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Kota Bharu

Things to see and do

  • Kota Bharu Cultural Centre
    3.5 stars

    Kota Bharu's Cultural Centre is a not-to-be-missed spot where you'll not only see live cultural shows and demonstrations, but be able to participate as well. Playing drums, learning traditional self-defence moves and learning the strategic manoeuvres of spinning heavy wooden tops -- visitors are ... read more

  • Muzium Kelantan (Kelantan State Museum)
    4.5 stars

    Prior to renovations in 1990, the Kelantan State Museum was the Kota Bharu Town Council offices. Today this is the go-to place to learn about the history of Kelantan, from its historic places to the arrival of Islam and the royal lineage of its rulers. Exhibits include displays of various local ... read more

  • Pasar Basar Siti Khadijah
    4 stars

    This enormous open-air wet market sells everything -- fresh fish and meats, batik wear and massive amounts of sweets, for starters. Depending on which entrance you take, you could slide your way past fish entrails or exotic herbs and spices, but either way it's all worth investigating. There ... read more

  • Muzium Perang (Bank Kerapu) War Museum
    4 stars

    Kota Bharu's War Museum houses quite a selection of World War II memorabilia and is well worth a stop for those with an interest in the period. The building itself started life as the Mercantile Bank of India and later (1941-1945) was used as a lock up and interrogation centre by the Japanese ... read more

  • Muzium Diraja Istana Batu (Royal Museum)
    3.5 stars

    Istana Batu, which translates to 'concrete palace', was the first concrete building in Kelantan state. The 1939-built palace was a wedding gift for Sultan Yahya Petra, who called it home for 12 years. It was passed onto Sultan Ismail Petra as his official residence and then declared a museum in ... read more

  • Muzium Kraftangan (Balai Getam Guri), Handicraft Museum
    3 stars

    This museum is located within a set-up Handicraft Village, and exhibits various handicrafts such as textiles and songket weaving, batik printing and some silverware. There are a few interesting antiquated bits on display that make for nice photo ops and with more space to manoeuvre for the perfect ... read more

  • Muzium Islam (Islamic Museum)
    3 stars

    Built in 1902, the Muzium Islam was initially the residence of the chief minister. In 1917 it became the official office of the Islamic Religious and Malay Culture and Ceremony Department, eventually being turned into the Islamic Museum in 1991. There is quite a collection of religious artefacts ... read more

  • Muzium Adat Istiadat Diraja Kelantan (Royal Ceremonies Museum)
    2.5 stars

    We aren't too enthusiastic about this museum, but there are some interesting old photos displayed. All the finery involved in royal weddings can get a bit tedious and redundant, especially if you have already had your daily dose of royalty at Istana Batu. But for those interested in the ... read more

  • Wat Machimmaran
    4 stars

    Stretching 30 metres high, Wat Machimmaran at one time housed the largest sitting Buddha in Southeast Asia, but is now demoted to one of the top three. Nonetheless, this imposing Buddha is a jaw-dropper and stands in stark contrast to the surrounding flat landscape. Even more astonishing is the ... read more


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