Rantau Panjang is a small town, as well as a subdistrict or “mukim” and a parliment constituency located in the district of Pasir Mas, state of Kelantan, Malaysia. It is located to the most southwest part of the state, 39 kilometres away from the state capital Kota Bharu, with near proximity to the Golok River. As such, it is much easier to access Thailand from this part of Kelantan in comparison to the other districts. In fact, if going into Malaysia from Narathiwat using land transport, Rantau Panjang will be the first town to encounter. This township is famously known for its status as a free trade zone. Due to the status, the goods and gifts here are typically much cheaper and the visitors coming here will buy them in bulks. Therefore a lot of shopping lots and complexes are erected here to take advantage of the status as well as to attract visitors with more varieties of goods. In addition to that, Rantau Panjang is also used to be home to smuggling activities where drugs, rice and even humans smuggling activities have been going on rampantly. Nonetheless all these things are majorly stories from the past and law enforcement by the Customs Department has been going on rigorously to prevent such unlawful acts. Nowadays Rantau Panjang, in addition to it being a shopping haven, is also a beautiful melting pot of cultures between Thailand and Malaysia.
Rantau Panjang can be accessed by by boarding flights to Kelantan. There are flights to Kota Bharu provided by Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia. From the airport, guests may hail up a taxi or public transportation to Rantau Panjang.
People driving from Kuala Lumpur may drive through the Kuala Lumpur-Gua Musang Highway and exiting at Central Spine Route 8 before continuing the journey towards Rantau Panjang. The journey could take up around six hours.
There is an express bus terminal in Rantau Panjang that can be accessed via Route 3 / AH18. Take the trip directly to Rantau Panjang from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) terminal using express bus services such as Queen Express, Perdana Express or Express Mutiara.
One of the shopping havens in Kelantan and the busiest of its kind, especially during weekends and school or public holidays. A whole varieties of goods here are sold at an extremely cheap price with wider selection for consumers to choose from. Among the best-selling goods include sportswear and jersey, kitchenware, pillows and toys. There is a dining area nearby which sells some of the unique Kelantan and also Thailand delicacies and local food.
Another interesting place and definitely a must to visit when visitors are in Rantau Panjang is the Sultan Ismail Petra Silver Jubilee Mosque itself. Uniquely dubbed as the “Beijing Mosque”, this mosque has a distinctive combination of Chinese and Islamic culture in its design, which resembles Niujie Mosque in Beijing, China. It is located about two kilometers away from the town and occupies about 3.7 acres of land. Therefore it is easily found from afar especially when visitors are on their way to the Rantau Panjang Customs Complex. The erection works begin back in 2005 and finished four years later at a cost of 8.8 million ringgit. During festive seasons like Eid Fitri and Friday prayers, it is capable of accommodating 1, 000 congregants at a time.
Probably the only one of its kind here, Afia Deer Farm provides a special opportunity for visitors to be able to observe the herds of deer up close. The deer in the farm are majorly tamed and can be fed with food from visitors, which can purchased from the farm itself. There are also education sessions where visitors are able to get insight into rearing deer and their behavior.