BACKGROUND A land of unique beauty, surrounded by the greenery of padi during the planting season and the golden hues during harvesting. Kedah, the Rice Bowl of Malaysia is indeed a picturesque landscape to behold. Kedah has a population about 1.5 million people, made up of various races. It boasts of many historical events leading to this modern era where it continues to prosper. It is in the mainstream of national development, particularly in industry and tourism.
HISTORY Back to the 5th century AD, traders who plied the East-West trade route stopped at Kuala Muda, using Gunung Jelai as a navigational point. This made Kedah famous within the region as a trading port. Early Hindu-Buddhist civilisation also left their marks in the form of ancient candi (temples) around Lembah Bujang. Later, in the 7th and 8th century AD, Kedah became a vassal of the Sumatran Kingdom of Sri Vijaya. After the decline of the Kingdom, the Thais put Kedah under their wing which later was won over by the reigning Sultanate of Melaka in the 15th century. The 17th century saw Kedah faced with attacks from the Portuguese and the Achinese. Kedah fell to the Thais in 1821. In 1909, the Thais handed over Kedah to the British when a British Advisor was appointed to advise the Sultan on the state matters. After the Japanese occupation, Kedah joined the Malayan Union and subsequently the Federation of Malaya in 1948.
GETTING THERE The North-South Expressway transverse the State of Kedah, thus enabling just a five-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.