Thursday, May 15, 2014

Must Visit Places in Kelantan!

Pasar Siti Khadijah

Travel back in time when people still go to the market for their daily groceries in rickety trishaws, make kuih muih from scratch without preservatives and have time for intricate handicrafts for the entertainment of the entire family.

Wat Maisuwankhiri , aka. Dragon Boat Temple

Experience and witness the genuinely heartwarming nature of the Kelantan people 
as they live harmoniously with each other and those of different ethnics. 

Kelantan has been linked to ancient history documents from China, Khmer Empire, Sri Vijaya , Majapahit and Siam. And being direct neighbors to Thailand, the Kelantan people have absorbed the many Thai customs and traditions that help to make the state's culture distinct from those of other states of Malaysia. 

Have you met a local from Kelantan before? 
Listen carefully to their accent or dialect, its almost musical!

How do i know all this?

A million thank you's
Air Asia and Tourism Malaysia Kelantan 
for inviting me to be a part of the inaugural flight to Kota Bharu!

Now let me show you what I have experienced in this truly unique destination.
Ready? :)

The first thing i did was to sit in a TRISHAW! I love the fact that almost all the trishaws are personally decorated by their owners and most of the trishaw drivers have been operating for more than 20 years!
I definitely felt safe and it was so FUN! Its like riding in a Tuk-tuk in Thailand or an Auto in India!

I swear I'm a really simple person, I was so happy sitting in the trishaw!
Definitely better than sightseeing from a car or a bus, in a trishaw i can view the town at a slower pace.

Okay, straight to the important part!

No stress for us checking out the Kota Bharu Tourism Zone via trishaw
as most of it is situated closely together.

Kota Bharu is like a history buff's treasure island! So,so much to discover!

The War Museum
Photos of War Museum, Kota Bharu
An excellent place to learn about the World War 2 and its impact on Kelantan. Featuring collections of documents, pictures and military paraphernalia from the Japanese Occupation. 

Opening Hours : 8.30am - 4.45pm (Closed on Friday)
Admission Fee : RM1.00 (Malaysians) ; RM2.00 (non-Malaysians)

Islamic Museum
Once well known as Serambi Mekah or Veranda to Mecca , it now displays a small collection of photographs and artifacts relating to the history of Islam in the state.

Opening Hours : 8.30am - 4.45pm (Closed on Friday)
Admission Fee : RM1.00 (Malaysians) ; RM2.00 (non-Malaysians)

Museum of Royal Traditions and Customs/ Istana Jahar 
Be enthralled by the gradeur of the Royal Malay customs and traditions with their collection of royal engagements, weddings, births and other ceremonial occasions. 

Opening Hours : 8.30am - 4.45pm (Closed on Friday)
Admission Fee : RM1.00 (Malaysians) ; RM2.00 (non-Malaysians)

Craft Village and Museum 

Great place to begin or end your tour of Kota Bharu. Browse endless unique handicrafts ad souvenirs or eve watch cultural performances! Admission to the Craft Village is free, but not the entry to the museum. 

Opening Hours : 8.30am - 4.45pm (Closed on Friday)
Admission Fee : RM1.00 (Malaysians) ; RM2.00 (non-Malaysians)

Dragon Boat Temple
 also known as Wat Maisuwankhiri

Feeling so at peace immediately after stepping out of the bus and seeing this grand temple.
Look at the detailed sculptures, intricate designs and vibrantly colored!
Another interesting part of this temple is located behind the main building where a monk that is covered in gold is located. I didn't take a picture of it out of respect though, but it is good to visit and pay your respects there :)

Address: Kg. Bukit Tanah, 16200 Tumpat, Kelantan

Masjid Beijing
A mosque or a building from China? Its both!
This Beijing-inspired mosque was built not long ago and to symbolize the
tolerance between religions of the state! Way to go, Kelantan! *respect*

Address : Rantau Panjang, Kelantan

Cultural Centre
 ( Dikir Barat Show )
Pop over to the Cultural Centre to witness the real life performances by the Kelantan traditional artists.
As they sing and dance enthusiastically and passionately, you cant help but clap along or be mesmerized at their colorful costumes!

Location : Gelanggang Seni, Kota Bharu, Kelantan

Wayang Kulit Pak Daim, Tumpat


One of my favourite places that we visited - the Shadow play! Or locally known as Wayang Kulit !
Here, you can sign up for classes where the last few talented artisans teach you the real way of making these puppets used for the wayang kulit. A dying local art that i hope will somehow be preserved for our future generations to enjoy. During a wayang kulit performance, the master storyteller or 'Tok Dalang' conducts the show from behind the screen by reciting the tale with appropriate sounds and movements.

Address : Simpang 3 Morak, Kampung Paloh, Wakaf Bharu, 16040 Tumpat Kelantan
Tel : 6017-9778929

Kampung Laut 
( Serunding Cottage Industry )

I was hungry the entire time i was here. They spend hours cooking meat (fish, chicken and beef)
and then grinding it when its dry till it resembles meat floss.
Fragrant and oh-so-yummy meat floss/serunding is made here.
Check out their huge kuali for cooking and the machine that grindsand pull the meat slowly till it is floss.

Getting there is kinda tricky but, all the locals will help you get a boat to cross the river to Kampung Laut where a long row of houses are dedicated to the making of these yummy delicacy!

Location : Kampung Laut 

KB Permai Silverware

Kelantan is jam-packed with local art talents! Every single silver item here is handmade!
Behind their showroom is their workshop where you can custom order your silverwares and accessories.
Reasonably priced too!

Address : 5406-B & C Jalan Sultanah Zainab, Kota Bharu, Kelantan Darul Naim, 15050
Contact : +6097485661

Min House Camp

Owned and operated by a family, Min House Camp boasts more than just organic honey but also, FIREFLY SIGHTSEEING!

Brave it out by going at night unto their floating riverhouse as shown above, and into their motorboat
where they will take you along the eerie darkness of the river

 The riverbank is dusted with fairy lights! Nature's very own Christmas decoration!
Unfortunately, we all weren't able to capture the beauty on camera but, see it for yourself and you will realize that nothing is more beautiful than it being seen in real life instead of digital pictures.

Contact : Kak Yah 013 9225 440

Che Minah Songket

The traditionally renowned songket and weaving company in Kelantan sells Songket, Batik and local handicrafts. Although famous and very much in-demand, they maintain their reasonable prices and was awarded Fair Price Shop Awards by the Ministry Of Domestic Trade & Consumer Affair.

So, go ballistic with shopping here with their value for money products, or you can go downstairs where really traditional songkets are slowly made by these elderly women. Proud of their skills that have been passed down for generations, these ladies showed off their weaving skills with their trusty wooden frame that suspends hundreds of cotton and silk threads for them to weave or hook!

Facebook : Cik Minah Songket & Batik 
Contact :  09-748 1616

Wau Maker 

One of the last few Master wau-makers, Pak Shafie has more than 30 years expertise. With utmost focus and precision, he carves pieces of colorful paper according to various designs, chooses only the best pieces of bamboo to make the frame of the giant kite. A process which can go on for months, Pak Shafie ensures each Wau is a work of art from the heart - a work of heart.

I'm so grateful that i was able to witness this dying art, I hope this inspires anyone
to not only witness it like me but if you are blessed with more time, learn this work of heart.

Location :  Kg Badang

More important information about Kelantan :-
Where to Stay?  and  What to eat?  

Find it all in my previous post! Click HERE : Experiencing Kelantan with Airasia