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Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Kota Bharu - Visit Malaysia 2014

Hey all, here's my summary to what happened in Kota Bharu in the first two days!

First time ever arriving at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport from Terminal 2 of Kota Kinabalu! Direct flight available now via Airasia.
First impression of Kelantan: The people are friendly and this city is clean.
I used to have the perception that Kelantan is like what the media portray, negative images of poor people like some reports stating that Kelantan is one of the poorest state in Malaysia but now I know it's not true. =)
First stop to our hotel, Perdana Hotel! Five star hotel! I love the room, so bright and clean! Perdana Hotel recently got a facelife and renovation so all things are new! 

After we place our belongings in the hotel, we went on a tour by Trishaw! It was so grand to tour the town using pretty trishaw. 
Flowery trishaw
The locals welcome us when we pass them and even took our photos. =P 
Tour to Kota Bharu Tourism Zone by Trishaw
War Museum shows World War I and World War II history. Various bombs and weapons used during the war was displayed there. You can learn about the history and also events that happened in Kelantan during the war.
The routes of our tour includes Islamic Museum, Merdeka Square, Masjid Muhammadi, Istana Jahar and Craft Village. The mosque is a unique one because female Moslem can also pray but in a separate room.
Group photo with our Trishaw drivers =D 
Kota Bharu town can be discovered by walking alone. Attractions are nearby each other or you can always use the trishaw. Food are available everywhere and rest assured that all food are halal. One unique feature in Kelantan is that all the signboards, shoplot signs has jawi writings.
Next we had high-tea at Grand Riverview Hotel. I ate lots of traditional kuih and food from Kelantan. Majority of the kuih are made with santan(coconut milk) and gula melaka. 
All the food is so yummy that I can only afford a bite each. Roti Jala is so delicious. Pumpkin desserts are unique and sweet. Laksam was good too.
Unique high-tea experience by the riverbank of Kota Bharu city, we can watch sunset while savouring traditional food.
New Horizon Restaurant is our dinner place. The tomyam is spicy and delicious. Thai style cooking combine with Kelantanese dishes.
Wayang Kulit Pak Daim at Tumpat is our next destination after that filling dinner. Wayang Kulit performance is quite interesting with stories inspired from Ramayana tales. There's even a Peperangan Bintang story of wayang kulit but too bad we only see the puppets.
The making of Puppets. 
We also get to see DIY of the puppet, this place can accommodate 4 pax at a time and offers a unique DIY experience from making the puppet to performing the Wayang Kulit. 

On the second day, we had small breakfast in the hotel first before going out to eat local breakfast. 
Various buffet food
I only ate small portion from the hotel to save tummy space for more later on. The selection was quite good from western to local food.

Nasi dagang and others
I like that they serve Nasi Dagang too for breakfast. 
Warung Pok Mat is a must visit place for breakfast. Teh Madu aka Honey tea is super foamy and tasty! The fish head was good too. I absolutely love the food here.
Next we visited  Kampung Laut (Serunding Cottage Industry) by boat. The river was clean and peaceful with kids playing the the riverbanks. The villagers rear goats to guard their house (I assumed).
Serunding Cottage Industry
I also get to see the making of Serunding a type of meat floss. They not only make beef meat and chicken meat floss, they also make fish meat floss. I even bought two packets to bring home. It was good!
Dragon Boat Temple, Tumpat
 Kelantan is heavily influence by the Thai so the temples here are authentic too. The temple is pretty and the architecture is fascinating.
Tadah! 
Wat Maisuwankhiri is the Thai name for this temple.
Wat Maisuwankhiri
We go to Wat Photivihan after that and had coconut to quench our thirst.
The biggest sleeping buddha in Malaysia.
 Lunch at Yati Ayam Percik Restaurant. The best ever Nasi Kerabu! Although it's not blue but it taste awesome! The chicken was so tender and juicy.
Charlotte bought the ring kuih to share. To eat, put coconut grates in the middle of the kuih.
 KB Permai Silverware is our next destination to see how silver are being carved and made into jewellery.
Nordin Batik features a wide selection of Batik for various occasion. Souvenirs are available here too. 
After visiting so many places, we are back in Perdana Hotel for our high-tea session. We had teh tarik and various Kelantan food and desserts.
 Min House Camp is where we had simple dinner and tour around Min House Camp for information about bees and honey. We then see firefly on a boat.
Wakaf Che Yeh Midnight Bazaar is our last destination for the day and we walk around the night market browsing through. A lot of items and food were sold there.

That's just two days of activities in Kota Bharu, stay tune for third and fourth day!

Airasia fly to Kota Bharu from Kota Kinabalu 3 times weekly so book your tickets now!

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