Malaysia's floating market in Kelantan
Last Update: 27/03/2019
TUMPAT, March 27 (Bernama) -- Floating market is synonymous with Bangkok and several other places in Thailand, but many are not aware that Malaysia also has its own version of floating markets and they can be found in Kelantan.
The concept is similar with the ones in Kelantan located in the village areas, with traders selling mostly local produce, such as coconut jelly, palm sugar, honey, “nasi berlauk”, traditional delicacy and local salad, such as “kerabu nipah”.
In Tumpat, two locations in Pantai Suri are becoming popular destinations for visitors and tourists because of their floating markets.
One of the floating markets at Pantai Suri has existed since 2016 and is still in operation, though with lesser boats, only 10 the most, but since two weeks ago, another floating market opens at a site about 500 metres away.
Two other floating markets can be found in Kota Bharu, namely Pasar Terapung Lembangan Sg Pangkalan Datu in Sering and the other, Pasar Terapung Cherana.
These boat traders are working hard to preserve the culture of the Malays who are known merchants since the era of the Melaka Sultanate by trading their wares including on boats and sampan.
Kelantan Tourism Malaysia director Hafiz Hazin said the floating markets at Pantai Suri, which are open every Saturday, have become popular attractions for tourists in Tumpat.
We will upgrade the infrastructure at Pantai Suri to make it more convenient for traders and visitors at the floating markets, he added.
The boat traders are mostly from the fishing community in the area.
A few of the traders when met by Bernama said the presence of the floating market enabled them to also sell cooked items.
They said the presence of the floating markets enabled them to get more income as they could sell the catch themselves, instead of going through middle-men.
One of the traders, Mohd Seri Mat Amin, 49, who is assisted by his daughter, Syamelia, 23, said he sells fried seafood on his boat.
“The fried seafood is prepared from my own catch from the sea. The income is good and on weekends, it (income) can triple,” he said.
Faizal Muhammad, 31, and his wife, Faizah Che Husin, 33, are able to earn RM300 in eight hours selling grilled clam, Vietnamese popia and “kerabu nipah”.
“We look for the clam ourselves and on weekends, we are able to sell up to 800 pieces of clam a day,” said Faizal, adding that the price of the food sold on his boat is RM5 for a plate of 10 pieces of grilled clam, a packet of six pieces of Vietnamese popia (RM7) and RM3 for a small bowl of “kerabu nipah”.
Meanwhile, a fisherman, Abdul Ghani Dolah, 68, said although the floating markets in Kelantan are not as “great” as those in Thailand, they still provide a similar experience to the locals and visitors.