Everything You Need To Know About Kelantan
Also known as 'The Cradle of Malay Culture', Kelantan's adherence to its cultural heritage results in a rich tapestry of traditional practices and age-old customs. The state's arts and crafts are some of the finest in the country. Some of them such as Wau Bulan and Wayang Kulit have become widely-recignised cultural icons over the years.
Together with a picturesque landscape comprising quaint Malay villages and lush natural beauty, Kelantan makes for a truly captivating holiday destination.
With unspoilt flora and fauna, Kuala Koh National Park is the northern gateway to Taman Negara. Bumbun or observation hides, where you can watch wild animals unnoticed, are available around the nature park from as well as jungle trails, a canopy walkway and an indigenous settlement. Some 200 bird species can be observed in Kual Koh National Park, making it an ideal spot for birdwatching enthusiasts.
Part of the Stong State Park, Gunung Stong is one of the country's most popular spots for eco-adventure. The magnifient seven-tiered Jelawang Waterfall, reputedly he highest in Southeast Asia, as well as some exotic and endemic plant species can be found here. Gunung Stong is said to be more than 500 million years old.
Kota Bharu Tourism Zone contains the city's major tourist attractions. They include Al-Muhammadi Mosque, Istana Jahar (Museum of Royal Traditions and Customs), Istana Batu (Royal Museum), Kampung Kraftangan (Handicraft Village), Padang Merdeka, Gerbang Sultan Ismail Petra (Petra Arch) and Buluh Kubu Bazaar.
One of the most photographed and widely recognised scenes in the country, the Siti Khadijah Market is a visual feast where one can find a plethora of edible goods. An array of local foodstuff from snacks and pickles to fresh vegetables and spices as well as local desserts and other goodies can be found here. Women make up the majority of traders in the Siti Khadijah market.
Known as the centre of Kelantan's folk art, Gelanggang Seni is a place where you can try your hand at traditional games or musical instruments, or catch traditional cultural performances unique to the state such as Wayang Kulit (shadow puppetry) and Mak Yong (traditional musical drama).
Istana Batu Royal Museum was built in 1939 as a wedding present to Sultan Yahya Petra and his bride Raja Perempuan Zainab II. It was used as their official residence until 1960 and later used as a guest palace for a while. It was converted to a museum in 1991 but still retains the feel of a home with displays of personal possessions among other exhibits.