Spending a Layover Day in Kota Bharu
We spend not more than a day in Kota Bharu, coming back from Pulau Perhentian. We needed to catch a flight that didn’t connect well to our boat so we were forced to stay overnight in East-West-Malaysia. We were about to catch a flight back to Kuala Lumpur but not before we saw a little bit of this city.
Kota Bharu is one of the bigger cities of the state Kelantan, notorious for being a place without alcohol. At first sight Kota Bharu seems different. It’s an older place and it’s maintenance looks bad. But underneath this all lies a sparkling beauty. The people of the town are more exotic than in most of Malaysia, and so is the architecture. Nonetheless, Kota Bharu made me think I was in a whole different country! I didn’t recognize the Malaysia I’d known, and I mean that in all the good ways possible.
Streetsigns here are in both Malay and Arabic! A pretty neat bilingualism
Kota Bharu is a lot more than I have seen, mainly because I had only been there for a day. I would come back later at the end of the famous junglerailway, but I’ll get into that in a different post. We stopped at a mall which had many modern shops. My favorite still remains the audio shop I found on the 3rd floor. It has amazing speakers I’m only beginning to see in Holland now. The radio tower in Kota Bharu is quite famous too, but what you should really be here for, is the Central Market.
Kota Bharu’s central market is one of the largest of the country and you can get practically anything here! Walking through this may smell a little odd but how can it not. Exotic fruit everywhere mixes with Islamic and Malaysian delights. Delicious!
The Central Market
A day in Kota Bharu is not long enough to truly understand this place. But it gives you a nice little insight in a different Malaysia. There’s not much else to do than sightseeing, so be sure to bring along some fun friends. I know I did and we had a blast!