What tourists are saying about the Beijing Mosque in Kelantan
“Oriental and unique”
One of the reasons for making a trip to Kota Bharu was to visit this mosque which resembled a Chinese temple. It really puzzled me as Kelantan has always been in my superficial understanding, a Muslim conservative state with a small Chinese minority.
I was also quite surprised that the mosque was built at the border town of Rautau Panjang near the Thai border. Nonetheless, it gave me another opportunity to venture across over from Rautau Panjang to Sungai Kolok which is the border town of Thailand and followed by a visit to this mosque.
I would thus be able to kill two birds with one stone: visiting two countries at the same time.
Upon arrival and outside the Kota Bharu airport, I was searching for the bus stop to take a bus to the town center. I made enquiries with a Malay female driver and she was kind enough to give me a lift to the town as she was on her way to the Post Office.
I thanked her sincerely as I had yet to come across such a kind and generous woman to offer me a free lift from the airport to the town. This incident really changed my perception of Kelantan. The people here generally are really lovingly kind-hearted and welcoming.
After I reached the town center, it was already almost 2 pm. I immediately took the red colorered Cityliner bus no. 29 to Rautau Panjang. The bus fare was RM 5.90. The journey was about an hour plus.
I alighted at a bus stop about 50 m from the Malaysian-Thai border immigration checkpoint. I had my passport endorsed at the immigration counter and walked across a small bridge into the Thai Border town of Sungai Kolok.
The moment you stepped into Sungai Kolok you immediately knew that you were in a different country as the Thai music and songs that were played loudly from the roadside hawker stalls demonstrated a different culture.
Sungai Kolok was a small border town but it had a train station and a landmark Chinese temple that was located further down the road from the train station. There were a number of uniformed soldiers guarding the train station and while I was at the train station, I witnessed a group of youths being checked by the army guards.
The interrogation appeared ruthless to me and a sense of fear and insecurity pervaded me and I remember Sungai Kolok is a town in the southern province of Narathiwat, one of the four provinces that were threatened by frequent bombing incidents done by the Muslim separatists.
Sungai Kolok was also not spared and there had also been few incidents of bombing. It was thus a reason for the tightened security checks at the train station. As I walked towards the town center of Sungai Kolok, I saw a vacant building that was badly damaged by a recent bombing and a soldier was standing guard with a rifle in his hand guarding the shopping complex opposite the building.
My anxiety level subsided as I walked across back to Rautau Panjang into Kelantan. The Sultan Ismail Petra Silver Jubilee Mosque was not far away from the checkpoint and I immediately proceeded to visit the mosque before it was late.
It was situated by the main road and the architecturally design was typically that of a Chinese temple. I walked around the mosque and slowly admired the architectural `wonders’. It was indeed oriental and unique. I found the mosque clean and the atmosphere quiet despite that it was located along the busy main road. .
There is no admission fee and the mosque is not guarded. You are free to walk around but you need to attire in a decent manner to respect the religion.
You can include in your itinerary and incorporate the visit to this unique mosque with a visit to the border town of Sungai Kolok and witnessed a different culture in an environment of real bombing threat. But my advice is that you have to be careful, vigilant and alert when you do so.
Visited February 2014
“What a surprise!”
One look you would thought it is a chinese temple due to its pagoda-like structure. But no, it is a muslim mosque.
The official name is Sultan Ismail Petra Silver Jubilee Mosque also known as Beijing mosque located in Rantau Panjang, Kelantan just a few km away from Kelantan-Sungai Golok, Thailand border/immigration. 43-44km away from Kota Bharu city centre.
It is the first Chinese-style mosque in the country, has a unique design that combines Chinese and Islamic architecture similar to the more than 1,000-year-old Niujie mosque in Beijing.
Indian and Uzbek features are also incorporated in the interiors. The main complex consists of a two-storey building.
Non-muslim can also visit the mosque during non-hour prayer time and dress appropriately (women must fully covered themself, and men must wear long pants).
You cannot enter the praying hall, the other part is ok. One of the attraction you cannot miss if you come to Kelantan.
Visited December 2014
“One of the most beautiful mosques I have seen in Kelantan!”
The inside of this mosque is just beautiful! Very colorful, proper Chinese temple type with Quranic scriptures everywhere!
