Kota Bharu, Malaysia

Phone code: 09, $1=RM3,36, Oct 16, 2007

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Kota Bharu is located NE corner of Malaysia and is the center of Kelantan, very strict Moslem state. It is very close to Thai border, Sengai Kolok, 1 hour by bus. You can see many different cultural activities and life style from the rest of Malaysia. It is also good base for going to islands on the East coast, Perhentian Islands and possibly Redang island. Train station is Wakaf Bharu, 5km from the town and there are a few long distance bus stations. Unless you arrive at the main bus station in the center of town, you can take a town bus to the center.
Orientation
There is a pedestrian street intersection with a useless structure in the middle next to the main bus station. Please find this. We call it as "the pedestrian point" in this chapter. From here, the bus station is SW. The large Telecom communication tower is SE. A & W restaurant is NE and the large parking lot in the day time and a large open night market is NW. The river is running S to N in the W side of the town.

Border info
To Thailand
Take a bus #29 to Sengai Kolok(S K),
Rm3.8, 1 hours. Many buses/day
From Sengai Kolok to BKK By train
S K BKK 3rd seat 2nd seat ac berth Up / Low
11:30 6:10+1 290B 527B 627 / 677B
14:20 9:40+1 370B 607B 907 / 977B

From Sengai Kolok to Hatyai
By train
112B, dep 14:55, 3 hours,
By min bus
250-280B, many 4 hours.
By AC bus
247B, dep 6, 8, 17:30
From S K to Krabi, By bus
461B, dep 8:00, 17:30, 9 hours
From S K to Phuket Bus
598B, dep 6, 8, 17:30, 12 hours

i
Information office: at SE of the roundabout. 10 min walk S from the town center. Su-W8-16:45, Th8-16:30. lunch 13-14:00. They have some pamphlets but staff are not knowledgeable, nor helpful. You had better confirm their information somewhere else. Free maps are available from here and from your hostel. But they are not accurate. The name of the streets often changed and not revised.
$1 Azam money exchanger: on Jl. Padang Garong(KB Buckpackers Lodge 1F). $1=RM3.36, 100yen=RM2.83, 100Thai Baht= RM2.84, no T/C. For T/C, we have not found the money changer yet. You may go to a bank, com from RM5-10
$2 Banks: Su-Th8:30-17:00. A few in town. But not many banks change foreign money.
May Bank: W from Pantai mall. $1 TC=RM3.327, $1cash=RM3.348, 100yen cash=RM2.84 We could not check which is the best to change T/C. Usually com RM5-10 + 0.15/check.
M0 Post Office: E from the central market. Same side of MacDonald. 8:30-17:00
M1 Telephone: Telecom office: (Jl Dokbor), opp from the main bus station. Su-W8:30-16:30, Th8:30-13:30
P Police station: Jl Mahmud+Jl Hospital
E66 Thai consulate: Go E on Jl Padang Garong which changes to Jl. Pengkalan Chepa. E from Hotel New Pacific.Open Su-Th 9-12, 14-15:30 Visa issuing on the following day. 2M tourist visa RM110
H Hospital: on the Jl. Hospital. From the pedestrian point, walk S to the end and turn left and walk 5 min. It is on the left side.
m Central Market: just a few min walk N from the pedestrian point. Lot of vegetable, fruit, meal, etc.
m Bazaar Buluh Kubu: Another market for cloth, souvenirs, etc. in a building W from the central market.
s The Store: Supermarket NE of the pedestrian point. 10-22:00. Cashiers for men are different from women. See the signs for.
s Pantai Timur: Supermarket on Jl. Pintu Pong just N from the pedestrian point.
s Midin: Jl. Pintu Pong M-F9:30-20, SaSu-21:00, super for daily goods



