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home > Malaysia > Kedah > Attractions of Kedah

 Kedah . Penang . Perak . Selangor . Melaka . Kelantan . Terengganu . Sarawak . Kuala Lumpur . Others





Attractions of Kedah

myMalaysiabooks shares with you the attractions of Kedah. Explore the towns and villages, explore many of nature's paradises in Kedah and uncover the history of the ancient wonders of Kedah at the Bujang Valley and learn about the oldest Sultanate in Asia by visiting Kedah's capital, Alor Star.


Open bazaar, Baling, Kedah

Towns and Villages

An excellent way to see all of Kedah is to travel by road, stop by the many towns along the highway and divert to some of the villages located in the hilly terrain or coastal areas. Hop on a ferry or a boat to the many islands off the western coast of Kedah to enjoy the best beaches in Asia .  (Caution: If you drive through the countryside, be extra careful as there are villagers, children and often animals that may suddenly move on to the road. More safety tips here)

Towns from north to south.

There are many small towns and quaint villages in Kedah. Travel by road or rail to visit some of the towns and villages in Kedah.

Bukit Kayu Hitam - at the Thai-Malaysia border. Malaysian come here to shop for Thai goods. (See how to travel form Thailand to Malaysia)

Kuah - the largest town on Langkawi island. As the island of Langkawi has a tax-free status, this is the place to shop for tax-free items. Read about Langkawi island here

Kodiang - located at the Kedah-Perlis border. This quiet, small town is bustles with activity on Saturday market days, where a wide range of local and Thai products are sold. Nearby is Gua Kerbau (Buffalo Cave), an archaeological site where there is evidence of a prehistoric (Neolithic) settlement.

Kuala Nerang - the town nearest to the Tasik Pudu resort (a holiday resort trapped in the heart of the virgin forest of eastern highlands of Kedah).

Alor Star (formerly Alor Setar) - the capital of Kedah, is about 90 km from Butterworth (Penang). This old capital is a mixed of old and new architecture with many historical sights. Places to visit here includes  Pekan Rabu, Balai Besar, State Museum, Royal Museum and Anak Bukit.

 Details on Alor Star here

Kuala Kedah - located at the mouth of the Kedah River. A historical trading post, it was a transit centre along the India-China route. Today it is a fishing village known for her seafood. A jetty to Langkawi island is located in Kedah.

 Details here

Tanjung Dawai - a charming fishing village located at the mouth of the Sungai Merbok, facing the Straits of Malacca. The village is located about 20km from Sungai Petani and less than 5 km the rich archaeological site of Bujang Valley.  Its a place to visit if you want to buy local foodstuff such as keropok (Malaysian chips), dried salted fish or belacan. Travel from here by boat to Pantai Merdeka (boats take locals across for RM1.50 per person)

Merbok and the Bujang Valley   Merbok is a small quite town with just two row of shops. The surrounding areas are small fruit farms and some rubber plantations. However, Merbok is at th centre of the largest archeological finds in Malaysia. Located nearby is the famed Bujang Valley, centre of a Hindu Kingdom that dates back to the 4th century AD/CE.

Sungai Petani is a striving industrial town located in central Kedah, the second largest town in Kedah. In many ways this town is more alive than the capital Alor Star because of the many industries located here and the proximity of the town to the port at Perai and George Town, in Penang. The well-known Bujang Valley archaeological site is only 15km from here.

Details here

Sembiling - Small (one-street) town near Sungai Petani and Merbok. A place where mant Sungai Petani Residents would go for street food - cheap street satay and Chinese porridge and noodles. It has resently been put on the tourist map of Kedah for street art of cartoon characters, painted on the walls of the back-streets of the town.


Baling - located in the hilly south-western part of Kedah. Baling is famed for  fruits especially durians (king of fruits). Historically Baling is known as the place where the peace talks between the communist party leader Chin Peng and the then Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman held talks. Nearby are some beautiful forest recreation parks. Read about the legends of Baling and about other interesting  towns in our forthcoming publication. Look out for it at our bookstore

Islands of Kedah   Over a hundred island with beautiful secluded beaches and lush tropical forest lies off the coast of Kedah.

- Langkawi district: Pulau Langkawi, Pulau Dayang, Pulau Payar

- Off the coast of Yan, central Kedah: Bunting, Pulau Songsong, Pulau Bidan, Pulau Bunting, Pulau Telor

Hotels in Alor Setar, Kedah and nearby towns

Malay kueh, malaysian cakes, Malaysia
Pasar tani, farmer market, Kedah, Malaysia

Sungai Sedim, Kedah


Tanjung Dawai jetty, Kedah

Map of Kedah by mymalaysiabooks

map of Kedah

Buddhist stupa, chandi, Bujang Valley, Kedah, Malaysia

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Hotels in Langkawi, Kedah



Character Street Art of Semeling



Archaeological Sites

Bujang Valley Archaeological Site


Historians will know of this ancientBujang Valley artefacts settlement. The Bujang Valley or Lembab Bujang,  sometimes referred to as the Ancient Wonder of Kedah, is a rich historical site covering an area of about 400sq. km in the Merbok basin, bounded by Bukit Coras (Choras Hill) and Gunung Jerai. To the west is the Malacca (Melaka) Strait and south Sungai Muda (Muda River).

