Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Kota Bharu In Pictures - Part 1

This blog will be dedicated to my four friends who missed Kota Bharu so much. They are U Lee, Zaitgha, Cakapaje and Hantu Laut. Kota Bharu was U Lee's palyground when he was living in Malaysia and was often mentioned in his blogs. He was last here in 1985. That was almost 23 (corrected from previous 13. Thanks U Lee) years ago. Zaitgha used to grow up in the police quarters right smack in the middle of town. Fortunately most of the places she remembered are still there but no more in the state that she used to see. Hantu Laut had the experience of a flood while visiting Kelantan some 23 years ago. Cakapaje grew up here when he was small and was last here 3 years ago.
Tan Sri Muhamad Yaacob the then Chief Minister of Kelantan wanted to make the floods of Kelantan as a tourist attraction and put it on the calendar of events for tourists to enjoy like the Kelantanese do. The idea remained an idea as only God knows how to bring the flood without fail so that tourists will not sue anybody for not being able to experience the promised flood when they are here.


Flood 0f 2004, picture courtesy of Raykinzoku
To enable you to navigate with me on my motorcycle ride around Kota Bharu, please open this interactive map of Kota Bharu in another browser window so that you can refer to the map when you need to locate my position. I find this map quite accurate and pretty recent. Start with me from The Sultan Yahya Petra bridge coming from Pasir Pekan along Jalan Wakaf Baru on route 134.
http://realtravel.com/kota_bharu-malaysia-destmap-d51813-50.html
Please note that the above map is an interactive one so you must enlarge it to show details of all the roads in Kota Bharu.
Since I live in Pasir Mas on the west bank of The Kelantan River, I will portray the sights of the town which the current state government has renamed as Kota Bharu Bandaraya Islam. The Federal Government has yet to confer this town the city status though the smaller Kuala Terengganu was conferred theirs recently. I guess the political differences does count.
The round about at the intersection to Wakaf Baru and Kota Bharu in Pasir Pekan is still there. Coming from Pasir Mas, taking the 3 oclock led me into the newly widened 2 km stretch leading to the Sultan Yahya Petra Bridge. The vision of an additional 2 x 2 lanes new bridge which the PM officiated the ground breaking ceremony in November 2007 bridge played in my mind. When I reach the present 2 lanes bridge one lane going each way then only I realized that the dream of the new bridge is still to be realized. This is where the daily bottle neck occurs everyday, morning and evening. In the morning when workers ride into Kota Bharu to work and in the evening when they return home. Work on the new bridge seems to have come to a standstill. The contract was awarded to a company called Redland, and as the name suggest, it is owned by somebody from Tanah Merah. Rumour has it that it is a Dato' from UMNO .
Riding a bike means I have to ride along the bike lane at the side of the bridge. If I am lucky there wont be a 'becha' which the Kelantanese call 'teksi' infront there leading the pack at a miserly 5 km an hour speed capable by those old leg power. There is no way to overtake them.
From across the river, Kota Bharu can be seen as a town with a dynamic skyline from the distance.

Close your eyes to the colour of the water as it is no more of the same colour as you have seen it in the seventies. Look at the yellow coloured building that is a new addition to the Kota Bharu skyline as seen from across the river, its the spanking new and yet to be opened Pelangi Mall.

As I neared the end of the bridge on the Kota Bharu side I can't miss the sight of the recently opened KB Tesco in that striking blue color with the word tesco spelt in Jawi as well as English.

Immediately after the bridge, the road widened and there is a traffic light where a roundabout used to be. The roundabout was known as Bulatan Kijang (Barking Deer Roundabout). It was a pretty big roundabout with water fountain spurting from the mouth of four deer figures sculpted from bronze. There were benches too for people to sit and relax. The current state government when it came to power for the first time (Remember in 1990 it was for the second time) removed the figures purportedly due to their abhorence to figures be it of animals or human. I remember taking pictures at this roundabout. Now even the roundabout has to be removed to ease traffic flow.

(Will put picture of bulatan Kijang when found)

The right turn at this traffic light would have led me to Jalan Kampong Sireh where the unoccupied official residence of the Chief Minister was located. Nothing was said when the then Chief Minister Tan Sri Mohamad Yaacob didn't stay there preferring his new wooden mansion in Taman Uda Murni. Lots of noise were made when the current Chief Minister Tuan Guru Nik Aziz choose to stay in his humble wooden abode close to his mosque where more often than not he will lead the morning Suboh prayers before giving the morning sermon which I once had the opportunity to attend.

Ain't four lanes on each side is wide enough for Kota Bharu?

The left turn would lead me to Jalan Sultanah Zainab where there are many interesting landmarks await those who care to venture.
Jalan Sultanah Zainab as seen from the junction.
Since I am taking the straight wide road ahead via Jalan Hamzah, we are bound to meet the Express Bus Stand which is dwarfed by KB Mall. When night comes people leaving for various destinations in Malaysia will leave by the bus loads. Transnational busses have their own bus terminal in Jalan Langgar.