Transport
A Airport: Take bus #8 or #9 from the central bus station.
T Train station: Wakaf Bharu Train station: 5km from Kota Bharu. Take bus #27(the first bus at 7:00 RM1.5). Train tickets can be purchased at the counter around the main bus station. However during the research, the counter could not be found. Train Schedule
Fare: Ekonomi chair/2nd chair/ berth up/low / 1class berth up/low
to KL
9:25(arr21:45) RM 28 / 38 / - / - / - / -
to KL
18:45(07:10+1) RM28 / 38 / 46 / 51 / 96 / 104
To Singapore:
20:15(10:55+1), RM32/41/49/54/ - / -
To Jerantut(Taman Negara):
9:25(15:08) RM17/21/ - / - /
Bus
There are many bus stations. Please confirm which one your bus leaves.The list below shows only confirmed ones. Much more buses are available. Ask at a few counters/booths. The prices vary slightly.
B1 The Main Bus station(Kota Bharu Bus station) in the center. But most long distance buses leave from B3.Many companies have ticketing counters around this bus station.
To Kuantan:
RM24.10, 8:00,, 6.5hours
To K. Terengganu:
RM10.90, 10, 12:15, 13:45, 16, 17:30, 19:30, 3 hours
B2 Hamzah Bus station: about 2km S from the center. Take a local bus 19, 43, 54, etc.
B3 Langger Bus station: 2km S from the center. Take #47 bus.Traveling to West daytime, take a seat on the right and rather head of the bus. Because the road is very scenic and winding.
To Butterworth(Penang):
RM28.7, 9:00, 21:30, 8hours.
To Ipo:
RM25.40, 9:00, 21:30, 9.5hours
To KL:
RM30.90.8:30, 9, 10, 14:30, 21, 21:30, 22, 23:00 9.5 hours
To Melacca:
RM40.20, 20:00, 9hours
To Kuantan:
RM24.20, 8, 10:30, 12, 15, 21, 23:00, 6.5hours
To K. Tinngi:
RM41.40, 20:00
To Mersing:
RM37.10, 20:00
To Singqpore:
business RM62.1, 20:00, 11hrs
To Johor Baru:
RM49.1 , 20:00, RM49.5 , 8, 20:00, 11hrs
B Bus to Taman Negara: RM 22.0 private bus. Ask at your GH
F

To Perhentian Island: Boat from Kuala Besut:
Transport:
From Kota Bharu take bus #3(dep7:15). to Pasir Putih RM4.8, then take the bus #96 to Kuala Besut.
From Terengganu, take bus to Jerteh then to Kuala Besut.
Also boats leave from TOK BALI JETTY 48km from Kota Bharu
or Taxi: from Kota Bahru to K. Busut
28-30RM 4 p can share approx 1 h.

Boat from Kuala Besut to the both island.
Speed boats
RT RM60, dep7:00, 10:00
Slow boats
RT RM40, dep9:30, 11:30

To Redang island: jetty is Kg Merang:
Transport(please comfirm):
From KB bus #3 to Jerteh then change a bus to Kg Merang.


Entertainment
c No info at this moment.

Festivals/National Holidays 2001

Public Holidays: Jan 24, 25, Mar 6,26, 30,31, May 1, June 2,4, Aug 31, Nov 14, Dec 16, 25

Traditional games/performaces: March to October, ,many different traditional games and performances are held every week. Ask at the tourist office for the locations.
Marshal art-MWSa, Top-spinning-MSa, Kite-Sa, Coconut Husk Percussion-W, Sepak(foot ball with feather ball ), Shadow play-W, Traditional dance-Sa

Mar 3-Apr 2: March Carnival Mega Sale
Mar 5-8: Hari Raya Aidilaldha
Mar 26-30: Kalantan Traditional food and craft competition
Mar 31-Apr1: Birthday of Kdymm Al, Sultan Kelantan
Apr 2: Local traditional game festival
Apr 3:-11 Kelantan Flora Festival
Jun 2: Fowl beauty contest
Jun 11-24: Dikir Barat Singing contest
Aug 17: 1 day of Independent celebration
Aug 30: Merdeka Eve Celebration
Aug 31: National Day Parade
Sep 1-10: Kelantan Cultural Carnival
Sep 6: The last day of Independent celebration
Nov 18-Dec 15: Ramadan & Kelantan Ramadan Bazar
Dec 1-31: December Carnival Mega Sale


@ Internet @
Some GHs have internet service but they are very expensive. RM4-6/hr.