   This archaeological area was the site of an ancient Hindu-Buddhist kingdom that ruled the region from the 4th century AD. Over 50 Hindu and Buddhist temples or chandis (or candi) have been excavated from various sites in the valley. Artefacts and relics found at various sites, dating back to the 4th century, includes pottery shards, stone statues of Hindu icons, inscribed stone tablets, metal tools, Song and Ming Dynasties ceramic wares, ornaments, beads and semi precious stones. The artefacts and relics are on display at the archaeological museum located here. Details at our special page on

Bujang Valley HERE.

More at

Learn about History of Kedah here

How to get to the Bujang Valley




 Kuala Kedah Fort


Fort at Kuala Kedah

 Kuala Kedah Fort (Kota Kuala Kedah or Kota Kuala Bahang) is sited at the mouth of Sungai Kedah facing Malacca Strait. The fort, surrounded by a moat, is the site of numerous battles that marked Kedah’s struggle against foreign domination and control.

Kuala Kedah was entrenched in numerous attacks on Kedah during the 17th and 18th century. It was attacked by the Portuguese in 1611 and by the Acehnese in 1619. The fort was occupied by the Dutch around 1710 and again attacked by the Bugis a few years later. In 1821, a Siamese armada from Ligor attacked Kota Kuala Kedah and Kedah fell to Siam. (See section on History Of Kedah). Kota Kuala Kedah (the fort) stands as a reminder of the town’s eventful past.

      To reach Kuala Kedah, exit the PLUS expressway at Alor Setar and travel by the trunk road westwards.

Today Kuala Kedah is a quiet town where the ferry terminal to Langkawi island is located. There are also special boats to Pulau Payar for Kual Kedah

How to get there: To reach the site, travel to Kuala Kedah and turn right at the first traffic junction upon reaching the town, then left, across the bridge over the Kedah River. Look out for a white lighthouse on the left.

Learn more at HISTORY OF KEDAH

Other Historical Sights see

Alor Setar

Bujang Valley



Kuala Kedah Fort, Kuala Kedah, Kedah


Nearby Places:

Alor Star

Langkawi Island

Penang Island


Ba;ai Besar, Alor Setar


Recreation and Forest Parks


There are over 10 recreation forest or forest parks in Kedah.

Visitors can visit the designated park areas but to go into the forest reserves, permission is required from the Forestry department of Kedah. It is advisable to get a local tourist guide if you want to travel to forest parks or venture into the forest. Bukit Hijau, waterfall in forest park, Kedah, MalaysiaCheck these out these sites

Bukit Hijau Forest Recreation Park

The Bukit Hijau waterfall is familiar to many in Kedah but less known to tourists from outside the state. Though located away from the toll expressway, the park is linked by roads to the towns of Baling, Kulim and Sungai Petani. This park, located in the Gunong Inas Forest Reserve, boasts some beautiful waterfalls along Sungai Mempelam (Mempelam River). 

      The recreational park spreads over 2,100 hectares, with seven waterfalls and natural pools at each fall. It is an ideal for a cool dip or swim but be careful when swimming here as some pools are very dangerous (advisable to ask the locals where to swim)

Pedu Lake (or Tasik Pedu) is located in the midst of a dense rainforest, approximately 5 km from the Malaysian-Thai border. The journey to the area takes you through many small towns, Malay kampongs and through tropical rainforests. Locked in the heart of nature, this secluded area in Kedah offers you a peace and serenity that is beyond words. The magnificent Tasik Pedu (Pedu Lake) is flanked by low undulating hills and offers a breathtaking view and mountain fresh air. The lake is an ideal place for fishing and a great venue for water sports such as canoeing and boating. The natural surroundings offer nature lovers a multitude of adventure opportunities - hiking, bird watching and jungle trekking. (Please note: The two hotels located here may be temporarily closed.) Check with the forestry department before travelling here.

Sungei Sedim, river and rapid, Kedah, MalaysiaSungai Sedim Forest Recreation park  is a popular destination for the adventurous, white-water enthusiasts and nature lovers. The river is one of the best white-water destinations in the Asia. The area has the world’s longest canopy walk (of reinforced steel) that spans 950 meter above the lush green rainforest trees and Sedim River.

