Kota Bharu, Kelantan

Handicraft Village and Craft Museum, Kota Bharu, Kelantan Handicraft Village and Craft Museum, Kota Bharu, Kelantan

Kota Bharu is a city in Malaysia that serves as the state capital and royal seat of Kelantan. It is also the name of the territory in which Kota Bharu City is situated. The name means 'new city' or 'new castle/fort' in Malay. Kota Bharu is situated in the northeastern part of Peninsular Malaysia, and lies near the mouth of the Kelantan River. The northeastern Malaysian city is close to the Thailand border.

Culture & Heritage

This city is home to many mosques, various museums and former royal buildings in the center of town. Kelantan State Museum contains the history and cultural heritage of Kelantan and Museum of Royal Kelantanese Tradition contains interesting artifacts and exhibits releted to Kelantan cultural history. Kelantanese culture is highly influenced by Thai culture because of its geographical proximity to Thailand. The Chinese are much more assimilated with local culture when compared with other parts of Malaysia. Much of the food is spicy, with rice as the primary staple of the local diet.


Balai Getam Guri, the handicraft village and craft museum is located in the heart of Kota Bharu's cultural zone, within walking distance from the Istana Balai Besar and Buluh Kubu Bazaar. The adjacent Handicraft Village provides visitors the chance to see just how these crafts are made. Demonstrations of traditional embroidery, songket weaving, batik printing, silver work and wood carving are carried out by skilled artisans. Their products are also on sale at the centre.


The most famous shopping destination in Kota Bharu is Siti Khadijah Market (Kota Bharu Central Market). Most of its sellers are women. Next to Central Market is the nearly completed construction of Kota Bharu Trade Center (KBTC), which is considered to be one of the largest malls in Kota Bharu. Other shopping centers in Kota Bharu are the KB Mall, Pelangi Mall, Kota Seri Mutiara, Pantai Timur, The Store and Nirwana Maju (at Bandar Baru Kubang Kerian).

Food & Drink

This city is famous with nasi berlauk, nasi dagang and nasi kerabu which are the popular elements of the local cuisine. Sweet cakes, or kuih, are also popular amongst the Kelantanese. Other popular foods include apom, akok, lompat tikam, netbak, pisang goreng, and curry puffs. A restaurant called "Balai Sulur Gadung" is located on the ground floor of the Balai Getam Guri building, where visitors can savour some of Kelantan's famous dishes.

Kota Bharu Facts:

  • Population - 491,237
  • State - Kelantan
  • Closes airport - Sultan Ismail Petra Airport
  • Local food - Nasi kerabu (rice salad), akok (sweet cake)
  • Nearest towns/cities - Kuala Terengganu, Kuala Lipis
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