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Discover Kota Bharu, Kelantan

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Kota Bharu Travel TipsKota Bharu Travel Tips (29 April, 2017)

B. Melayu

Discover Kota Bharu, Kelantan provides useful information on Kota Bharu for the benefit of those planning their trip there. Kota Bharu (GPS: 6.13127, 102.23666) is the capital of Kelantan Darul Naim. It is located on the northeastern part of Peninsular Malaysia. With an estimated 2010 population of about 610,000, it is one of the largest towns in the East Coast.

Being by the banks of the Kelantan river, Kota Bharu is flood prone. Within Kota Bharu town are many heritage sights such as palaces and mosque. Due to Kelantan's proximity to Thailand, there are many big Thai temples close to Kota Bharu, especially in the town of Tumpat. There are about 30 Buhhist temples in Kelantan, which is something of a surprise for a state with an overwhelmingly Malay population.

Map of sights in Kota Bharu

Sights in Kota Bharu

  1. AEON Mall Kota Bharu (GPS: 6.11097, 102.23084)
  2. Bank Kerapu (GPS: 6.13185, 102.23545)
  3. Bank Pitis (GPS: 6.13086, 102.2372)
  4. Cenotaph (GPS: 6.13123, 102.23646)
  5. Handicraft Village and Craft Museum (GPS: 6.13198, 102.23799)
  6. Islamic Museum (GPS: 6.13187, 102.23604)
  7. Istana Balai Besar (GPS: 6.13113, 102.23739)
  8. Istana Batu (GPS: 6.1321, 102.23735)
  9. Istana Jahar (GPS: 6.13154, 102.23712)
  10. Istana Kota Lama (GPS: 6.12001, 102.23495)
  11. Jabatan Kastam Diraja Malaysia (GPS: 6.13215, 102.23487)
  12. Kampung Cina (GPS: 6.14177, 102.23422)
  13. Kota Bharu Trade Centre (GPS: 6.1291, 102.23937)
  14. Menara One Hotel (GPS: 6.12651, 102.24826)
  15. Merdeka Square (GPS: 6.13138, 102.23568)
  16. Muhammadi Mosque (GPS: 6.13202, 102.23669)
  17. Pelangi Mall (GPS: 6.13175, 102.23424)
  18. Royal Pier Clock Tower (GPS: 6.13175, 102.23424)
  19. Siti Khadijah Central Market (GPS: 6.13008, 102.23914)
  20. Sultan Ismail Petra Arch (GPS: 6.13125, 102.23669)
  21. Sultan Yahya Petra Bridge (GPS: 6.11643, 102.22829)
  22. Tambatan D'Raja (GPS: 6.13206, 102.23424)
  23. Tin Hin Kong Temple (GPS: 6.11643, 102.22829)

Places to eat in Kota Bharu

  1. Kopitiam Kita (GPS: 6.12949, 102.24954)

Sights in the vicinity of Kota Bharu

These are sights Jajahan Kota Bharu, the district within the municipality of Kota Bharu but outside the town centre. For more sights, go to the page on Jajahan Kota Bharu.

  1. Pantai Cahaya Bulan (GPS: 6.19623, 102.27364)
  2. Sultan Ismail Petra Airport (GPS: 6.16965, 102.29474)

Categories of sights in Kota Bharu

Villages and neighbourhoods in Kota Bharu

History of Kota Bharu

According to the blog of the royal family of Long Yunus1, the town of Kota Bharu was originally known as Kota Pengalan Galuh, a fort within the village of Kampung Sirih. It was established by a local nobleman known as Long Yunus. Long Yunus was possibly born in Pattani, in present-day Siam. His father, Raja Long Sulaiman, had abandoned Long Yunus's mother in 1701, when she was still pregnant with him. Long Sulaiman embarked on a voyage that took him to Acheh, and then to Istanbul, where he lived for the next 35 years.

Long Yunus was raised by his stepmother, Mas Chayam, who was a consort to the ruler of Pattani. From Pattani, Long Yunus migrated south to eventually settled in a village in present-day Kelantan. After the demise of Raja Long Muhammad in 1757, Long Yunus moved to Terengganu along with his companion Long Gakpa. While in Terengganu, he got news that a Kelantanese chieftain, Raja Long Pandak, was forming an army to attack Terengganu. Long Pandak had enslaved the young men in Kelantan to force them into joining his army. Learning of this, Long Yunus sought the help of the Sultan of Terengganu, along with volunteers in Kelantan, to fight Long Pandak. A civil war erupted in 1759, and it was won by Long Yunus, who was declared the ruler of Kelantan. He then relocated the capital from Kota Kubang Labu to Kota Pengalan Galuh, and the site became present-day Kota Bharu.

Roadside food stall in Kota BharuRoadside food stall in Kota Bharu (30 April, 2017)

Kota Bharu hawker stall Kota BharuKota Bharu hawker stall Kota Bharu (29 April, 2017)

Kota BharuKota Bharu, Kelantan (12 February 2006)

Interior of Handicraft Village, Kota BharuInterior of Handicraft Village, Kota Bharu (12 February 2006)

Tin Hin Kong Temple, Kampung Cina, Kota BharuTin Hin Kong Temple, Kampung Cina, Kota Bharu (1 January, 2007)

Kota Bharu on Google Maps Street View

How to go to Kota Bharu

You can take a flight, a train or a bus to reach Kota Bharu. The Sultan Ismail Petra Airport (KBR) in Pengkalan Chepa is the main airport for Kelantan. It is served by Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and Firefly.

For a bit of sightseeing, you might consider taking the Jungle Train that runs between Gemas in Negri Sembilan to Tumpat in Kelantan. It offers you a good view of the tropical rainforest.

Finally, Kota Bharu is connected with all major cities in Peninsular Malaysia by bus.


Kota Bharu is a flood-prone city, particularly during the monsoon season. Here are some photos that I shot of the
  • flood in Kota Bharu, when I happened to visit it during flood season.

    Kota Bharu is on the map of Kelantan


    List of Towns in Kelantan and State Capitals of Malaysia

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