This is a continuation of my previous rideabout around Kota Bharu on my 70 cc Honda Cub, a very reliable machine that never failed me except for those occassions when I forgot to fill her up with petrol because the fuel gauge always indicate half full even when it is empty. Not a problem really as petrol is avaialable by the bottles at most grocery or even coffee shops in Kelantan. A short push or sometimes a call to a friend can settle this small problem.
Bangunan Persekutuan or Federal Building is a 13 storey building and thus it is also known as Bangunan 13 Tingkat. It houses the many Federal Governments offices such as Immigration, Auditor General, Registration Department, Youth and Sports among others.
Next to it is The Police Contingent Kelantan Head Office. Quite an imposing sight with the letter 200 Tahun on it. Are they celebrating a 200th annivessary or something?
This private hospital is convenient as while the patient stays in it's well furnished wards, the relatives can saty in Perdana Hotel close by. Anyway the food served at the wards are from the kitchen of Perdana Hotel. My daughter Azini gave birth to Nur Aqila Balqiss at this hospital some six months ago. Lots of thanks to her father's employer which picked up the RM6,000 tabs as charges for her delivery. It is that expensive to deliver a child nowadays.
Next to Perdana Specialist Hospital is another construction project going on. It goes by the name of Kelantan Trade Center.
Before we turn left into Jalan Mahmood to see how Perdana Hotel looks like, lets glance to our right to see the new Medan Usahawan near the Stadium Sultan Muhamad IV. It replaces the old untidy extended stalls that was the feature of the food stalls in the earlier days when U Lee used to visit Kota Bharu and stayed at Perdana Hotel or Zaitgha's and jt's frequent visit from her police quarters not far from here.
Now lets ride on to the junction where Jalan Bayam meets Jalan Mahmood. There is no more right turn here as it used to be so only a left turn is possible. A short ride will take us to the front of Perdana Hotel. I guess the name of the Hotel is familar by know and 23 years ago, a high flying corporate figure by the pseudoname of U Lee used to stay when dealing with VVIPs for million ringgit projects.
Perdana Hotel Kota Bharu
Backtracking along Jalan Mahmood will take us to the same junction again. As u can see from the interactive map accessible from the above URL, Jalan Bayam seemed to be connected directly to Jalan Sultan Ibrahim. The truth is, it is not. At the junction the left turn takes us turn into the area where Gelanggang Seni, The State Libray, Dewan Jibilee Perak and Padang Perdana is located. The road ends immediately after The State Library as the fence that borders the Police Quarters prevent the road from joining Jalan Sultan Ibrahim. The Dewan Jubilee Perak was built on the site of where 2 tennis courts used to exist. The Dewan Jubilee which was once gutted by a fire sometime ago has now been repaired.
Outside the hall, other cultural performances such as top spinning, rebana ubi, kertok, silat and gasing pangkah are performed in wall less shelters. A small cafe is also available. Though the public toilet has undergone renovations with tiled floors and walls, its maintainence is still below par. The caretakers were quite uncomfortable after seeing me taking pictures of the pretty unappetizing toilets which is considered OK by their standard.
Outdoor performance area under renovation.
The State Public Library
Dewan Jubilee Perak.
The Dewan Jubilee was built on a former tennis court and a newer and better courts were built on the other side of the field which is named Padang Perdana. This field is located infront of Dewan Jubilee Perak. This is a favourite site for expositions.
Going back towards Jalan Mahmood, we'll take a left turn towards Jalan Hospital. The Hockey pitch is on our left and the Sultan Muhamad lV is now on the right. At the traffic light we turn right into Jalan Hospital. They have built a brand new Pusat Kesihatan Besar Kota Bharu beside the nurses training center. Carrying on further we entered the Hospital Besar Kota Bharu compound proper. The old wards with it myriads of covered walkways are still there on our left, taking so much expensive
ground being built of single storey buildings. Fortunately the new blocks of wards and emergency wards on the right are built upward. If the former health minister was not caught in compromising position on tape, he would have built new blocks of wards to replace the old ones. I believe he and the previous health minister had done alot for KB Hospital.
The entrance to the old wards at Kota Bharu GH.
The presence of KB Hospital and The Teaching Hospital of University Sains Malaysia has a provided a pool of specialist doctors for the many private hospitals such as Hospital Pakar Perdana and Kota Bharu Medical Center to fall on beside their own pool of doctors. So if you want to go for medical tourism, Kota Bharu is the place to go with the comparatively lower cost hotels for the accompanying relatives to stay in while the patients recuperate in the wards. Kota Bharu Medical Center
Kota Bharu Medical Center, another private hospital along Jalan Yahya Petra which I missed mentioning in my earlier rideabout. I must have gone too fast on my 70 cc Honda Cub.
Let us backtrack towards the Jalan Mahmood Junction. Crossing Jalan Mahmood we come into the end of Jalan hospital on route D106. On the left is the hockey pitch, while Jabatan Ukur dan Pemetaan Kelantan is next to it. If you need the latest map you can always buy a copy here. I need a copy of the latest map of Kelantan as well as of Malaysia myself. Some 12 years ago a large map of Kelantan costs RM5.00, a small sum for such an informative map. The topo maps are restricted though.
