Saturday, June 30, 2012

Daytripping : Kedah Darul Aman

Remember my bucket list item - to go to all states in Malaysia?

After a long break from domestic travels, I finally got the time and opportunity to visit Kedah recently, it was only a 'day-trip' though.

Initially I had planned to go to two places - Alor Setar and Sg Petani - but in the end I decided to only visit the former as I had not much faith in the bus schedule and also worried I might not make it back to KL on time.

I boarded the north bound overnight express coach from Pudu Sentral (the new name for Puduraya) and braced myself for the 6-7 hours journey. Finding out that there were no reading lights on the bus (what was I thinking?) I settled to catch some sleep and I must say I did sleep quite well. We reached the bus terminal - Shahab Perdana? - at around 6:30 am and I waited for the local bus service to start at 7:00 am for the trip to the city centre. A taxi costs RM12.00, the bus RM1.00 so it's clear why I'd rather wait for the bus.

The slow and steady journey took about 20-25 minutes and I went off at the bus stop right in front of Pekan Rabu Complex. It was still very early, shops were still closed so I decided to take a walk around the city and have some look-see and get some bearings.

I was surprised to find out that Alor Setar has many old Chinese shoplots, like the ones we'd find in Melaka or Georgetown. There was a Pekan Cina and Pekan Melayu section as well. After trudging around I found the shop that sells the infamous Nasi Lemak Royale (something I was introduced to on Twitter!) so that was breakfast.

I did not have any map in hand so I just followed the road signages - which led me to the Tourism Malaysia office and information counter. I got maps and guides there which were a help, especially the Heritage Trail. I also was given a Food Trail Guide, alas, while some were within the city, most were open at night and one would need transportation. I decided to go to Mee Abu for lunch later.

Tun M's family house. Well maintained within a small complex of its own. I enjoyed spending time here - maybe because I had lower expectations :-\ 

An old building which still has its Hotel signage - didn't look like it was still in operations. 

Old Balai Polis.

Old Post Office. 

Tourism Malaysia Complex. 

Masjid Zahir. What a beautiful building! I think, the most beautiful mosque in the country. Quiet, understated elegance. Chic colours. Very Chanel, I thought.

Wat .. something. This was on the way to Mee Abu place under the hot hot sun! 

Okay. I forgot the name of this Pintu Gerbang, it is a replica though. I think the original was burnt down. 

Muzium Diraja? I did not go in.  

Inside Pekan Rabu, offering all sorts of Malay attire and food items and snacks - didn't buy anything.  

Gerbang - Pekan Cina on the left and Pekan Melayu on the right. 

Clock Tower.

Nasi Lemak Royale, which is actually more of a nasi kandar. RM5.50. 
The crowd was non-stop the whole morning, dine-ins as well as take-aways.

Mee Abu. plus teh-o-ais, RM5.20 . More like a mee rebus.
Apparently also favoured by the royalty here.

Cendol at Pekan Rabu food court. RM2.00.

After the cendol I decided to take the afternoon bus back to KL. It was a looong journey, I feel asleep a few times but I remember we passed through Taiping and at an R&R for a 30 minute rest. Reached KL at 9:30 pm, and felt really tired so I showered and rested before calling it a day.

To get to Alor Setar:

  • buy tickets from the counters at Pudu Sentral. 
  • tickets are from RM39.00 one-way.
  • get a single seater, more comfortable.
  • buses are freezing cold, bring a jacket.
With that I have one more state to do - Perlis! The Kayangan state! (though when I mentioned this, someone remarked 'but there's nothing to see in Perlis'. Oh, great :-\ 

But I'll keep it on my list anyway. Who knows? :)


  1. Ya, you were right. Quite a number of old buildings worth checking out. I've still got Perlis, Kedah and Johor to Kedah although I've been to Muar once. Let's see who's gonna finish the list off first. :-D

    1. That sounds like a challenge? :) hehe I'll take my time for Perlis since that has to be 'packaged' with other trip(s) to make it substantial :)

  2. Don't tell me you are passing through Perlis on your way to Hat Yai and declare you've been there ahh. :-P

    1. Hahaha, my rule is that passing through does not count. Minimum must be day trip :-) Since I was told there is nothing to see in Perlis, so Hat Yai looks like an 'attractive option'. Just don't tell me there's also nothing to see in Hat Yai! LOL

  3. Nice captures on those old buildings.

    And the chendol looks good too, I like chendol. Any different from the ones found elsewhere? Heard the ones in Malacca is diff. Coz they use 'original' gula Melaka. Not sure how true