@1
Foto Stat: Walk N from the pedestrian point and turn right at McDonald. Try to find their sign on the same building of McDonald.8:30-16:00, RM2.0/hr. Fast

@2
Internet cafe: Walk W from the Central Market. It is on the left, 1F, before Jl. Temenggong. RM2/hr until 10-17:00, 17-23:00? RM3.5/hr
@3 KB Backpackers Lodge #1: 2981F, 2nd Floor, Jalan Padang Garong, T/F743-2125, 7-26:00 see accommodation also. @ RM3/hr
@4 Arm HX Cyber Cafe: Sa-Th 8-24:00 RM1.5/hr
@5 Multimedia Internet: Just E from @1, RM2/hr
h16 Ideal Travellers House: 3954 Jl. Kebun Sultan Pintu Pong(off Pintu Pong) RM2/hr



Accommodation
LOW MIDDLE HIGH

HOTEL CODE

The accommodation in KB is not so good. There are many hostels in the town center. Their prices are identical and the quality is also identical. But most of them have good travel information on the wall identically. There are a few good ones 10-15min walk from the town center. They have gardens. More special. But not much for the travel information.

For the address ( ) means the names of the street indicated on the official map.

Jl. Padang Garong N side.
E from the pedestrian area where many low graded guest houses are located. Listing from the W to E
h3 Bunga Raya Lodge: 2981-B Jl. Padang Garong, sb f s/d d20 C3.
h5 KB Backpackers Lodge #2: 2981F, 2nd Floor, Jalan Padang Garong, T7438883, dr8, d15-20 bf C1.5 Rec www.kb-backpackers.com.my
info@kb-backpackers.com.my
h6 Sabrina Court: 171-181 Jl Padang Garong, T744-7944, ab a/c d65-109 C4 expensive uinits have STV, fr bf(RM4.0) Rec
Jl. Padang Garong S side. Listing from the W to E
h7 KB Backpackers Lodge #1: , 2nd Floor, Jalan Padang Garong, T7438883, www.kb-backpackers.com.my
info@kb-backpackers.com.my
dr8, d15-20 bf C1.5 @(RM3/hr)

Walk up on Jl. Pintu Pong. From the pedestrian point walk N after McDonald 2 nd corner right to Pintu Pong.
h16 Ideal Travellers House: 3954 Jl. Kebun Sultan Pintu Pong(off Pintu Pong) www.ugoideal.com, kelvin@ugoideal.com, sb f dr8, s/d15 C3. homestay tables in garden Before you cross a large road, Jl. Mahmud, you will see a small sign in the left.
h15 Zeck's Travellers's Inn: T743-1613, ztraveller_inn@hotmail.com homestay sb f dr10, ab 25,a/c 35 C3, After cross jl. Mahmud, go farther E. You will see a sign on the left.
h13 Mandarin Hostel: 7083 jl. Sri Cemerlang T748-2317, ab f TV d45, C3. large rooms old but brighter When you see a sign for Zeck's Travelers' Inn turn right(opposite direction)
h12 Sri Villa Medirest: T743-2571 15min walk from the center but if the price is good, it could be nice place to stay. Phone and ask the price. All way up E on Pintu Pong and cross a large road and go further E on unpaved road. And turn left at the next corner and turn right at the next corner.