The Kota Bharu Express Bus Terminal beside KB Mall in Jalan Hamzah.
Those familiar with the Bulatan Wakaf Siku will be in for a surprise as the roundabout is no more there as it was replaced by the traffic light.

KB Mall as seen from the other side of Jalan Kula Krai junction.

KB Mall occupies the site once known as Biaritz Park. In the olden days Biaritz Park was the equivalent of BB Park in Bukit Bintang KL. Kota Bharu was then known for a town of real fun where joget and other forms of entertainment were always available. Everything is gone after PAS took over the ruling of the state from UMNO for the first tim. (Date to be verified)
I could have taken a right turn here and the right turn would have taken me to see the old JPJ Kelantan office where many old drivers obtained their driving licence. It is now an academy.

The old JPJ office on Jalan Kuala Krai. It is now The JPJ Academy

By the way I obtained my driving licence from JPJ Johor Baru in 1974, which was then in Larkin. Do you think I know anybody there who could help me secure my license without doing the test?
Did you notice the new block of condominiums beside the old JPJ office? Its too prominent to miss.
Condominium living is the in thing in Kota Bharu now.

If I were to go further up on the opposite side of the road is Kota Darul Naim, where the state assembly and the state governments admisitrative offices is located. Kota Darulnaim was built by the previous state government during the tenureship of Tan Sri Mohamed Yaacob as Menteri Besar. This is how Kota Darulnaim look.

Kota Darul Naim (Picture courtesy of Raykinzoku)
Going straight from Jalan Hamzah I rode into Jalan Sultan Yahya Petra. Some wooden shops are still standing being the remnants of the old wooden shops prevalent in The Kota Bharu of old. There are even older looking wooden shops which will be potrayed later.
The old wooden shops will soon give way to modern brick buildings along Jalan Sultan Yahya Petra.
I spotted a new bank in town by the name of Al Rajhi. Its an Arabian Bank. They deemed it fit to open a branch in Kota Bharu.

The Al Rajhi Bank

Next on the right side of the road is the imposing Kota Seri Mutiara building where Billion Supermarket and Hotel Renaisance is located. There is also a condominium block in this complex. More condominiums are being built around KB as more Kelantanese takes to condominium living which is most convenient as you live within a complex with almost everything necessary within it.


It is an imposing building. Some people was surprised when I told them Renaisance is opening up a hotel in Kota Bharu some years ago.

A closer view of the entrance.

This was once a Petronas building. They must have built the building for their used as the base when oil or gas was to be landed in Pantai Senak, Kelantan. I guess the proposal never see the light of day and this bulding was used as a petrol station and the upper floor was let to PTPL an Open University. Today the building is undergoing massive renovation. Maybe the ownership of the building has changed hands. Its just a hunch.

The building that was once a Petronas Petrol kiosk undergoing renovations. The Open University signboard is on top of the building.

We are still riding my motorbike along Jalan Yahya Petra

Mofaz is owned by some Kelantanese and the CEO and President is Tuan Haji Mohamad Fauzi Abdul Hamid. If one were to drive around Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, you wouldn't have missed the once popular More Exoticar, it was one of his babies. Mofaz is coming home real strong by opening up this new outlet beside its hotel and a few other businesses already in operation. Afterall they started their business in Kota Bharu before moving base to strike it big in KL. This is their latest addition to what they already have here.
Next to Mofaz Exotic Car is their Mercedez Show room with the Mercedez flags flying high.
The next prominent landmark along this route is Mesjid Kubang Kerian. This beautiful structure was initiated by Tan Sri Ibrahim Mohamad, a Kelantanese who once owned Promet. He must have went into a bad patch as the mosque was for sometimes neglected. I wonder who complete the construction later.

The Kubang Kerian Mosque

Jalan Yahya Petra ends at the Kubang Kerian Junction. Taking a right turn will take me to the Istana Kubang Kerian where Sultanah Zainab (the mother of the present Sultan) resides. We are taking left into Jalan Raja Perempuan Zainab. The Teaching Hospital of University Sains Malaysia is on the otherside of the road.
University Sains Malaysia Teaching Hospital
Let us not turn left at the next junction as it will take us into Jalan Bayam. We will turn left only at the next junction to Pulau Melaka. Yes thats the famous island in Kelantan where YB Tok Guru Nik Aziz resides. The map doesn't show the road to Pulau Melaka as the bridge to there was not ready when the map was drawn then. Anyway we wont be going there as we are turning left into Jalan Hospital. The new JPJ complex is on our left. They needed a bigger area so they have to relocate here.

The new JPJ Complex.

Hey it is already noon and it is too hot to continue riding a bike. I am hungry too. Let us stop for lunch and continue the journey another time OK?

51 comments:

cakapaje said...

Salam Pak Zawi,

Wow! Thank you for this one, it sure ease the longing. Hope to see more pictures later including the old pasar and don't forget the White House :)

There use to be a bakery making 'kueh jepun'; eaten fresh from the oven, it was certainly a delight. But last I was there some 3 years back, I could only find the prepacked ones which does not taste the same.

