Faces of
Malaysia
Kuantan

Kuantan is the largest city of the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia with a population of about half a million. It is also the capital of the state of Pahang.

Kuantan is located about halfway between Singapore (to the south) and Kota Bahru (to the north). The city is situated at the coast of the South China Sea near the mouth of the Kuantan River. The city is not a major tourist destination, rather a stopover point for island destinations (Tioman, Redang, Perhentians, etc.) along the East Coast. From Kuantan you can also also reach the popular beach in Cherating in less than an hour with the local Bus.

Cherating

Cherating is the only real backpacker hub at the east coast of the peninsula on the mainland. Offering plenty of affordable chalets and a relaxed atmosphere, it is good place to stop for a night or two on the way up or down the east coast. The beach itself is not that spectacular and misses the palm directly at the beach. But it has a good vibe and few things you can do like taking a tour or renting a kayak up the river into the mangroves. There is also an active surfer scene when the waves are right. Cherating is located about 30km or 1h by local bus north of Kuantan.

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Kota Bharu, Malaysia

Wats around Kota Bharu

address: in Tumpat, between Kota Bharu and the Thai border, Kelantan, Malaysia
Wats around Kota Bharu, There are a few impressive thai buddhist temple between Kota Bahru and near thai border in the north
Wat Photovihan
There are a few impressive thai buddhist temple between Kota Bahru and near thai border in the north

Kelantan (as well as Kedah and Terengganu)  was under Siamese control until the late 19th century. Therefore it was it wasn’t effected by structural and immigration policies of the british in the 19th century. Thus, the northern states retained their traditional Malay culture. However, the long Siamese control and the approximity to Thailand also results in thai buddhist culture leaving a mark in northern Kelatan.
Here are some of serveral temples in the area:

Wat Photovihan (Reclining buddha)
The temple is located in Kampung Jambu in Tumpat, and is near the border with Thailand (see the map on the right)

What Phothivivihan is the most famous Buddhist temple in Kelantan. It contains the biggest statue of the Reclining Buddha in Southeast Asia. The statue - which measures 40 metres long, 11 metres high and nine metres wide - was completed in 1979. The funds came from public donations and the Buddhist Association of Malaysia and Thailand.

Wat Matchimmaram (big sitting buddha)
Lot No 2367, Kampung Jong Bakar, Jalan Penkalang Kubur, Tumpat, 16200 Kelantan Darulnaim, Malaysia

Phikulyai Buddhist Temple
just across the road from Wat Matchimmaram



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Hotels in in Kota Bharu
HOSTELS
in Kota Bharu
Zeck’s Traveller’s Inn
Homestay-like hostel in a residential area close to the city center. It is almost like staying with a malay family. Zeck and his family are lovely hosts and run the place for over 20 years already.
Things to do & see
Central Market (Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah)
very colourful dry and wet market in the city center ... more
Wats around Kota Bharu
There are a few impressive thai buddhist temple between Kota Bahru and near thai border in the north ... more
Things to do & see
Gurdwara Tatt Khalsa Sikh Temple, Kuala Lumpur
Sikh Temple at the near the Chow Kit Wet Market and Kampung Baru. Largest Sikh temple in South-east Asia and spiritual home to KL′s 75,000 Sikhs. ... more

Turtle Alley (Lorong Penyu), Kuala Terengganu
Narrow lane in Chinatown (Kampung Cina) that has been beautified and themed witn art works about turtle to remind us of the endangered status of turtles that nest at the beaches of Terengganu ... more