Monday, 15 September 2014


Not much to report from the afternoon at Batu Ferringhi, a great game of football with a couple of cold drinks and back into town to return the bike.  The next morning we were on the ferry across to Butterworth to catch a bus over to Kota Bharu, north east Malaysia, but unfortunately arrived about 30 minutes too late as there is only 2 buses a day to get there…

 We could have gone at 10 pm that night, but I didn’t see any point in that so we booked a room nearby at Marina Oriental, a bit costly at 120 myr ($40 au) but very nice.  I did check out the few other options in the area, all within a hundred meters of each other, and although cheap, they were pretty crappy. 

Plenty of good eating nearby as usual, seems to be no shortage of great food in Malaysia, we had delicious Indian curry again, turn right as you step out the front door and look for a fairly big place about 2-300 meters up the road.

The buses to Kota Bharu go at 10am and 10pm, we made sure to be there for the morning schedule and paid 40 myr for a ticket, the journey taking around 6-7 hours.  

I had made a reservation at Harmoni Hotel, right in the town center near the clock tower and it is walkable form the bus station, taking around 7 minutes to get there.  The room was 65 myr a night and was pretty good, a little small but nice.

I had big plans to explore the surrounding area as there seemed to be a lot of natural attractions to keep yourself occupied for a few days.  But alas, no bloody scooters for rent anywhere, I hate it when that happens.  

There was so much to see outside of town and in the nearby provinces but I sure as hell don't like to hire a taxi for the day and the bus system, although quite good here, just won’t take you to all the good places.  Bugger..

So we stayed 2 nights, wandered around town checking it all out, quite an interesting little riverside place with plenty of good eating, though unfortunately, without transport to go and see the places we wanted to, it was time to head south by train to Kuala Krai.  

The train runs on what is known as ‘the jungle line’ which was my main reason for going to Kota Bahru, so I could take the apparently amazingly scenic journey south wards over a few days.

First it was a bus to Pasir Mas which takes around 20 minutes and cost around 2 myr, then a 5 minute walk will see you at the train station, the ticket to Kuala Krai is 2.30 myr and takes around 90 minutes.  Plenty of great scenery along the way, with a few stops at tiny towns, though the train started out really crowded until we got further along the line.

Once in Kuala Krai, from the train station you can see the sign for Rest Inn and it is about a 1 minute walk.  I can’t remember exactly what we paid here, between 60 – 80 myr, a very nice place that looks newly built, with friendly staff although they speak basically no English! 

Kuala Krai is a very tiny town and takes around 20 minutes to walk around the whole place, once again a multitude of places to eat, though being heavily Muslim populated, barely any have beer!!

The plan was to take the Dabong River Cruise the next day, but in an all too familiar story of north east Malaysia, things did not pan out, no boat today, or tomorrow…   bah!  I think I will return to this part of Malaysia again with a bike, but for now, I’ve had enough and it’s time to get out of here if I can’t explore anywhere.  

No pics from around Kota Bharu, but these 2 places had good food, and the top one had beer!