Exploring Kedah, One of the Oldest States in Malaysia

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Alor Setar Kedah

Kedah, often referred to as the “Rice Bowl of Malaysia”, is a treasure trove of cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and historic significance. Nestled in the northwest of Malaysia, this state is a blend of serene paddy fields, ancient archaeological sites, and verdant rainforests.

For those journeying from Kuala Lumpur, Kedah is easily accessible. You can hop on a flight to Alor Setar, the state capital, or enjoy a scenic drive or book a bus ticket, immersing yourself in the lush Malaysian countryside as you travel.

Things to Do in Kedah

Visit Kedah’s Historical and Educational Spots

Kedah Paddy Museum

Image source: Google Maps

If you’d love to learn more about the history of Kedah, then the Kedah Paddy Museum is a good start. Located near the entrance of Gunung Keriang in Alor Setar, this unique museum provides an insightful look into the agricultural heritage of Malaysia, especially focusing on rice cultivation.

Established in 2004, the museum covers an expansive area of 12,000 square metres across three floors, where visitors can delve into everything from the history of paddy cultivation to its processing.

Image source: Google Maps

The main highlight is on the first floor where you can find a 360-degree revolving platform with cinema seats, offering an immersive view of the spectacular wall murals–believe it or not, the murals were painted by 60 talented North Korean artists!

For those who prefer ancient history, then don’t forget to drop by Sungai Batu where you can visit an archaeological site that is believed to be over 2,000 years old! By booking a guided tour provided by an NGO there, you can explore the remnants of what is considered one of the oldest civilizations in Southeast Asia.

Image source: Google Maps

Alor Setar is also where you can find Rumah Merdeka, the very residence of Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman.

This historic house, once a hub for important political meetings, offers a unique window into Malaysia’s struggle and triumph in achieving independence.

Rumah Merdeka

Image source: Google Maps

Explore the Mother Nature of Kedah

The Tree Top Walk Sungai Sedim, located about half an hour away from the town Kulim, offers a unique adventure for nature enthusiasts. Stretching over 925 metres and standing 26 metres above the forest floor, it’s one of the world’s longest canopy walks.

This spectacular walkway, nestled within a 130-million-year-old rainforest, provides visitors with a bird’s-eye view of the lush greenery and diverse wildlife.

Open daily, it’s an accessible attraction for both the young and old. Whether you’re a bird watcher, a nature photographer, or simply seeking a tranquil escape amidst nature, the Tree Top Walk Sungai Sedim promises an unforgettable experience in one of Malaysia’s most pristine environments.

If you still have time after your treetop adventure, go ahead and relax at the Ulu Legong Hot Springs Recreation Park. The natural hot springs, set amidst tranquil surroundings,  can definitely offer the perfect respite for weary travellers.

Explore Wat Nikrodharam

Who said you have to book a flight ticket all the way to Bangkok to witness a Thai Buddhist monastery? Since Kedah has its history deeply intertwined with Thailand, it is not a surprise when you can find this unique temple standing proudly in the state.

The Wat Nikrodharam has a blend of both Thai architecture and Chinese motifs, making it a sight to behold. This serene temple is not only a place of worship, but it is also a testament to Malaysia’s vast cultural diversity.

Visit Pulau Langkawi and Explore its Precious Gems

Top Places to Honeymoon in Langkawi

Prefer to take a stroll along the beach and listen to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore? Then add a visit to Langkawi Island in your itinerary. The serene island is easily reachable from Alor Setar.

You simply have to make your way to the Kuala Kedah Jetty (which is situated about 30 minutes from Alor Setar) and take the ferry straight to Langkawi. Keep in mind to book your tickets beforehand!

Once on the island, there are plenty of things for you to do. Langkawi is not only a paradise for beach lovers, but also adventure seekers.


You can relax by the many beaches, go snorkelling and scuba diving, take a look at a few marine animals at the Underwater World Langkawi, and of course, don’t miss out on the iconic Langkawi Sky Bridge that offers panoramic views of the entire island.

Where to Eat in Kedah

Now that you have filled your travel itinerary with all the attractions and places to visit in Kedah, it’s time to decide where and what exactly to eat during your visit. 

Since Kedah is situated close to Thailand, you can expect to find an array of Thai-influenced delicacies throughout the state. However, if you have no idea where to begin, take a look below to see some of our recommendations: 

Zakaria Laksa Teluk Kechai

While Tomyam and Nasi Ulam are some of the most popular dishes that many often look for during their visit to Kedah, it is also a must to try Laksa Kedah–or also known as Laksa Utara. For an authentic taste of this traditional soupy dish, head to Zakaria Laksa Teluk Kechai.

