Batu (Royal Museum) Istana Balai Besar Islamic Museum
Istana Jahar (Jahar
Palace) State Museum .Craft Museum New Central Market
Buluh Kubu (Bamboo Fort Bazaar)
Kota Bahru, which means 'new city' or 'new
castle/fort' in Malay is the state capital and Royal City of Kelantan.
Lying close to the Thai border, it is home to many mosques. Of interest
are various museums and the unique architecture of the old royal palace
(still occupied by the sultan and sultanah and off-limits to visitors
but viewable from outside) and former royal buildings (which can be
visited). Most of the museums and heritage buildings are located along
Jln. Hilir Kota and Jln. Sultan and can be easily covered by taking a
The local point of the towns activities is the Kota Bharu market.
At the junction of Jln. Padang Garong and Jln. Pengkalan Chepa you will
find Kota Bharus Chinatown. Traditional Chinese noodle dishes are
readily available here. For an outdoor Malaysian dining experience in
the evening, try the food stalls at Padang Bas, in the town centre which
are open from 6.00pm to midnight.
Places of Of interests
Istana Batu (Royal Museum)
Literally Brickstone Palace, Istana Batu was constructed in 1939
during the reign of Sultan Ismail. It houses the Royal Museum and was
previously used as the venue for Royal weddings and as a guesthouse for
visiting royalty. The Istana Batu now serves as a repository for the
history of the Kelantan royal family and displays regalia, pictures,
silverware, furniture and palace items of former Sultans.
Istana Balai Besar
lstana Balai Besar This palace was built by Sultan Muhamad 11 in 1840 to
replace his riverine palace on the Kelantan river. It now serves as the
venue for ceremonial functions and investiture ceremonies. Please note that Istana Balai Besar does
not admit visitors.
Tracing the history of Islam in Kelantan, exhibits include Islamic arts
and crafts and photographs and of some of the personal belongings of
Prophet Muhammad and Islamic historical sites.
Opening hours: 10.30 am - 5.45 pm daily except Fridays.
Istana Jahar (Jahar Palace)
Built in 1887 by Sultan Muhamad II for his grandson Long Kundur, this is
now a museum featuring Kelantan cultural heritage.
The intricate wood carvings are testimony to the craftsmanship of local
artisans. Photographs, artifacts and exhibits bear testimony the rich
cultural heritage of Kelantan.
Opening hours: 8.30 am - 5.45 pm daily except Fridays.
Incorporating the State Art Gallery, the building itself was used as the
land office from colonial times until 1990 when it was converted to a
museum. The museum displays the arts, crafts and musical traditions of
Kelantan. Ceramic displays testify to the early trade with China and
artifacts from local archaeological sites provide evidence of human
activity during the pre-historic age in Kelantan.
Open: 9.00 am 6.00 pm daily (except Fridays) / Location: Jln. Hospital
The site of many historical events, Merdeka Square rose to prominence in
1844 after the completion of the lstana Besar. It is also known as Padang
Village and Craft Museum
While the Craft Museum houses many fine examples of Kelantanese
craftsmanship, the adjacent village provides visitors the chance to see
just how these crafts are made. Demonstrations include: Embroidery,
songket weaving, batik printing, silver work and woodcarving. These
products are also on sale at the centre.
Open: 8.45am - 4.45 pm daily
New Central Market
Pasar Siti Khadijah (Kota Bharu Central Market), is a riot of colour. Kelantanese stallholders
conduct their business amidst rows of chillies, carrots, seafood and
farm produce. It may surprise you that a majority of them are women.
Perhaps this is a throwback to the fact that Kelantan was once ruled by
a princess, Cik Siti Wan Kembang. Kelantanese women remain fiercely
entrepreneurial and have been known to be hard bargainers.
Bazaar Buluh Kubu (Bamboo Fort Bazaar)
This 3 story-shopping complex is stocked with miniature souvenir,
knick-knacks and clothing. The T-shirts, hats. Key chains and
silver ornaments on
sale here make lovely gifts.