Rantau Panjang is a town bordering Malaysia and Thailand located north of the state of Kelantan in the western region of Pasir Mas. It is located 39km southwest of Kota Bharu and is close to Sungai Golok, Thailand. Rantau Panjang is known as a tax-free zone area and it is the major border crossing between Malaysia and Thailand for the East Coast of Malaysia. The town on the Thai side across the Golok River which forms the boundary between the two countries is Sungai Golok. Rantau Panjang and Sungai Golok are linked by the short “Harmony Bridge” over the Golok River.
Both towns conducted a duty-free shopping area where various items such as clothes, electronic goods and cigarettes can be found. Inspection of Smuggling Unit, Royal Malaysian Customs Department, Immigration Department and Royal Malaysian Police enforce restrictions around Rantau Panjang to prevent smuggling of drugs, rice, sugar, humans etcetera.
Rantau Panjang is named after the longhouse arrangements which were built during the construction of the Kelantanese railroad tracks in 1915. ‘Rantau Panjang’ can be defined from the Malay as meaning of ‘Rantau’ as a situation of being away for a journey while ‘Panjang’ is referring to the long time spent.
There are flights to Pengkalan Chepa provided by Malaysia Airlines, Firefly and Air Asia. From the airport, guests may hail up a taxi to reach Rantau Panjang.
People driving from Kuala Lumpur may drive through the east coast highway via Karak Highway exiting at Bentong before continuing the journey towards Kota Bharu and finally reach Rantau Panjang.
The express bus terminal is located in Kota Bharu town, nearby Jalan Pendek. Among the available express bus services are Konsortium Express, Transnasional, PLUSLiner, Nice Express, Cepat & Cekap Express and many more. From the bus terminal, guests may hail up a taxi or hop on the local bus to complete the journey towards Rantau Panjang.
Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) provides day and overnight trains that offers stops at Wakaf Bharu Railway Station. From the station, guests may hail up a taxi to reach Rantau Panjang.
Border crossing situation is sometimes fascinating to watch. People usually take a walk down to the Golok River near the bus and taxi station. This passes through the many pavements of shops and it will be right on the border between Malaysia and Thailand. It is amusing being able to see how many people and goods cross the border whereby, usually there are rice coming from Thailand and consumer goods being brought out from Malaysia without the hassles of immigration and customs. All this goes on under the watchful eyes of the border guards. Travellers who are not from the area are advisable not to exit or enter Malaysia in such a manner.
Both Rantau Panjang and Sungai Golok shares a designated market place for duty-free shopping experience. Shops are placed along the Golok River displaying varieties of items. Among the favourite items are the high grade imitation goods including jerseys, fake branded handbags, watches, leather goods, perfumes and clothes; childrens’ toys; kitchenwares with brands like Tupperware, Tefal, Corningware, Corelle, Pyrex, Crocodile brand pots and pans; foldable and easy-carry mattress or simply termed by the locals as ‘toto’ with brands such as Narita, Sweeten and Greentex and also local snacks like fish crackers, sweets and many kinds of fruit pickles in jars. Thailand rice and fresh produce like its famous mangoes and other hybrid fruits are also available here.
This hotel is located in the new commercial area of Wakaf Che Yeh featuring comfortable rooms with modern facilities. Its strategic location makes it an ideal place in getting around to most destination.
This hotel is located along Kelantan River and suited to its name, it provides great panoramic views of the city centre and the flowing river. It is ideal for business and leisure travellers because of its strategic location that is accessible towards business, shopping and cultural zones of Kota Bharu.
This is the first premier hotel that stands in the heart of Kota Bharu. The architecture displays unique carvings of rich Malay heritage and upgraded with a well blend of modern touch to the existing classic décor. It possesses warm hospitality combined with excellent services every time.
This is the city’s only five star international class hotel that also comes with a premier convention and wedding venues. It is intentionally built for extravagant celebration with spacious living concept. The hotel also boasts for its fitness centre being the Kota Bharu’s largest gymnasium well-equipped with the latest fitness equipments, steam rooms, saunas and an outdoor swimming pool.