Browse Cheap Flights
Kota Bharu Holidays Overview
Kota Bharu or Kota Baru is the capital of the Malaysian state of Kelantan.
This city whose name translates as "New Fort" in Malay is located in the northern part of Kelantan near the Thai border. Kota Bharu is often bypassed by tourists on their way to the popular dive sites in the Prehentian Islands however they would do well to stop for a few days in Kota Bharu in order to discover its many charms which take the form of museums, galleries, the palace and unique markets.
The history of the state of Kelantan can be traced to prehistoric times. Historical records further indicate that the Chinese from the Funan Kingdom inhabited this area when they settled along the Mekong River. The Funan Chinese referred to this area as Ho La Tan and stated that it was an important kingdom of South East Asia.
The Chinese extended their influences to various aspects of life in Kelantan as they influenced farming and weaving practices of the people of Kelantan. After the Chinese, Kelantan came under the influence of the Sriwijaya Empire of Sumatra who were then followed by the Siamese. In the 15th century the state was taken over by the Melaka Sultanate which was then followed by the Johor and Terengganu sultanates.
In the early years of the 18th century Kelantan which had strong ties with Siam was thought to be one of the most prosperous states in Malaysia. These ties with Siam continued well into the 19th century and thereafter the state came under British rule when the Anglo-Siamese treaty was signed in 1909.
During WWII, Kota Bahru was used as a landing site for the aircraft of the Japanese Imperial Army who defeated the British in both Singapore and Malaysia. After the War ended Kelantan became a part of the Federation of Malaya in 1948. After Malaysia achieved its independence Kelantan became an enclave of Islamic conservatism which has grown to be somewhat more moderate over the years though it is still socially conservative and prohibits the sale and consumption of alcohol within its boundaries.
Kota Bahru enjoys a year round tropical climate and temperatures in the capital of Kelantan range between 21°C to 32°C throughout the year, with no significant seasonal variation though the city like the rest of the state experiences a rainy season which extends from November until January.
Advertisment: Search for a Holiday deal.
There are options for all Kota Bharu holidays, hotels,
Kota Bharu Flights and other deals with the
holidays - Top Events
Kota Bahru celebrates most of Malaysia’s religious and cultural festivals and it additionally hosts many annual events which give visitors a chance to learn about the culture and history of Kota Bahru.
Some of these events include :-
The Kelantan Cultural Carnival
This event is annually held in September at the Gelanggang Seni and features traditional games like gasing (top spinning) and kite-flying as well as exhibits of native batik apparel and silver ware both of which constitute the main exports from Kelantan. During this festival, visitors even the chance to sample the sumptuous cuisine of the state of Kelantan.
The Games Festival
This two day festival of games is held in Kota Bahru in the beginning of April every year. This festival also showcases the indigenous games and past times of Kelantan like ‘elephant slippers’ which features teams of participants who compete against each other as they make their way to the finish line in a giant slipper.
The Kelantan Flora Festival
This ten day festival is held in the beginning of April every year and show cases the native plant life of Kelantan through elaborately decorated floats. The festival also features traditional music and dance performances and games.
The Kite Festival
This festival which is held in May every year attracts participants from various countries from around the world. This festival features colorful and elaborately designed kites and it enthralls and delights both the competitors and spectators.
The Kelatan Marine Festival
This festival is held every July and features boat races, marine sports competitions and a fishing festival. The festival also features a trade fair that displays the art and culture of Kelantan
The Bird Singing Competition
Songbirds are extremely popular in Kelantan and Kota Bahru holds a Bird Singing Competition every year in the month of August. This competition gives spectators a chance to enjoy the musical prowesses of these colorful birds that are very coveted in Kelantan.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines like Qantas, Malaysian airlines and British Airways provide air links to Kota Bahru from the Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne.
Australia doesn’t have a diplomatic mission in Kota Bahru but the country has a High Commission which is located in Kuala Lumpur and consulates in Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Penang.