This story about things to do and yummy food in Kota Bharu is written by one of our contributors, Mastura. Some parts of the article may have been edited for length and clarity.
Kota Bharu is a place where you will never feel hungry.
We decided to run away from skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, that's why we picked Kota Bharu as our destination. Our plan was 4 days 3 nights, but we really did not have a proper plan or itinerary. Free and easy was what we intended to do. But, after we arrived in Kota Bharu it did not seem as easy peasy to have a "free and easy" time because Kota Bharu had so much to offer! Here are some of the highlights of our trip!
Bachok & Pantai Kemayang
We arrived at around 3pm so we had nasi kerabu (a must-try in Kelantan!) for late lunch. This was in a random warung (stall) in Bachok (seaside town near Kota Bharu).
We went to Pantai Kemayang and took some pictures at the famous Ombak Rindu Restaurant which is known for its view of the beach while you're having your meal.
Had dinner at another random warung in Bachok.
P.S. Check out our 5D4N road trip itinerary to Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang here !
On day 2, we had breakfast at Kopitiam Kita - it's a must-visit place when you are in Kota Bharu. It's very popular as you can see from the long queue here!
The must-try dish here is Roti Titab (toast with half-boiled egg and kaya) 🤤
Your visit to Kota Bharu won't be complete without having breakfast here. Even though there were many people, the service was very efficient!
Istana Kota Lama & Istana Jahar
We dropped by the Istana Kota Lama in Kota Bharu itself, near the city centre. This was the official residence of Kelantan rulers until around 1840. It's still one of the official residences for Kelantan royalty even though a new palace, Istana Balai Besar has been built.
Istana Jahar is another spot that's a former palace. Today, it's the Museum of Royal Traditions and Customs of Kelantan and you can learn all about marriage rituals and Kelantanese tradition. The entrance fee is RM2 and you're not allowed to take photos inside.
P.S. Here are 6 hidden gems in Kelantan you should visit next!
Guillemard Bridge, Tanah Merah
We drove for almost 1 hour from Kota Bharu to get to the Guillemard Bridge in Tanah Merah.
Constructed in the 1920s, it's one of two oldest bridges in Malaysia.
It's also believed to be the longest railway bridge in Malaysia and is still standing strong after almost 100 years!
It's better to come early to avoid the crowd.
From Kota Bharu, it's a 1-hour drive to Pengkalan Kubor. This border town near Thailand is where you can do some tax-free shopping. But honestly, I couldn't stand the heat and humidity so we just dropped by.
You can also take photos with the street art here!
Kengsom Thai Restaurant
Our lunch at Kengsom Thai Restaurant. We had the siakap steamed fish, butter prawns and mixed vegetables. If you're looking for authentic Thai cuisine, be sure to visit this restaurant!
Pantai Mek Mas
About 40 minutes from Kota Bharu is Pantai Mek Mas. The main attraction here is the sand dunes which will make you feel like you're in a desert in some other country!
Pantai Mek Mas is also about a 10-minute drive to Pak Mat Teh Ais Madu Pulau Pisang. Here's where you can get the famous "teh madu float" (floating iced tea with milk).
If you can't get enough of Thai food at Kengsom, then head over to Farah Cafe
to have your Thai food fix. We had some boat noodles at the eatery.
Afternoon snacks in Kelantan
There are many stalls in Kelantan selling light bites for your afternoon snack. The most famous one is Warung Acu Tera in Pantai Sabak! Get your fix of deep-fried batter seafood here from squid to prawns and even keropok lekor (fried fish cracker snack).
Find more of Mastura's travel adventures on her Instagram @himawari1_.
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