If you were to go to Pengkalan Chepa, do take a longer drive right up to the MRSM which was built over a Malay Kampung. Opposite the MRSM is, or was, an empty field, and beside the field - in one of the old government quarters - is where my family lived for 3 years. Though I was 4 - 6 1/2 then, I still remember quite a number of things there, and many of them are fond memories of the friendly, humble and very helpful Kelantanese people.

Thank you again, Pak Zawi :)

Zawi said...

Shah,
You are most welcome. I still have too many more pictures to upload. I can't do it in one go as it will be too slow for people to download esp for people with slow processors. Ofcourse I have those pics of the white house and many others that you will love to see. Will take your pointers into consideration and make additional stories.
As you can see I am on the return trek to KB and will write about the place as I come by it. You can track my ride on the accompanying map that I gave the URL which must be enlarged to show the details of Kota Bharu. From Kota Bharu I will ride to Pengkalan Chepa and a detour to the Industrial area of Padang Tembak will be included in order to pick up ur house near MRSM hahaha.
My story will get longer as I will get more requests for more inclusions. Will be too happy to oblige.
More detailed story about the muzeums will be done later. The kueh Jepun can be be done on seperate stories like the serunding, akok and dodol making. How about that?

Akmal said...

Pak Zawi,
Hey nice post. Yes I am indeed glad you put not too much pictures or I'll crawl over your place hahaha. But you see, I am now using Google Reader, and it improved my blogging life tremendously, by telling me what's new on the selected sites, which you can custom it by yourself. I knew about your post at around 1.40pm, but got a class to catch, hence cannot be the first one to leave footsteps hahaha. Have you tried it? If you haven't, you should. It eases you blogging life tremendously.
I haven't been much around Kota Bharu, except the 'lepak-ing' ports like Tambatan Diraja, KB Mall, sometimes at the Billion. Hey I can see that Pelangi Mall is in the final stage, can be added to the port-list later. Other places, I am only the passer-by hahaha.
The Museums are coming up next? Can't wait!
Have a nice day pak.

Zawi said...

Akmal,
You told me about the Google Reader but I havent done anything about. I will look it up and use it if you found that its good.
Beside the big buildings I will also post pictures of human interest.
Decided to break the story into parts so that I can put in all the pictures without making too slow for those with old processors. It provides me time to look for more pictures too. I think Istana Kubang Kerian should be included which I cant find even on the net. Will mention the museums in passing for now as I have already promised En. Alimin to post something about the muzeums to coincide with launching of one of his projects since he is currently the director of Kelantan Muzeums.
Thanks for telling me about Google Reader.

jaflam said...

Zawi,
Thanks for the ride around KB, it’s very informative and definitely provides an insight on the City today.

KB will be a more famous city alongside the story teller. Keep up the good work. Salam.

U.Lee said...

Hi Zawi, terima kaseh seribu for your kind mention. Before I tukar into 2nd gear, hey! And I thought my maths was poor those days, always struggling to get 55% results, but I couldn't help smiling see the dates you mentioned re my last visit.
Zawi, I always knew you shouldn't be eating too much petai ikan bilis sambal, arhaaa ha ha.
Zawi, I really enjoy going thru your beautiful well taken photographs, like opening the pages of National Geographic. Wow! You are a good phptographer, nice perspectives and depths too.
Zawi, there will always be a special place dalam hati saya for Kelantan, and its beautiful friendly, not to mention its humourous people, and how can I not say this, the simply, exquisite, exotic beauty of Kelantan maidens.
Yes, Kelantan holds many fond memories for me.
Re the floods. How can I not forget those moonsoon times I had to go to Kelantan.
And few times had to stay extra nights because of impassable roads.
There was one experience, it was a few miles outside KB town, padi fields both sides, flat ground, and flood waters rushing thru across the road like white water. Even lorries hesitated to go across the 200 yards. But I had a very important meeting in Penang.
So I got about 4 young men hanging around to help push my car across same time not to let my car become a boat. I kept revving my engine to stop the water coming thru my exhust pipe, they pushed...and I can tell you, the current WAS! strong. Anyway, I was the only gila fellow who crossed that morning...had a clear road after that. It cost me Rgt 80 to tip the boys, but worth it.
Another incident...Kelantan people have a terrific accent...three words from my mouth they know where I come from.
Anyway we were out deep sea fishing off the coast, on our return near shore I asked the Malay boatman how deep the water was? He answered in his strong accent, I mistaking his, "satu deporrr". Being dirty and smelly after a full day's sea fishing, I jumped in.
Holy Smoke! When my feet did not touch the ground, I shot upwards like an Iraqi Scud missile! It was 60 feet!!! (depar! fathoms!). NOT 6 feet! That was how clear the waters were. That boatman almost fell in the sea too from laughing at my shocked face!
And Zawi, there are not many places to see beautiful moonlight nights, but certainly Kelantan's pantai Cinta Berahi ranks very high on my list, if not 1st place!
I remember those ahemm, nights I dated two, I think three exotic, kelantan maidens, ha ha, individually of course...on moonlight rendezvous at the beach. And zawi, I can tell you, some of the most exotic, exquisite women in Malaysia are from Kelantan, believe you me. Some of them so fair, minum CocaCola boleh nampak go down their throat, ha ha. I think ada Thai genes.
How to forget those nights holding hands with a long haired, sarong wearing, Kelantan Malay beauty at Pantai Cinta Berahi? With a full moon? Duduk tepi laut, lepas my pantuns. I sure lepas my handbrake, pantuns pun keluar, ha ha.
Couple of times invited their Makciks, pakciks come along too for dinner by the sea. Show them I had ahemm, very honourable (?) intentions towards their beautiful daughters.
"Lee, you ni bila nak kawain Noraini"? Alamak!Kena backfire like Morris Minor kereta plug kotor! Like that ada flood pun go thru, ha ha, just kidding.
Gosh! Kelantan people sure got a terrific sense of humour, dangerous to my bachelor's degree too, ha ha.
And Zawi, how can I forget your famous Kelantan salt fish? Your delicious kerepok udang? Holy Smoke! I used to load my car buying them for my relatives in KL, as well ahemm, KL SYT's parents. Easier get dates then. Ha ha. Terok sini sana kena bribe to date their daughters.
Yes Zawi, your beautiful Kelantan pics and your very eloquent (except your maths, ha ha ha) this posting certainly brings back Kelantan to me. And by coincidence I too posted about Kelantan. Ha ha.
But today I am proud as well privilaged to know and say I have two good friends in Kelantan, Pasir Mas and Rantau Panjang, Zawi and Akmal.
Terima kaseh seribu, Zawi. Best regards, you keep well, and don't lupa tukar the baby's diapers. Lee.