Ulu Muda Forest Reserve is a area covering over 100,000 hectares around Ulu Muda forest. The forest reserve is rich in wildlife, one of the richest in Malaysia, with over 100 species of mammals and over 50 reptilian species. A visit here is only for the rugged intrepid adventurer. Hire an experienced guide and a permit is required from the Kedah State Forestry Department to go in. The forestry department can help arrange boats and an authorised guide for you.

Other forest parks: 

Lata Bayu Forest Park - a waterfall located 30 km from Baling, south-eastern Kedah.

Bukit Wang Recreation Forest - 12 km from Jitra, 40 km from Alor Star, northern Kedah.

Puncak Janing Recreation Forest - 14 km from Kuala Nerang, 50 km from Alor Star, northern Kedah.

Ulu Legong Hot Spring Recreation Park - Ulu Legong, hot spring, Kedah, MalaysiaBaling, southern Kedah is a popular spot for those who what to enjoy the hot mineral waters of this hot spring. Many visitors go the place at night. The hot spring is accessible by well paved road, about 6km from the town of Ulu Legong which is more than 10km from Baling.


More information is available at the Forestry Department website (note: this website information is in the Malay language)

Road Map of Peninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia)


Other Attractions of Kedah

Gunung Jerai (Kedah Peak) at 1,217 m above sea level, is the highest peak in Kedah and is accessible by road. It is advisable to take the official jeep up the very narrow, steep road leading to the peak. If you choose to drive, official permission is required from the ground station. Gunung Jerai is very popular with the local hikers, trekkers and school kids. Titi Hayun Recreation Forest, Seri Perigi Recreation Forest and Sungai Teroi Recreation Forest are located in the area.

Gunung Keriang is located in Anak Bukit about 5km from Alor Star, this is the largest limestone hill in Kedah. This huge outcrop, comprising of two hills, provides a panoramic view of the surrounding paddy fields and kampongs.

Kedah Padi Museum, opened in 2004, is a place to visit in Kedah to learn about rice and paddy production. It is located near Gunong Keriang, Anak Bukit.

Agro-tourism.   Besides the padi museum, visitors can visit fruit farms to see how plant propagation and sample local fruits. Check out the Kedah Agro-tourism link

Lye Huat Garden is a small Chinese-styled garden, located just besides the toll expressway, after Jitra. It is very popular with locals.

Merbok River - embark on a mangrove forest tour on the Merbok river from Semeling, 10 minutes drive from Sungai Petani. Boats can be hired at the Semeling jetty or Tanjung Dawai Jetty.

Homestay programmes - Tourists (in groups) can enjoy a stay in a kampong and participate in kampong activities at these places:
1. Kampung Relau, Persatuan Homestay Relau, Lot 1064 Sri Impian Relau, Kedah

2. Kampung Raga, 06900 Yan, Kedah

3. Lembaga Kemajuan Ikan Malaysia (LKIM)

4. Kampung Yan, Yan, Kedah
5. Persatuan Nelayan Kawasan Langkawi (Langkawi Fisherman Association), Kuah, Langkawi

6. Pengerusi Homestay, Pejabat KEDA Langkawi, Kuah, Langkawi;

(For information, contact Tourism Malaysia )


Check for other accommodation in Kedah and compare hotel rates:

Where to stay in Kedah

Alor Star and Sungai Petani

How to get to Kedah


Kedah Peak as seen from Pantai Merdeka, Kedah Malaysia

Kedah Peak as seen from Pantai Merdeka


Gunung Keriang, Kedah, Malaysia

Gunung Keriang, Kedah

Padi Museum, Kedah, Malaysia

padi museum, kedah

Semeling jetty at Merbok River, for boat tour (near SP)

Semeling, Kedah



Maps and Brochures Download from Tourism Kedah

Free brochures on Kedah

Kedah brochure

Langkawi brochure


Free Maps for download

Kedah Map from Tourism Kedah

Map of Alor Star

Map of Langkawi

District Yan, Pulau Song Song, Pulau Bunting, map.


Shopping in Kedah

Shopping Sungai Petani

pasar tani, farmer's market, Kedah MalaysiaTourist Information Centres

- Langkawi International Airport, Langkawi

Main Office: Kompleks Pelancongan Negeri Kedah, Seksyen 20, Jalan Raja, Alor Setar, Kedah

- Langkawi Tourist Information Centre, Jalan Persiaran Putra, Kuah, Langkawi

- Bukit Kayu Hitam Tourist Information Centre, Bukit Kayu Hitam

- About Kedah

- About Langkawi

- Hotels in Malaysia


Kedah Food and Fruits

  kueh Kedah

asam pedas (sour curry)

Nasi ulam, nasi lemak, ulam, sambal belacan are some of the unique dishes of Kedah, Malaysia.

Description of food and recipes of  Malaysia and Singapore.


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