Monday, January 28, 2008

Kota Bharu In Pictures - Part 3

Kota Bharu In Pictures Part 3 is a continuation of the previous 2 posts on the same subject. If I can keep this post to a reasonably short length, it will be the concluding part, otherwise a sequel will ensue. We are taking todays ride in a car as the distance covered will be longer. I apologize for the picture quality in terms of composition due to some shots being taken from the car window or even through the car windscreen as it ain't as easy to park compared to when I was doing it on the bike. The baby was strapped in the baby seat behind too so I cant leave the car much. Some of the pictures were taken on my earlier bike trip.

For those who are not familiar with Kota Bharu please do the followings:
1. Click on the URL below to see a map of Kota Bharu at the bottom of the page. Please enlarge the map, focussing on Kota Bharu until you can locate the first junction to Kota Bharu from the direction of Sultan Yahya Bridge. The junction to the right will take us to Kampong Sireh, straight on into Jalan Hamzah and to the left is Jalan Sultanah Zainab. When the traffic light turns green we are taking the left turn into Jalan Sultanah Zainab. Follow the direction as I ride on. Please open Life As I See It in another browser window to read this post and refer to this map from time to time to see where I am leading you. Enjoy the rideabout.

You can't miss the imposing glass building on the left. It is Bangunan Sapura. Tan Sri Shamsuddin of Sapura Holdings must have built this building as a monument of his love to his wife Puan Sri Sapura. A blogger wanisan later informed me that the couple moved to Kota Bharu after being transferred to Kota Bharu soon after their marriage in Kampong Baru (then in the state of Selangor). Kota Bharu must have endeared to them so much to accord a monument of such proportion.

Across the road you may have missed this diminutive bulding now with a signboard of KB Permai. The building was previously an even smaller wooden building that houses the crafstman doing intricate work on silverwares. They must made good and are able to build a better place complete with showrooms and proper workplace for the workers. The next time you come to KB check out this place and many other places for your silverwares.

The next building can't be missed too as its ornate gates and fencing will make your eyes look at the building inside. Its the Istana Kota Lama. I guess it is used as guest house to VVIP's the like of a visiting royalty from another state. Istana Teliput was once a VVIP guest house too. Unfortunately it was torn down and in its place the new Istana Mahkota was built when Tengku Mahkota married the princess from Patani Thailand.

After the traffic light at the juntion to Jalan Gajah Mati, you can see the Dynasty Hotel. Its a popular 2 or 3 star hotel in KB.
Jalan Sultanah Zainab becomes a one way street at this point so we have to turn left into Jalan Che Su. The imposing sight of a towering building next to the multi storey car park will greet you. This is Plaza Menang Intan is a condominium tower block and commercial center. It is yet to be opened.

It now dwarfs the Menara PKINK that houses the Jabatan Pembanguna Persekutuan Kelantan which Datuk Mustapha Mohamad is Chairman. Datul Pa as he is locally know is ofcourse The Minister of High Education.

This was the landmark skyline from accross the river before but it is dwarfed by many taller buildings nearby.

Turning right into Jalan Post Office Lama we could see a new building nearing completion. Remember the Rex cinema by the Kelantan River?. It was still standing when Riverview Hotel was opened but now this building replaces the cinema. Next to it is Riverview Hotel. The tall building next to Riverview Hotel as in the picture is none other than the yet to be opened Pelangi Mall tower block.

So now you know how to get to Pelangi Mall when it is opened soon.

At the junction of Jalan Tok Hakim you can see the old Lee Rubber Building. Lee Rubber had a hand in the development of the agriculture in Kelantan both in rubber production and processing it into SMR and RSS rubbers.

To our right slightly into Jalan Tok Hakim is Wisma Dato Nachi which houses TA Securities (formerly Lee & Kee Securities) where many millionaires were made and some later became bankrupts or at least were made to suffer the servitude of huge debts which may not be repaid if they were to be born again even for another three times.

Going to the end of Jalan Che Su, we would pass infront of the entrance to Pelangi Mall before reaching Jalan Tengku Besar near Padang Merdeka. Hey there is a new hotel in town. It is Ridel Hotel. It must have a quiet opening as I didn't hear about it. Who would want to tell me anyway?

The hotel is connected to Pelangi Mall via a walkway so guests dont have to go down to the ground floor to get to Pelangi Mall. How convenient.

