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Wakaf Che Yeh in Kelantan

Kota Bharu Wakaf Che Yeh

Wakaf Che Yeh in Kelantan is the largest market in the state which also serves as the main wholesale market in the North East.

Having visited Kelantan again after five years showed me how much improvement and development they have gone through.

This time around,  I wanted to visit the famous night market located about 7 kilometres out of Kota Bharu to see what it was all about.

Wakaf Che Yeh in Kelantan

The night market or pasar malam as it is locally known is open seven days a week and comes alive at night. Situated about 15-20 minutes drive from Kota Bharu town area, the market is quite close to the Thai border and has been around for 10 years now.

Here you will find an assortment of local products ranging from fabrics to food. In the day, the place serves as a wet market and also a wholesale market for a range of products which include mostly clothes for men, women, and children.

Ladies' apparel, especially for Muslim women, is seen sold all over the area. Bundles of fabrics are also sold in large quantities in many shops who deal with local wholesalers. 

Entrance of Wakaf Che Yeh
Wakaf Che Yeh entrance in Kota Bharu

When night falls, a myriad of colours takes over the main night market area where you see traders selling all sorts of items. The stalls run along the main streets covering a vast area.

Items sold are by areas, therefore, making it easy for customers to go for what they want. As I walked in from the main parking lots, I appeared in the fruit and produce section where it was mango season.

Speaking to one of the local sellers, they had told me about a glut in the season resulting in prices being slashed. To make things more interesting, mangoes from Thailand were brought in making the prices cheaper.

She kept asking me to buy some but I politely declined as our group just had a heavy dinner. Moving to the next stall, the strong whiff of durians made me stop to ask where they were from. Again, I got some local and some from Thailand.

Shops Stalls at Wakaf Che Yeh
Watches, belts, and bags for sale

Walking towards the next section, I started to notice several stalls selling all sorts of fabrics. It was here that you would find t-shirts, jeans, dresses and mostly plain local fabrics being sold by bulk or piece.

The colours were simply dazzling as each stall I passed, it simply got brighter and brighter. Women with children have seen haggling with the vendors while men hurriedly walked pass not to block the passageway.

The lanes were narrow as most stalls were placed quite close together. Makeshift canopies covered some of the stalls in case of rain.

As I got out of the fabric area, there was a choice of lanes to follow and looking on my left, an entire lane of stalls selling shoes got my attention.

Shopping at Wakaf Che Yeh
 Narrow walkways with all sorts of fabrics and clothes

Wakaf Che Yeh Bazar
 Shoes and more shoes are seen everywhere

At the shoe lane, you could find possible all kinds of Nike, Adidas, Puma and New Balance shoes here.

Its authenticity was a mystery but I found it pretty interesting that many of the younger generations were seen around here trying out the sports shoes.

After passing all 20 stalls, it leads me back to another fabric lane with more clothes. Occasionally while browsing, I came across an odd one out.

One of them was an elderly Malay man (or he could have possibly been a Thai) selling some men-enhancing products. Some of the items looked like they were from China while a number of them carried some strange and catchy name.

I politely asked him if there was anything for women and his stunned face turned to me with a simple shake.

Pictures of Wakaf Che Yeh
 Interesting 'products' for the men

 Wakaf Che Yeh Mango
 Local and Thai mangoes

Kelantan Grilled Sotong
Flattened and Grilled Squid (sotong) at the market

Among the popular items sold at Wakaf Che Yeh, perfumes seemed to be popular here. From international brands to Muslim products, they were selling like hotcakes as I must have seen ten stalls back to back selling them.

Another interesting stall seen was one selling an assortment of knives and parangs. Mostly used in the farms and jungles. Food stalls selling all sorts of local dishes were common and located in a dedicated area.

Some of the best pasar malam food can be found here including local cakes. One stall selling grilled squid (sotong bakar) was eye-catching. I had to try a piece of this as it has been a long time since I had one.

Kelantan Wakaf Che Yeh
 A local seen buying mangoes at the night market

Wakaf Che Yeh Gambar
Even knives of all sorts are seen sold here

The best time to visit this market is probably at night as it will be much cooler to walk around. You can spend a good 2-3 hours here. It is safe for you to bring your kids along.

Pickpocketing was not highlighted so it is pretty safe here. Speaking to the locals, you may encounter difficulty as many here speak Kelantanese where it is a different dialect and hard for the city people to understand.

Even I had trouble understanding the local lingo but fear not as if they know you are not local, they will speak in simply Bahasa Malaysia.

Many of the traders speak basic English so communication is easy here. The market closes at about midnight but the wholesale market does on an entire day.

Photo Wakaf Che Yeh
Traders sell fabrics at the pasar malam

Items that you can find here are mostly fabrics, t-shirts (local and Thai), jeans, dresses, perfumes, fruit, shoes (sports and working), tudungs (Muslim lady headscarves), accessories for ladies, handphone accessories, toys, and many more local items.

If you are seeking souvenirs, this is not the place to find them. You are better off getting them in the town area.

The night market here gets very busy on weekends and especially during the fasting month before Hari Raya (Muslim New Year).

Kelantan McDonalds
McDonald's in Kota Bharu, outside Wakaf Che Yeh

If you are visiting this North-East state for a holiday, you will most probably make your way here to this night market.

But please be warned that the items here are mostly for locals but a great place to walk around. You never know what you may find something you like.

Final Thoughts on Wakaf Che Yeh in Kelantan

For local Malaysians, they come here to buy cheap fabrics and also try the local foods. For those not up to tasting the local cuisine, there is a McDonald's just opposite the night market.

My trip to Kelantan was made possible with the support of Tune Hotels as they have a newly opened hotel in the centre of Kota Bharu Town. You can also read about my article on visiting Kota Bharu in Kelantan.

For those wondering what else is there to do here, there are many interesting things to do around here apart from visiting the busiest and famous night market Wakaf Che Yeh in Kelantan.

Post a Comment


Lily Riani said…
i have been to kelantan more then a decqade ago, and it was less then 24 hours trip hence i would say; i should admit that i have been to east coast of malaysia. such an embarrassment.
Malaysia Asia said…
Lily, try taking another trip to Kelantan again. The food is awesome while quite a bit has changed here too.
love markets! so much happening. this one looks to be no different. wow, those knives are pretty gnarly!
Malaysia Asia said…
Jamie - So right, I find it odd that markets like to sell all sorts of knives. Even our local Pasar Malam in the cities, I see them selling it too.
aviewtoathrill said…
There is something really special about visiting markets. It's like a treasure hunt, you never know what you're going to come across, but chances are you will find something to love and take home. I am surprised that the knives are so exposed and easy for the taking. Yikes!
Malaysia Asia said…
Aviewtoathrill - Yes, markets are my favourite places to explore and you're right about the knives thing.

LovePoy - Thanks a lot :)
eileen ludwig said…
Interesting and amazing and with all the pictures it is like I have visited
Malaysia Asia said…
Eileen - Thank you very much. Hope you make it here to visit one day.