Pasar Siti Khadijah offers glimpse into the life of a Kelantanese

This landmark in the heart of Kota Baru in Kelantan is named after Prophet Muhammad’s first wife who was a savvy businesswoman. The name is an apt representation of the bustling market as the majority of businesses here are run by women.

If you’re looking to get a glimpse of local life, then Pasar Siti Khadijah – with its cacophony of sights, sounds and scents that are typical of a local market – is definitely the place to be.

Otherwise, shopping is also a perfectly valid reason to visit.

The venue is octagonal in shape and consists of four levels. For first timers, navigating your way here can be quite intimidating. One can’t help but get lost with its maze-like floor plan.

One tip is to take note of the entrance – marked by numbers – that you enter from. Should you lose your way, just ask one of the friendly traders who would be more than happy to point you towards the right direction.

When I entered from Pintu Dua (Door Two) during a recent visit, my senses were immediately overwhelmed by the sights and scents of a variety of local traditional kuih.

The plethora of colours as well as novelties would naturally attract shutterbugs and their trusty cameras. Traders are generally welcoming of curious onlookers, but some might only consent to a photo after you have bought something from them.

That being said, it’s always polite to ask for permission before you click that shutter.

Each level of the market features different categories of items. The ground floor is where you can find “wet” items such as fish, poultry and vegetables.

Head up to the first floor and you will be greeted by the food section. Delight your stomach with an array of delectable local cuisines such as nasi tumpang, nasi dagang, nasi kerabu and laksam.The upper floors, meanwhile, are dedicated to non-food items. The market is a great place to get traditional clothes such as batik shirts, kain pelikat and tudung. Just make sure you are ready to bargain!

Getting there

Pasar Siti Khadijah is located smack in the middle of Kota Baru. If you’re planning on driving there, take note that parking space is limited. You may need to park along the nearby shoplots. Otherwise, consider taking a trishaw (affectionately called “teksi” by locals) where you can get dropped off right at the entrance.

Pasar Siti Khadijah

Jalan Buluh Kubu,

15000, Kota Baru,