Kedah, Malaysia

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Kedah has the distinction of being the "Rice-bowl of Malaysia" - a term that takes on aesthetic significance when one sees the rice fields for themselves: the flat expanse of padis against a backdrop of rolling hills provides a picture of utter serenity that lulls the senses.

Off Kedah's western shores are clusters of sun-drenched islands that comprise the legendary archipelago of Langkawi, easily the most popular resort location in the country. More than a land of mere scenery, however, Kedah is also the site of Malaysia's most extensive ruins. In the Bujang Valley are the sprawling remains of a Hindu kingdom believed to date back to the 6th century A.D.

Like Malaysia's other states, Kedah has its share of rich cultural traditions, songs and dances. Due to its close proximity to Thailand, some of these traditions are Thai in influence and origin, and faces of Kehah's people often bear signs of Thai or Achinese ancestry.

Malaysia Map. Kedah  
LOCATION & POPULATION

Kedah sits in the northwest corner of Peninsular Malaysia. The state is fairly small, covering an area of 9,425 sq km that consists mostly of expansive padi fields and gently rolling hills. Off its coast are the isles of Langkawi, and rising to meet the western shoreline is the mountain of Gunung Jerai (1,200 meters above sea level). Kedah's population of about one million is primarily Malay, though there are significant Chinese and Indian minorities.

   Places of Interest

  Getting Around

Masjid Zahir

State Museum

State Art Of Gallery

Pedu Lake

Gunung Jerai

Bukit Hijau Waterfall

Langkawi Island

Lembah Bujang

Map of Kedah
Domestic Flights & Fares
Hotel Reservations

 


 

History

Kedah, byvirtue of research and historical findings, is the most ancient state in the country. The present Royal family can trace back its line to the Hindu times. Situated on one of the main transit routes across the Peninsular on the great East-West trade route, the state has become a prosperous centre for settlement and trade in the old days. Some of the earliest known Stone Age artifacts and sites are located in Kedah and it is a state which has remnants from the Hindu-Buddhist period in Malaysian history. This is reflected in the numerous temple sites in the Bujang Valley.

It was a centre which attracted traders who traveled between China and India. The Bujang Valley was an ideal destination" then while waiting for the monsoon to change. History has it that in 671 AD, a Buddhist monk from China, I.TTsing, stopped at Bujang Valley. Archeologists had unearthed evidence of Hindu civilization at the location which is home to more than 50 Hindu temples. A visit to the Buiang Valley will unravel a story about Kedah civilization.

The Kedah Sultanate began at Bukit Meriam which is located in the district of Kuala Muda. Maharaja Derbar Raja was the first ruler who converted to Islam and changed his name to Sultan Muzaffar Shah. He ruled Kedah from 1136 AD to 1179 AD and was laid to rest at the Kampung Langgar, Mukim Buiang. Since then, there has been 27 Sultans who ruled Kedah. Before Sultan Muzaffar, Kedah had been ruled byeight Maharajas and this is an evidence to show that the Kedah Sultanate is the oldest Sultanate in the region.

 

Economy

Although predominantly an agriculture-based State, Kedah is undergoing rapid development in all sectors. With sound economic planning and a supportive policy environment, the State has successfully utilized its advantageous location and rich human and natural resources to create a broadly diversified economy. The State has entered a new era, shifting its economic thrust from agriculture to industry. It has attracted a range of supporting industries, creating thousands of new jobs and hundreds of business opportunities are readily available for foreign and domestic investors.

High technology and heavy industries have made their way into Kedah and the State is stepping up its pace to become an industrialized state in 20 years' time. Developing and upgrading physical infrastructures and other supporting services to the industrial sector and the existence of Kulim HiTech Park, the first high technology park in Malaysia, gives added advantage in boosting the state's economic growth.

The State is also taking advantage of its strategic location within the Northern Growth Triangle. Several successful private sectors' initiated business ventures are now in operation on a joint-venture basis between Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Although high priority is given to industrial development, agriculture and tourism sectors are also being emphasized upon.


Places of Interest

Masjid Zahir


Officially opened in 1912, this mosque  is an architectural landmark. With black domes set off against slender minarets, the Masjid Zahir is one of the most elegant and aesthetically pleasing mosques in Malaysia. The state's Quran reading competition is held annually within the premises of the mosque.

