This is part 1 of the Road Trip II – East Coast
Kelantan has been a foreign state to me until now – it was never fully explored because of it being too far away from KL/PJ and my ignorance over its attractions. Seeing it for the first time, I am in awe of its many natural beauties, unique culture & community and colorful buildings.
My most memorable experience here was the unplanned Waterfall Day. Ended the day enjoying the cool waters at 3 different sites; Lata Berangin, Lata Rek and Jelawang waterfalls inside Stong State Park.
Lata Berangin and Lata Rek are situated nearby, reachable on the same kampong road. The first waterfall is more secluded. With no sign-postings, the traveller requires usage of GPS (N05 26.82’ E102 19.59’) to track it down. Whereas Lata Rek is located 11km south with signposting, and can be clearly seen from the roadside.
Lata Berangin doesn’t look very tall, but its thundering volume of water flowing down vertically will surely amaze or scare some people. There’s a nice pool at the bottom to swim in, but do be careful as the waters can get pretty deep and fast flowing.
(Lata Berangin with its mighty falls)
Lata Rek is another spectacular waterfall, especially because of its wide cascading features. Because of its slower flow of waters, there is a huge pile-up of sandy plains at the bottom. Found the local boys more interested to ride the sandy dunes in their motorbikes rather than play in the waters. For us, arriving here close to noon-time saw us chilling out in the shady shallow regions beside a small river that flows away from the waterfalls.
(Lata Rek with its more gentle cascades)
To cap the day, we ventured into Stong State Park to check out the famed Jelawang Waterfall. Apparently it is known to be the highest falls in South East Asia at 303m above sea level. Most people will come here early in the morning, to hike about 2 hours to the top falls. Then camp overnight to see the sunrise before make the return journey by foot again, proceed ahead another 2 hours to peak of Gunung Stong.
We only saw the overall majestic beauty in the distance when we drove on the road leading to the entrance. When we arrived at the bottom falls, thick forest cover from both sides of the falls hid the upper parts from view. Nevertheless, the bottom pool was a cool respite and we had some fun scrambling on the rocks, and using it as a natural slide down.
(Bottom portion of Jelawang waterfall inside Stong State Park)
Overall, Kelantan was a great state and am thankful to finally see some of its great treasures. There are plenty more left unexplored – maybe another road trip just for this state?
– Shui Yue Gong (Water & Moon Temple) was kind enough to allow us to camp around their temple grounds. There are toilet & shower facilities. Do seek permission of the temple supervisor before pitching camp
– Pantai Seri Tujuh has public camping sites. We unfortunately came on the first day of the local Expo, so the Pantai Sri Tujuh Resort was kind enough to provide us space besides the reservations office.
– Jelawang Waterfall have really good toilet and shower facilities. Entry fee to falls and facilities is minimal – worth every ringgit paid.