The beauty of the pine trees alone is enough to attract visitors who want to take selfies, have a picnic with family and chill with friends
By HABSAH ISMAIL / Pic BERNAMA
THE rows of pine trees beautifully lined are enough to spur excitement in anyone as soon as they reach Senok Beach, often nicknamed “Nami Island of Malaysia’, which is almost comparable to the Nami Island in Korea.
Well-known among local and foreign tourists, the beauty of the pine trees alone is enough to attract visitors who want to take selfies, have a picnic with family, chill with friends and celebrate birthdays. Even newlyweds use it as background for their wedding photography sessions.
Kelantan Tourism Information Centre principal assistant secretary (Tourism and Culture) Nik Mahmud Nik Jaffar said with about 4,344 pine trees or casuarina equsetifolia and eucalyptus planted along the coast since 2009 and 400 new seeds added in December last year, the beach promised much potential.
“Many locals refer to the beach as the Malaysian version of the ‘Nami Island’ in Korea. What was once a fishermen’s village has now become a tourist attraction following this new nickname,” he told Bernama in Bachok, Kelantan, on Sunday.
Nik Mahmud said the transformation of natural beauty there has provided a new source of livelihood because with the arrival of tourists, the locals get to trade, including food and products of small and medium enterprises.
He said the number of visitors to the state has risen by 92% and 8% for domestic and international tourists respectively, with 4.3 million visitors recorded last year, including 300,000 from abroad.
“The pine trees were originally planted by the Kelantan Forestry Department under the Coastal Area Conservation Programme to prevent coastal erosion and flooding.
“As these pine and eucalyptus trees grow taller and mature, they provide a stunning landscape in Pantai Senok. Other specialities such as food and beverages, including ‘Maggi Telur Sotong’, ‘Maggi Ketam’ and ‘Mee Celup’ (similar to Thai soup noodle) add to the attraction,” he said.
He said the state government, together with the Bachok District Council, Islamic Tourism City and the Bachok Land and Mines Office, always efforts to attract tourists, including providing buses under the Kelantan Sightseeing Tours package — “Mari Dderak Di Klate”.
Bernama met a visitor, Halmahera Mat Salleh, 44, who had been to Nami Island, Korea, in 2016 with a group of business partners.
He admitted that he was impressed because the pine trees on Senok Beach are almost identical to the beauty on Nami Island, and the only difference is that maple trees are also planted where the leaves change colours according to the season.
“At Nami Island, the facilities provided are complete and organised; there are pedestrian walkways, signboards with lots of information, halal restaurants, suraus, libraries and cafeterias.
“I think in Senok Beach, there are still facilities and infrastructure that need to be provided, including toilets, suraus and clean water near the visitor hotspots,” he said.
Asma Zulkifli, 20, from Machang said she has been to the beach three times with the main purpose of taking photos with friends and family.
“I cannot get enough of these pine trees which are beautiful and unique. Not only do they provide fresh air, but when you look up, the leaves seem to meet,” she said.
Visitors are also eager to check out the smallest lighthouse located on the edge of Senok Beach on the rock embankment. There are also remains of the Japanese landing site bordering Kuala Pak Amat, Sabak, which used to be a fishing spot. — Bernama