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100. KEDAH

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160. SABAH


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100 – Malaysia Travel Guide – Kedah

Kedah Kedah

Ancient Ruins, Beach Holidays and Pastoral Charms Ancient Ruins, Beach Holidays and Pastoral Charms

KEDAH is the most ancient state in Malaysia, boasting a history that dates back to the 5th century AD. It is the country’s main rice producer, situated at the the north of the peninsula bordering Thailand. The state is home to Southeast Asia’s first Geopark and the popular island resort of Langkawi where you can enjoy carefree days by the beach, snorkelling at the marine park or go on mangrove tours. At the mainland, the ancient Bujang Valley archaeological site is a must for history buffs for its candis and relics. Kedah’s capital city, Alor Setar is dotted with historic buildings. For a memorable holiday, make Kedah your tropical getaway!

Map of Kedah

Places of Interest


Langkawi comprises a group of 99 tropical islands lying off the northwestern coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The main island is known as Pulau Langkawi. The islands are shrouded in myths and legends, the most prominent being a curse laid by a wronged maiden named Mahsuri. A natural paradise, the clear emerald waters around the islands are perfect for a host of water sports and recreational activities. The enchanting marine life in Pulau Payar Marine Park beckons diving enthusiasts. Langkawi has been accorded the Global Geopark status by UNESCO for its beautiful geological heritage of stunning landscapes, karsts, caves, sea-arches, stacks, glacial dropstones and fossils. Langkawi is perfect for doing everything or nothing at all. Relax at the international-standard resorts or rejuvenate at the spa. Come to Langkawi for a holiday unlike any other.


Burau Bay

Enjoy an exhilarating cable car ride to the top of Gunung Machincang. Visitors can enjoy marvellous views of the Andaman Sea and the Langkawi island group, as well as breathtaking sights such as overhanging cliff walls and isolated pinnacles. With a length of 950m, the Langkawi SkyCab has been recognised as ‘The Longest Free Span Mono Cable Car’ by the Malaysia Book of Records.

At the middle and top stations, walking trails and viewing platforms are available to further enjoy the panoramic views. Langkawi SkyCab is situated at the Oriental Village in Burau Bay, about 30 minutes away from Kuah town. After the ride, drop by at the Oriental Village to browse through the assortment of souvenirs.


Kilim Geoforest Park is one of the three geoforest parks in Langkawi. Spread over 100 sq. km., this park features a beautiful mix of well-protected green mangrove forests, isolated white beaches and blue lagoons. On the trail, along the calm winding river, you will be exposed to the wonders of the park’s marine ecosystem and flora and fauna like the overhanging Bogak Trees, Brown Eagles, crabs, iguanas and macaques. Enjoy the spectacular view of unique limestone rock formations emerging from the floor of the mangrove swamps and the sea. These fascinating geological wonders have been dubbed the Temple of Borobodur, the Elephant Stone and the Hanging Gardens.


This day trip destination is situated in the northern part of the Straits of Malacca, 19 nautical miles south of Langkawi and encompasses the islands of Pulau Payar, Pulau Lembu, Pulau Segantang and Pulau Kaca. The marine park teems with a fascinating diversity of marine life and vegetation. Pulau Payar is the most popular of the islands as its sheltered waters are ideal for snorkelling, diving and swimming. Among the enchanting dive spots is the Coral Garden, an area covered with bright, multi-hued soft corals.

Visitors can get to Pulau Payar from Kuah Jetty by catamaran or speedboat. The ride on the catamaran takes about 1 hour while the speedboat takes about 30 minutes. It is advisable to book the catamaran service one day ahead. An entry fee to the marine park is chargeable. To protect the environment, there is no accommodation on Pulau Payar Marine Park.


Tasik Dayang Bunting will enthrall you with its beautiful surroundings and mysterious past. The name of Langkawi’s largest freshwater lake is attributed to the legend of a lovely fairy princess who married an earthly prince. Her child died shortly after birth, which made her so sad and depressed that she buried the child in the crystal clear waters of the lake.