This restaurant might appear rather simple and humble at first glance, but don’t let its look fool you. Not yet full after finishing a whole bowl of Laksa Kedah? Don’t worry as this restaurant also sells satay!

Bakul Cheh Cha

Bakul Cheh Cha

Image source: Bakul Cheh Cha Facebook

As for dim sum lovers, consider getting a table at Bakul Cheh Cha. This Halal eatery is popularly known among both locals and tourists alike for its flavourful Chinese dishes.

From local favourites such as chee cheong fun to char kuey teow, salted egg bao, prawn dumplings, and char siew mee the variety is bound to delight. The warm and inviting atmosphere of the restaurant also enhances the dining experience, making it a great spot for both lone travellers and families.

Caffe Diem

Caffee Diem

Image source: Caffè Diem  Facebook

Not really craving for traditional dishes? If that’s the case, the Caffe Diem might be perfect for you. Located in the middle of Alor Setar, this cafe’s charming ambiance and its menu consisting a blend of both local and international dishes can definitely put a smile on your face.

Whether you’re hungry for heavy meals or just some light bites, this cafe can cater to almost everyone. Pastry lovers can try out some of Caffe Diem’s delicious desserts such as the sea salt-chocolate croissant sandwich and the lemon poppy-seed tart.

Apong Ice Cream

No visit to Kedah is complete without trying the delightful Apong Ice Cream. This traditional dessert, made with fresh local ingredients, is the perfect way to cool down after a day of exploring.

What’s best is you can custom order your own Apong Ice Cream! For matcha connoisseurs out there, don’t miss to try their signature Matcha Apong Affogato.

Where to Stay in Kedah

Hostel Ah Wai, Hostel Ah Zhi

Hostel Ahwai Hostel Ah Zhi Dining area

Hostel Ah Wai, Hostel Ah Zhi in Alor Setar is a delightful choice for travellers, known for its vintage decorations that add a unique charm to the stay. This hostel is not only affordable and comfortable but also offers a distinctive experience with the option to stay in tents, catering to those seeking a more adventurous lodging option.

It’s well-liked by backpackers and budget travelers for its friendly environment, cleanliness, and convenient location close to local attractions. This blend of vintage charm, comfort, and versatility makes it a top choice for those exploring the rich culture of Alor Setar.

Learn more about them in the interview that we did some time ago.

38PC Boutique Hotel

38PC Boutique Hotel

While Hostel Ah Wai, Hostel Ah Zhi is a good choice for budget travellers, those seeking a more upscale yet personalised stay can opt for 38PC Boutique Hotel. Nestled in the heart of the city, this hotel is a blend of chic modernity and refined comfort. It is renowned for its contemporary interiors and attention to detail, creating a luxurious yet welcoming atmosphere.

Each room is thoughtfully designed, offering a blend of elegance and convenience, ideal for both leisure and business travellers. Situated in a prime location, 38PC Boutique Hotel provides easy access to local attractions, making it a convenient base for exploring the city.

With its sophisticated ambiance and top-notch amenities, it’s a standout choice for those who appreciate finer accommodations in Alor Setar.

Frazel Heritage Hotel

Frazel Heritage Hotel

If you’re seeking a blend of colonial European elegance and modern luxury in Alor Setar, then the Frazel Heritage Hotel is an ideal choice. Each room, an embodiment of luxurious comfort, perfectly balances heritage aesthetics with modern convenience.

Its strategic location makes exploring Alor Setar’s gems a breeze–plus, this 2-star hotel is only 11 kilometres from the airport! For those enamoured by the allure of opulent stays, Frazel Heritage Hotel’s plush atmosphere and top-tier amenities are sure to captivate.

Whether for business or leisure, it promises an experience of refined luxury and historical grace.

Kedah, with all of its points of interest, history, and natural beauty, is a destination that offers something for every traveller. From the lush paddy fields along the countryside to the ancient mysteries of Sungai Batu, and from the tranquil heights of the Tree Top Walk to the Langkawi Island, Kedah is a mosaic of experiences.

Add to this the culinary delights and a range of accommodation options, and you have a perfect blend of adventure, history, and relaxation. So pack your bags, and get ready to have one of the most memorable trips in your life.

Atiqah Akhib

Atiqah Akhib

Hello there - I’m Atiqah, a writer specialising in producing travel and lifestyle contents. Why do I like writing about travel? Simple, I love sharing with the readers all of the amazing places on earth by using my very own sentences!
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