Kelantan is a rural state in the northeast of Peninsular Malaysia, bordering with Thailand.
With green paddy fields, rustic fishing villages and casuarina-lined beaches, it is home to some of the most ancient archaeological discoveries in Malaysia, including several prehistoric aboriginal settlements.
As a border state and former vassal state of Thailand, Kelantan has absorbed influences from Thai customs and traditions that help to make the state’s culture distinct from those of other states of Malaysia. The Kelantanese people, regardless of ethnic origin, are proud of their state and its unique local culture and dialect.
With a largely agrarian economy dominated by rice, rubber and tobacco, fishing along its 96-kilometre coastline is also an important economic activity. Cottage industries which employ traditional skills in handicraft production are also evident.
Rich Malay traditions such as kite-flying contests, top-spinning contests, and bird singing competitions, and traditional handicrafts such as batik, songket, and silver crafts have all been preserved and are evident to this day.
Kota Bharu, the riverside capital, is home to royal palaces like the wooden Istana Jahar. Sultan Ismail Petra Arch is an ornate timber structure with Islamic inscriptions. The central market, Pasar Siti Khadijah, is a lively hub of activity with all manner of produce on sale.