A Floating Market in Kelantan You Didn’t Know About

A day at the Malaysian market… 

Docked and ready to explore…

There is so much to do in and around Kota Bharu, Kelantan. A few weeks ago we thought of exploring the new floating market in the state. A floating market is a market that literally floats on water. It comprises of boats selling goodies, food, fresh produce, souvenirs and possibly everything you could think of. Commonly called pasar terapung (pasar = market, terapung = floating) in the local language, off we went on a Saturday morning to explore the new set-up.

This is what the market-side looks like

The tour:

The market lies at Kampung Pulau Suri along the Kelantan River, which is anything but translucent. It carries a great amount of silt with it, thus making it appear brown.

Based on the information on the internet, we thought the market was going to be exactly like the famous floating markets of Thailand. Although that wasn’t entirely the case, we had our share of fun. The concept is the same. How different can a floating market be, right? It can be a tad smaller or larger, but the approach to it has to be the same.

There were about 5-6 boats lined up

This market at the Tumpat district of Kelantan sure is a good means of helping the villagers earn some extra money and selling local delights at the same time. There is an open sandy area for children to play, table and benches to sit and have a meal, and just a few boats (maybe 6-7 and more on special days) selling local Kelantanese food.

The crispy wafer in progres…

We observed and indulged in the following: kerabu nipah or coconut salad with flowers and coconut flesh, mee celup or soupy noodles, kuih sepit or sweet, crispy grilled wafers made with batter, air kelapa or coconut water, nasi tumpang or cone-shaped rice layers wrapped in banana leaves, fried fish amongst many other local delicacies.

Kerabu nipah and kuih sepit

Getting there:

Book a cab to Kuala Besar Jetty Point. Grab cabs will only take you to Kuala Besar, and not the jetty point. Thus, it is advisable to book a regular taxi. Make sure you get the driver’s number for your onward journey or book the cab for the return trip. From the jetty point, take the boat towards the left side of the fishing area at the jetty point. The smaller boats charge around RM 3 per person per way.

City centre->Kuala Besar Jetty Point->Boat->Kampung Pulau Suri

The boat taxis that take you to the market

The market operates on Fridays and Saturdays from 08:00 A.M. to 03:00 P.M. However, you must check the time before you book a cab just to be sure.

We got lost at the jetty point and reached this spot (instead of walking on the left side towards the boats)

Even though we got lost for a while, I had to click this picture of the colourful boat, thanks to my obsession with boats.


It might not be the best floating market you’ve seen, but you can visit it if you seek small thrills in everything new. To us, this was a different way of spending the day rather than being absorbed in our laptops. Call it a digital detox of sorts. By the time we got back, we were stuffed and happy. The trick is to have realistic expectations and make the most of what’s around. 🙂

Just before deciding what to eat…

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Eat – Travel – Enjoy

25 thoughts on “A Floating Market in Kelantan You Didn’t Know About

  1. I love markets and visiting them around the world, thanks for sharing such a lovely posts I really enjoyed your photos and videos. I always end up buying so much in markets LOL..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Never heard about floating market but then thanks to you for sharing about this type in market. Actually I like this concept about market. Pictures of boats are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I never been to a floating market before! I always wanted to go to one, I could use some coconut water and those wafers right now. It looks like your guys had a little adventure. Although there were on,y a little boats, I would have had fun since it probably would have been my first time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What an experience, I have never been to any floating markets yet, All I had was flee and wet markets where you can find anything you want (malaysian theme) It’s always amazing to witness how locals prepare their local cuisine for you, love that grilled wafers though that’s a keeper!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been to a floating market in Thailand and it’s awesome! They really do sell anything you could ever imagine:D And the food is usually awesome:D I’m so jealous of your wafers right now, I could do with some of those…

    Liked by 1 person

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