"The East Coast is a part of Peninsular Malaysia. Largely rural and comparatively poor, the East's prime attractions are some of Malaysia's most unspoiled islands, featuring great beaches and excellent scuba diving."
The East Coast is one of the most beautiful places in Malaysia. It draws visitors for two major reasons: the beaches and islands, and traditional Malay culture. Here are the gems in the South China Sea, which we know from the many movies: crystal clear water with green islands in it.
You can get there the Bounty or Robinson feeling on islands like Pulau Perhentian, Pulau Redang and Pulau Kapas. But there are many more! They offer great opportunities for diving and snorkelling.
The east coast of the peninsula goes from Johor in the South to Kota Bharu in the North, close to the Thai border.
There are four Malaysian states bordering the South China Sea: Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Johor. A little more south is Singapore.
Kelantan and Terengganu are conservative: alcohol is harder to obtain than in other states; most restaurants, whatever cuisine they serve, are halal; and dress – for both men and women – needs to be decent, except at well-touristed beaches. Mostly on the islands in the South China Sea.
Therefore extra attention for the islands. Click on the island of your choise!
For hundreds of years, the Malay rulers of the northern states of Kelantan and Terengganu were vassals of the Thai kingdom of Ayuthaya, suffering repeated invasions as well as the unruly squabbles of their own princes. Nevertheless, the Malays enjoyed a great deal of autonomy, and both states remained free of British control until 1909. Only in 1931 did the rail line arrive in Kelantan; previously, the journey from KL involved thirteen river crossings. In 1941 Kelantan saw the landing of the first Japanese troops, facilitated by the Thai government – who were rewarded by being given control over Kelantan once more from 1943 until 1945.
While immigrants poured into the tin and rubber towns of the west during the twentieth century, the east remained rural. As a result, Kelantan and Terengganu remain very much Malay heartland states. There’s a rustic feel to the area, the economy being largely based on agriculture and fishing, with the obvious exception of Terengganu’s petroleum industry.
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