Other
h11 Hilton Hotel: 5471 Jl. Pengkalan Chepa(continuation of Jl. Padang Garong)T748-2315. ab f s/d22, a/c30 HW Towel TV in room C4. Best value budget hotel. Rec
h Hotel Mgu: #3 Pintu Pong, T7431752, mgu@tm.net.my, dr12-15, ab a/c d60, TV d70 C4
h Dani Hotel: 2529-F Jl. Kebun Sultan, T7486790, a/c ab tv d45-50, t65 C4, small rooms.
h Hotel: Anda: 2529-A, Jl Kebun. Sultan T7477600, hotelanda@hotmail.com, TV ab f d25, a/c d45 C4, small simple rooms but the best in town. Rec
h Sri Cemerlang Baru Lounge: 5640 Jl. Sri Cemerlang, T7449648, a/c ab TV s50 d60-90 C4
h Kencana Lodge: 316-324 Jl. Sri Cemerlang, T7477222, a/c ab t49.5(2 single + 1 double bed),q58(3 single + 1 double bed) newest in this area but rooms are small.
h Menora Guest House: 3338 Jalan Sultanah Zainab T7481668, sb dr7, s/d15 C4? The dormitory room is too small. Friendly owner.
h Pasir Belanda Resort: Kg. Lipat Sanggul, Kg. Banggol, Jalan PCB, T/F7477046, ha2002@myjaring.net www.kampungstay.com, ab a/c dRM130 bf, Middle class hotel offering workshops such as batik painting, cooking, etc.
Access: Bus: Take SKMK bus no. 9 to PCB. Get off at Banggol mosque and walk towards Pasir Belanda.
(2004 info)

Food
Since it is a very strict Moslem state, it is hard to find a beer. For beer, go to Chinese restaurants
r1 Night market: NW from the pedestrian point. Large parking lot in day time turns to be a large night market restaurant at night after 17:00. You may buy a food from a vender and buy a drink from owners of the tables to have a seat for meal. Close 19-20:00 for pray.
r2 Diamond Puteri Hotel: From the pedestrian intersection, walk W toward the river. At the almost end turn left to Jl. Post office. Buffet dinner RM32, breakfast(7:30-8:30) RM14. nett. A/c restaurant with good view to the river. Excellent value.
r3 Chinese Restaurant: Go E on Jl. Padang Garong. There are a few Chinese restaurants which serve beer. Meals(2 kinds) over rice RM3+
r4 Hamburger stalls: W from Pantai mall. hamburger RM1.5-2.5, hotdog RM1.5


Sight

Museums:
Many museums displaying the local culture of Kelantan, Islam culture. The opening hours are same for all museums, Sa-Th 8:30-16:45. Most of the museums are in a place of town except the State Museum.
Traditional industry such as batik, weaving, wood carving, kite making can be seen in villages near by. Ask at the tourist office.
S1 The State Museum: Just S from the center. N from the information office. It was a land office until 1990 then converted to the museum. It shows Kelantan's traditional Art. Entrance fee RM2
S2 Istana Batu(Royal Musem): RM2 The building was built in 1939 for royal wedding and for royal guest house. It houses royal belongings from the former Sultans.
S3 Istana Jahar(?):RM3. It was built in 1887 for the residence of Long Kundur. It exhibit Kelantan's cultural heritage such as wood carving ,etc.
S4 (Handcraft Museum): RM1. Small museum for traditional weaving, batik, wood carving, silverware, etc.
S5 Balai Besar Palace: It was built in 1840 by Sultan Muhamad. not opened to public. No photos allowed. The gate is open and no guard is stationing. You can look into the inside of the compound and take a few shots of photos.
S6 Islamic Museum: Free. It displays photos, paintings and arts of Islamic culture in general.
S7 Bank Kerapu(2 nd World War Museum): RM2. Specializing the Japanese occupation.
S8 PCB: Most accessible beach from Kota Bharu. Bus #10 from the central market. RM0.90
S9 Sabah Beach: Bus #8 or #9 from the main bus station
Also There are many waterfalls and river cruise(bamboo raft), caves and jungle walks are possible. You probably need a guide. Many GH are offering this tour.

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