Kota Baru is the state capital of Kelantan.
The downtown is a Chinatown by the river with several museums, State Mosque and palaces to look at. It is fairly laid-back town and yo can see trishaws (pedicabs) with the design where the trishaw driver is positioned on your right side.
Do not forget the famous nasi dagang, a curry rice dish.
Most tourists will visit the main market which sells all kinds of fruits including selat, duku langsat and local produce. You will see women entrepreneurs in their traditional dress sitting on the table with their wares around them.
In Kelatan, there are several popular beaches namely, Pantai Cahaya Bulan (Moonlight Beach) or PCB in short, Pantai Seri Tujuh and Pantai Sabak (Sabak beach).
Most tourists do not swim or sunbathe on these beaches. It is great for sunrise, sunset or strolling along the long stretch sandy beach with swaying coconut trees to see the crashing waves. Check with the locals, the strong waves and undercurrent probably make swimming unsafe.
You can see kite flying or fishermen returning from sea and just enjoy the sea breeze.
We drove less than half an hour from Kota Baru to the town of Tumpat, there is a famous local Thai Buddhist Temple called "Wat Phothivihan"
It has an outdoor 40m reclining Buddha which is one of the longest of its kind in the world.
As Thailand is just across the border of Kelantan, it is not surprising to see this popular Thai temple in an otherwise predominantly Malay Muslim state.
Driving from Kuala Lipis in Pahang towards Kota Bahru, stopped at Gua Musang.
There is also a railway line from Gemas in the south towards Thailand that stop in Gua Musang.
It looked like a frontier town, with many locals using 4WD. Before arriving at Gua Musang,
passed through rainforest jungle, the National Park, then acres of palm oil and seeing th hills at Gua Musang with its famous caves. Visited one of the cave near the railway station, nothing much to shout about.
Interesting stopover for lunch if you are driving by.
A place must visit right here in Kota Bharu town. The Wet market situated right in the middle of the town... surrounded by all shops and hypermarket.. u wont missed it.
It's called the pasar besar siti khadijah
The Curltural Centre of Kota Bharu offers a lot of shows and activities.
The popular "top- spinning" and the handmade kites are to be seen and bought!
The people are very friendly and encouraging to participate in dancing, playing the drums....
Everything is for free !!!
Kota Bharu Area is prettty small town if you asked me.. everything is close to one another... xcept the Airport that is...
Walk around you wanna walk around the Bulu Kubu Baazar and get some food items or even go up the floors u can purchase clothes and for those of you thinking of sewing clothes yeah here's the place too.
Kelantan State is The Cradle of Malay Culture. For those whom are interested in Muslim Culture, this is the best state to visit. There are many history to be learned in Kota Baru. The rich tapestry of traditional practices and customs. The state Arts & Crafts are finest in the country i.e Wau, Wayang Kulit, Gasing, Batik (Songket) etc...etc.
Galanggang Seni is where you can try your hand at tradition culture performance like wayang kulit (shadow puppetry) and Mak Yong (traditional music drama).
Istana Jahar where you can learned the traditional royal engagements, weddings, births, and others ceremonial occasions. Built in 1887 (close of Friday).
Istana Balai Besar Built in 1840 by Sultan Muhammad is the residence of past Sultans.
These places are all at the same vicinity.
I am a frequence traveller to Kelantan. There is one thing that is worth trying,The dish Udang Galah at the old Siti Khatijah Market, second floor food stall. This Prawn which is cook in the traditional Kelantan style with curry, the prawn is about 300 grams at about Rm15.00, very fresh.
It has been years I been to this little city in the North Eastern Coast of Malaya. I love this city is because most of the local life style is very much laid back,the first time I visited was in 1976. But today 2013 that is my latest trip to Kota Baru, I felt the environment and life style had started to transform, today they have built a new by-pass over head road, a big Tesco was born, more bigger supermarkets and hotels had established, the decades old night market has lost its charms when it gives way for the development for a big supermarket project. It never been the same now. I feel sad for the elderly folks where they will find it hard to catch up with the development where they do not need. During the 70s' you will see hundreds of trishaws waiting in front of Pasar Besar, but today only a few left, and life must be very hard for those in trishaw business. For the Pasar Besar business is also slowing down, they have to compete with the big supermarkets. In Kelantan, majority of the population are children and elderly people, where most youngsters will try their luck in greener pastures in other states.IF Kelantan keeps on with this pace of development it DEFINITELY will hurt the folks in KELANTAN
A city tour will bring you to all the important historical sites in Kelantan. How to tour? Just walking! Get a city map from your hotel and drop yourself somewhere in the city centre. Here we go! These historical buildings are coincidentally situated in adjacent areas that make my tour an easy one: The Smallest Bank in Kelantan (Bank Pitis), The Grand Palace (residence of many former Sultans), Jahar Palace (the muzium of regal customs in Kelantan), Islam Musuem, War War II Memorial and the Independence Field.
Shopping in Kelantan does not take place in the generally conceived malls, but the malay market and handicraft center! A must-visit-and-shop place in Kelantan is the Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah. This grand market is constructed like a coloseum. The basement sells wide variety of vegetables and local spices. For its geographical location at the coast, there sells the turtle eggs!! (delicious though). If you wonder what that black, long, fishy smelly thing is, that is the local snack called Lekor! It is made from fish and served after being deep fried. It can be eaten in a form of bar or crispy slices.
The first floor sells dry food stuff like the dried 'keropok ikan' (local fish snack, similiar with Lekor) and the yummy meat floss (chicken, beef and... pork?- ops,not here being the Malay Halal place).
As climbing up to the next floor, my vision turns into ocean of colors! The batik fabric! There are readily made batik traditional costume or you may choose your favorite fabric and tailor to your size. It usually costs around RM100-200 per piece (depends on the quality and the batik design).
After Pasar Siti Khadijah, walk out and carry on walking towards the handicraft center right in front. This is Bazaar Buluh Kubu where various handicrafts are sold. Bring home some as souveniors!
If you are in Kelantan and have yet been to Thailand, go visit the Siamese Temples!
It costs me RM100 to get a driver for a day to bring me there. It is a Toyota Unser and so the almost 1 hour journey is very comfortable as we passed by padi fields and some local villages.
To make this RM100 fully worthy, I covered most of the Siamese Temples in that region (sigh, i fail to recall the place's name!) You name it: Wat Phikulthong (where the tall standing buddha is), Wat Cheng Buddhavas, Wat Machimmaran (where one of the largest sitting buddhas in Southeast Asia region is!), Wat Prachumthat and Wat Phothivihan (the most famous temple in Kelantan where the biggest reclining buddha in Southeast Asia is). [note: wat means temple]
Oh, this place is called Tumpat!!
Although malays population in kelantan are so high, but you still can see there are lots of chinese temple was built in town. For example, there have sleeping buddha,standing buddha,sit buddha and etc. besides that, you also can do some shopping at the bazzar near the border of thailand.
Many people are not aware but the area near the Kelantan-Thai border is a wonderful place to explore for Buddhist temples. The three most significant ones are:
1. Temple of Reclining Buddha
2. Temple of Sitting Buddha
3. Temple of Standing Buddha
All are along the road from Kota Bharu to Pengkalan Kubor and Pengkalan Kubor to Tumpat. For this, you'll need to drive a car and explore around. You can see the Sitting Buddha from afar as you drive from Kota Bharu to Pengkalan Kubor (on your right). Sitting amidst the beautiful landscape of paddy fields. The scenery itself is magnificent.
The surrounding area is very serene and untainted by modern development.