Kota Bharu (sometimes also spelled Kota Baru) is the capital of the state of Kelantan on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia. However, many people visit Kota Bharu as a stopping point only which is a shame, as there is so much to enjoy here over a few days and you’ll get to see another side of it that’s amazing.
According to The Crazy Tourist, the state of Kelantan is known to be much more conservative than the rest of the state, but it does allow you to get a glimpse of the interesting culture here. This includes beautiful Islamic architecture in the form of an exotic mosque. You can also enjoy traditional museums and various other interesting places in Kota Bharu.
Here are seven interesting places in Kota Bharu that must be included in the vacation list when you are in Kota Bharu. No less beautiful than Kuala Lumpur.
- Kraftangan Village
For those of you who are interested in arts, crafts, and culture, this place is suitable for you to visit. As reported by Have Halal Will Travel, Kraftangan Village is not a village but a tourist market that is a place to shop for souvenirs.
Here, you can find all kinds of crafts such as wood carvings, paintings, wicker baskets, kites, silver knick-knacks, and batik. Almost every traditional Malay souvenir can be found here. You can even take home some of these beautiful crafts from Kraftangan Village!
- Jahar Palace
If you like to learn about traditional culture, this place should be the main place for you to visit in Kota Bharu. According to Tune Hotels, the beautiful Jahar Palace was built in 1855 as a residence for members of the royal family but has now been re-used as a Customs Museum.
Here you can learn about woven batik, jewelry, clothing, and ceremonies such as weddings, funerals, and circumcisions. You can also see old guns and long boats.
- Siti Khadijah Market
Talking about shopping, there are many things you can do at Siti Khadijah Market. In terms of food, this place is highly recommended for snacks such as keropok (fish crackers), akok, and bahulu. The market also has a variety of Kelantan specialty food stalls and restaurants stocked with all kinds of delicious Malaysian food.
Apart from food, you can also find household items, traditional clothes, and textiles. There are a variety of beautiful fabrics, such as batik, silk, cotton, and songket, to take home as souvenirs or to make clothes for yourself. You can easily find hundreds of fabric designs too!
- Muhammadi Mosque
The graceful arches and golden dome make this mosque an impressive sight even from afar. Originally built in 1867 from wood, it was rebuilt with masonry and concrete in 1992 and has since undergone several renovations to expand and maintain its beauty despite its age.
Part of what makes it unique is its Colonial architectural style and open design. With its intricate carvings, colossal Roman columns, and Moghul-style domes, it’s a sight not to be missed.
- Wau Pak Sapie Gallery
This place is perfect for those of you who want to see how traditional wau is made! As reported by Ebrochure, Wau is one of the oldest traditional games in Malay culture.
In this gallery, you can see a collection of giant kites ranging from wau moons, wau cat, wau peacocks, wau Jala Budi, and wau quail to the wau moon series. You can also witness how skilled craftsmen make magnificent kites using traditional methods passed down from generation to generation.
- Street Art Kota Bharu
If you want to get an Instagrammable feel, visit this place by looking at various beautiful murals and colorful walls. Located between several connecting roads between Jalan Ismail and Jalan Dato Pati. There are several happy murals of residents as well as pictures of suffering and conflict in the Middle East.
The most famous of them is the Souk Fil Madinatul Jadid (Arabic for ‘Market in the New Medina’) a large mural that will make you feel like you are in the Middle East.
- Wat Machimmaram
The next interesting place is Wat Machimmaram which has the largest sitting Buddha statue in Malaysia. This temple is located north of Kota Bharu bordering Thailand. This 50-meter-high sitting Buddha makes you see a beautiful sight.
Inside the temple, there are wall paintings in Chinese and Thai styles like the temple complex designs. Wat Machimmaram is famous for its stunning and ornate artworks that you can find inside. Some of the interesting places above you can use as a vacation reference while in Kota Bharu. Out of a series of interesting places above, which one do you think is the most interesting?