Favourite Destinations


Kota Bharu

Kota Bharu, the capital of the state of Kelantan is situated in the northeast part of West or Peninsular Malaysia, near the border of Thailand. This small town is often underrated in terms of touristy experiences and places to visit. With options from food, shopping and walking around its not-so-busy streets, it is known for its warmth and welcoming environment. Most of the people make a pit stop here on their way to Perhentian Islands at Terengganu. To make the best of your trip in this small town, here are things you should experience.

1. Have breakfast at Restoran Capital

If you want to kick off a trip to Kota Bharu with one of the best breakfasts in the city then head to Restoran Capital where you can try a local favorite called Nasi Kerabu which includes blue rice and a number of delicious curries that you will only find in Kelantan. A plate of Nasi Kerabu comes with hard-boiled eggs and crunchy prawn crackers and you can also get coffee or tea here if you just fancy a drink.Bear in mind that this is more of a breakfast venue than anything and if you arrive after 9 am then the nasi kerabu may already be sold out. It’s that good.

2. Relax on Irama Beach

Many people don’t immediately think of beaches when they think of Kota Bharu, although if you are prepared to explore outside the main city center then you will be rewarded with a number of choices. One of the most famous of these is Irama Beach which means ‘Melody Beach’ in Malay. The beach is known for its stretch of sand as well as its little local stalls which will sell you a fresh coconut and make the perfect place to stop off in the afternoon and relax.

3. Fishing village

Watch these fishermen in action, as they sail the shores using traditional methods of fishing. For this, head to the Fishing Village at Pantai Sabak as the men leave the banks in their brightly coloured boats. The men come back with their catch of the day. A rather noisy affair that follows at the wholesale market when the selling begins (well, it is a fish market after all), is something that one must experience. Noon until 3pm is considered the best time to watch the action.

4. See Handicrafts At Kampung Kraftangan

If you’re looking for things to do in Kelantan, this small handicraft museum opposite Istana Batu is housed in another great looking building built in the 90s with only locally sourced materials and carvings. There are different types of weaving, batik and embroidery on display and some of the collection is for sale. If you’re interested in what to do in Kelantan, then this is a good place to learn more about the traditional culture of the region. Even if you aren’t interested in the museum part, you can enter the grounds and just enjoy the nice surrounds.

5. Visit Pantai Cahaya Bulan (Moonlight Beach)

If you would like some beach time and are looking for more Kelantan things to do, then Pantai Cahaya Bulan is your best choice close to Kota Bharu. It’s about a 30 minute drive from downtown Kota Bharu and, while a nice stretch, there are problems with sand erosion. If you are heading to other beach areas, I would give it a miss unless you want a good seafood lunch as this is a good place for one. The beach is nice but there are many much nicer beaches on the Perhentian Islands if that’s where you’re headed, or on other parts of the mainland.

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