The Kelantan Times

Writer of Life

The Kelantan Delta: Pulau Suri.

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Pulau Suri or locally best known as Kampung Pulau Suri is a traditional fishing village in the realm of Tumpat, Kelantan. The village is located within the cluster of islands at the Kelantan river-mouth. Besides Pulau Suri, Pulau Teluk Renjuna is also one of the islands that have become a settlement for the local community. Pulau Suri which is named after a village mid-wife, is situated at the mouth of the Kelantan River, close to South China Sea. Nearly 70 houses in Pulau Suri are occupied by about 435 residents, who are mostly fishermen. This village retains the characteristics of Malay villages is also famous for home-stays.

There were two jetties that connecting the islands and the mainland which are Kok Majid jetty in Tumpat for a 40-minute boat ride to Pantai Suri and Kuala Besar jetty in Kota Bharu for a 15 minute boat ride. The journey took me through several tributaries of the river dotted by villages. Kuala Besar, branches off from the main road heading for Pantai Cahaya Bulan (formerly Pantai Cinta Berahi). Kuala Besar is a big river-mouth and is the nearest take-off point to the islands especially for those who come straightaway from Kota Bharu. The other take-off point to the islands is Pengkalan Kok Majid in Sungai Pinang, Tumpat which is a bit far to Pulau Suri unless to the Pulau Beluru and Pulau Teluk Renjuna. Sekolah Kebangsaan Pulau Beluru, located in Pulau Beluru is the only primary school in the clusters of small island catering for the needs of education among the residents of the surrounding areas. Kampung Kok Majid, which is on the main land, is a place where the island residents go to perform their daily transactions as a range of infrastructures are available there.

There are about more than 30 islands around the estuary of Sungai Kelantan. It’s a cluster of islands in a delta, formed by soil sediment deposited by the river hundred years ago. Only 13 inhabited islands in the delta, the biggest were Pulau Teluk Renjuna, Pulau Beluru and Pulau Suri. The others were Pulau Gorek, Pulau Besar, Pulau Seratus, Pulau Gagak, Pulau Tongkang, Pulau Hj. Nik Mat, Pulau Pak Ali, Pulau Cendur, Pantai Kuda. Among the islands where the settlements are built are Kampung Pantai Haji Nik Mat, Kampung Pulau Seratus, Pulau Teluk Renjuna and Kampung Pulau Beluru. These villages are connected by Sungai Kelantan, the source of living and communication for the residents here. Pulau Suri is quite serene, something one could expect from a kampong with very limited development. There is a feeling of quietness and silence. The only motorised vehicles are the motorcycles and they are few in number. Occasionally one will hear the sound of the motorboat engines from a distance.

The riverbanks were lined with Nipah palms and further inland, rows and rows of coconut trees.  At the jetty, I was surprised to discover that Pulau Suri was not quite typical island with sandy beaches, swaying palms and surrounded by blue sea. In fact, it doesn’t look like an island at all. There were many other islands, including “Teluk Jjuno”, as spoken in local dialect for Pulau Teluk Renjuna. There are also Pulau Beluru and Pulau “Toke” (Tongkang). All in, there are 13 islands, big and small within the Tumpat realm, a fact I recently discovered during the visit that there are more than 20 home-stays. The 20 home-stay facilities are mostly one-bedroom, owner occupied and have basic facilities.

Apart from Pulau Suri, I planned to explore the other nearest islands which are Pulau Beluru and Pulau Teluk Renjuna that were connected by narrow bridges. The 3 main islands are inter-connected,  Pulau Suri, Pulau Beluru and Pulau Teluk Renjuna. These are the islands that I cycled through. From Pulau Suri, I had to cross to Pulau Beluru, which is a short distance of under 3kms before heading to Pulau Teluk Renjuna. The village was modern looking, with narrow roads, lots of fruit trees and friendly people but I felt there were fewer attractions here than in Pulau Pantai Suri. The village sits at the estuary of the Kelantan River near Tumpat, and is near the South China Sea.