 

 State Museum

An insight into Kedah's rich cultural heritage ca be amp byvisiting the State's Museum. The museum houses a collection of artifacts, fine paintings and a wide range of historical relics. Being the oldest state, Kedah has plenty of these memorable, precious antiques on display.

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State Art GalleryState Art Gallery

The best starting point to explore the cultural heritage of Kedah is Alor Setar itself, the state's capital. The numerous fine, old buildings such as Balai Besar, Balai Seni Negeri, Masjid Zahir, Courthouse, General Post Office defined the atmosphere of colonial rule and representing one of the oldest landmarks of Alor Setar.

 

Pedu Golf & Lake Resort & Desa Utara Pedu Lake Resort

Kedah is one of the best destination for those seeking retreat from urban living as its pristine environment is still intact despite the lopment taking place in the state. The Pedu Golf & Lake Resort and Desa Utara Pedu Lake Resort, which are located about 90km from Alor Setar, are examples of the and quiet holiday e for visitors. Nestled amidst lush tropical greens, the resorts offer tourists "a get back to nature" vacation. A series of activities are there for the taking including jungle walk (day and night).

Pedu Golf ResortMountain hiking, fishing and a new found nature sport - lake swimming. Take a boat ride and explore the vast lake or just enjoy the sun. Play golf at one of the best designed golf course around. Also witness the honey gathering process conducted bylocal bee handlers. Watch how the experts retrieve honey from the 30 meters high Tualang tree in the wilderness of Pedu jungle. This activity is being held once a year ie. in the month of February. Look out for the flora and fauna.

 

Gunung Jerai


Gunung Jerai (1,200 meters) is the highest spot in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia, and as such it has for millennia served as a landmark for seafaring traders. Myths and legends concerning this peak abound. One is of a 'king with fangs' who resided at the foothills of the mountain in the Bujang Valley, now known to be the site of Kedah's ancient kingdom. The peak of Gunung Jerai offers a breathtaking vista, and can be reached via the nature trail or byroad.

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Bukit Hijau Waterfall  

Other idyllic spots are Bukit Hijau (Baling), Bukit Wang (Jitra), Peranginan Sik (Sik), Puncak Janing (near Kuala Nerang), Batu Hampar (Yan) and Gunung Keriang Recreation Park. Each of them has its own unique attraction which beckon visitors. Kedah's natural beauty is not only confined to the outdoors. Its wonders are also found in intriguing caves nestled in gigantic limestone outcrops of Kedah. Created over million of years, these fascinating caves are indeed geological masterpieces of nature. Having all the ingredients that make it an ideal haven for an adventure holiday, varied landscape, superb natural settings, year round sunshine, Kedah is the ultimate destination for the eco-tourists.

 

Cenang Beach

Langkawi Island

Langkawi comprises a group of 99 tropical islands lying off the north-western coast of Peninsular Malaysia, about 30 kilometers from Kuala Perlis and 51 kilometers from Kuala Kedah on the mainland. The main island is popularly known as Pulau Langkawi. The islands are blessed with an intriguing heritage of fabulous myths and legends of ogres and gigantic birds, warriors and fairy princess, battle and romance. As a natural paradise, the islands are perhaps unmatched anywhere else in Southeast Asia. With a geological history dating back 500 million odd years, the islands contain unique rock formations that stir the imagination and baffle the mind. Numerous caves, with their stunning stalactites and stalagmites, taunt the adventurous to sun-filled days of complete relaxation. The clear emerald waters around the islands provide numerous opportunities for a host of water sports and recreational activities. The enchanting marine life beneath the waters of Langkawi's islands also beckon diving enthusiasts.

more info on Langkawi Island

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Bukit Tinggi

Bukit Merah Laketown

Cameron Highlands

Cherating

Desaru

Frasers Hill

Gem Island 

Genting Highlands

Ipoh

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Johore

Kapas

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Kenyir Lake

Kuantan

Kedah

Kuala Lumpur

Kelantan

Labuan

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Lang Tengah

Layang-Layang Island

Malacca

Petaling Jaya

Pulau Tinggi

Pulau Besar

Pedu Lake

Pahang

Perhentian Island

Penang Island

Port Dickson

Pangkor Island

Redang Island

Sarawak

Sabah

Sipadan Island

Sibu Island

Selangor

Terengganu

Taman Negara (National Park)

Tioman Island

Tenggol Island

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