Zawi said...

D.J,
Just doing my bit for my state. Hopefully peoples eyes will be opened if they have refused to open it all these while. All the negative comments trying to portray the state as backward has backfired as people by the busloads came to see for themselves how Kelantan is. What a surprise they get.
Me becoming very famous like the city is? I prefer to remain obscure and let the city be famous. That will be reward enough for me. I will be happy if I can make my readers happy. Salam kembali.

Zawi said...

Lee,
Felt it in my bone that you will like this new post. As the Malay proverb says 'Tempat jatuh lagi di kenang, ini pula tempat bermain'. Roughly translated to the place where you felled will always be remembered, what more the place where you played. Very apt in your case right?
Hahahahahaha frankly I tell you I failed my math when I was in school. I was more of a literary man than a mathematician so you will have to forgive me if I may have calculated the right length of time. I guessed you may have laughed your head off at my carelessness. Always adding extra or taking away numbers all the time. Remember I added 10 yrs to a young lady's age sometime ago? Hopefully that won't keep her away from my site for good. Thanks anyway.
The photographs were taken with a fix focus camera so whatever came out are sheer fluke. All I did was to aim and shoot and try to avoid as much vibration as possible. Still dreaming of a SLR to enable me to paly around with the aperture and shutter speed to get the various effects like depth of field.
Mat Salo when are you going to upgrade your camera? Hahahaha I cant even afford his second hand camera.
My ride about in Kota Bharu will take a long time to complete cos some routes has to be redone. My last trip to Kota Bharu airport didnt include a detour to MRSM or the jail area. Now Shah of Cakapaje wants me to locate the house where he used to live in when he was a few years old. I doubt that the house is still there but I will still try to find it. Anyway some photographs of the industrial area in Padang Tembak will be nice to add to this blog.
To reminince about PCB, You will have to wait for me to get there. I will definitely cover it. You will be in for a surprise!
Ah about the Kelantan maiden, to tell you the truth I have yet to locate one that is worthy of being used as an illustration in this blog. Most are covered up when they go out to town so they are not that discernible. The more beautiful ones have migrated to KL to work as actresses, stewardess and whatever jobs that require good look. So the nexttime when you are back in KL and you meet a beautiful Malay maiden, please ask her to show you and try to make her pronounce the 'Seven Eleven' conveninece shops, more often than not you will know she is truly a maiden from Kelantan.
Don't forget to comeback for the next rideabout OK?

NaNa said...

Pak Zawi,

What an informative ride. Initially I was a bit unsure of where I was but as you moved to the city centre, I was like.. 'alright.. I know this place'.

I have not been back to Kelantan for quite a while... not even last raya. Luckily I have a very understanding mum who understands my situation.

Do u mind if I say something to U. Lee?

UL, Pantai Cinta berahi is known as Pantai Cahaya Bulan now. My late father used to bring us there when I was small...back in the 70's. Very nice place but I find the place has changed now. It's not like what it used to be.

FiSHY@iKe said...