I got a glimpse of the life of the villagers’, most of whom are fishermen, as they go out to sea early in the morning and went home at noon. There are no cars here, only motorcycles and bicycles used which is rented by the villagers. Most villagers prefer to walk as the homes are situated closely to one another. As you walk, feel the sand under your feet. The coconut trees’ swaying gently in the wind and everyone knows everyone in the village of 450 people. Then, I decided to take a detour to the river-mouth where the muddy ‘teh tarik’ coloured water met the light green sea that become a ‘playing ground’ for the fishermen’s son. In the distance was the darker green and blue of the South China Sea.

Take a look at Kelantan river-mouth along the Delta of Kelantan to the estuary from satellite images.

Satellite Image of Northern Tumpat.

Zoom in to the cluster of Islands.

Close to the coastal which is South China Sea in the north.


View from Pengkalan Kok Majid Jetty in Sungai Pinang, Tumpat.

Looking at Pulau Teluk Renjuna which is opposite to Kok Majid Jetty

Small island in front of the jetty which is Kuala Besar in the background.

The babies of Island touch down into the mainland of Tumpat.

Kok Majid Jetty from the river.


Journey from Kuala Besar Jetty.

View from Kuala Besar Jetty.

Heading to Pulau Suri. Escape the hustle and bustle for a rural experience.

Pulau Teluk Renjuna from the boat.

Pulau Tongkang is opposite to Kuala Besar Jetty.

Reflection: LKIM Jetty in Kuala Besar.

We will have to cruise a narrow and shallow river between the Islands before arrives at Pulau Suri.

The river entrance to Pulau Suri that located far inside, in which Pulau Tongkang on the right and Pulau Teluk Renjuna on the left. Crusing the river estuary.

Boat from Pulau Suri go back and forth and became an essentially important transport to the villagers.

Pulau Beluru located behind Pulau Teluk Renjuna, connected by narrow bridge to Pulau Suri

Lush greenery & coconut trees becomes an inviting sight to Pulau Suri.

Serenity and tranquillity prevails on the river to the island.

At last, I arrived. It took nearly 10-15 minutes from Kuala Besar jetty.

Pulau Suri Jetty. Villagers are waiting for the boat to the Kuala Besar jetty.

Welcome to Kampung Pulau Suri !

The roads, more accurately, the paths meander through the villages. At several stretches, the paths are wide concrete which makes cycling easier. At several older stretches, potholes can be expected

The main entrance erected 50 meters from the jetty.

A home-stay at Pulau Suri. The village has been chosen to promote the home-stay program because the people here still maintain their traditional lifestyle and home environment.

Another home stay as I went through inside the village.

Meet the Goat ! with monkeys lurking in the background.

and The Sheep ! Goats and sheep wander aimlessly, chewing on small shrubs.

Don't forget, Mr. Darwin. The Malay used to say 'Rajuk Si Kera'. 🙂

The Kids playing around.

At the end of the path of Kampung Pulau Suri. At the back of Pulau Suri was Pulau Pantai Baru.

A glimpse in the life of a fisherman's son

Everything seems peaceful here.

Nipah palm stands on alongside the riverbank. Nipah is a kind of palm ( palm ) who grew up in the mangroves or tidal area near the waterfront.

Scenes of the estuary.

Farewell ride from Pulau Suri.


Written by Muhammad Ismail Ibrahim

October 21, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Posted in History

6 Responses

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  1. salam.. Bilo demo gi sini.. Allahu Akbar.. damai sungguh.. nk g mula2 ajok la etek.. hehe

    Muhammad Hafifi

    October 28, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    • wslm. ambo gi bulan 9 lagi cuma baru ada masa nak upload story. hehe. lain kali nanti kawe nok gi insya-allah kawe akan ajok demo. X soh bimbae la. 🙂

      Muhammad Ismail Ibrahim

      November 1, 2011 at 11:49 AM

  2. GREATTT!!

    En. Maher

    November 8, 2011 at 4:43 AM

  3. hoho my hometown 🙂 as expected peaceful ever


    December 2, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    • yess dats my village

      ariff azamie

      December 3, 2011 at 5:32 PM

  4. like it a lot!!!!! but unfortunately my house was not there

    Yra Naxia

    December 5, 2011 at 9:09 PM

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