Alor Setar, the capital of Kedah, is dotted with majestic architecture and surrounded by rural landscapes. Nestled on the Malacca Strait, Alor Setar is a gateway to the Langkawi archipelago, renowned for its historical museums and bustling street markets.
Things to do
If you’re fascinated with old-world architecture, head to Zahir Mosque, famous for its grand domes and minarets. It’s positioned on the Kedah River and has an elaborate central hall and historic cemetery where 19th-century Kedah warriors are buried. For a modern twist, don’t miss the Menara Alor Setar, a 165.5-metre-tall tower with a revolving restaurant and observation deck overlooking the city.
Discover the history and current practices of Alor Setar’s thriving paddy farming culture at the Paddy Museum, which has informative exhibits on rice cultivation, photographs of paddy farms and paintings of farming scenes. The nearby Kedah State Art Gallery is the best place to see local artwork, from paintings to woodcarvings.
Need some entertainment? Head to City Plaza, the city’s major shopping mall to discover hundreds of retail and dining outlets and a bowling centre, arcade and cinema. You can also shop at Alor Star Mall to find international fashion brands such as Adidas and Diesel.
For a rewarding day trip, hop across to the Langkawi islands, an area so picturesque that they’ve earned the nickname “the Jewel of Kedah”. Here you can laze on secluded beaches with soft white sand, palm trees and alluring waters. There are also beachfront bars, rainforest walks, sunset cruises and souvenir shopping to enjoy.
Alor Setar is easily reached via driving on the North-South Expressway, flying from Kuala Lumpur to Alor Setar Airport or catching the high-speed train to the city’s central train station. You can walk around the town centre, catch taxis to travel further afield or use the ferries from Kuala Kedah to reach the islands.
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