Kota Bharu is located in the very north corner of Peninsular Malaysia, really close to the Thai border. The city is the capital of one of the Muslim-governed states, the Kelantan state. The city is busy and is an interesting cultural center with a nice an relaxed atmosphere –- although during Ramadan the city becomes a lot less interesting, as many shops and restaurants close. It is also a nice city just to walk around. Kota Bharu is usually used as a stopover for the amazing Perhentian Islands. made up of two amazing islands with plenty of white, sandy beaches. Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil have a laid-back atmosphere perfect for relaxing and forgetting the rest of the world. You can reach them from Kota Bharu by taking a bus to the nearby city of Kuala Besut and from there a slow or fast boat.
There are a few places in Kota Bharu worth exploring and enjoying. Head to the center of the city to get a taste, with the central market and the night food market as obligatory stops. The night food market is a must, with a good vibe and good typical food for cheap prices (although vegetarians may have some problems finding variety here). There are also some really nice museums; you can also visit the Museum of Islam (there is just a symbolic entrance fee) that exhibits the importance of Islam in the culture and ways of living in the state.
The easiest way to arrive in Kota Bharu is via a cheap flight to and from Kuala Lumpur. There are also buses and trains (for these, you have to catch a really slow train that takes you through amazing jungle landscapes).
There are a few hostels in Kota Bharu, but some may not meet your standards of cleanliness, so try to get some advice from other travelers. Kota Bharu's hostels can be simple and relatively cheap. They are also a good place to help you plan your way to the Perhentian Islands.
Hi, I'm CoffeeMarks,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Kota Bharu hostels. Welcome.