Kuala Krai: Wikis


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Flag of Kelantan.svg

Districts of
Kelantan Darul Naim
Kuala Krai
كوالا كراي
District seat Kuala Krai
District officer n/a
 - Total 2329 [1] km²
 - 2005 estimate 97,836
 - Density 73.6/km²
1 Also known as Majlis Daerah Dabong

Kuala Krai (alternative spelling: Kuala Kerai) is a territory (jajahan) and town in the interior of the State of Kelantan in the north-east of Malaysia.


Kuala Krai territory

Kuala Krai territory is a landlocked administrative area in the centre of the State of Kelantan in the north east of Malaysia. The land is hilly, and before the 20th century the entire area was tropical rain forest. The territory contains the confluence of two major rivers, the Lebir and Galas, to form the Kelantan River, which then flows some 70 km northwards through one of the most densely populated flood plains on the Malay Peninsular to its estuary in the South China Sea near the State capital of Kota Bharu.

As transport links improved during the 20th century, people moved into the area to take advantage of the abundant land available for farming. A railway was constructed in the 1920s through the undeveloped interior of Malaysia to link Kelantan State with the main centres of population on the west coast. This line ran through Kuala Krai territory, and settlements became established along its route. Road links followed, and towns and villages grew to cater for the mainly agricultural population. Rubber production was increasingly important throughout Malaysia, and many rubber tree plantations were set up in this area. Later, the country-wide shift to oil palm in the 1970s and 1980s saw the establishment of oil palm plantations in the territory, some of which replaced rubber.

Infrastructure developed to support the population and by the end of the 20th century Kuala Krai town had become a busy thriving town, and the administrative centre for the territory.

The territory "Jajahan Kuala Krai" has an area of 2329 km² and comprises three administrative districts (daerah):[1]

  • Daerah Olak Jeram (757.6 km²) with 67 villages
  • Daerah Batu Mengkebang (726.9 km²) with 122 villages
  • Daerah Dabong (844.5 km²) with 27 villages

Some of the better known towns and villages in the territory include Dabong, Kemubu, Manek Urai, Pahi and Kampung Laloh.


Secondary Schools

The secondary schools in the territory are:[2]

  • Maahad Rahmaniah Padang Sembilan (SMU (A)Rahmaniah), 18000 Kuala Krai
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Dabong (SMK Dabong), 18200 Dabong
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Keroh (SMK Keroh), 18000 Kuala Krai
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Laloh (SMK Laloh), 18000 Kuala Krai
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Manek Urai (SMK Manek Urai), 18050 Kuala Krai
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Mengkebang (SMK Mengkebang), 18000 Kuala Krai
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pahi (SMK Pahi), 18000 Kuala Krai
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sultan Yahya Petra (1) (SMK Sultan Yahya Petra (1)), 18000 Kuala Krai
  • Sekolah Menengah Teknik Kuala Krai (SM Teknik Kuala Krai), 18000 Kuala Krai
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Kuala Krai (SMK Kuala Krai), Sungai Durian, 18000 Kuala Krai
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sultan Yahya Petra (2) (SMK Sultan Yahya Petra (2)), 18000 Kuala Krai
  • Maktab Rendah Sains Mara Kuala Krai
  • Fews Sekolah Menengah Ugama

Population and ethnicity

The population and ethnicity of the territory is as follows:[1]

Population of the territory - breakdown by race
Race 1990 % 1995 % 2000 % 2004 %
Malay 92,916 91.4 110,246 90.9 130,810 90.9 149,018 90.8
Chinese 5,685 5.6 7,282 6.0 8,657 6.0 9,862 6.0
Indian 2,650 2.6 3,364 2.7 3,990 2.8 4,545 2.7
Other 354 0.4 121,339 0.4 463 0.3 527 0.3

Kuala Krai town

Kuala Krai town is about 64 km south of the State capital, Kota Bharu.

Population of Kuala Krai town (data from populstat.[3])
Year 1980 1991 2000
Population in thousands 12.6 19.8 19.5


The history of the town of Kuala Krai started with the building of the East Coast Railway in the 1920s. Before that, the only settlement of any significance in the area was called Batu Mengkebang. The area was remote and travel was by river: there was a weekly service from Kota Baru to Batu Mengkebang via Pasir Mas and Tanah Merah, run by Duff Development River Steamers under contract to the Kelantan Government.[4]

The opening of the railway line made a significant difference to the remote interior of the state of Kelantan. River traffic downstream from Kuala Krai was soon completely replaced by rail travel, and the railway became very popular with what was still quite a large planting fraternity in the interior of the state. The town grew as a centre of trade and supplies for the surrounding area.

