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Kota Bharu Bus Station (Jalan Pendek)

There are three bus stations in Kota Bharu:

  • Terminal Bas Kota Bharu, 15050
  • Stesen Bas Ekspres, Jalan Hamzah
  • Stesen Bas Kota Bharu, Jalan Pendek.

This post is about Stesen Bas Kota Bharu, Jalan Pendek, which is the centre of Kota Bharu near the central market and the Giant Superstore Kota Bharu Trade Centre. This bus station is terminus for the majority of long distance buses arriving in Kota Bharu and most of Kota Bharu’s best hotels and restaurants are clustered around this bus station. The Jalan Pendek bus station is the start and finish point for local bus routes connecting to neighbouring towns, including bus services to the pier for boats to the Perhentian Islands and the Thai/Malay border for the crossing to Sungai Kolok to catch a train. north to Surat Thani for Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, or onward to Bangkok.

Kota Bharu Central Bus Station (Jalan Pendek)

Jalan Pendek Bus Station

If you want to take local bus to the Perhentian Islands or to the border with Thailand definitely go the Kota Bharu Central Bus Station (Jalan Pendek). Information about these two local bus routes is given below. Long distance buses run from all three stations. If you are planning to simply turn up and get the next bus then head to the Terminal Bas Kota Bharu which is outside of the town centre behind the large branch of Tesco supermarket near the bridge over the Sungai Kelatan river to the north of Kota Bharu. This bus terminal is 4 km away from the centre of Kota Bharu, and the largest number of long distance services leave from this station. However, not all long distance services leave from this station. There are frequent long distance services from the other two bus stations as well.

View down the street from Kota Bharu Central Bus Station

  • Travel Tip: Whenever you plan to take a long distance bus from Kota Bharu always visit the nearest of the three bus stations in Kota Bharu to check that you know which station is the right one to catch the bus you have booked. Having three bus stations causes confusion for both passengers and booking agents.

Travel to Kota Bharu Bus Station

Kota Bharu Central Bus Station (Jalan Pendek) is on the main street in Kota Bharu city (the Jalan Pengkalan Chepa Road) which runs from the Central Bus Station to the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, passing the Royal Thai Consulate on the way. To get to Kota Bharu Central bus station from the border with Thailand at Sungai Kolok you have option of either taking a bus from Rantau Panjang bus station which is very close to the Malaysian side of the border which takes 1 hour 20 minutes and costs 5 MYR per person, or a taxi for 50 to 60 MYR which takes 40 minutes. Within Kota Bharu there are lots of local taxis which can take you to the Central Bus Station if it is too far to walk.

Facilities at Kota Bharu Bus Station

There are very few facilities at Kota Bharu Bus Station itself. Jalan Pendek is more of a large bus stop than a bus terminal and for food and other amenities you need to walk into the surrounding town.

  • Toilets at the back of the Station upstairs (look for the sign that says ‘TANDAS’).
  • Turn left out of the station to reach the central day market.
  • Pizza Hut is straight down the main street on your left, and other Malay restaurants are opposite on the right hand side of the road.
  • After 16.00 (except Saturdays) you can purchase alcoholic drinks at the Golden City Restaurant near the bottom of the main street, before the intersection, on the left.

Ticket Purchase at Kota Bharu Bus Station

For local bus routes you can pay when you board the bus. For long distance journeys visit the booking offices in the station building. We recommend booking in advance online for five reasons:

  • Save yourself communication difficulties at the station
  • The timetable information is easy to understand.
  • You can compare the services provided by different companies – each has its own separate office.
  • Fares booked online are generally cheaper.
  • Your place on the bus is reserved and you take away the risk of a long wait for the next bus.

Kota Bharu Central Bus Station ticket counters

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From Kota Bharu bus station you can travel directly to most major destinations north of Kuala Lumpur as well direct to Kuala Lumpur. For travel to destinations in the South of Malaysia and Singapore you need to first travel to Kuala Lumpur and catch a connecting bus or train from there. There is also a good local bus service to most destinations within Kelantan state.

Kuala Besut (for the Perhentian Islands)

From kota Bharu it takes 1 hour 30 minutes to reach Kuala Besut pier where you take a speed boat to the islands. The fare is 6 MYR (2016). The bus line is number 639. Look for the sign which says the destination is ‘KG. RAJA, BESUT’.

Bus services to Kuala Besut depart from Kota Bharu Central Bus Station at:

  • 08:00
  • 09:30
  • 10:30
  • 13:00
  • 14:00
  • 16:00

Rantau Panjang (border crossing to Sungai Kolok, Thailand)

Kota Bharu Central Bus Station local service

Modern local buses run from Kota Bharu Central Bus Station

This bus journey takes 1 hour 20 minutes and costs 5.10 MYR (price checked last checked in August 2017). It is bus number 29. The bus terminates at Rantau Panjang bus station which is a 200 metre walk from the border crossing out of Malaysia. If you do not want to walk, you can pay a motorbike taxi driver to take you all the way across the border to Thailand Immigration for 5 MYR. Whilst it is not far to walk to the Malaysian Immigration post, it is a further 500 metres walk to cross over Harmony Bridge to get to the Thai side.

Local bus services to Rantau Panjang depart from Kota Bharu Central Bus Station:

  • Every half hour during the day until 18:00

Bus to Kuala Lumpur

There are two companies providing this service from Jalan Pendek Bus Station: Transnasional and Cepat & Cekap Express. Both companies charge MYR 48.20 for adults and MYR 36.20 for children under 11 years old. The journey time is 9 hours inclusive of rest stops. The arrival point in Kuala Lumpur is TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan) from where you can get catch fast local commuter trains to most city centre locations.

Bus services to Kuala Lumpur depart from Kota Bharu Central Bus Station at:

  • 09:00
  • 20:30
  • 21:00
  • 23:00

Bus to Penang

There are two companies providing this service from Jalan Pendenk Bus Station: Transnasional and Shamisha Holiday & Travels. They charge 38 to 44.80 YR for adults and 30.60 to 38.00 MYR for children under 11 years of age. The journey takes 7 hours and 20 minutes inclusive of rest stops. The arrival point is Butterworth bus station from where it is walking distance to the car ferry to Penang Island or a short road journey over either two bridges.

Services to Penang depart from Kota Bharu Central Bus Station at:

  • 09:30
  • 09:45
  • 22:00

Next read my Review of the Suria Hotel  near Kota Bharu Central Bus Station (Jalan Pendek)