Last week,I was in Kota Bharu on business trip and l took the opportunity to walk the streets of Kota Bharu aka KB from River View Hotel to KB Bus Station.It was a nostalgic walk for me as the showers of memory came down to my mind as I parked my car next to Wisma LKIM.Immediately,I remember the Lido Pawagam and the Tanah Rendah Sekebun Bunga where there were dozens of food stalls.Now,it is where River View Hotel is standing.
As I walked the streets toward KB Bus Station,I passed through rows of old shophouses.I remember walking here more than 50 years ago with my mother on her shopping trip for clothings and food supplies.In the 60's and 70's we did not have shopping complexes like KB Mall,TESCO etc.All shopping was done inside the traditional rows of shophouses surrounding the KB Central Market aka Pasar Besar.As I walked along the shop front passageway aka 'kaki lima',I noticed that the shopping activities has slowed down and moved to new shopping complexes and bazaars.The retail industry is going to modern shopping complexes and the old shophouses are seen struggling to remain in business.To survive this on slaught of big businesses,they have to remain relevant to the new shoppers as my generation of shopper are fading away.
Below is the photo of Pasar Besar KB after it was renovated.It looks almost completed but it is still not open for business.I have a lot of childhood memories inside this market place,especially the nearby Kedai Makan Sumatra and the Merican Dispensary,a famous private clinic frequented by my late father.
I was looking for Poh Wah Tailor around the area but could not find it.It was the shop where I made my first coat in 1973 to wear on my first BOAC international flight from Kuala Lumpur to Heathrow,England.
This trishaw is called teksi in Kelantan.
I suggest to my friends who hailed from KB to do a Photowalk Around KB and tell us more stories.New buildings are going up but I am the city planning to say the least.I have yet to see the so called Bandaraya Islam despite many domes topping the KB skyline.May I propose jus a simple green city-clean,friendly and safe.To me,that is a good beginning to be Bandaraya Islam.