The state of Kedah spans approximately 9, 425 sq. km in the northern part of the Peninsular and together with Perlis, Perak and Kelantan, shares a common border with neighbouring Thailand. It has the distinction of being the "Rice Bowl of Malaysia", the Kedah-Perlis rice plains produce more than half of the country's home grown rice supply. Alor Setar, the state capital, is the seat of Government and the business centre of the state.
The flat expanse of padi fields against a backdrop of rolling hills provides a picture of utter serenity that lulls the senses. Off its western shore, are clusters of sun-drenched islands that comprise the legendary islands of Langkawi. Kedah also owes its fame to the archeological discoveries at the Bujang Valley, which furnished evidence of the existence of an early civilisation dating back to the 6th cebtury A.D. With its islands, legends, historical relics, hill stations and scenic aterfalls, Kedah offers the visitor a variety of sights, sounds and fun-filled activities - from beach combing to diving, water skiing, picnicking or merely to take in the sights.
Kedah can be reached by road, rail and sea. The North-South Expressway transverses the State of Kedah, thus enabling just a 5 hour ride from Kuala Lumpur to Alor Setar. Similarly the national railroad track also passes through the state with various stops along the way.
Malaysia Airlines, the national carrier fly several times a day from Kuala Lumpur to Alor Setar and Langkawi. There's also weekly direct flight from Osaka, Japan to Langkawi.
High speed ferries operate from Kuala Kedah to Langkawi throughout the day. There are also regular ferry services from Penang as well as Satun, Southern Thailand.
Travellers have a wide range of transportation to choose from. Comfortable air-conditioned express coaches and long distance taxis are readily available thus providing easy connection throughout the countries. Getting around the state too is no hassle. Taxis and hire car are easily available at reasonable fares.
Sungai Sedim is a fast-flowing river that contains a 17 km stretch for white-water rafting. Access is through Kampung Lindungan Raja in the Kulim district, roughly a 2-hour drive from Alor Setar. You can also kayak or trek in the jungles here.
This lake was created by making a dam out of a water catchment area deep in the jungles of Kedah to supply paddy farmers with water. Now the lake also doubles up as a peaceful retreat, famous for its ‘tualang’ trees and honey from bees.
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.
An insight into Kedah's rich cultural heritage ca be amp by visiting 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.
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 by road.
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.