It’s quite rare for a resort to capture my attention just by its name.
Pasir Belanda is a guesthouse deep inside Kampung Banggol, an unassuming village in between Kelantan’s bustling capital Kota Bharu and breezy seaside Pantai Cahaya Bulan.
Each word is homage to the roots of the locale and the people running it – “Pasir” is a common moniker used in towns like Pasir Mas and Pasir Puteh while “Belanda” is a nod to the Dutch family who decided to call this place home.
A three day, two night stay here with my family proved that Pasir Belanda is not merely a well thought out name but a resort that embodies Kelantan through the warmth of her people.
Pasir Belanda definitely does not look out of place – if you were to pass by the narrow road you would definitely have overlooked it, thinking it was just another set of kampung houses.
The chalets are arranged in a horseshoe shape, surrounding a common garden beautifully landscaped using the simplest of plants and shrubs. The yard extends to the two main buildings – one hosts the reception counter while the other is the residence of Harry and Annemieke Mulder, operators of Pasir Belanda.
The resort is kid-friendly as children can roam around the garden freely and play on the mini-slide, swing and trampoline. There’s even a tree house for them to climb!
Behind the Mulders’ house is the resort’s big secret – a backyard that opens to the river. Those with intentions to lounge around will be glad to find out there is an infinity pool complete with deck chairs and a breakfast terrace by the riverbank. Meanwhile, the more adventurous guests can hop on a boat and paddle along the languid tributary of Sungai Pengkalan Chepa.
We bunked in at one of the five available Superior Chalets and the room’s spaciousness was just nice for the three of us. Everything inside the bedroom was made of wood from the tabletop to the rattan chairs while the bathroom had to make do with tiles.
The veranda fronting the garden is a perfect touch to this mini kampung house. It’s a cute little corner for us to enjoy the ever changing hues flowers as the sun shows its bright self in the morning while the trees sway left and right by the wind in the evening.
All the essential amenities were well provided – coffee maker, thermos and mini-fridge while the bathroom was fitted with a bathtub and hot shower which little Aqil had fun with twice a day. The chalet also came with both air conditioner and wall fan since our room gets baked during the day but drastically cools down at night.
If I could sum up Pasir Belanda’s service into one word it would be smooth.
The resort’s concierge handled our booking without a fuss and thoroughly explained everything from the nearest mini-mart to available tours and workshops. Since we were out for most of the day and all our basic needs were taken care already, there’s nothing to complain about from these happy campers.
You know when a resort is run by folks who cares a lot about people than profit when their staff are being pragmatic. On our last day in Kota Bharu, we had about 5 hours to kill between check-out and flight departure so we asked a day before if they could extend our check-out time till 2:00 p.m.
The next day, they informed us that since there were no guests checking-in we could hang out a little bit longer than requested until we were ready to head to the airport. So, little Aqil had a good afternoon nap and everyone had a pleasant flight back home.
Overall, we had a wonderful time on our first family trip to Kelantan. I finally had the opportunity to taste the best of east coast Malay heartland cooking (here’s 10 Uniquely Kelantan Dishes to Digest) and friendly locals were happy to take their time striking up conversations with us out-of-towners.
The same applies to Pasir Belanda and its people. We were treated to a splendid kampung-stay experience throughout our time there and the staff went out of their way to ensure we had the utmost comfort all the way to the end.
Pasir Belanda might not be the best rustic resort you have ever stayed in but true to its name, you’ll be treated like one of the village folks – full of kindness and with big smiles.
Kampung Banggol, Jalan Pantai Cahaya Bulan
15350 Kota Bharu, Kelantan
Tel: +609-747 7046
- Pasir Belanda is located about 6 kms from Kota Bharu city centre and 10 km from Sultan Ismail Petra Airport. The resort is about 1.5 km from the main road so it’s best to either hire a taxi or rent a car.
- There are a number of mini-marts along the main road Jalan Pantai Cahaya Bulan but their opening hours can be inconsistent. It’s best to buy your groceries in town – there’s Tesco and Aeon if hypermarkets are your thing.
- The resort’s location beside a swampy river is a cause for concern when it comes to mosquitoes bearing Dengue or Zika virus so if you’re out by the yard at dawn or dusk, make sure to apply insect repellent or mosquito lotion on your skin.