Kelantan brims with exoticism, this is reflected in the cuisine, arts, and the unique Kelantanese Malay language. Due to Kelantan’s relative isolation and largely rural lifestyle, it is also one of the remaining hubs of Malay culture. Gaya Travel Magazine team recently set foot in this east coast state to experience what it has to offer, especially in terms of eco-tourism, upon the kind invitation by Tourism Malaysia Kelantan Office. The trip focused around Gua Musang, which is the state’s largest district. Travellers should consider what Kelantan has to offer, though on the surface, it may not look much to be uninitiated.
1.The Ethnobotany Park
The Ethnobotany Park was developed as a forestry research centre intended to support the conservation, development and sustainable utilisation of Kelantan forest resources. It serves as a recreational centre that offers activities such as hiking, abseiling, camping, canopy-walking and cave-exploring. Travellers who are interested in biodiversity can visit the cultivated herbal plants that prove popular among students of local schools and colleges who come here for educational trips.
Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
2. Kesedar InnEstablished in 1981 with a total investment of RM 1.1 million, Kesedar Inn accommodation ranges from traditional chalets that suit differing number of travelling groups to the more contemporary Deluxe rooms. However, due to the 2014 massive flood, some of the accommodation units were affected. The aftereffects of the flood can still be seen, inadvertently making it an interesting place to not just sleep but to learn more on how the flood impacted the members of the local community, as well as how they pick themselves up again afterwards.
Jalan Kesedar Inn,
18300 Gua Musang, Kelantan.
Tel: +609-912 1229
3.Take a spiritual walk through Swee Nyet Temple (Tokong Mek)
Located approximately 15km from the Gua Musang town, The Swee Nyet Temple (Temple Mek) is known as the first Chinese settlement in Kelantan. It is believed that the arrival of Admiral Cheng Ho to the state on his way to Melaka triggered the influx of Chinese. Practitioners of Taoism and Confucianism travel from across the country to come here and pray at what is known to be the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia. To reach there, visitors must walk for about 15 minutes before climbing 155 steps since it is located on top of a hill. Once you set your eyes on the stunning view from the top of this hill, all your exhaustion in getting there will melt away.
4. Captivated by misterious Orang Asli at Kampung Redip
Kampung Redip is located at Pos Hau, Kuala Betis, around 56 kilometres from the centre of Gua Musang, Kelantan. Due to the unpaved and muddy off-road conditions, travellers need four-wheel drive to get to there, a journey that could take two to three hours. Kampung Redip offers a unique Orang Asli (Malaysian aborigines) accommodation experience called ‘Kampung Stay’ where travellers get the opportunity to stay in chalets similar to the Orang Asli traditional abodes. Travellers can also indulge in various outdoor activities such as hiking up for one hour to the adjacent Kampong Ladoi in search of the rare but iconic Rafflesia, known as the world’s largest flower, and proceed another 30 minutes to reach the peak of the hill to enjoy the magnificent view of the surrounding highlands as far as the eyes could see.
18300 Gua Musang, Kelantan
Contact: Razali ayeh (+6011 4024 9499)
5. Trekking to the pristine Leurew Waterfall
Travellers can trekking to the pristine Leurew waterfall, about 30-minute from Kampong Redip, which possesses crystal clear water and refreshing mountainous air, perfect for city-weary travellers to recharge. Along the way, travellers would also be able to witness how the Orang Asli from the Temiar tribe put together traditional traps using natural materials to catch squirrels, mice or snakes, which is eye-opening because travellers now can understand better how the Orang Asli survive when living deep inside the Malaysian rainforests. Travellers also could further learn about Orang Asli’s history and culture like the welcome dance called sewang, including traditional culinary like the tapioca-based dish that is known to last for a week without going bad.