Kelantan Travel Tips provides information you can use for visiting Kelantan. Kelantan is a state on the northeast of West Malaysia. Its official name is Kelantan Darul Naim. The Arabic honorific Darul Naim means "The Blissful Abode". Kelantan is bordered by Terengganu and Pahang to the south, Perak to the west and the Narathiwat Province of Thailand to the north. The eastern side of Kelantan borders the South China Sea. The state has a size of 14,922 sq km and a population of slightly over two million. Its capital is Kota Bharu, a small city by the banks of the Kelantan River.
This travel guide is created for independent travellers planning to explore Kelantan. As much as possible, I am incorporating GPS coordinates to the towns as well as to specific sights in Kelantan, so you only have to key in the GPS coordinates into your GPS device or smart phone to be navigated to then places that I describe.
Wat Puchumthat Chanaram, Jong Bakar, Tumpat (12 February, 2006)
The name Kelantan is said to mean "Land of Lightning". It is a very much agrarian state with paddy fields, fishing villages and sandy beaches. Kelantan is home to some of the most ancient archaeological discoveries in Malaysia, including several prehistoric aboriginal settlements. The economy of Kelantan is dominated by rice, rubber and tobacco cultivation. Fishing along its 96-kilometre coastline is also an important economic activity. Traditional skills in handicraft production such as batik, woodcarving and songket weaving are still practiced, albeit on a small scale. Logging activities are active given the vast remaining area of forest. A few reputable hotels have been established and more modern shopping malls have been opened to cater for urban folks.
Wat Uttamaram, Tumpat, Kelantan (13 February 2006)
Kota Bharu, the capital, is the major urban centre, and there are also plans to open up the southern portion of the state under an ambitious multi-million-dollar development project. The main market at the city centre is a top attraction.
Kelantan has a GDP per capita at about RM10000, which is about one-third that of other richer states like Selangor and Penang. Many Kelantanese are involved in small and medium businesses, enjoying a good unreported income that is not reflected in the GDP calculation.
Istana Jahar in Kota Bharu, housing the Kelantan Royal Ceremonies Museum (12 February 2006)
Some people are apprehensive about visiting Kelantan, particularly Kota Bharu, on account of it being such a conservative Muslim state.
Once you come to Kelantan however, you will be surprised to find that there is so much to explore, and that the people of various races live here in better harmony than in some other states without a so-called Muslim fundamentalism. Just head to Tumpat, and you will find a greater density of Buddhist temples than practically anywhere else in the country.
Siti Khadijah Market, Kota Bharu (12 February 2006)
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