better to drive or take a coach or bus from KL. It would be difficult to return by train as there is only one service a day.

By Air

There are daily flights from Kuala Lumpur and Penang to Kota Bahru. Best option is to fly by Malaysia Airlines or Air Asia from KLIA to Kota Bahru. Fly by FireFly Kota Baru to Singapore, from Oct 25, 2009

Details of Transport in Malaysia here

Border crossing from Thailand to Malaysia




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