Before she returned to her celestial abode, she blessed the waters so that any childless maiden who bathed in the lake would conceive thereafter. To reach the lake, one has to get to the Island of the Pregnant Maiden first and then take a short walk through the forest reserve.


Burau Bay

Overlooking the beautiful Burau Bay, Oriental Village is one of the region’s most unique shopping, cultural and culinary destinations. Specially designed to provide a new concept in resort duty-free shopping, Oriental Village houses souvenir outlets and themed restaurants that reflect Asia’s culinary traditions. The Village is a 15-minute drive from the Langkawi International Airport. While the Village is accessible 24-hours, most tenants operate between 10am to 7pm daily.



Sprawling over 224 km, Bujang Valley is the site of one of Southeast Asia’s oldest ancient civilisations, believed to be more than 2000 years old. More than 50 ancient structures known as candi and close to 1,000 artefacts have been unearthed so far. Some of the candis have been preserved and relocated to the museum grounds. Visitors can gain an insight at the museum gallery or visit the surrounding candis to view these incredible relics up close.


Situated about 22km from Baling, the Ulu Legong Hot springs recreational centre comprises five pools with temperatures ranging between 30 to 60 0 C. Visitors come here to relax and soak in its therapeutic Sulphur-rich waters. It is the only hot springs in the country to operate round the clock. Facilities include a 24-hour cafeteria, gazebos, ladies’ pool, changing rooms dan showers.


Stretching 925m atop the forest canopy, the Tree Top Walk in Sedim River Recreation Park is the world’s longest canopy walkway. Enjoy a dramatic view of the surrounding forest with occasional glimpses of birds, gibbons and other wildlife. The Sedim River flows beneath the walkway, where you can enjoy white-water rafting and kayaking.


Keriang Hill

Situated at the foot of Keriang Hill, the Paddy Museum contains exhibits and information relating to the country’s staple crop. A not-to-be-missed attraction here is the revolving platform on the
third level, which gives a panoramic 360° view
of an astonishingly lifelike mural. As the platform revolves, the mural depicts paddy fields, villages and its surroundings while showcasing the processes involved in paddy harvesting.


Alor Setar

Malaysia’s fourth and longest-serving Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, was born in this traditional, one-room wooden house in 1925. Here, you can read all about his life as well as achievements. Items on display include furniture, documents on family genealogy and school photographs. Within the grounds are two exhibition halls, an auditorium and office, a souvenir shop and the first ice factory in Alor Setar.


Alor Setar

The state-of-the-art Alor Setar Tower is one of
the city’s most distinctive landmarks. Standing at 165.5m, it is the 22nd tallest telecommunications tower in the world. The tower is equipped with an observation deck and a revolving restaurant.


Alor Setar

The Sultan Abdul Halim Gallery is housed in the
87- year old, former Alor Setar high court. It features over 2,000 items from the personal collection of the former Sultan of Kedah. On display are official documents, palace attire and accessories as well as charts depicting the 1,200-year lineage of the Kedah royal family beginning from 1136 to the present. After visiting this gallery, you can walk to nearby attractions like the Balai Nobat, Balai Besar, Masjid Zahir, Balai Seni Negeri, Pekan Rabu, Rumah Merdeka and the Alor Setar Tower.


Alor Setar

A famous landmark in Alor Setar, Masjid Zahir features distinctive black domes – one main dome and five smaller domes, which represent the five tenets of Islam. The exquisite Moorish architecture of this mosque is similar to mosques in Langkat, North Sumatera. It was built in 1912 by the then Sultan of Kedah and is one of the oldest in Malaysia.


