Welcome to the rice bowl of the country of Malaysia, small but very productive state of Kedah. Kedah is in the northwest Malaysia, bordering Thailand. Kedah is actually the oldest state in Malaysia. Its records date back to as far as the 5th century. In the early times, it was a commercial center for traders from various countries especially India and China. The evidence of mass trading activities by Indians and Chinese can be seen in both the ruined-temple and artifacts that were recovered in Kedah.
Originally, Kedah was a vassal state under the rule of Sumatran Kingdom Srivijaya. After the fall of Srivijaya, Kedah fell under the protection of the Siamese. In the 15th century, the Malacca Sultanate captured Kedah.
In the 17th century, the Portuguese attacked Kedah and in 1821, Kedah fell under the protection of the Thais. Somewhere in 1907, the Thais decided to hand Kedah to the British who ruled it up to 1957 when Kedah became independent as part of Malaysia.
The tourism industry is a major factor in the economy of Kedah. With lots of things to do and see, coupled by the variety of world-class tourism facilities, it is among the Malaysian states that are the most popular tourist destinations. Most of the tourism activities that contribute significantly to the economy basket take place in Langkawi Island. So, if you are visiting Kedah any time soon, remember that you will find it more beautiful and fascinating in Langkawi Island.
The economy of Kedah state relies heavily on income from agricultural activities. Currently, Kedah produces most of the rice in Malaysia, hence the name “rice bowl”. In the recent past, the government has been trying to diversify the economy of Kedah by promoting industrial development and for that reason; it is developing at a faster rate not only in its manufacturing industries, but also in its many industrial parks that are being built in order to support this growth.
Today, the state thrives on agriculture as its source of income. Kedah produces the most rice as compared to the states but the government is attempting to diversify its economy, mainly to industrial development.
The staple diet of Kedah is mainly rice. Both the locals and visitors love the cuisine of Kedah, the dishes that are normally prepared using a mixture of market fresh ingredients, herbs as well as spices.
The most delicious dishes that you should not fail to try when you visit Kedah include gulai nangka, sayur keladi as well as a spicy dish of jackfruit and glutinous rice among many others. When you visit Kedah, we would strongly advice that you pay a visit to the Pekan Rabu in Alor Setar so that you have a taste of the mouthwatering sweetmeats of baulu and dodol.
Towns and districts
The capital of Kedah is Alor Setar, a city that is growing slowly but steadily into the future. Generally, there are eleven main districts in Kedah state among them include Kaula Muda, Silk, Pendang, Kulim, as well as Kotar Setar, Baling, Kubang Pasu and Langkawi not mentioning Bharu, Kuala Muda and Yan.
For more information guide about Kedah, please visit Kedah Tourism Site