More recently, road traffic past the town has significantly increased with the proximity of Federal Route 8 which opens a direct road link between Kota Bharu and the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. The suburb of Gucil has developed along this road to take advantage of the increased traffic.

Some important events in the history of the town:

  • 1917 Kuala Krai hospital was opened
  • 1926 (December) The great flood, the worst flood in the history of the town, which affected both Kelantan and the neighbouring states of Terengganu and Perak
  • 1930 (June 19) Visit of Sir Cecil Clementi, Governor of the Straits Settlements and High Commissioner for Malaya 1930-1934,[5] after which he travelled on the newly constructed railway to Pahang
  • 1941 The Japanese invasion force landed at Kota Bharu on 8 December and allied troops retreated; 2nd Lieutenant Butters and his section of Mahrattas were left behind in Kuala Kerai with a battalion of the Royal Malay Regiment; before leaving the town they attempted to impede Japanese progress using explosives to prevent the railway line being used by the advancing Japanese[6]
  • 1945 Immediately after the war ended, Kuala Krai was controlled by the communists for about six months before the arrival of allied forces[7]
  • 1946 Serious flooding affected the town[7]
  • 1961 Opening of the Mini Zoo
  • 1967 (Nov 26) Severe flooding: the water level of the Kelantan River rose to 86 ft (26 m), which is 36 ft (11 m) above the normal level[8] Large areas of the town were flooded up to first floor level.
  • 1967 (Dec) forced landing of an M.S.A. plane at Kuala Kerai which nearly had fatal consequences to the passengers[9]



Kuala Krai has excellent transport links. The railway station is on the Keretapi Tanah Melayu main line that runs from Tumpat and Wakaf Bharu (close to Kota Bharu) right through the interior of the country to Gemas on the west of the peninsula, where it joins the main west coast line from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. The town has good road links, with Federal Route 8 passing close to the town. And it is on the western bank of the Kelantan River, along which there are regular boat services up-river from the town.

General Hospital

Hospital Kuala Krai (HKK) opened in 1917, built on a small hill close to the town. Known as Hospikrai, it now serves a population of 200,000 in the southern part of Kelantan, and has 120 beds and 218 staff.[10] The hospital has resident specialists in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, Surgery, Anesthesiology, Pathology and Medical; there are visiting specialists from Kota Bharu for work in Psychiatric, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedic and ENT.[11]

Museum and Mini Zoo

Kuala Krai Mini Zoo[12] is managed by the District Council and open to the public. It is home to a variety of animals, including a male elephant called "Salleh",[13] monkeys, bears, deer and various birds. The site extends to about 10 acres (40,000 m2), and also includes a Mini Museum displaying photographs and documents relating to the history of Kuala Krai, as well as a number of preserved animals. The mini zoo first opened in 1961, the only zoo to specialise exclusively in animals from the Malaysian jungle.

Public Library

There is a small public library in the town which, as well as giving access to its collection of books, affords public access to the internet for a small charge.

Kuala Krai Steps (formerly the Bradley Steps)

Eighty-one concrete steps leading down from the town to the river bank and boat jetty were constructed sometime between 1927 and 1929, and were named the Bradley Steps after a Mr. Gerald Bradley who was the energetic District Officer of the interior of Kelantan at the time. They have recently been renamed the Kuala Krai Steps.

Just upstream from the town is the confluence of the Lebir and Galas rivers to become the Kelantan river, and it became clear that an elevated river level at the Bradley Steps was a good predictor of imminent flooding in the cultivated and populated river basin further downstream. Consequently, stick gauges were placed by the steps so that the river level could be read and monitored by the local police, who transmitted the rainfall and water level information via VHF sets to the Flood Warning and Relief Committee in Kota Bharu.[14]

The Kelantan Department of Drainage and Irrigation has since replaced the stick gauges with metric plates. This facilitates the prediction of flood levels and lead-times in villages all the way from Kuala Krai to the river estuary.[15] The steps, and the floodwater level, can be seen on the Kuala Krai Flood Webcam.


There are a number of schools and colleges in the town, including:

  • SMU (Arab) Rahmaniah, Padang Sembilan Kuala Krai
  • SMK Sultan Yahya Petra 1[1]
  • MRSM Kuala Krai
  • SM Teknik Kuala Krai
  • SMK Kuala Krai
  • RISDA College


  • Batu Jong Training Camp, a national service training camp, opened in January 2005
  • Lake Gardens (Taman Tasik), a pleasant public space in the town
  • Lata Rek, Known to be a hydroelectric dam, is also a popular spot with a nice waterfall and recreational area