Due to curiousity, I walked over to the edge of the river. Ahhh it has the river view. Guests in the room fronting the river will be happy to enjoy the sight of the forever yellowish water of the Kelantan River where the 'etak' once flourished.
A view of Ridel Hotel from across the river.(Picture courtesy of En. Mazlan of Ridel Hotel)

Looking down the bank I saw the sight of this floating restaurant. I guess the Kelantanese around this area love the tipsy feeling of being on water when drinking their tea or coffee. This restaurant acts as the jetty for people to cross the river by boats. The colour of the water in the river used to be the color of water but now has taken the hue of 'teh susu'.

Across the river is Palekbang where dodol, serunding daging and serunding ayam are made. Take a boat trip across and you are at the doorsteps of the serunding makers place.

Moving on we saw the Tambatan Di Raja now more famed for its flood reference point than its being a royal jetty because the royalties dont ride boats anymore. Further more Kelantan don't have to send its 'Bunga Emas' to Siam (Thailand) by sea anymore. Ahh those are history.

Moving away from the jetty I went towards Dataran Kota Bharu. Looking left I saw the War Museum and took mental note to write about it one day. It was used as a bank was once known as Bank Kerapu for the obvious reason that it was once a bank and the walls have the rough textures. Padang Merdeka infront of it is also known as Padang Bank.

Beside it is a Beautiful wooden building with intricate carving with distinctly malay motives on the fascia board. It is the Islamic Museum but unlike the war museum, it was closed. I guess this museum was a victim of the last flood.

Right ahead across Jalan Sultanah Zainab you can see the arch with the distinctive Quran on a rihal.

The huge wooden gates below is the entrance to Istana Balai Besar. This palace is still used for all official ceremonies such as the investiture ceremonies or the yearly title awards.

Below is Istana Jahar which is another museum. Taking into account Muzium Islam all in all Kota Bharu has 4 museums. Quite a number for me to write on.
Everybody must have heard of the White House, the one in Washington DC of course. This one is in Kota Bharu. Before it was rebuilt it was made of wood and painted white. That gives the kopitiam its name. The name is retained. Business starts only in the evening.

If you don't believe me it is called the White House, look at the sign below.

If you asked the regulars to this kopitiam what is so great about the kopitiam, they would swear that the kopi O and half boiled eggs served here is the best in town if not the world. When I tried it, it tasted just the same as the one prepared by my wife at home.

The Odeon Cinema must be nostalgic for those couples who in their younger days must have taken their girlfriends for dates. The cinema was located on the other side of Jalan Sultanah along a road that is called what else but Jalan Odeon. The building was converted into an office block and now is called Bangunan UMNO Negeri Kelantan.

Walking by Jalan Istana located between Istana Balai Besar and Istana Jahar, I cant help noticing the intricate carving above the door of the side entrance.

The Royal Guest House is on the left as we walk along Jalan Istana towards Kampung Kraftangan.

Jalan Hilir Kota on our right is now closed to traffic and is a pedestrian mall with the entrance to Kg Kraftangan from it. Kampong Kraftangan can also be accessed via Jalan Tengku Seri Akar.

Walking towards Jalan Tengku Seri Akar, I cant help noticing this giant tasbeh made of wood hanging on the wall to a building in Kampong Kraftangan. It is definitely more than 6 feet high.

At the junction of Jalan Tengku Seri Akar I saw this billboard indicating the building of a new bazaar by the name of Bazaar Tenku Anis.
Most of these areas used to be occupied by old wooden houses which was an eyesore. It is definitely time for them to be developed.

The view of Muhammod Mosque with the Pelangi Mall and Ridel Hotel is simply great from this point.

Walking along Jalan Seri Akar towards Jalan Belakang Kota, I saw the office of Majlis Tindakan Pelancongan Kelantan with The Tourism Development Corporation office on the ground floor below it and they are located within the Kampong Kraftangan complex. Very convenient location compared to their former office along Jalan Dusun Muda.

Directly infront of this complex is a bus stop. If you see such red colored bus moving around town, take a ride on it and it will lead you to Kampung Kraftangan.

Pushing the pram with my daughter Balqiss in it, I came to Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah. I won't bore you with the picture of the center inside the pasar where it has been so much photographed. Let us see the new extension from the Pantai Timur Shopping complex side instead.