The Gunung Keriang Caves – Gua Terus, Gua Pelamin, Gua Seribu Bayur and several unnamed ones are among the arresting formations that will appeal to cavers. The caves are about 8km from Alor Setar. Visitors must


The Ulu Muda Eco Park is a sanctuary for over 109 species of mammals, 54 species of reptiles and 33 species of fish. Nestled within the vast 120,000-hectare Ulu Muda Forest, it is a safe haven for animals such as elephants, tigers, rhinoceros, seladang, sun bears and tapirs. The park is among the best places for birdwatching as it shelters some 200 bird species including the Red-crowned Barbet, Large Wren Babblers and Hooded Pitta.


More sightseeing, shopping and dining opportunities are available in Langkawi, Alor Setar and other towns in the state. The Kedah countryside is ideal for those who love the great outdoors.

Alor Setar

  • Balai Besar
  • Balai Nobat
  • Kedah State Museum
  • Kompleks Al-Bukhari
  • Kota Kuala Kedah
  • Pekan Rabu
  • Royal Museum
  • Rumah Merdeka
  • Rumah Seri Banai and Rumah Tok Su
  • Taman Jubli
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman Memorial
  • Zahir Mosque


Kubang Pasu

  • Bukit Wang Recreational Park
  • Fantasia Aqua Park
  • Puncak Janing
  • MnM Home Whimsical Houses



  • Air Terjun Seri Perigi
  • Gunung Jerai
  • Hutan Lipur Batu Hampar
  • Pantai Murni
  • Rekreasi Titi Hayun



  • Hutan Lipur Sungai Rambai
  • Pendang Lake Resort

Sungai Petani / Kuala Muda

  • Pantai Merdeka
  • Sungai Merbok
  • Tanjung Dawai
  • The Carnivall Cinta Sayang Theme Park


  • Hutan Lipur Bukit Hijau
    Kulim / Bandar Baharu
  • Hutan Lipur Air Terjun Junjung
  • Hutan Lipur Ulu Paip


  • Hutan Lipur Lata Bayu
  • Hutan Lipur Lata Mengkuang
  • Hutan Lipur Peranginan Sik (Rimba Taqwa)
  • Ulu Muda Eco Park
    Bukit Kayu Hitam
  • Duty Free Zone


  • Buffalo Park
  • Eagle Square
  • Galeria Perdana
  • Kompleks Kraf Langkawi
  • Kota Mahsuri
  • Kuah Town
  • Seven Wells Waterfall
  • Underwater World
  • Langkawi Wildlife Park
  • Temurun Waterfall
  • Beras Basah Island
  • Taman Lagenda
  • MARDI Agro Technology Park
  • Air Hangat Village
  • Crocodile Adventureland Langkawi
  • Durian Perangin Waterfall
  • Beras Terbakar
  • 3D Art Langkawi
  • 6D Cinemotion
  • Sky Adventure Park
  • F1 Simulator
  • CHOGM Park
  • Orchid Farm
  • Gunung Raya Tower
  • Faizy Crystal Glass Blowing
  • Island Horses
  • Skytrex Adventure Park
  • UMGAWA Zipline Eco Adventure
  • MORAC Adventure Park
  • Balai Seni Negara (National Art Gallery)
  • Darulaman Sanctuary
  • Langkawi Wildlife Park
  • Langkawi Nature Park
  • Atma Alam Batik Art Village
  • Skydive Langkawi
  • Langkawi Skybike

ESSENTIAL Information


Kedah is a firm favourite among Malaysian shoppers. Go duty-free shopping in Langkawi and stock up on imported confectionery, crockery, apparel, cigarettes as well as alcoholic beverages. Duty- free shopping is also possible at the border town of Bukit Kayu Hitam on the mainland. You can also head for shopping malls, department stores, retail outlets, boutiques and bazaars such as Pekan Rabu where you can purchase handicrafts and foodstuff. Popular shopping spots:

Alor Setar

  • Aman Central Mall
  • Alor Setar Mall
  • City Plaza
  • Pekan Rabu
  • Souq Albukhari
  • Star Parade
  • Tesco Alor Setar
  • Tesco Stargate
  • Ukir Mall

