Midway through the KL – Kota Bharu trip, I was still pondering if I was duped by the bus terminal barker or not. It’s just that prior the trip, they were kinda talking secretly with the bus driver- or maybe I was just paranoid. I just had to let the thought go, as it was my first time seeing such roadside scenes.
Ordering myself that I stay awake throughout the trip, only cost me a violation. It can’t be helped, the straight trip from Manila must have taken its toll.
We arrived at Kota Bharu around 7:30 pm (bus started aroun 10:00 am). At last, the capital of Kelantan, one of the states bordering Thailand. It was still bright, and I asked directions to the nearest internet cafe. I had to communicate with contacts that I had arrived safe and well.
Walking through the unfamiliar streets caused no discomfort. It was like being in a place you know you’d never be lost. It took some time before locating the internet cafe, surfed for a few minutes and by the time I walked out of the shop, it was already dark. The cafe attendant said that a backpacker’s lodge is just nearby, and a few steps away was the KB Backpacker’s Inn.
The room cost me RM25 (P360.00 or around US$8.00) for a night. I signed my name of the guest’s list and headed to my room. As the name suggests, expect modest amenities, and common comfort rooms. As for me, none of those mattered. All I need is a nice, clean and secure place to sleep.
The next day (April 23, 2012), I headed to the Crown Garden Hotel. It was the venue for the purpose of this trip – the International Seminar on Entrepreneurship and Business (ISEB) 2012 organized by the University Malaysia Kelantan. The paper I would be sharing would be on the potentials of universities as green industries. As these post series would focus more on traveling around Malaysia, the conference proceedings might be blogged about some other time.
The following day (April 24) would be strolling around Kota Bharu. All of these places were reached on foot.
1. Tourism Malaysia Office
This was the office near the Kg. Kraf Tangan & Muzium Kraf, where you can get your maps and other related info about Kota Bharu. Opposite the tourism office is a shopping center.
2. Kg. Kraf Tangan & Muzium Kraf (Kota Bharu Craft Village)
Located in Jalan Hilir Kota, opened in July 1991. Batik classes are also held here.
3. Istana Batu (Royal Museum)
Virtual Malaysia describes the museum as follows:“Also known as Istana Batu, the Royal Museum is located in the middle of the Kota Bharu town, close to Istana Jahar. The design of the palace was inspired by HRH Sultan Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Muhammad IV who reigned from 1920 to 1944. The building, in its present form, was completed in 1939 and was given as a wedding gift from HRH Sultan Ismail to his nephew Sultan Yahya Petra Ibni Almarhum Sultan Ibrahim Petra (1961 – 1979). Since then, the palace has been the residence of the Kelantan royal family. In 1969 however, the building was turned into the Royal Museum with consent from HRH Sultan Ismail Petra Ibni Almarhum Sultan Yahya Petra, the reigning Sultan of Kelantan. Today, this historical building is treasured by anyone who is interested to learn about the Kelantan royal family’s history and lineage. The collections inside the museum provide visitors with an insight to the life of the Kelantan royal family. Each room within this former palace is installed with specific exhibitions which includes photographs reflecting the royal family’s social activities, costumes and priceless artefacts such as beautiful crystals, silver and brass wares, and antique furnitures. This museum is open from Saturday through Thursday, from 8.30a.m. to 4.45p.m. For more information, please call (609) 7487737.”
Check this link for more info.
3. Istana Jahar (Museum of Royal Traditions and Customs)
A museum for Kelantan regal customs.
4. Kota Sultan Ismail Petra (Sultan Ismail Petra Arch)
You could see this arch near the Istana Jahar.
5. Royal Jetty
Where you could see a part of the Kelantan River, as well as the tower.
A lot can be seen in Kota Bharu, and almost all the interesting places suggested by tourism maps are nearby and accessible on foot. I have not seen all the sites, but as they say, there’s a next time. Tomorrow is another adventure. I had to ride the bus to another Malaysian state, Kedah! 😉