Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Visit to Kelantan (From Penang to Kelantan)

The bird cage, which is popular in Kelantan
From Rantau Panjang to Golok, the other direction
Reaching the jetty at Rantau Panjang
from Sg Golok town
Passenger crossing the river
Passengers carried their goods into the boat
Cargo boat crossing the river
The jetty in Sg Golok(GolokRiver)
The shophouse near the bus terminal
View of Rantau Panjang town main road or Jalan Besar.
Rantau Panjang free trade zone check point, the entry to the town for free duty shopping.

Rantau Panjang Town - The border town

Rautau Panjang is a small town near the Malaysia- Thailand border. It is separated only by the Golok River. Opposite the Golok River is the Thailand's town of Sg Golok(Mae Nam Ko-Lok), which is much bigger than Rantau Panjang. Rantau Panjang is a duty free trade zone. The town is having 8,436 people, with 94% Malay. It is under the district of Pasir Mas.

Rantau Panjang free trade zone is the 2nd free trade zone in Kelantan,the other one is Pengkalan Kubor. Rantau Panjang is famous for products from Thailand. The products included clothing, food, fruits, kitchen apparatus, and other house accessories , at a cheap price. During school holiday seasons,there are loads of buses from other states traveled all the way to Rantau Panjang with the main aim of only going shopping.

The town is not busy today, mainly due to the tight security situation in Southern Thailand. Recently the immigration pondok at the border check point was bombed by the Islamic Separatists. This has adversely affected the business.

View from the highest point in East West Highway from Grik to Jeli

View from the highest point in East West Highway from Grik to Jeli. There is a coffee shop cum restaurant at the place. We stopped there for a while.

The Temengor DamBridge view from the Resort.

The view along the highway is beautiful
The winding road to Jeli, Kelantan

The rubber trees at the hill slope,which is better terrain for rubber tree planting
The matured oil palm beside the highway.Malaysia is the world largest producer of palm oil.
Sleep at the start of the journey? what a waste.
Rows of rubber trees near the flat land at the road side, the tree produce latex that is the raw material for natural rubber gloves. Malaysia is one of the largest producer of rubber & manufacturer of natural rubber gloves.

The green paddy field on the way to Kulim. Kedah state is the rice bowl of Malaysia.

27-1-2009 The journey to Kelantan(East -West Highway)

We left Penang by the Penang bridge, and traveled to Jeli, Kelantan using Kulim-Grik route. The scenery along the East-West highway was beautiful, with tropical forest and the highway is cutting through the Main Range. The journey took us to 4 states, Penang, Kedah, Perak and Kelantan.

Along the highway, we by passed two bridges, near where the Royal Belum State Park is located, & which was gazetted as state park only on 3-5-2008, it include the Temengor Forest Reserve & Temenggor Dam. It is a state park with total area of 117,500 ha, and no further logging is allowed in the state park.

The Temenggor Dam or Temenggor Power Station is a major hydroelectric dam in Gerik. It is located on Sungai Perak,about 200km northeast of Ipoh. Temenggor was once a valley where Orang Asli peoples used to roamed and lived. There are two different tribes of Orang Asli in Tasek Temenggor area, one is called Jahai (main sub ethnic group of the Negrito) and the other tribe is called Temiar,which formed the main group of Senoi.

The construction started in 1967 & despite occasional sabotage acts by the CPM( or Communist Party of Malaya),the project went ahead and completed in 1977. The completion of the dam resulted in the entire valley was flooded. It created an 18,000 hectare pool of water measuring 80km long and 5km wide with a depth of 124 metres at its deepest. The lake in the area is now know as Temenggor Lake.There are 80 islands in the lake, created from the 80 hills of the former Temenggor valley. The villagers were airlifted from the village & relocated to the government built village located by the edge of the lake.

The East West highway end at Jeli, a Kelantan town. From Jeli, we traveled to Rantau Panjang to visit our relatives.

On the way to Pasir Mas along the highway, there are stalls selling pineapples. We also by passed a mosque of Chinese traditional architecture. It looked like a normal Chinese temple. According to the locals, the place has become a new tourist attraction.

We turned into the road leading to Kota Bharu, without going to Pasir Mas town . In those days, we can only go to Kota Bharu by using Pasir Mas- Kota Bharu route.

As Kelantan state shares common border with Thailand, and was once under the rule of the Thai. There is strong influence of Thai culture in their cuisine, architecture, and the daily life of the local people.

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