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Kedah Darul Aman, covers an area of 9,425 sq. km., has a population of approximately 1.8 million. The state consisted of 12 districts namely Kota Setar, Kubang Pasu, Padang Terap, Langkawi, Kuala Muda, Yan, Sik, Baling, Kulim, Bandar Baru, Pendang and Pokok Sena and its major towns include Alor Star, Langkawi, Sungai Petani, Baling, kulim, Bukit Kayu Itam, Kuala Kedah, Yan, and Sik. Kedah together with the neighbouring state Perlis are traditionally known as the "Rice Bowl of Malaysia". Vast stretches of rice fields dominate Kedah's panoramic landscape. Kedah offers exotic natural attractions, the serenity of rural villages, and endless spread of paddy fields, golden beaches, tropical rainforests and tropical islands. Together with Perlis, Perak and Kelantan, shares a common border with Thailand. It has the distinction of being the "Rice Bowl of Malaysia" because the Kedah and Perlis plains produce more than half of the country's home grown rice supply. Alor Setar being the state capital, is the seat of Government and the business centre of the state. With its islands, legends, historical relics, hill stations and scenic waterfalls, Kedah offers the visitor a variety of sights, sounds and fun-filled activities - from beach combing to diving, water skiing, picnicking or merely sightseeing. Kedah State has different business hours than most of the other states. Banks and government offices are closed on Friday. Saturday is a half-day and Sunday is a working day. Although Kedah is Malaysia's "rice bowl", the state is currently undertaking new fields, mainly industrial and tourism. Industrial estates have sprung up in Kulim, Alor Setar, Kuala Kedah, and Sungai Petani.

History of Kedah Darul Aman

Kedah is the most ancient state in the country. It dated as far back as the 5th century AD, traders who plied the East-West trade route stopped at Kuala Muda, using Gunung Jerai as a navigational point. The center that attracted traders who traveled between China and India and was an ideal resting destination then while waiting for the monsoons to change. Early Hindu-Buddhist civilization also left their marks in the form of temples around Lembah Bujang (Bujang Valley). The economic abundance of Kedah drew, throughout its history, the attention of many outside forces. Before coming under the rule of the Malacca Empire in the 15th century, Kedah was a reluctant vassal of the Siamese. Achinese attacks in 1618 led Kedah to seek protection from its former Siamese overlords, causing it to fall under the latter's influence again.

In the 18th century, external pressures from Bugis, Siam and Burma increasingly weakened Kedah. The situation was exacerbated by a power struggle that sparked off a civil war in 1724. Raja Haji, a Bugis leader, took advantage of the internal chaos and invaded Kedah in 1770. To counter the continuous threat from Siam, Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Syah appealed to the British for protection. Sir Francis Light was appointed as his representative to achieve this, armed with the guarantee of the exclusive leasing of Penang to the British East Indies Company. On 11 August 1786, Light was sent to Penang to found the first British settlement there.

In 1788, when it became apparent that the British had no intentions of aiding him, Abdullah tried to expel Light from Penang. Light, anticipating such a move, managed to repel this challenge and consequently forced Abdullah to sign over Penang on 11 May 1791. In 1800, a tract of land on the peninsula mainland, Butterworth, was signed over to the British as well. In 1821, the Siamese conquered Kedah and ruled it for the next 20 years. Kedah itself remained a Siamese vassal state until 1909.

On 9 July 1909, the Bangkok Agreement, which was ratified by the British and Siamese, effectively delivered Kedah to the British. Upon the appointment of Sir George Maxwell as Kedah’s British adviser, Kedah officially became a British colony. This lasted until the Japanese Invasion in 1941. British rule resumed on 1 September 1946 and Kedah was placed under the British Military Administration.

In London the British formed the Malayan Peninsula Planning Unit in 1943, and on 10 October 1945, the Malayan Union scheme was laid out before the British Parliament. A day later, Sir Harold MacMichael was sent to the Malayan Peninsula to obtain the agreement of the Malay Rulers. According to this agreement, Penang, Malacca and nine other Malay states were united under the Malayan Union. Malay opposition groups derailed the Malayan Union plan, and the Malays formed the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) under Dato' Onn Jaafar's leadership on 11 May 1946. The Malay Federation was founded on 1 February 1948 and on 31 August 1957, independence was declared.

Places of Interest

Lembah Bujang

At the foot of the mountain lies Lembah Bujang (Bujang Valley), hailed as the most significant archeological site in Malaysia. Archeological findings in the Bujang Valley such as the ancient tomb temples called 'candi' and the statues of Indian deities similar to those uncovered at the historical cities in India as well as numerous other artifacts furnish evidence of a Hindu-Buddist Kingdom dating to the 4th Century AD. Bujang Valley Archaeological Museum in Pengkalan Bayang Merbok opens from 9.30am-5pm daily.

Gunung Jerai

Gunung Jerai (1,206 metres) is the highest spot in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. Myths and legends abound around this peak, including that of a 'king with fangs' (Raja Bersiong) who resided at the foothills of the mountain.

The Sungai Teroi Forest Recreation Park, offers jungle trails, waterfalls and camping spots.

