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Kedah Travel Tips

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Kedah Travel TipsKedah Travel Tips (25 July, 2015)

B. Melayu

Kedah Travel Tips is your guide to visit, discover and enjoy Kedah! Kedah Darul Aman is a state on the northwestern part of West Malaysia. The lion share of visitors to Kedah head for the Langkawi archipelago, but those who visit the Kedah mainland will find much to explore and discover.

Kedah Travel Destinations

Alor Setar Travel Tips

GPS: 6.12587, 100.37109


Langkawi Travel Tips

GPS: 6.3675, 99.79774


Location of the Towns in Kedah on the map

Major Towns in Kedah

For a more comprehensive list, go to Towns in Kedah.
  1. Alor Setar (GPS: 6.5101, 100.41898) state capital
  2. Bukit Kayu Hitam (GPS: 6.5101, 100.41898)
  3. Changlun (GPS: 6.43011, 100.42945)
  4. Gurun (GPS: 5.81753, 100.47615)
  5. Jitra (GPS: 6.26308, 100.42121)
  6. Kulim (GPS: 5.36821, 100.55305)
  7. Lunas (GPS: 5.42888, 100.53507)
  8. Sungai Petani (GPS: 5.64195, 100.48954)

Categories of sights in Kedah

Major Tourist Attractions in Kedah on the map

Tourist Destinations in Kedah

  1. Alor Setar City Centre (GPS: 6.12038, 100.36584)
  2. Rice Museum (GPS: 6.19107, 100.32648)
  3. Gunung Jerai (GPS: 5.79638, 100.43485)
  4. Masjid Lama Pengkalan Kakap (GPS: 5.70768, 100.39366)
  5. Pantai Merdeka (GPS: 5.66603, 100.36732)
  6. Tanjung Dawai (GPS: 5.68145, 100.36718)
  7. Ulu Legong Hot Spring (GPS: 5.81769, 100.93543)

Districts of Kedah

The waterfall at Sungai Sedim Recreational Forest, Kedah
The waterfall at Sungai Sedim Recreational Forest, Kedah (2 May 2005)

Alor Setar and Langkawi are the two main base destinations for exploring Kedah. Many who head for Langkawi do not venture beyond to the mainland, confining themselves to exploring the island archipelago. In addition, some may consider the town of Sungai Petani, which can serve as a base for exploring the Bujang Valley and Gunung Jerai. Here are the location of these base destinations on a map.

Country lane in KedahCountry lane in Kedah (17 July, 2015)

The base destinations are just your launch pad for exploring Kedah. The state has many small towns waiting for you to discover. Of course, the more obscure the town, the less information I have about it. Even as I continue to improve on the write-up, I seek your help and input, to inform me of interesting places that you have discovered in Kedah, so that I can add them in, for the benefit of fellow explorers.

Masjid Zahir, Alor Setar
Masjid Zahir, Alor Setar (8 January 2006)

A bit about Kedah

Kedah covers 9,425 sq km (3,639 sq mi) and has a population of about 2 million people (2011 estimate). Much of the state is flat and is suitable for rice cultivation. Kedah is traditionally regarded as one of the rice-bowl states of Malaysia, although that status is now in the past tense, as the state continues to develop away from being a primary commodity producer. There are a few off lying islands along the Kedah shore, the most important being the Langkawi archipelago.

The capital of Kedah is Alor Setar. Kedah is divided into 11 districts namely Baling, Bandar Baharu, Kota Setar, Kuala Muda, Kubang Pasu, Kulim, Pulau Langkawi, Padang Terap, Pendang, Sik and Yan. The official name of the state is Kedah Darul Aman. The Arabic honorific Darul Aman means Abode of Peace.

Kedah is home to the oldest civilization in Peninsular Malaysia. The history of Kedah can be traced to the 2nd Century AD, and probably even earlier, with the Hindu-Buddhist civilization of the Bujang Valley (Lembah Bujang). According to Dato' V. Nadarajan in his book, Bujang Valley, The Wonder that was Ancient Kedah1, the name Kedah was variously transcribed as Kalagam, Kidaram, Kadaram and Kataha.

Kampung Batu Lintang, Kedah
Kampung Batu Lintang, Kedah (30 January 2006)

The current Kedah royal family traces its lineage to this time. According to Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa or the Kedah Annals, Kedah was founded by a Hindu king named Merong Mahawangsa. Kedah became a sultanate in 1136 when the 9th ruler of Kedah, Phra Ong Mahawangsa (1136-1179) converted into Islam and took the title of Sultan Mudzafar Shah. The present Sultan of Kedah is Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah, who was coronated in 1958 as the 27th sultan of Kedah.

Throughout its history, Kedah suffered from its close proximity to its mightier northern neighbour, Siam. In the 7th and 8th Centuries, Kedah was under the domination of the Srivijaya Empire. It was then a vassal of Siam until the rise of the Malay sultanate of Malacca in the 15th century. In the 17th century, Kedah was attacked by the Portuguese after their conquest of Malacca, and by Aceh.

Water buffaloes in Kedah
Water buffaloes in Kedah (30 April 2005)

Datai Bay, Langkawi
Datai Bay, Langkawi (6 June 2005)

Hoping that the British would protect it from Siam, the Sultan of Kedah handed over Penang and then Province Wellesley at the end of the 18th century. It was a deal made by Francis Light which was not honoured by his superiors, and in 1821, the Siamese still conquered Kedah. Kedah remained under Siamese control until it was transferred to the British through the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909.

In World War II, Kedah (along with Kelantan) was the first part of Malaya to be invaded by Japan. The Japanese returned Kedah to their Siamese allies and renamed it Syburi. However, at the end of the war, Kedah returned to British rule and was a reluctant addition to the Federation of Malaya in 1948.

Marina Kuala Kedah
View of Marina Kuala Kedah (30 April 2005)


  1. Bujang Valley, The Wonder thatg was Ancient Kedah by V. Nadarajan, page 27

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