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Kelantan ~ People & Culture

An Introduction Kota Bahru Places & Beaches Eco & Waterfalls Culture Crafts
Sg. Nenggiri & Caves  Japanese Invasion Kelantan Map

Cultural Centre Fishing Village Kampung Experience

Kelantan is primarily a Malay state, which has a population of about 1.6 million, and around 7% of the population is of Thai, Indian and Chinese ancestry. The people of Kelantan have carefully preserved their customs, traditions and craft skills over time. One might be pleasantly surprised to see adults indulging in pastimes such as flying giant kites or spinning giant tops.

Renowned for their warmth and hospitality, Kelantanese display an old world charm that captivates visitors. It is however a strictly an Islamic state and visitor are advise to dress conservatively to avoid offending the local sensitivities.

Cultural Centre
Kelantan is hailed as the cultural haven of Malaysia. It is here, at the Cultural Centre or Gelanggang Seni that you can witness Kelantan's rich culture heritage. Watch giant kites chase each other playfully in the azure sky, see tops the size of dinner plates spin frantically for hours and listen to the rich resonant of the rebana ubi (drums).
In the evenings, visitors can see cultural performances featuring traditional Malay music and Wayang Kulit. The cultural centre is open three times a week from March to October.
The wayang kulit or shadow play, is a unique form of theatre inspired by the great Hindu epics, the Ramayana and MahabrataThe tok dalang manipulates the puppets (made from buffalo hide and mounted on rattan sticks) and modulates his voice to create drama and suspense. 
Located on Jalan Mahmud close to the Perdana Hotel

Fishing Village
No visit to Kelantan would be complete without a trip to a fishing village dubbed "the soul of Malaysia's East Coast". Two of the most well-known villages are the Sabak Beach (approx. 14 km from Kota Bharu) and Kuala Besar (15 km from Kota Bharu).  If you wish to fully capture the moment, you should arrive no later than 2:30 pm when the boats laden with the day's catch are first spotted on the horizon. As they come ashore. their intricately carved prows are a riot of colours. Then the bargaining begins between wholesalers and the fishermen - a noisy but interesting ritual. You will also be able to witness other related activities such as fish-curing and the mending of nets.

Kampung Experience
Savor the hospitality of a typical Kelantanese family by opting to stay with a family of your choice. This unique homestay program enables you to get an insight into the culture and lifestyle of these simple folks. You can choose to be "adopted" by any of these: potter, fisherman, kite maker, batik manufacturer, silversmith,
top-spinning craftsman







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[An Introduction] [Kota Baru] [People & Culture] [Crafts] [Places & Beaches] [Japanese Invasion] [Eco & Waterfalls] [Sg. Nenggiri & Caves]

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