Famous people from Kuala Krai


  1. ^ a b c "Profail Jajahan Kuala Krai". Pejabat Tanah dan Jajahan Kuala Krai. http://www.ptjkk.kelantan.gov.my/profail-jajahan.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-23.  
  2. ^ "Secondary Schools in Kelantan, Malaysia". 2007. http://jadn.co.uk/w/SecondarySchoolsInKelantan.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-06.  
  3. ^ Jan Lahmeyer (2004). "Malaysia - historical demographic data of the urban centers". populstat. http://www.library.uu.nl/wesp/populstat/Asia/malaysit.htm. Retrieved 2006-12-12.  
  4. ^ Shukor Rahman. "Kuala Krai, a town that owes its origin, growth to the railway". scanned local newspaper cutting, probably dating from the early 1970s. http://jadn.co.uk/w/KualaKrai.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-05.  
  5. ^ Janus project. "Photograph collection of the British Association of Malaysia and Singapore". Janus catalogue. http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/db/node.xsp?id=EAD%2FGBR%2F0115%2FBAM%206. Retrieved 2006-12-09.  
  6. ^ Lieutenant Colonel Edward De Santis (2001). "Major MICHAEL DELMÉ-RADCLIFFE". Ubique. http://members.aol.com/reubique/Delme-R.htm. Retrieved 2006-12-14.  
  7. ^ a b Butz, William, and Julie DaVanzo. FIRST MALAYSIAN FAMILY LIFE SURVEY, 1976-1977 [Computer file]. 2nd ICPSR version. Santa Monica, CA: RAND [producer], 1995. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1998. mfls1smp.pdf
  8. ^ "Major Floods". Bernama Library and Infolink Service. 2004. http://blisdemo.bernama.com/article.phtml?SN=112554e457a7b94f47006c3c7f5981a5&s=12&p=109831. Retrieved 2006-12-09.  
  9. ^ "Questions for Oral Answers". Second House of Representatives Malaysia - Fourth Session - Order Paper. Parlimen Malaysia. 1968-02-12. http://www.parlimen.gov.my/opindexbi/pdf/OPDR12021968.pdf. Retrieved 2008-02-24.  
  10. ^ Dr. Roslan (1998). "Case Abstract- 'Hospikrai Can'". National Institute of Public Administration (INTAN), Malaysia. http://dls.intan.my/accsm/abst_Hospikrai%20Can.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-03.  
  11. ^ Zawawi Hassan (2003). "Specialist Services - Khidmat Pakar". HOSPITAL KUALA KRAI. http://www.oocities.com/hospikrai/page7.html. Retrieved 2008-03-03.  
  12. ^ The Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia. "Kuala Krai Mini Zoo". Virtual Malaysia. http://www.virtualmalaysia.com/destination/kuala%20krai%20mini%20zoo.html. Retrieved 2006-12-09.  
  13. ^ "Kuala Krai Mini Zoo". Elephant facts and information database. http://www.elephant.se/location2.php?location_id=884. Retrieved 2008-10-13.  
  14. ^ Ketua Pengarah Jabatan Pengairan & Saliran Malaysia (Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment) (2007-06-21) (.doc). Flood and Drought Management in Malaysia. Deraf Teks Ucapan. pp. (page 9). http://www.met.gov.my/ClimateChange2007/session1b/Keynote%20Lecture%202%20-%20Ir.%20Haji%20Ahmad%20Husaini%20Sulaiman/K2%20Husaini_p.doc. Retrieved 2008-10-12.  
  15. ^ Department of Drainage and Irrigation of Kelantan (2005). "The Bradley Steps, Kuala Krai". DID Kelantan History - Structures of Historical Significance. http://www.water.gov.my/state/kelantan/history/hisstruct.htm. Retrieved 2006-12-09.  
  16. ^ Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia (2003). "Yang di-Pertuan Agong III". Malaysian Monarchy. http://www.malaysianmonarchy.org.my/portal_bi/rk3/rk3a.php?id=rk3_3. Retrieved 2006-12-10.  
  17. ^ Star Publications (Malaysia) (2003). "Designer dreams". All Malaysia.info. http://allmalaysia.info/news/story.asp?file=/2003/5/31/people/wktoiboy&sec=miPeople. Retrieved 2006-12-10.  
  18. ^ Netconcepts, LLC. "T. Wignesan". WritersNet. http://www.writers.net/writers/25497. Retrieved 2006-12-11.  
  19. ^ T Wignesan (2006). "Curriculum Vitae". http://stateless.freehosting.net/Curriculum%20Vitae.htm. Retrieved 2006-12-11.  
  20. ^ Cambridge University Library (2004). "Mee Fong, fl 1930, photographer". RCS Photographers Index. http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/rcs_photographers/entry.php?id=326. Retrieved 2006-12-14.  

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Kuala Krai is a city in the Malaysian state of Kelantan.

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