The place was quite empty (like a lot of mosques in Malaysia outside prayer time). It was literally 3 min walk from my hotel and maybe a couple of minutes away walking from the bus station. Easy access!
There is a cheap, nice and good halal restaurant nearby) which can be an option after visiting the mosque.
Visited May 2015
“Peaceful atmosphere, clean surroundings, and breathtaking!”
On the way to the mosque, you will see a lot of muslem restaurants, long queues will attract your attention. you will be greeted politely by the the people.
The mosque itself is a big one, and contains all the items of a proper mosque. The spirit and the lovely smell of the place are unique. if you are a muslem, you will be extremely happy visiting this great mosque.
Visited October 2013
“A little gem amidst the city”
The mosque is situated about 5mins walk from the bus stop. As we walked in we were greeted and treated very politely.
The courtyard is absolutely beautiful, clean and very peaceful. The architecture is amazing, very colorful and the whole atmosphere is tranquil. I would definitely go there again should I go back to Kelantan.
Visited September 2013
Source: Tripadvisor – Jubilee Mosque Rantau Panjang Kelantan
About the Sultan Ismail Petra Silver Jubilee Mosque
There is a newly added tourist attraction in popular Rantau Panjang, Kelantan.
It’s Malaysia’s first Chinese-style mosque with the name of Sultan Ismail Petra Silver Jubilee Mosque.
Locally known as the Beijing Mosque, the Sultan Ismail Petra Silver Jubilee Mosque has just been completed in recent year.
What to see at Beijing Mosque
The Beijing Mosque is located on 3.7ha along Kota Baru-Rantau Panjang road. The mosque is a spectacular masterpiece that is built at a cost of RM8.8 million.
This newly added attraction will certainly increase the number of tourist arrival to the beautiful state of Kelantan.
Even though the Chinese-style mosque has been completed, it has yet to be officially opened to tourists.
Nevertheless, the local Muslims communities, especially those living in the area, have been using it to perform their daily prayers since the fasting month.
Attractions of the Chinese Mosque
The attractions of the mosque lie in its unique design that combines Chinese and Islamic architecture, similar to the Niujie mosque in Beijing.
The mosque also incorporates Indian and Uzbekistan features, especially for the interior decoration.
It can accommodate up to 1,000 people. The mosque will certainly attract not only locals but also foreigners due to the fact that the mosque is one of its kinds in Malaysia.
The Beijing mosque will be used not only to promote Kelantan, but also to promote Rantau Panjang, which is one of the three duty-free zones in the state.
The Rantau Panjang area is a beach resort style tourist destination that is popular for its tranquil environment, beautiful Malay villages, crystal clear water and white sandy beaches.
In addition, Rantau Panjang is also one of the few areas in Malaysia where sea turtles lay their eggs.
The maintenance of the mosque will be handled by a committee. A sum of RM50,000 will be allocated to this committee for their management work so that the mosque can be well taken care.
Overall, if you ever step your foot in Rantau Panjang, do pay a visit to this spectacular Beijing mosque.
Best rates for hotels in Kelantan
Popular Attractions in Kelantan that you might be interested
- Caving – There are many caves in the state, offering a thrilling time for adventure seekers. Popular caves are Gua Ikan, Keris, Batu Susun, Pagar, Sidang and Cha. Many caves are shrouded in legends and mysteries.
- Tumpat – IT is a bonus to visit Tumpat in Kelantan. It is like getting two countries for the price of one as you’ll be visiting Malaysia and Thailand at the same time. Tumpat is the smallest district in the north-eastern-most part of the East Coast.
- Fishing Village in Sabak -A unique feature of the state is its gaily decorated fishing boats. Visit this village to take in the sight of locals mending their nets and preparing their boats. Its jetty is at its liveliest when fisherfolk return with their day’s catch.
- Duty-Free Shopping – The towns of Rantau Panjang and Pengkalan Kubor are duty-free shopping zones offering a bewildering array of items. Browse through the rows of stalls well-stocked with clothes, decorative items, handicrafts and souvenirs.
- Kuala Koh National Park – This dense jungle is a paradise of natural attractions. Delight in observing an assortment of birds, plants and animals or visit the aboriginal settlement.
- Kampung Homestays – Live with a friendly local family and join in their interesting pastimes. Homestays can be experienced at the villages of Renok Baru, Pantai Suri and Blok Ulu Kusial.
Photo credits: marufish