Bukit Kayu Hitam

  • Duty Free Zone
  • Sungai Petani
  • Amanjaya Mall
  • Billion
  • Central Square
  • Econsave
  • Giant
  • Lagenda Height Tesco
  • Parkson Ria
  • SP Plaza
  • SP South Tesco
  • Village Mall


  • Haji Ismail Group
  • Idaman Suri Sdn. Bhd.
  • Kompleks Point Jetty
  • Langkawi Fair
  • Langkawi Parade
  • Oriental Village
  • Padang Matsirat
  • Pantai Chenang


Try the delicious northern delicacies of Kedah such as the laksa kuala kedah, gulai rebung, pekasam or nasi ulam. There are numerous coffee shops as well
as western and fast food restaurants in major towns and you can also try vegetarian food at the Chinese restaurants. In the evenings, you can head towards Tanjung Dawai and enjoy the popular ikan bakar (grilled fish) as well as other seafood dishes. Kedah also offers delectable Thai food. Try these authentic local favourites:

Laksa Kuala Kedah

Tickle your tastebuds with this local speciality – a delightful dish made from rice vermicelli noodles and aromatic fish gravy. It is garnished with cucumber, onion and herbs. Unlike other types of laksa, laksa kuala kedah has additional ingredients like eels, spicy shredded coconut and boiled eggs.


This pungent delicacy is made from fish preserved with salt, rice and tamarind slices. The longer it keeps, the better it is said to taste. Fried pekasam can be served with fresh chilli as well as shallots and eaten with rice or glutinous rice. It can also be curried. Pekasam is sold at Pekan Rabu in Alor Setar.

Nasi Ulam

Nasi ulam is a healthy combination of rice, fresh herbs and spices. It is very popular during the fasting month of Ramadan. Gulai rebung or stir-fried bamboo shoot is another delicacy in Kedah.


Head to the coastal areas of Tanjung Dawai for a seafood feast with the freshly caught prawns, fish, clams and more. Grilled fish is a popular item here.


Kedah, one of the country’s northern gateway, is 450km from Kuala Lumpur and shares a border with Thailand. To get here, you can travel by air, road, rail or sea transportation.

Getting There

By Air

Malaysia Airlines, Firefly, AirAsia and Malindo Air operate daily flights to Alor Setar from Kuala Lumpur. The Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Kepala Batas is about 20 minutes’ drive from Alor Setar.

By Road

You can take a five-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur to Kedah via
the North-South Expressway. Air-conditioned express buses to Kedah can be boarded at the Jalan Duta Bus Terminal and Terminal Bersepadu Selatan in Bandar Tasik Selatan, Kuala Lumpur. These buses provide services to Alor Setar, Sungai Petani, Gurun, Jitra, Kulim and Bukit Kayu Hitam. Express buses and taxis are also available from all other states in Malaysia to Kedah and vice versa.

By Rail

KTMB’s electric train or ETS provides daily services from Kuala Lumpur to Alor Setar. The Senandung Langkawi express train departs from KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur and stops at major towns in Kedah such as Alor Setar, Sungai Petani and Gurun before proceeding to Haadyai in Thailand. Visitors heading for Langkawi should disembark at Alor Setar or Arau in Perlis and proceed to the respective jetty terminals to arrange their transfers. The border town of Bukit Kayu Hitam is the entry point for visitors who are driving from Sadao, Thailand. There is an Immigration Office and checkpoint at the border crossing that is open from 6.00am to midnight (Malaysian time).


Getting To Langkawi

By Air

Malaysia Airlines provides daily direct air services to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur and Penang, while its subsidiary, Firefly, operates daily flights to Langkawi from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang and Penang. Additionally, AirAsia and Malindo Air operate daily flights to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur. If you are in Singapore, you can get here via Silk Air and Scoot Air.

By Sea

Express ferries provide regular services to Langkawi from Kuala Kedah in mainland Kedah and Kuala Perlis in the neighbouring state of Perlis. The ride from Kuala Kedah takes about 1 1/2 hours. Ferry services to Langkawi are also available from Penang as well as Satun, Thailand.