Salam, pak zawi! Wow, congratz for the very informative yet exciting journey pak! I visited Kelantan last time it was like I'm still in the primary school.(or is it secondary?) I had an aunt there in KB, she was living somewhere there la, I can't really remembered. But I really remember Kelantanese used to use "riyal" pronounce riyah to ringgit. It was funny because I was buying something that day and the seller said, "tiga riyal", I reply, "what? tiga riyal? bukan tulis kat tanda harge ni tige ringgit ke?" LOL.

I hope I can come and visit Kelantan again soon. Take care pak zawi, can't wait for the next part. Salam...

Pak Idrus said...

zawi. Indeed a great images of Kota Baru. Well done!!. I am happy that you take upon your good self to promote this enchanting city of ours. Do shows more of those heritages site.

Keep posting more images so that the world knows what KB is all about.

Happy snapping and have a nice day.

Mat Salo said...

Apa ni Pak Zawi nak beli my camera cheap cheap? Remember, great writing is worth a thousand crap pictures!

As usual, you single-handedly did a better job in promoting Klante with your witty essays than the whole of Klante Tourism body put together...

Bravo!

Zawi said...

nana,
I must redo the part where you got lost. That shows my weakness in describing the route I was taking. Did you use the interactive map as guidance? I will add more details of the route numbers as it will definitely help alot. Maybe the side trackings confused you a bit.
I am still a long way to PCB so I cant post any picture of it yet.
Hope you enjoy riding piggy on my bike.

Zawi said...

fishy,
High time for you to revisit Kelantan. As you can see it has changed so much. Your auntie will be too glad to see you again. Don't bother to bring any 'buah tangan'. Just take her to Tesco and let her choose all the things she wants and you just pay the bill hahahaha. Ooops sorry, you are still a student so your visit will be good enough for her.

Zawi said...

Pak Idrus,
Great encouragement from you. Will take note of your comment and take action on it. The problem is I have too many pictures to post and hopefully it wont hang on those readers with low RAMs.
Having a grand daughter to look after doesnt give me much time to go and shoot those landmarks that I missed. When I went for the trip, the mother was still around to take care of her.
Appreciate the feedback from you.

zaitgha said...

Pak Zawi,

nak gi KB hu hu hu....my old police barrack still around ker? along jalan Sultan Ibrahim, i think ada mahkahmah syariah behind my house...and favorite area during the floods was the Pejabat Pos...and i could run around the huge fields beside the stadium mohd.....
thanks Pak...hope to see KB soon in person....

Zawi said...

mat salo,
How else can I mention you in my write up if I dont refer to your camera?
Some people are too busy to read lengthy write ups so I must give them pictures to read, and they need good pictures to read well. To these people a picture is worth a thousand words so they can save time to do something else. Sleeping for instance hehehehe.
Shhhhh.. mat, don't say too loudly about me making more promotion of Kelantan than them, the people of TDC are reading this blog too. They might hear you. Furthermore they are close friends of mine. The TIC? They haven't heard of this site yet. When I visited them to get some pamphlets and photographs of their building, they were too busy to even give a haggard looking old man a second glance though I called out the name of one of the guide manning the counter there. I guess a Mat Salleh (not a mat salo) tourist with an expensive DSLR would have caught their attention more.
Anyway I am just doing my bit to promote Kelantan.
Raykinzuko at http://raykinzoku.fotopages.com/ is doing a far better job than me.
Please visit his photpages.
Are you on the barge now?
Thanks mat.

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Pak Zawi
I was too young to remember the time my family stayed in Kelantan. About five years ago, I took Mak, my sister and husband there for a cousin's wedding. She loved going around the town, remembering some places.
She remembered that we stayed next to a kilang mancis in Kota Baru.
I love the marketplace of course, not so much for the shopping but the people that make up the place.
I'm planning a visit soon!

Zawi said...

zai,
I am still riding my bike and will soon come to the police barracks. I have some picturs of them. Sabar ya? Maybe you will be here before I could post the next blog. Part 2 will be coming soon and I will be passing by Jalan Ibrahim.

Zawi said...

Fauziah,
Oh you have relatives here, all the more reason for you to come back.
The kilang mancis cap lada is located along the end of Jalan Wakaf Mek Zainab on the way to PCB. I will find out if it is still operating. It belongs to the family of Shabera Shaik, a well known dramatist in KL. It is located quite close to the roundabout in Kampong Cina.
Please keep me informed of your coming and if it is a Friday or Saturday, I will treat you to Laksa Kelantan as only on those days my wife will be free from school.
I will try to put a pic of the kilang mancis Kelantan on my next blog when my rideabout passes by there on the way to PCB. There are several old wooden buildings too that I need to capture on camera.

Hussin said...

Sallam Bro.,
InsyaAllah I'll be in KB during CNY. I've booked me and my family at Selesa Inn on 7-9 Feb.
I was told KB will be full of people, it seems that most hotels are fully booked. Just hope that it won't be too crowded.

Sallam

Zawi said...

Hussin,
Ya KB will be full. Soon more hotel rooms will be available to ease the current seasonal shortage.
It is good that you have managed to secure rooms for your family in advance as having a place to stay will be much comforting to your mind.
My phone numbers will be in your gmail by tonight as I am taking my grand daughter out for a pram walk.

a malaysian in riyadh said...

