We noticed that many people have visited Langkawi island without knowing the state name is Kedah. Langkawi is one of the most visited places in Malaysia as it attracts a lot of local and international tourists due to its strategic locations, not affected by the monsoon season as well as the free and easy lifestyle with the beaches and duty free places.
Before we start talking more about Langkawi, lets get to know more about the State of Kedah. Many artifacts supports that Kedah is probably the oldest state in Malaysia and it has the originis influenced by four different language which mainly are traders during older days. There were records during the Liang Dynasty referring Kedah as “Langgasu” or “Lagga” (which is also known as Langkasuka). According to to the Arabic and Persian sources though, Kedah was initially refferred to “Kilah” or “Kalah” or “Walha” which defines many meanings but some believed that is was from the meaning of “gelas berkaki” or footed drink glasses that were sold by the Arab traders during that time. Another source about the name comes from Sanskrit writing referring Kedah as “Kataha” or “Kadara” which some historian says the name was originated from “Kheddah” which means elephant trap. Why Elephant? Well, historically, Malaysia a country rich with forest has a lot of elephants and tigers roaming freely before deforestration and development start to happen.
Located in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia, Kedah is located near the border of our neighboring country Thailand as well. Kedah produces more than half of Malaysia’s home grown rice supplies and is also known as the “Rice bowlof Malaysia” due to its planting capacity. We’d love to talk more about its histories including the historical “Merong Maha Wangsa” but maybe it would be too longwinded so our suggestion is just to buy the movie DVD if you’d like to know more about him.
Of course the first top location we would suggest would be Langkawi Island. Although located in Kedah, you need to either come directly with a flight or you need to take a ferry from the Kedah mainland. We would love to talk about other places as well but Langkawi is our preferred place to visit every year. It is so convenience to visit a semi-city that has a calm beach, do not get affected by the monsoon season, natural landscapes having the batcaves and mangroove tours as well as Tasik Dayang Bunting (Totally Amazing!), top notch attractions at the Oriental Village and sky cable, as well as some shopping sprees at the duty free places. Not forgetting would be the cold Seven Wells Waterfall and our favourite purchase everytime we are there would be the sea cucumber oil. It is quite smelly BUT it is super beneficial with a super cheap price. We doubt you could find this elsewhere other than Malaysia.
Secondly, our suggestion in Kedah would be for mountain climbers to include Gunung Jerai in your climbing lists. Gunung Jerai has 2 special myths among the locals which are quite interesting. However, most of the locals believe that this mountain is guarded by a supernatural force which is very harmful for people who come to the mountain with bad intentions. Find out for yourself the full version of Raja Bersiong and also Batu Kapal (a cursed ship of Merong Mahawangsa). If you’d just like to see a mountain view as the superstitious myths gives you some goosebumps, feel free to just book a hill resort facing the paddy field with a natural warmth ambience.
Other than the extreme mountain climbing, consider yourself to visit the tree top walk in Sungai Sedim. It might be a little bit secluded as the location is in an unspoilt corner of Kedah but bear in mind that this treetop walk is the world’s longest rainforest canopy walk. The hiking adventure would be an amazing adventure for you as it offers bird’s eye view of the rood of the forest. Other attractions you need to book early before coming here would include the turbulence white water rafting adventure and also abseiling & paint ball (provided you are in a minimum number required by the forrester).
Historical sites such as Kuala Kedah Fort, Alor Setar Heritage Trail and not forgetting Bujang Valley, would also be nice for some quiet moment understanding about some histories. For the past 2 decades prior to 1970, many students around Malaysia has been invited for research on the historical site and findings of manuscripts on the latter, which relates to one of UNESCO’s preserved World Heritage sites. Yet, there are still much work to do with this special archeology sites.
Before we reach to the end, although Kedah is considered as one of the small state in Peninsular Malaysia, Kedah offers a variety of local food for visitors to enjoy. Although there are not many nightlifes here but ensure to try out their yummilicious food during the daytime such as Laksa Kedah, Kuih Bahulu, Dodol, Kuih Karas, Gulai Nangka and also delicious grilled fish with lady’s finger (especially stingray) and tamarind sauce.
Weather to visit Kedah is almost superb all year long compared to the other states in Malaysia. The only months we would suggest you to avoid is probably between September and October. Most of the months are rich with sun when tourists starts to flow in starting from December up to April. Between April and September it is still considered okay but there are occasions of rain and sometimes thunderstorms but normally, its just for awhile.