Getting Around

You can rent a car at the airport and explore Kedah via the comprehensive network of roads around the state.

Buses and Taxis
The main terminal for local buses, outstation buses and taxis is known as Shahab Perdana in Jalan Langgar, Alor Setar. You can get to various towns in Kedah and other major destinations in Malaysia such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Melaka, Kuantan and Johor Bahru by bus or taxi. Tickets must be booked in advance during festive and holiday seasons. In Sungai Petani, the bus and taxi terminals are situated in Jalan Kuala Ketil. Getting Langkawi is easy through hired cars and vans. E-hailing services are also available.
For more information, contact:
Tourism Malaysia Northern Region Office +604-263 4941 / 604-264 3494 / 604-261 0058
Tourism Malaysia Tourist Information Centre:
  • Langkawi International Airport
  • Tourist Information Centre, Jetty Point Langkawi

+604-966 7789 / 5271
+604-966 0494

Copyright © Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board

Tourist Map of Malaysia

There is so much to do and so many places to see in Malaysia. To make sure that you don’t miss anything, use this handy map to navigate your way across the country and find great places to visit.


Perlis is the northern gateway to Malaysia. Despite its small size, Perlis has an abundance of attractions that make it a great destination.


Kedah is Malaysia’s largest paddy producing state. Delve into history in Lembah Bujang, the site of an ancient civilisation or relax in Langkawi, a world-famous resort island.


The site of a UNESCO World Heritage City, Penang is a holiday paradise with fabulous beach resorts and eclectic cultures. It is also the undisputable haven for foodies.


A tin-rich state in its heyday, Perak beckons with a range of sights and experiences. The state’s top attractions include Pangkor, an island getaway and Pangkor Laut, an internationally-acclaimed private island.


Hailed as the Cradle of Malay culture, Kelantan is a destination teeming with age-old arts, crafts and pastimes.


Beautiful islands, culture and nature give Terengganu its magical appeal. Dive, snorkel, sunbathe at the islands or journey to its hinterland to experience the best of nature.


The largest state in the peninsula beckons nature-enthusiasts with exciting eco-adventures. From Taman Negara, the oldest national park in the country, to the idyllic Tioman Island, Pahang is simply mesmerising.

Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia’s dynamic capital city is bustling with attractions and activities. Explore the city by day and night.


Selangor is home to the country’s main airport KLIA, and the main gateway by sea, Port Klang. It is also the country’s most developed state with a long list of shopping malls and themed attractions.


Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia, is a well-planned township with impressive buildings, verdant parks, scenic lakes and beautiful bridges.


From the majestic height of Mount Kinabalu, Southeast Asia’s tallest peak, to the stunning depths of the world-famous Sipadan Island, Sabah is a magnificent nature destination.


Sarawak, the largest state in Malaysia, has a vast wilderness that contains numerous national parks including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mulu National Park.


Located off the northwestern coast of Borneo, this island thrills visitors with its wreck diving sites, historical relics and duty-free shopping.


The birth place of the nation, Melaka is a treasure trove of history and heritage. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage City for vestiges of the past.

Negeri Sembilan

Known for its fascinating Minangkabau culture and a unique social system, Negeri Sembilan is the place to learn age-old customs and traditions.


Visit Malaysia’s southern gateway, for a family vacation at the theme parks or escape to its islands for an unforgettable holiday.

Birdwatching Paradise

Enjoy birdwatching at 55 Important Bird Areas (IBA) throughout the country, tucked away at various habitats such as islands, coasts or lush lowland and montane rainforests.

Cool Highland Resorts

Love the cool highlands? Find refreshing destinations to unwind in Malaysia. From French-themed settings, energetic amusement parks to forest-clad hills, there is something for everyone.

Fun and Fantasy

Find the fun and thrill that you are looking for in Malaysia. Meet your favourite characters, plunge down the world’s longest water slide or enjoy the rides and games!