Zawi
Thank you for this informative post, and am looking forward to its sequel.

In the mid 70s, my late ayah was transferred to Pengkalan Chepa (from Kuantan). Pengkalan Chepa was (and still is) an educational hub; MRSM, Sek. Men. Sains, Maktab Perguruan and now Univ. Malaysia Kelantan are all located there.

Visiting our maternal grandparents in Palekbang was a real treat because we got the chance to take a ride on the becha (from the KB bus station to the boat jetty), followed by a ride on the motorboat to cross the Sungai Kelantan.

It seems like a busy river then, so much so the “driver” of the motorboat had to deftly navigate it to steer clear of etok harvesters/hunters who were plying the river in their sampans to scoop for the shellfish. It was quite common to stumble upon FEMALE etok harvesters. From the Palekbang jetty we then had to walk past the Fraser and Neave warehouse and railway station before we reached our kampung.
aMiR

Zawi said...

Amir,
That was a very nostalgic description of the olden days. I used to ride those river boats from my Kampong Chekok, Pasir Mas down river to Pasir Mas. The river was navigable by boat then cos even when the dry season sets in, there was a channel where it was deep enough for them. Now siltinh has rendered the river too shallow to be navigable.
There still boats available for river crossings. I will check for further infos.
The etak is almost extinct now due to pollutions. The sellers round my house had to rely on imports from Pahang and Perak where etak is yet to be enjoyed by those people over there.

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Pak Zawi
Thank you so much. Will keep you informed of my next visit.
Etak is a kind of siput, right? I saw it when I visited a market in Tumpat during one of my road trips to Kelantan some five years back.
I wrote about the trip. I'll try to find the articles in the archives and post it on my blog.

Zawi said...

Fauziah,
Etak is a bivalve just like the cockles except that the shell is smoother with straited lines following its shape. It is marinated with a concoction of grounded serai, shallots and salt. The etak is then roasted over burning ember from a height of about 2.5 ft from the ember by placing it on plaited bamboo with fine gaps to allow heat to penetrate. Other kind of non corrosive mesh can also be used as the salt can easily render it to become rusty which is dangerous to our health and can cause lock jaw.
It will be great if you can publish it in your blog as people can read it again.
How about writing something on Kelantan Museum? You maybe able to do a bteer job than me. I can arrange with Tuan Haji Alimim Omar for you to do photography of the artifacts. Would be a great help to promote the museum.
Email me at gmail should you require any assistance while in Kelantan.

uncleawang said...

Salam Pak Zawi,
Despide some physical changes I hope Kota Bahru has still managed to retain its own identity through the ages.I hope it is still very much a land of kampongs,ricefield,legends and friendly people with intriguing lifestyles.I'm hoping very much to visit KBR Insyallah.

Zawi said...

uncleawang,
Some changes are inevitable to make the town look more pleasing to the eyes. Roads need to be widened. Parking places need to be increased. Most important is cleanliness which must be maintained. In this aspect I think the Municipal Council has done very well only the people themselves are not changing their habit of using te drain and rivers as places to dispose their garbage. Because of this bad habit drains get clogged up. On a boat ride to the estuaries of Kelantan river I personally saw floating plastic garbage collecting at the estuaries where sand bars blocked the estuaries when the water level of the river is low.
Pay Kelantan a visit and you can still see those things that you mentioned in the villages. Keep me informed when you are coming OK?

Zabs said...

Salam Zawi,
Nice pictures. I've stayed at the Renaisance a few time, while in KB. Nice hotel. However most of the other plces have not seen it personally. may be next time. Thank you Zawi.

U.Lee said...

Hi Zawi, yes, I certainly enjoyed going dowm memory lane thru your posting and beautiful pics.
Only thing I never appreciated then was the floods monsoon time. Apart from that, Kelantan is gorgeous, people and scenery.
Will look forward see your pics of PCB. Maybe my footprints still there, ha ha.
My computer was down dua hari! It almost kena heart bypass, but have a good friend, an expert computer engineer...invited him home for dinner, my wife's cooking, he repaired my pc in two hours flat.
Be seeing, and keep well, Lee.

Zawi said...

Zabs,
You stayed in the nicest hotel available in Kota Bharu. There is another hotel coming up at Pelangi Mall soon so you can try the new one for a change. Wait for my second part which is coming soon to know more about the new hotel.
After this series is done I will start writing about the places of interest around Kota Bharu.
Hope to meet you in KB the next time you are here.

Zawi said...

Lee,
I will hold back on the posting about PCB till last so that you will crave for it even more hahahaha.
Wah lucky you, the computer expert came to your place to repair it. I guess you paid him with a sumptous home cooked dinner.
Just came back from photshoot of Kota Bharu. Still more places to cover including PCB.
Sabar ya Lee.

hajjah said...

