RMCO Travelling Guide: Kedah, the Abode of Peace

RMCO Travelling Guide: Kedah, the Abode of Peace

Following our feature on Pahang, the next state for our recommendations is none other than Kedah Darul Aman, the Abode of Peace. Compared to Perlis, Kedah is quite sizeable, more than ten times the size of Perlis but only eight times the population. The most popular place in Kedah is most probably Langkawi, and although the report of Langkawi receiving 1,000 hotel bookings in an hour is an over-exaggeration, it is nonetheless expected to be quite crowded when people flock to it for holidays. Thus, let’s have a look at some of the other exciting places in Kedah to avoid the crowd.

Destinations

Caffè Diem

If you are in Alor Setar, you need to take the opportunity to visit Pekan Cina. This is because the aesthetics of this Chinatown has been kept unchanged over the decades. Among the nostalgic shophouses, there is one particular coffee shop called Caffè Diem, which is no ordinary coffee shop as it is a large two-story building that used to be a prison built by British Malaya in 1896. The restoration of this building used traditional craftsmanship as the design base, and the stunning results earned it the FIABCI World Prix d’Excellence Award. You should experience not only the unique interiors, as their food is also vouched for by the visitors.

  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Opening times: 12 PM–12 AM
  • Contact: 04-730 8895

Independence House (Rumah Merdeka)

Kedah is the birthplace of the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Father of Malaysia. The house was built in 1942 during the Japanese Occupation, and it was known as New Street House at the time. By 1954, Tunku Abdul Rahman renamed the house Rumah Merdeka, and since then, it had been the site of many political plannings, especially the discussion on ending the Indonesia–Malaysia Confrontation of 1963–1966. Currently, the house has been under the management of the National Archives of Malaysia since 2003. The National Archives of Malaysia has been repairing and maintaining the house to turn it into an exhibition, especially with authentic furnishings and decor. Audio-visual installations are in place to provide visitors with more information.

  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Opening times: Tuesday–Sunday 10 AM–5:30 PM (closed from 12 PM–3 PM on Fridays); closed Mondays (except public holidays and school holidays)
  • Contact: 03-6209 0600 (National Archives of Malaysia)

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s Birthplace (Rumah Kelahiran Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad)

Kedah happens to also be the birthplace of the fourth and seventh Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was raised here from the time he was born until he got married, after which he moved to his new house in Titi Gajah. Nevertheless, he would return to this house from time to time in order to visit his parents who still lived there. In 1993, the National Archives of Malaysia had obtained the house to repair and renovate the house in order to preserve this house that has such significance. It is now open to the public for visitation.

  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Opening times: Tuesday–Sunday 10 AM–5:30 PM (closed from 12 PM–3 PM on Fridays); closed Mondays (except public holidays and school holidays)
  • Contact: 04-772 2319

Paddy Museum (Muzium Padi)

Kedah is known as the “Rice Bowl of Malaysia” for good reason, as it is the primary producer of rice in the country. As such, a museum dedicated to the cultivation and harvesting of rice was built in Kedah in 2004. In that same year, 60 visiting state-funded North Korean artists painted huge murals depicting farming life after having lived in nearby villages for two years as part of their research. The murals took the artists six months to complete. One panoramic mural is 8 metres high and 103 metres around. These same artists have only worked in two other places in the world: Hawaii and their home country of North Korea.

  • Entrance fee: RM3 for adults; RM1 for children; RM2 camera charge
  • Opening times: 9 AM–5 PM (closed from 12:30 PM–2:30 PM on Fridays)
  • Contact: 04-735 1315

Tree Top Walk Sungai Sedim

If you are into hiking and walking amongst nature, this is perfect for you! Located within Sungai Sedim Recreational Park, Tree Top Walk Sungai Sedim in Kulim is the world’s longest rainforest canopy walk. Its length is 925 metres, at a height of 26 metres above the forest floor at the highest point. Next to Tree Top Walk, there is also a 14.2 km hiking trail to Gunung Bintang. Sungai Sedim also offers white water rafting. Various other activities such as abseiling and paintball shooting can be arranged here as well.

  • Entrance fee: RM10 for adults; RM6 for children. Concessions available.
  • Opening times: 9 AM–5:30 PM
  • Contact: 04-490 1588

Food

Zakaria Laksa Teluk Kechai

Much like Perlis has laksa Perlis, Kedah also has its very own laksa Kedah. Kedahans love laksa so much they’re available all day. The main features of laksa Kedah are the sweetness that comes from the fish and the sourness that comes from the asam, with a bit of spiciness to it. It is usually served with a bottle of shrimp head paste called petis, where you can add as much as you like according to your preference, as the flavour can be quite strong. Do look out for the sambal nyiur as well, which is coconut sambal. The most highly-recommended place for laksa Kedah is Zakaria Laksa Teluk Kechai, which has been run by the Zakaria family for about 70 years and counting.

