Kedah (also known with honorifics as Kedah Darul Aman, literally "Kedah, Abode of Peace") is a state in the northern part of the West Coast of Malaysia. It borders Thailand to the northeast and east, the state of Perlis to the north, the state of Penang to the southwest, and the state of Perak to the south. Kedah is nicknamed "The Rice Bowl of Malaysia" (Malay: Periuk Nasi Malaysia) because of the vast paddy plantation along the western plain of the state.
Kedah, like Penang, is composed of two parts: mainland Kedah, which has 11 districts, and the island of Langkawi. Langkawi is the main tourist attraction.
Kedah is split into 12 administrative districts, daerah in Malay. They are, from north to south:
- Langkawi: An island full of tourist attractions and a popular folklore of its own. It is the westernmost part of Kedah, and shares the same latitude with Perlis.
- Kubang Pasu: The northernmost district in mainland Kedah. This district has a lot of educational institutes; one of them is the Universiti Utara Malaysia, or Northern University of Malaysia.
- Padang Terap: This district is where the Pedu Lake is situated.
- Kota Setar: This is the main administrative district of Kedah, as the capital of the state, Alor Setar, is located here. It's also one of the gateway to Langkawi Island.
- Pendang: This district is primarily covered with paddy field, and agriculture is it's main economic activity.
- Sik: This is the largest district in Kedah. It's where the Muda River starts. This river is vital for the irrigation of paddy fields in Kedah.
- Yan: The smallest district in Kedah. On its border is the Mount Jerai, the tallest peak in Kedah that is situated between this district and Kuala Muda.
- Kuala Muda: Sungai Petani, the second-largest city in the state, is located here. There's also the Bujang Valley Archaeological Site that has the remnants of the past Hindu-Buddha civilization that was once in Kedah.
- Baling: This district is famous for its Raja Bersiung (lit. "The King with Fangs") folklore, and the Bukit Hijau Recreational Park.
- Kulim: Bordering Penang in the west, Kulim is an ever-developing district where the Kulim Hi-Tech Park, the first high technology industrial park in Malaysia that was established in 1996, is situated.
- Bandar Baharu: The southernmost district of Kedah.
- Alor Star - largest city and capital of the state
- Sungai Petani - second largest city and industrial hub
- Kulim - third largest city and earmarked for hi-tech industrial development
- Bukit Kayu Hitam - Malaysia's main road crossing into Thailand
- Changloon - 8km from Bukit Kayu Hitam, it is one of the main border town crossing into Thailand
- Langkawi - the 99 islands of "the land of all one's wishes"
- Padang Serai - the important town at Southern Kedah
- Lunas - another important town at Southern Kedah
- Pedu - a man made lake surrounded by virgin rainforest and scenic mountains
- Kuala Kedah - ferry point to Langkawi ,next to Alor Star
Most people in Kedah speak in Malay-Kedahan dialect but English is widely spoken and understood by many Kedahan. Besides that, several Chinese and Indian dialects are also spoken by the minority Chinese and Indian population in Kedah.
There is no international flight serving the state, though you may find numerous domestic flights connected from KLIA (IATA: KUL). Malaysia Airlines, Firefly and Airasia fly daily to and from Sultan Abdul Halim Airport (Alor Setar Airport, IATA: AOR).
- Bukit Hijau Waterfall The best sight-seeing in the northern Peninsular Malaysia
- Tan Kee Roast Duck - famous food at Northern Malaysia, originated from Lunas, Kedah.