Assalamualaikum.
Hj.Zawi,
Been some time could not login and great to read your blog. I do miss Kelantan and 2004Dec a memorable welcome for me and my husband. Would like to post some of my dec2004 photos here. Is it ok?
Lijah

a malaysian in riyadh said...

Zawi
Wonder where did you stop for lunch? The one and only Four Seasons in the whole of Malaysia, or Hoover, or some eating place that I've yet to discover?. Do Tell ....
aMiR

Zawi said...

Amir,
You will be surprised to know that I am a simple person and will eat simple food. Living a frugal life is my kind of style. I had nasi campur at the junction to Jalan Datuk Lundang (Cherang. If my wife is around we will take nasi ulam kampong style replete with all the boiled vege. Ain't that simple enough?
Hoover serves nice for nasi Padang. Remember being served a whole table but ended eating a few chiced dishes only. Will take pictures o the place some day.
Today I went to shoot photos at Kelab Pas where Tok Guru did the 'syarahan'. As usual, very big crowd. I found 'buah gorek' and 'buah beluru' there. Both are almost extinct now. We used buah gorek to play 'congkak' and 'buah beluru' as skimming stones.

Zawi said...

Hajjah,
My apology for not being able to attend Edora's wedding. Had to rush home to Kelantan before that.
You will have to email the pictures then only I can post it in or you can load it into your yahoo brief case which is set to sharing and I can pick it up. Otherwise post it on your site and I will link it from here. I prefer the later as you can load as many pictures as you want.
I will be too happy to do whatever you decide.
Thanks for visiting my site.

Rita Ho said...

Hi Zawi ... Finally made it back here to enjoy the first part of your guided tour of Kota Bahru. I have only been to Kelantan once, stayed overnight at Gua Musang and Kota Bahru enroute to Thailand. That was nearly 20 years ago and all I can remember is the afternoon-night market where we indulge ourselves shamelessly.

Back to your tour, in picture # 5 why is one arrow on the road adjacent to the rest??

Also, can you post the link to your Picasa album for us to view larger versions of your photos? I couldn't see some of the interesting aspects in some of the places you photographed. Thank you, Zawi.

Zawi said...

Rita,
I am glad you enjoy the tour. I am trying to bring a new approach to the way you see a town. Like as if you are a pillion rider on my motorbike hahahaha. Not a Harley or Orang County Chopper but just a 70 cc Honda Cub, those kind that a rubber tapper goes to work and carry home latex.
The arrow is actually half of the arrow telling the motorist to get into an inner lane because the lane is going to narrow down or ends.
Did you say you stayed in Gua Musang? Where did you stay then?Gua musang was my town for almost 20 years. 20 yrs ago there was just the Kesdar Inn, The Rest House and a few other cheap hotels. Cant iamgine you staying in anyone of them. Anyway when you have no other choicw what can you do?
I will try to post bigger pictures in my next post and the one already there will be in either picassa or my Yahoo briefcase to be shared with you all. Let me work on which one I am more familiar with. You know I am no computer geek and don't have any expert person around to help me hahahaha.

J.T. said...

Hi Zawi

Alamak... that was so cool and totally down memory lane for me. Although I left KB in 1979 (final year of primary school), I do remember some parts of that town.

I was living in Jalan Bayam. My dad was in the police force and so we were lived in police quarters. hmmm...I wonder if Zaitgha was just around the corner, sometime or other. We lived in KB for 9 years (1970 - 1979).
When dad was promoted, we moved out from police quarters to a rented house in Jalan Kuala Krai (near a roundabout behind some shop houses). That house we lived in faced the Christian cemetery. I wonder if it is still there.

My sister and I went to SRK Zainab (2) while my brothers were at Padang Garong school. They only had a year or two of SMSI KB.

It is amazing to see how much KB has changed. My mum used to frequent the wet market in town (forgot the name of that street). Street names like Jalan Hamzah, Jalan Sultanah Zainab, Jalan Kampong Sireh all rings a bell.

I hope to visit KB again someday. It will be a nostalgic visit for sure. Now that my parents are not around anymore to remind me of places we have been to in KB, I will have to go with what memories I have.

Thanks for this excellent post.

Zawi said...

jt,
Ahhhh, now only I remember who the other person that I missed dedicating to. I will dedicate part 2 to you as while doing part 1 my mind just refuse to help me recall who the other person that used to live in KB. Now I remember you wrote it somewhere in either my blog or Elviza's blog when she wrote about her chinese neibhours. Since my next rideabout will reach the town areas where most of the places you mentioned will be described, you will have to wait for the next posting to get your answers. Hope you can bear the waiting for a short while.
I cant cram the whole thing in one post cos that will make it too long and too heavy to download for people with less powerful processors and low RAM in ther computers. Anyway it is nice to savour anything in small bites and chew on it slowly to enjoy the taste.
Should you come back, I will be happy to take you and your hubby on a guided tour(not on my motorbike of course :)) of Kota Bharu and the neighbouring places. You may have to hold my grand daughter Balqiss while I drive OK? Don't worry I will change her diapers myself when it needs to be changed.
I am so glad that you enjoyed reading this post.

