Covers over 115.6 square kilometres, Kota Bharu, is the state capital of Kelantan and also acts as the main city. Kota Bharu was founded during the late 19th century and previously known as Kuala Kelantan. The main population of Kota Bharu is Kelantanese Malay and the main language spoken is Kelantanese Malay which is used among the locals here and also referred to as ‘Kecek Kelate’. Besides Malay and Chinese, there are also minority Tamil, Siamese and Orang Asli that resides in the city. Besides that, it features many mosques, museums and royal buildings. Other than that, among the productions from the state are gold, tin ore, black pepper, areca nut, rice, rattan, bamboo, agarwood and songket.
Sultan Ismail Petra Airport is the main airport situated at Pengkalan Chepa in Kota Bharu. It is named after Ismail Petra of Kelantan, the 28th Sultan of Kelantan who ruled from 1979 to 2010. The airport started its operation and opened publicly in September 2002 and has become the busiest airport in the East Coast. It receives millions of passengers annually and consists of airlines such as Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Malindo Air and Firefly which caters domestic flights to other states. Among the facilities found in this airport are automated teller machine, currency exchange counters, restaurants and airport shuttle.
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Kota Bharu usually experiences sunny and humid weather and the least humid month is February (74.8% relative humidity) and the most humid month is November (83.6%). As for wind, the windiest month is January, followed by February and December. Located at the east coast of Malaysia, Kota Bharu is widely known to experience monsoon and rainy weather towards the end of the year from November to December. Visitors are the least during these months as the area may occur flash flood. If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Kota Bahru, the hottest months are May, June and April. The warmest time of year is generally mid-April where highs are regularly around 91.2°F (32.9°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 76.4°F (24.7°C) at night. The warm weather makes it easy for visitors to tour around Kota Bharu.
1. Siti Khadijah Market - Siti Khadijah Market or Pasar besar Siti Khadijah is the biggest local wet market in Kelantan. Its name is taken after Prophet Muhammad's wife, who is known for her entrepreneurial skill which shows this market is mostly run by women. Much fresh produce available here such as seafood, vegetables and a wide variety of fruits and you can also find ready-to eat food like 'ayam percik', nasi ulam and a variety of noodle soups, all unique in flavors and taste of Kelantan. There are also desserts like 'kuih muih', tempeh and hot milk tea, which is the staple drink for Kelantanese.
2. Handicraft Village and Craft Museum - Handicraft Village and Craft Museum is located in the heart of Kota Bharu and is a place to showcase local handicraft industry in Kelantan. This museum houses various Kelantanese craftsmanship such as batik, silverware and embroidery. Visitors also have the opportunity to learn the history and progress of the art of batik. The Wau, or kite in Malay, is also one of Kelantan’s heritages on display at the museum. Wau comes in many shapes and sizes with unique and complex designs on them. Besides that, visitors also can watch and learn demonstrations of songket weaving, batik drawing, wood carving and traditional embroidery by artists. The craft products are available for sale for those who want to keep as souvenirs. This museum is also comprised of a restaurant called Balai Sulur Gadung. This dining place is situated on the ground floor, and visitors can enjoy various Kelantan’s famous dishes. The museum is open from 8.30am to 4.45pm daily except Fridays and admission to the museum is free.
3. Kota Bharu Mall - Located in the middle of city centre, Kota Bharu Mall was opened to the public in 2004 and become one of the Kota Bharu’s most visited malls. It has won multiple awards and consists of 5 floors with over 300 tenants. This mall is a one-stop lifestyle mall where friends and families shop, dine and be entertained. The main anchor tenant is Pacific Hypermarket and Departmental store which comprised of various things from fresh produce to clothes and hardware. Besides that, there are hundreds of stores offering modern and latest fashion, gadgets, books and many more. Also, visitors also do not have to worry about dining options as there is a wide selection of cafes, restaurants and fast food eateries. One of the famous places to dine is KB food junction which is located on the ground floor. Other than food and retail outlets, Kota Bharu Mall also entertains such as pacific bowling alley, billiard and snooker facilities.