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the Railway Station in Tumpat


Tumpat is a little town about 20 km north of Kota Bharu. It is close to the Malaysian border and therefore it has a bit of Thailand and a bit of Malaysia with a touch of China. It is well known, because Tumpat is the end of the famous "Jungle Train". Tumpat is the station that connects Kelantan with Johor Bahru. On the other side of the border, the railway continues to Bangkok. If you want to go to Kota Bahru, you better get off at the station in Wakaf Bahru, which is about 6 km from Kota Bahru. Taxis and buses are ready to bring you the city of Kota Bharu.
However, there is still a warning for those who want to travel to Thailand: the south of Thailand is restless. Extreme Muslims are living in the south of Thailand and they are striving for independence. Attacks are sometimes made therefore. It is not advisable to travel around the south of Thailand (north of Kota Bharu). Those who search the internet for a while will find the attacks.

The more adventurous tourists are arriving by "Jungle Train". They got on the train in Gemas or Jerantut. They better can enjoy the most the third class of the train, where you enjoy transport live stock and tons of goods merchandise, which the passengers take with them. The train stops on the way at almost every station - and there are many - and the train arrives almost anywhere too late. The entire route has a single track.
School children are getting in and out the train at every campong in the jungle. Women buying or selling women chickens are coming the train. Or merchandise is loaded or unloaded. Food and fruit are sold at every station. The trains can hardly run fast according to a fixed schedule. Departure times and arrival times are fixed, but because the loading or unloading takeslonger, there will be some delays.



When the train in Tumpat arrives there are buses and enough taxis ready to take you to Kota Bharu. Most trains arrive quite late in Tumpat. Unfortunately, here are no acceptable opportunities to stay overnight in Tumpat.
So the best thing to do is to choose a hotel here in advance <click> and continue your trip (or the days after) to your next destination. Probably that will be one of the Perhentian Islands.

Boodschappen voor thuis...

Around Tumpat you can visit a number of Buddhist temples. Usually with large statues of Buddha. One of them is standing, the other one is lying down (a reclyning Buddha)and the next one is sitting. View some of the temple, which you can find on the left side of the menu. They start with "Wat", like the Wat Machi Temple and the Wat Phothivihan. It is a bit strange to encounter a Buddhist temple in this Islamic part, but so close to the Thai border it is not surprising that there is a Thai (fled) community here.
The temples are a shining example of religious tolerance in Malaysia. Especially in a state such as Kelantan, where one is predominantly Muslim.
You can visit these temples easily with a taxi, scooter or with one of the local buses that drive here. The entrance is free, but you can always give a donation.



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  Ben van Wijnen



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