  • Address: 250, Jalan Kuala Kedah, Kampung Klong Hoi, 06600 Alor Setar, Kedah
  • Opening times: 12 PM–8 PM
  • Contact: 04-762 1071

Kak Nab Selera Kampung

Kedah has a special dish called gulai nangka, which is jackfruit curry. Gulai nangka can be found at any nasi berlauk restaurant, which are restaurants that serve rice alongside a variety of dishes that you can pick and choose from, but one that we could recommend is Kak Nab Selera Kampung.

  • Address: Batu 4 1/4, Jalan Langgar, 05460 Alor Setar, Kedah
  • Opening times: 7:30 AM–5 PM
  • Contact: 017-456 6201

Nasi Lemak Haji Ali

Nasi Lemak Haji Ali, a nasi kandar restaurant, remains popular even after operating for over 60 years. This is due to their amazing array of dishes, and among the most recommended is their Ayam Marican. It’s no plain ayam goreng, as it is very fragrant and flavourful from all the spices.

  • Address: 1160A Jalan Seberang Perak, 05100 Alor Setar, Kedah
  • Opening times: 4 PM–10 PM
  • Contact: 019-441 0777

Travel

Flight

The Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Kedah is the most direct airport by flight. The second option is to fly to the Langkawi International Airport and take the ferry to Kuala Kedah, the duration of which is 1 hour and 45 minutes long.

Bus

Travelling by bus is the cheapest option, and there are many options to choose from if you are to travel to Kedah by bus. However, it is very time-consuming as it can take anywhere between 8 to 12 hours to travel from Johor to Kedah, while the same journey by flight would take only 2 hours or less, and that is not accounting for traffic on the road.

Train

Travelling to Kedah via ETS is also possible, although that is subject to limited availability and long travelling times, potentially much longer than taking the bus due to multiple stops and possibly having to change trains depending on where you are coming from.

Accommodation

Berjaya Langkawi Resort

Berjaya Langkawi Resort, located in Burau Bay, describes itself as ‘Your Escape to Nature’. There, you can discover ancient plants surviving in modern land, as Pulau Langkawi has one of the oldest flora and fauna in Malaysia. Instead of looking at the 320 million-year-old mangrove forest bred with abundant life from a distance, experienced guides could bring you to explore the depths of the mangrove forest by kayaking. Nowadays, we are facing different kinds of environmental threats. As one of the eco-friendly resorts in Langkawi, Berjaya Langkawi Resort contributes as much as they can to maintain this beautiful island. Guests could experience learning ocean kayaking, tropical rainforest hiking, exposure to wildlife, and playing on a private beach, all in one place. If you stay in their Water Chalet, you may enjoy fishing activities just over the balcony, even under the tranquil starry sky and experience the beauty of Langkawi at night. When the weather is good, there is an opportunity to catch small squids at night. With the company of small marine fish and shrimp, your night will not be boring at all.

  • Contact: 04-959 1888
  • FlyKLIA Exclusive Promo: receive 20% off Nature Lover package when you book directly with Berjaya Langkawi Resort at the link to the exclusive deal.
  • For more information on package deals and terms & conditions, please visit http://campaign.berjayahotel.com/flyklia/ 
  • Book period: Immediate until 31 July 2021

Hotel Seri Malaysia Alor Setar

Hotel Seri Malaysia Alor Setar is conveniently located near most of the aforementioned destinations in Alor Setar. The rooms have an old-fashioned shine to them that evokes a nostalgic or old-school feel. Located right in the middle of Alor Setar, it is only 15 minutes away from the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Kepala Batas, and less than 10 minutes drive from Rumah Merdeka, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s Birthplace, and the Paddy Museum.

  • Contact: 04-730 8737

Urban Inn

For those who are planning to visit Sungai Sedim, Urban Inn in Kulim is a better choice than accommodations in Alor Setar, because Sungai Sedim requires a one-hour 45-minute drive from Alor Setar, whereas it takes an hour less to travel there from Kulim.

  • Contact: 04-491 1776

And there you have it, some of the lesser-known places in Kedah that you can visit during the RMCO. Are there other places that you think deserve more attention? Let us know in the comments below! But before you go, we just want to remind you that even though travel restrictions have been lifted, it is good to always take precautions for health and safety, not just for yourself but also those around you. So take care, and travel safely!

Your Gateways to Getaways,
FlyKLIA

Facebook Comments

Written by FlyKLIA

Your Gateways To Getaways. Get inspired to travel the world, share exciting travel stories and be rewarded for being a part of Malaysia’s Largest Travellers Community.