Mosaic of colors at the central market of Kota Bahru. (Malaysia, July 2006)
Mosaic of colors at the central market of Kota Bahru. (Malaysia, July 2006)

Kota Bahru, the capital of Kelantan

  Malaysia: Peninsula and Borneo - July 2006

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 


I finally took that much-needed shower! After that, I had to get ready in a hurry: to change money for my stay at Perhentian Kecil, book the crossing. 

Practical details to be settled

The question of the boat is settled at the reception of the hotel, they sell the tickets. And I'm promised a taxi for the next day, at 8am, which will take me to Kuala Besutwhere is the embarkation.

The nice receptionist confirms that at this time (it is already not far from 17h) all banks are closed.

She sends me troubleshooting in Azram Photo (good plan which appears elsewhere in the hitchhiker): that's good, it's in my street, almost in front of the hotel. The shop doesn't only develop the pictures, but also changes money. And at a better rate than the one charged at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, I compared…

As I deposit my beautiful 100 euro notes that have never been used at the counter, the previous customer turns to me and asks the ritual question: "Where do come from?..." "From France." I answer him. "Ah! Hello, how are you? Welcome to Malaysia! » exclaims the guy, in impeccable French.

I am fed up and congratulate him for his perfect accent. He explains to me that he lived in Paris, near the Place d'Italie. It is also his little comment on Zidane and the Blues. He is of the opinion that France will win against Brazil. Then he greets me politely, before leaving.

Walk to the Kota Bahru Market

It must be said that in Kota Bahru, the Blues are everywhere ... and even advertise for a mobile operator.

The Blues are advertising for a mobile operator in the streets of Kota Bahru. (Malaysia, July 2006)
The Blues are advertising for a mobile operator in the streets of Kota Bahru. (Malaysia, July 2006)

I then go to the central market of the city. Fascinating show for the eyes ... and the nose. I climb upstairs of this kind of big concrete arena full of strange odors to see better. 

The ground floor is occupied by the vegetable stalls: the dozens of stalls arranged next to each other form a huge colourful parterre.

The central market of Kota Bahru stands under a sort of huge concrete hall. (Malaysia, July 2006)
The central market of Kota Bahru stands under a sort of huge concrete hall. (Malaysia, July 2006)
Mosaic of colors at the central market of Kota Bahru. (Malaysia, July 2006)
Mosaic of colors at the central market of Kota Bahru. (Malaysia, July 2006)
Fruit sellers, laughing, willingly pose for my camera. (Malaysia, July 2006)
Fruit sellers, laughing, willingly pose for my camera. (Malaysia, July 2006)

Down below, around the building, I stop near the fruit vendors. And I make them laugh, draw my camera to immortalize their oranges and watermelons.

Finally, despite my not very favourable first impression, I'm starting to like it, Kota Bahru! The city is ugly, but the people are nice as anything.

Nasi Goreng

Leaving the market, I come across a shady square, with a corner burrow. It smells good, my stomach rumbles ... In addition, there is a huge fan blowing fresh in front of a table available, waiting for me.

I ask myself, under the encouraging smiles of the women who run the restaurant. There, it is hard, since there is no menu displayed ... And the girl who cares for me speaks English poorly.

I make an effort of memory and gather the meager vocabulary which I could retain from my stays in Indonesia (the two languages, the bahasa melayu and the Bahasa Indonesia are very close): "Uh... makan? » She's nodding her head. "Eat", yes, logical, we're in a restaurant. Ah, ah! There it is. My hungry belly inspires me: "Nasi goreng ayam! » I add, triumphant. Her smile widens, and the two matrons behind her are bowed with laughter.

Still, I soon got my fried rice with chicken, and it was delicious. Eating: an essential moment in a traveller's life...

  Malaysia: Peninsula and Borneo - July 2006

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  1. Exciting to read, your impressions on the spot; a little information however, blue is the most popular color at the moment (with white and red), because the Blues as they say, are in half ... (final), the old are not old but become gods again , all France held his breath last night, even me who only looks at football as a social phenomenon not to neglect, I attended the match France-Brazil non stop and even found some interest! Wednesday, new suspense! France-Portugal.
    I hope you'll finally be able to take this shower ... here also it is exceptionally hot, but the showers are within range of pommel!
    Tenderly, Lydia

  2. I thought you were safe from the blue break! Incredible this score from 1 to 0, that you know so. Very nice match indeed ...

    Me too, I found my giant screen last night! I hope you found your shower!
    See you.

  3. I leave relatively late college, year-end pot obliges, also for us it will be "nasi goren ayam" but not fried, and bought in the "boui boui local supermarket" of the periphery, without flavor nor smell nor color, too sanitized for that, all plasticized, all conditioned, in short, as you know, and where the fruits are frozen ...
    Tenderness, Lydia

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