J.T. said...

Hi Zawi

I hope I did not sound like I was fishing for a dedication. Honestly, I was not. :)
Thanks for thinking of me.

Yes, I first mentioned about my days in KB in your blog. I was always keen on knowing how much KB has progressed. I have not been back there since we left the place. Some of my parents' friends are still living there and if I do make it back to KB someday, I will have to say hello to them. It was rather fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on how one sees it) that one of the friends made it a point to visit my dad when he came up to Klang. Little did he know that about a week later my dad passed away. He told us later he was glad he met all of us after so many years and got to say 'goodbye' to my dad before returning to KB.

Anyway, I can wait for your next segment of KB in Pictures, no worries. You are wise not to cram the whole thing in one posting. Besides some people having trouble downloading, I have to say that some have short attention span. ;)

Thanks for the offer to take my husband and I around KB. I will hold you to that. :D
First meal in KB, I must have Nasi Kerabu. yummm...

Zawi said...

jt,
No you did not sound like fishing for dedication. I would have dedicated to hundred others if I know that Kelantan holds dear to them. I did recall you only after you mentioned in your latest comment. I had been scratching my head to recall who else to dedicate to.
Have the pleasure since Part 2 will be dedicated just to two pesrons, zaitgha and you cos of the common factor of the police barracks which I will be mentioning in the next episode.
My problem is every time I want to post part 2, a new idea came up and I feel something need to be included. I wanted to exclude Sekolah Kebangsaan Padang Garong as it seems insignificance then but after your mentioning, it becomes very significant. Since I didnt take a picture of it I may have to just mention about it.
Sometimes God plan it such that great friends get to meet again before the depart from this world. That must have happened to your father then. All are God's great design.
I had a similar situation when I went to visit my ex head of department who had retired earlier than me. I went to his home and when I saw him painting again after a laspse of decades, I asked him to pose for a photograph with his latest work.
Later he asked his wife why I came to his house and photograph him. He passed away a week later.

Puteri said...

Definitely different from the KB I visited in 1981! Yes, that long ago! :-)

Zawi said...

Puteri,
If my maths is OK tonight I think that was some 27 years ago! Time to come back and see for yourself. Time it together with jt so that I can take all of you on my guided tour. I will have herbal tea and herbal cut medicine on stand by.
Sorry too busy minding the grandchildren and stealing time in between to write blogs so I am unable to blog hop much.
Have a good day Puteri.

Rita Ho said...

Zawi ... Yours is the best way to go sight-seeing, we get to see the real stuff and not what tour operators decide we should, which would be what earns them higher agency fees. Likewise, I prefer humble B&B type accommodation over expensive faceless hotels. At the former, I can mingle with the hosts and hear personal accounts of the destinations.

At Gua Musang, we stayed at the home of a colleague's grand-uncle. If I remember right, he was the assistant headman of a district there. Great hospitality!

Looks like KB holds fond memories for many of our blogger friends. Your post is well-timed and a very good one.

PS: The photos we upload onto our blogs are automatically stored in our Picasa albums. We just need to list them as public and share the link.

Zawi said...

Rita,
I am glad you managed to go through with all that. Sometimes I fear that I may be too detailed in mentioning everything. To me everything is interesting and I want to share them all.
Tried to upload the pictures into Picasa and almost ended up sharing everything. Pray tell me how to make it public sharing? Don't mind sharing everything except for the notty pics which maybe offensive to certain people.
So you have no problem putting up in Gua Musang then.
I have just published Part 2 let us see if you will enjoy that too. I am hoping to finish the series with Part 3 with it being the concluding part. There is alot more for me to cover.

Rita Ho said...

Zawi ... I don't think anyone can be too detailed where sightseeing is concerned.

I am not sure what you meant by trying to upload the pictures into Picasa. All the photos that you have posted in your blog are automatically filed in Picasa when downloaded them to your various posts. So, your post pictures are already in the album with the Blogger icon on its left bottom corner. Click on that album. The new screen will have a menu on the left and the uploaded photos on the right. Under menu, click "Edit Album Properties". In the pop-up screen, select "Public".

Any photos that you do not wish others to view should not be in this album. Download them into a new album and select "Unlisted". Viewers accessing your Picasa albums will not be able to view unlisted albums. You can send the link of these album to your privileged audience. Haha!

Going to continue Tour Part 2. Thanks!

Zawi said...

Rita,
Thanks for the info. See how shallow my knowledge fo such things. Didn't bother to learn up more than necessary hahahah.
Nothing is private with the pictures that I have posted. They should have made them public automatically.
Thanks again.

**NikWanie** said...

uncle kem salam kat azini....

Zawi said...

Nikwanie,
InsyaAllah akan uncle sampaikan. Sampaikan salam uncle pada ayah Nik ye.

Anonymous said...

Greetings Pak Zawi
ambo rasa ambo ada gambar Bulatan Kijang from my personal album dated 1973. ambo dok tepi one of the 4 kijang.
am willing to share kalu Pak Zawi interested to post.