Kelantan… Your unique destination to East-Coast of Malaysia
17th of July, 5.00am Morning… My east-coast trip started with Yun’s family. Our 1st destination is Kota Bharu, Kelantan. We traveled there via Kulim, Gerik then East-Coast Highway and reached Kota Bharu at 1.30pm.
There’re lots of picturesque views that can be seen along the way to our destination (Kota Bharu). For those city-dwellers who wish to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city life. I think east-coast is the most ideal getaway destination. There’s no concrete jungle here, what they have are natural well-preserved tropical rain forests .Insects clipping, birds chirping and fresh air to breathe. And this is the best moment if served with a cup of hot tea and listening to the melody of nature!
We didn’t stay long along the way. We just stopped by to snap some pictures and take a break before we continued our journey. For those who wish to have a short stay to enjoy nature’s life and rhythm. Belum Rain Forest Resort or Pergau Lake Resort can be your choice of stay.
Kota Bharu, capital of Kelantan state of Malaysia. Kelantan is positioned in the north-east of Peninsular Malaysia. It is bordered by Narathiwat Province of Thailand to the north, Terengganu to the south-east, Perak to the west, and Pahang to the south. To the north-east of Kelantan is the South China Sea.
Only peace and tranquility can be found over here. No traffic jam, without the annoying car honking sound and this is the place where you can truly rest your soul while enjoying the local livelihood. Enjoying the sunset or having a river cruise along the Kelantan River while quench your thirst with local ‘pandan’ coconut milk!
Kota Bharu is very easy to travel. All the tourist hotspots are located at the heart of the city and within the walking distance. Sultan Ismail Petra Arch is the most important landmark and easy to notice once you are in the historical part of Kota Bharu. Don’t forget to take a picture together with the arch to show that you’ve been to Kota Bharu!
After that, take a minute walk to Istana Jahar which is just located behind the Sultan Ismail Petra Arch. Istana Jahar, once upon a time a palace which is now transformed into a museum showcasing Kelantanese cultures.
Either you are Muslims or non-Muslims, Muhammadi Mosque, located just opposite the Sultan Ismail Arch is worth to pay a visit. You are standing at one of the most sacred part of Islamic world! A visit to the mosque will enlighten your vision to Islamic World, a religion which is always seek for peaceful life.
A quick visit to the World War II Memorial which is located beside the Muhammadi Mosque illustrated some of the history during World War II when Japan invaded Malaya. We can still see some Japanese Samurai swords, sea mines, bicycles which were used by Japanese as the main transportation during the war, some valuable pictures were also displayed in the museum.
If you wish to have a leisure walk along the beach, Pantai Cahaya Bulan a.k.a. Moonlight beach or Pantai Seri Tujuh (Beach of Seven Lagoon) can meet your request. They are situated about 30 minutes away from Kota Bharu and you can have a day trip there. Wau or Malay Kites which were used to be played long long time ago along the beach are now replaced by modern kites. And on your way to Pantai Cahaya Bulan, don’t forget to drop by some of the finest Batik shops to get some souvenirs!
While on the way to Pantai Seri Tujuh (Beach of Seven Lagoon), don’t forget to visit some of the great temples like, Wat Pothivihan (huge reclining Buddha, the longest statue of a sleeping Buddha in Southeast Asia) and Wat Machimarran Varran (sitting Buddha). At Bachok, there is another 100 foot high standing Buddha (just opened to public in June 2009, believed to be the largest standing Buddha in South East Asia).
Having dinner along Kelantan River while watching the sun set is the best enjoyment you’ll ever have! There’s a variety of foods and I think ‘Nasi Goreng Kampung’is the best among them. At night, after 9pm. You can have your supper at White House Restaurant just beside the Sultan Ismail Petra Arch which serves the best Nasi Dagang in Kota Bharu. The restaurant open from 8am to 12noon and 9pm till 2am daily.
Shops at Central Market or Siti Khadijah Market let you experience the true local livelihood, their foods, their cultures and the environment. It is hard to get another market like this else where in Malaysia. Remember to grab some local famous ‘lekor’ or ‘keropok’ in the market.
Well, that’s all from Kota Bharu, Kelantan. Stay tuned with me for my next destination… Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu.