17 June 2012 – One of the things my wife and I enjoy doing while we’re in a new city is visiting the local fresh food market. Aside from getting to try out and sample some of the local produce, seeing the buzz of activity as people go about their shopping can be quite an experience, and a fun way to get a sense of the culture.
For photographers looking for a different perspective on the usual market scene, Kota Bharu’s Central Market (or Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah in Bahasa Malaysia) might just be the place for you. Located a short walking distance from Kota Bharu’s main bus station, it is the city’s largest wet market and one of its main attractions. Within the main market building are several upper levels from where you can get a bird’s eye view of the colourful and vibrant produce displayed on the ground floor.
The first floor is where you’ll find the food stalls as well as stores selling spices, packaged foodstuffs, dried food and other local delicacies.
Personally, I found the best part of the visit was getting the opportunity to speak with some of the friendly locals. As English is not as widely spoken here as in other major cities in the country, knowing a few words of Bahasa Malaysia really helps (or in my case, having a basic understanding of Hokkien proved to be useful too, as there is a significant Chinese population in the city).