Air Terjun Puncak Janing

Located in Padang Terap, 25 km from Alor Setar. A waterfall and unspoilt mountain scenery beckons.

Pedu Lake & Golf Resort

Pedu Lake & Golf Resort comprises an expanse of lake framed by undulating hills. Located near the border of Thailand, it is 90 km from Alor Setar. The lake teems with fresh water fish while the tropical rainforest nearby offer birdwatching and jungle-trekking.

Balai Nobat (Hall of Drums)

Balai Nobat belongs to the old Sultanate of Kedah. The Hall features the nobat, the orchestra of royalty. It comprises drums, gongs and a traditional flute.

Balai Besar

Situated near Balai Nobat and facing Masjid Zahir, Balai Besar is an impressive wooden edifice built in 1898 embodying certain aspects of Thai architecture. This 'great hall' is used frequently for royal and state functions.

Masjid Zahir

Officially opened in 1912, this mosque is an architectural landmark. With black domes set off against slender minarets, its numerous arches and columns are an architectural wonder.

Royal Museum

The Royal Museum (Muzium Di Raja) is another fine example of local architecture hinting strongly of Thai influence in its majestic design. Built in 1936, it houses a veritable collection of Kedah's royal and cultural heritage.

Pekan Rabu

Pekan Rabu, translated means 'Wednesday Market' but its popularity with locals and visitors has made its business hours to be extended throughout the entire week, from morning till midnight. Stalls sell handicrafts as well as food. Located in Alor Setar.

Rumah Kelahiran Mahathir

This is the birth place of Malaysia's Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Other places of interest in Kedah includes Menara Alor Star, Royal Boat House, Balai Seni Negeri ( State Art Gallery), Nikradharam Buddhist Temple, Kuala Kedah Fort, Bukit Meriam, Gunung Kerian Recreational Park, Gunung Jerai, Bukit Hijau Recreational Park, Junjung Waterfall, Janing Peak, White Water Rafting- Sungai Sedim, River Cruise-Sungai Kedah, Pantai Merdeka Beach, Air Terjun Punchak Janing, Batu Hampar, Bukit Kayu Hitam, Bukit Pinang, Kota Kuala Kedah, Lata Asam Jawa, Peranginan Sik, Lata Mengkuang and Sri Perigi.

Getting there

Being a border state with Thailand, Kedah has a border entry point at Bukit Kayu Hitam. The Malaysian Railway Services link Alor Setar with various big and small towns along the North South track across the peninsula. North bound express bus service and taxis operate daily from Kuala Lumpur to Alor Setar. The North South PLUS highway leads visitors from Kuala Lumpur up to Bukit Kayu Hitam-Hutan Kampung Toll plaza, over a distance of 490.4km and to Alor Setar at 458.2km or a five hours drive.

The airport is located approximately 11km north of Alor Setar. Malaysia Airlines flies daily to and from Alor Setar from Kuala Lumpur via either Penang or Kota Bharu.

This is Malaysia Hotels Dot CC, the premier accomodation provider in Malaysia. We offer some of the best hotels in Kedah, Malaysia. We present them here comprehensively with factual information on all our participating hotels and resorts in Kedah Malaysia.

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Located in the southern tip of Langkawi Island in the north of Peninsular Malaysia, Federal Villa Beach Resort Langkawi in the northern tip of Peninsular Malaysia off the coast of Kedah is a first class resort on a truly deluxe class beach, Pantai Tengah. CLICK HERE

A three star resort with class of itself situated at Pantai Tengah Beach, in the famous northern tip of Peninsular Malaysia in Langkawi Island, the TM Resort Langkawi offers good accommodation with facilities such as room servive, coffee shops, babysitting facilities, restaurant. CLICK HERE

Aseania Resort Langkawi is located on the beautiful island of Langkawi, about 10 minutes drive from Langkawi International Airport, walking distance from Underwater World, Duty Free Shopping Centre and Main Souvenir Market. CLICK HERE

Enjoy the best sparkling seas and coastal forests of Langkawi at Mutiara Burau Bay.The sprawling resort is nestled between one of Langkawi's best beach and 19 acres of tropical rainforest.

The whole 67 acres of the exclusive private beach on Tanjung Sanctuary Langkawi is covered in tropical forest, with magnificent sweeping bays of sandy beaches, acres of closely guarded secrets, a miracle of nature left undisturbed.

Beach Garden Resort is located at one of the islands most beautiful beaches. Pantai Cenang is well known for it's romantic sunsets. All our 12 marble-floored guestrooms are well Air - conditioned and equipped with mini-fridge and electronic safes. CLICK HERE

The Andaman, Langkawi is a tropical paradise featuring 188 elegantly appointed rooms and suites with spectacular views of ancient virgin rainforests, the legendary Machincang Mountain and Andaman Sea. Such graceful surroundings complement the inherent warmth of traditional Malaysian hospitality that is conveyed throughout the property. Superb accommodations, numerous restaurants and bars, and a host of delightful activities to suit every holiday pleasure, ensure guests a memorable Langkawi experience. CLICK HERE

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