On the other side of the road is Sekolah Kebangsaan Padang Garong. Anyway that was what the name was when jt studied there. Now they have renamed all schools in the vicinity of Kota Bharu as either Sekolah Kebangsaan Sultan Ismail or Sekolah Kebangsaan Zainab followed by a number 1,2 or 3 making it easier for everybody in Kota Bharu to send their children to a premier school as the above two names of royalties signify. There are too many appilcants to such a few places available in the original school. Very brilliant solution to a problem. Before I return to the landmarks on the left side of the road along Jalan Hospital, let me briefly tell you what other interesting landmarks that lies across the road next to Sekolah Kebangsaan Padang Garong. Next is the Jabatan Pelajaran Negeri Kelantan. Nothing interesting to us but the next one is. Why? Its Bangunan Majlis Perbandaran Kota Bharu thats why. Thats where you pay your compounds for parking violations like when you dont top up your parking meters. Like not putting any coins in the meter thinking its a holiday and the parking attendants don't work on Sundays. Hey Kelantan works on Sundays but holidays on a Friday. Its called the corridor of Mecca you know. If the compound is RM30 which is the standard fare, just walkup a flight of steps and ask for the Secretary to allow you some discount and you pay only RM10.00. What if your car is clamped? I have yet to experience that so I can't tell you at the moment.
Giant is the anchor tenant.
The Store is the closest neighbour. Will it survive after Giant is opened?
Tok Guru giving his sermons on the slightly raised platform.
The view from the muslimat side.
Let us go back to the other side of the road where we left off at The Jabatan Ukur dan Pemetaan.
Kelantan Golf and Country Club
Beside it is a lane leading to a famous club, The Royal Kelantan Club. Join the club if you want to rub shoulders with who is who in Kelantan. My ex boss once treated me to lunch at this club as he was a member. The Club has a golf course near Maktab Perguruan Pengkalan Chepa not very far from where Shah of cakapaje used to live when he was young.
We have nothing to do at the Club house as I am not a member. At the road exit into Jalan Hospital is the Court House. A classmate of mine was a Judge here once. Lucky thing I never had the opportunity to appear befor his Lordship there. He is rumoured to be next in line to be the Chief Justice. Another classmate confided in me that he has reliable informations that my friend is too straight forward and does not play ball with the Executives so he won't be considered. With the current imbroglio over the appointment of CJs who knows he might get there earlier? My honest opinion is that this bruhaha over the Lingump tape is just a show to humiliate an ex PM.
To the left of the above buildings across the road from it at the entrance to Jalan Gajah Mati, is Wisma Yakin. On the ground floor some travel agencies were operating from it. The reason? MAS town office was located in one of the shop lots on the ground floor. Due to stiff competition from Low Cost Carrier AirAsia, MAS had to cut cost to be competitive and close it's town office the same way AirAsia did to its Town Office in Jalan Dusun Muda. Selling tickets online and by phone is definitely cheaper. Tickets are also available at the ticketing office at the airport in Pengkalan Chepa.
Only the signboard remains at the former Town Office of MAS at Wisma Yakin, Jalan Gajah Mati.
Moving onward along Jalan Sultan Ibrahim towards Wakaf Siku, you cant miss the glaring colours of Kelantan Tourist Information Center. Though there were many people inside the office, nobody bothered to greet me as I came in. I proceeded to collect as many pamphlets and brochures that I found relevant and called out the name of one of the guides that was I used to deal with when I was managing a travel company somewhere in Kota Bharu. He reciprocated with a reply acknowledging my thanks for letting me have the pamphlets and brochures. A different treatment would have been accorded to a foreign guests I guess, otherwise people will have a bad impression of the frontliners of our so called Tourist Information Office.
Nobody will miss this Tourist information Office if they were to pass by it as it is located quite near to the roundabout and Muzium Kelantan.
The only bank with an escalator in town.
Fearing that I maybe charged for spying I took this picture through the fences.
Further down the road nearer to wakaf siku I saw this building.
Everyone is familiar with Court Mammoth. Here you can buy things on hire purchase and pay them by the weeks.
Upon reaching the traffic light at Wakaf Siku, I turned right into Jalan Hamzah. On my left there is a cemetery with crosses on the grave yards. Its a Christian Cemetery. There must be quite a number of Christians in Kota Bharu too.
jt, this picture answers your question on whether it still exist. The house that you used to stay in could be somewhere across the road. Since KB Mall occupies a big plot across the road, it cant be there anymore.
Finally I reach the traffic light at the junction to Jalan Kampong Sireh and Jalan Sultanah Zainab. Straight ahead is Jambatan Sultan Yahya Petra. I have completed a loop of my rideabout and I still have alot of ground to cover for Kota Bharu. We will continue the rideabout on another day. I am going home to my wife and grand children now. See you on another day.