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Rhinoceros Hornbill Buceros rhinoceros ©Laurence Poh Website

Kelantan is a state of Malaysia. The capital and royal seat is Kota Bharu. The Arabic honorific of the state is Darul Naim, ('The Blissful Abode').

Kelantan is positioned in the north-east of Peninsular Malaysia. It is bordered by Narathiwat Province of Thailand to the north, Terengganu to the south-east, Perak to the west, and Pahang to the south. To the north-east of Kelantan is the South China Sea.

Kelantan is located in the north-eastern corner of the peninsula, Kelantan, which is said to translate as the 'Land of Lightning' (see alternate theories below), is an agrarian state with lush paddy fields, rustic fishing villages and casuarina-lined beaches. Kelantan is home to some of the most ancient archaeological discoveries in Malaysia, including several prehistoric aboriginal settlements.

Rising high on the slopes of Gunung Korbu, the second highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia, the Nengiri River flows east to merge first with the Galas, and then with the Lebir — the latter born in the wilds of Taman Negara National Park — before turning decisively northwards and emptying into the shallow waters of the South China Sea. From Kuala Krai the conjoined streams become the Kelantan River, a broad, mud-coloured stream which dominates the fertile coastal plains and defines the geography of the region. The Kelantan River valley is a fertile rice-bowl, rich in hardwoods and rubber and lush with tropical fruits.

For centuries, Kelantan was all but separated from the rest of the country by the Titiwangsa Mountains, a mountain range running from north to south through the peninsula. Weeks of hard travel were required to reach Kelantan. The 'easy way' to Kelantan was to sail around the peninsula, braving the sea and pirates. For this reason Kelantan's history often involves the sea, and boats. Even today, many of its people are very much tied to the sea. A discussion with many coastal residents will confirm that their ancestors, as far back as they know, were "of the sea."

In the early 1980s, trunk roads were built to link it with nearby states. Presently, one can travel by road from the capital city Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu through the mountain range within 5 hours.

Kelantan has a tropical climate, with temperatures from 21 to 32 °C and intermittent rain throughout the year. The wet season is the east-coast monsoon season from November to January.



GNU Free Documentation License


Useful Reading

*Field Guides & Bird Song

For a comprehensive list of recommended titles covering Malaysia as a whole - please see the Malaysia page of Fatbirder

Birds of Taman Negara - An Illustrated Guide and Checklist

by M. Strange & D. Yong, 2006, Paperback, 120 pages Draco Publishing
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 9810544413

Buy this book from NHBS.com


Malaysia Nature Society - Kelantan Branch


Contact info…


Abbreviations Key

Taman Negara National Park


Satellite View

Taman Negara (National Park) straddles the borders of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang in Peninsular Malaysia. A totally protected area of 4,343sq km, Taman Negara is one of the world's oldest tropical rain forests. The diversity of its fauna and flora is a result of undisturbed evolution over 130 million years.

Taman Negara National Park


Satellite View

Taman Negara was established in 1938/1939 as the King George V National Park. It was then renamed Taman Negara after Independence. Estimated at 130 million years old, the 4,343 sq km Taman Negara is one of the oldest Tropical Rain Forest in the world… …There are over 300 species of birds in Taman Negara. Experienced bird watchers may be able to spot more than 150 species within a few days…

Trip Reports


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Perdana Stong Hill Resort & Adventure Camp


Perdana Stong Hill Resort & Adventure Camp is a fascinating eco-tourism destination that offers excitement and mystical fun. The preserved rainforest filled with the beauty of floral and fauna added to the uniqueness of Perdana Stong Hill Resort & Adventure Camp. This resort promises our guests an ideal place for vacation and privacy, far away from the hustle and bustle of big cities. For the nature lovers, there is no places as untouched as Stong Fall.

Photographers & Artists

Photographer - Laurence's Digital Birds


This site is a collection of bird pictures I have taken since Feb 1999 with the Nikon Coolpix 950 and Coolpix 990 digital camera in combination with a Leica Apo-Televid 77 mm spotting scope. All photos were taken by natural available light with exception of one nightjar which was lit by incandescent bulb. Most of the birds are Malaysian species with some foreign birds shot abroad. In Malaysia we have over 600 species of birds. Some are migratory birds that are seen only during the northern winter months. What I have here is just a small collection. In my own way, I am trying to promote Malaysia as a birding destination as the birds are much prettier in real life than my pictures can depict.