Mosaïque de couleurs au marché central de Kota Bahru. (Malaisie, juillet 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 Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:

I finally took, this shower so desired! After which, it was necessary to prepare for the hurry: to change the money for my stay in 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): it's good, it's in my street, almost in front of the hotel. The shop does not just develop photos, but also makes changes. And at a better rate than that practiced at the airport of Kuala Lumpur, I compared…

At the moment when I deposit my beautiful cuts of 100 euros which never served at the ticket office, the previous customer turns to me and asks me 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.

Les Bleus font de la pub pour un opérateur mobile dans les rues de Kota Bahru. (Malaisie, juillet 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 vegetable stands: dozens of stalls placed next to each other form a huge colorful parterre.

Le marché central de Kota Bahru se tient sous une sorte d'immense halle en béton. (Malaisie, juillet 2006)
The central market of Kota Bahru stands under a sort of huge concrete hall. (Malaysia, July 2006)
Mosaïque de couleurs au marché central de Kota Bahru. (Malaisie, juillet 2006)
Mosaic of colors at the central market of Kota Bahru. (Malaysia, July 2006)
Les marchands de fruits, rigolards, prennent volontiers la pose pour mon appareil-photo. (Malaisie, juillet 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 first impression not very favorable, it starts to please me, Kota Bahru! The city is ugly, but the people are cool like 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 nods. "Eat", yes, logical, we are in a restaurant. Ah, ah! That's it. My hungry belly inspires me: "Nasi goreng ayam! " I add, triumphant. Her smile widens, and the two matrons behind her are bowed with laughter.

Nevertheless, I quickly got it, my rice fried with chicken, and that it was succulent. Eating: an essential moment in the traveler's life ...

  Malaysia: Peninsula and Borneo - July 2006