Note this section of the pasar as it is where the food section is on the upper floor. Be here during lunch hour and you will find all kinds of authentic Kelantanese kuihs and dishes to go with your lunch. Treat your family to lunch here and have the best fried crabs or large fresh water prawns (udang galah), it won't cost you and arm and a leg.

Trodding on around the circular Pasar Siti Khadijah brought me to Laman Siti Khadijah where there are food stalls selling freshly cooked food.

Beside it stands the Pasar Buluh Kubu. Dont worry if you are out of money as some shops do accept credit cards. No credit cards? Don't worry too, the Ar Rahn islamic pawnshop is just across the road. Only gold are accepted though.
From Bazaar Buluh Kubu we have to take abit of walking to go to Bazaar MPKB right smack in the middle of town. If you know how to bargain you can get many things cheaply here. Be prepared for stuffiness and if there is a big crowd as it is usually is during a long holiday, movement can be quite restricted as the walkways between the shoplot are on the small side. So if you have a big body, dont mind too much if people tend to squeeze by you. Hopefully they dont smell too much.

The buildings within the old town center are typical buildings of old. They should be rahabilitated and preserved as these are the buildings that give Kota Bharu its image and character. Build new buildings but build them elsewhere away from the town center. The building below is along Jalan Ismail. They definitely need sprucing up and painted over with a new coat of paint.

The row of shop houses below is along Jalan Temenggong.
Medo Photo Studio is like the Royal Photographer. I remember seeing the photograph of the Deputy Prime Minister displayed in the shop. Next to it is Restoran Kota Bharu. Only while taking the photograph that I realized that the Kota Bharu Hotel was upstairs. I doubt that it is still a hotel, not even a guesthouse I guess.
If your father had been using a car a long time ago, this was where he got his spare parts. When my wife's grandmother need medical treatment, she would always ask to be taken to this clinic going by the name of The Bates Dispensary. The clinic is still operating but I wonder if Dr. Bates is still seeing his patients there. I think Dr. Bates is a former British citizen who settled in Kelantan a long time ago. Will somebody from Kota Bharu enlighten me?
My grand daughter is crying. I will have to take her home. I will have to continue the rideabout in Part 4 and hopefully that will be the finale.

When Balqiss is comfortable, this is how she will look.

I will be putting all of my pictures in my public gallery when my friend Akmal of Wiseup88 comes back for Chinese New Year. So worry not if you can't see much details from the current pictures. You will be able to see them better in the public gallery.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Food of Kelantan - Part 1

Some foods are authentic to Kelantan and some of them I rarely find them outside of the state other than the neighbouring states where the Kelantanese have spread out in search a living or followed their spouse. The South of Thailand being a border nation where people of both nation criss cross the border like there is no border is an exception. Weren't they part of Kelantan once upon a time?

This posting on Kelantan foods should satiate some of the readers desire to see some of the foods they must have missed.

This is a break journey for Kota Bharu In Pictures which will be coming next.
Akok and kerepok lekor being sold around the area where PAS held it weekly Ceramah.
These two ladies were selling several kinds of food including 'nasi tumpang'
Quite a spread of food most are very sweet like the bunga tanjung, jala emas etc.
Tepung Pasong. Traditional Malay food wrapped in conical shaped banana leaf.

The lower part is made of grounded rice sweetened with coconut sugar. The top part is made of santan.

Tepung Bungkus. Grounded rice dough concealing shredded coconut sweetened with cocnut sugar.
Tepung Bungkus with the wrapping opened to show the content.
Cik Mek Molek. Made of sweet potato dough and flour containing sugar which liquify when deep fried.
Three types of Malay kuih wrapped in similar way in banana leaf. Tepung Bungkus manis, ggetah and koci.
Ketupat daun palas. If the gluttinous rice is not sweetened with sugar, it is best taken by dipping in liquified coconut sugar.
Cucur. Fried flour dough. It has a distict shape with raised centre.
Nasi Tumpang. Rice wrapped in conical shaped banana leaf with the lauk comprising of serunding daging, gulai ikan or shrimp sandwiched inside.
Pulut Bakar. Gluttinous rice mixed with santan and grilled over a fire.
Boiled keladi

Ubi Keling

Tapai Beras

Ayam Percik

Solok Lada

Putu Halba

Satay anyone?

bangladeshi buying nasi for breakfast.

More pictures of Kelantan food in Part 2.