Kelantan - The Cradle of Malay Culture

Kelantan is located on the north eastern corner of Peninsular Malaysia and shares a common border with Thailand in the north. The state is a veritable treasure trove of delights - rustic fishing villages, palm-fringed beaches, lush rice fields and traditional pastimes such as kite-flying and top-spinning. The people here have managed to preserve their age-old customs and traditions. Thus, Kelantan is aptly dubbed the 'Cradle of Malay Culture'. Kota Bharu, the bustling state capital emanates an old world charm and offers tourists the opportunity to witness a microcosm of the unique Kelantanese way of life. The sights, sounds and colours that are authentically Kelantan can be captured at the Central Market, an irresistible treat for shutterbugs. The colorful and lively atmosphere of the bazaar, dominated by women traders who sell a wide variety of vegetables, seafood, cakes, batik, handicrafts and preserved food is truly a sight to behold.

The state is noted for its cottage industries such as batik-printing, silverware, wood-carving and songket weaving. The Cultural Centre in the heart of the town is popular as it showcases Kelantan's rich heritage of cultures and traditions. Here, watch skilful demonstrations of kite- flying involving the giant "wau", huge saucer-shaped tops or "gasing" that can spin non-stop for hours and enjoy the rich resonance of the "rebana ubi", colourfully decorated giant drums. For evening entertainment, there is traditional Malay music and the "wayang kulit", a puppet show which employs a skilful combination of light and shadow play as well as "silat", the traditional Malay art of self-defence.

Kelantan has some lovely beaches in the vicinity of Kota Bharu like Pantai Cahaya Bulan (Moonlight Beach), Pantai Irama (Beach of Melody), Pantai Bisikan Bayu (Beach of Whispering Breeze) and Pantai Seri Tujuh (Beach of Seven Lagoons). These beaches are as alluring as their names sound.
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