The state of Kedah is the most ancient in Malaysia with records dating back to the 5th Century. It was once a prosperous centre for traders in the early days, especially those from India and China. This is reflected in the numerous ruined-temple sites and artifacts recovered in Kedah.
Kedah was originally a vassal state of the Sumatran Kingdom Srivijaya. After Srivijaya's downfall, Kedah went under the protection of the Siamese before being conquered by the Malacca Sultanate in the 15th century. Kedah was later fiercely attacked by the Portuguese and Acheh in the 17th century.
In 1821, Kedah fell to the Thais. In 1907, the Thais handed Kedah over to the British and it would only be in 1957 that Kedah would become independent as part of Malaysia.
Today, modernisation proceeds at a slow pace. Rural areas abound in Kedah and the people have a peaceful, laid-back mentality. As you travel through Kedah, vast paddy fields will greet you, stretching over the horizon like a carpet of green.
For the visitor, Kedah holds some charming attractions in terms of nature and their biggest money-spinner, Langkawi Island. For a good taste of northern Malaysian culture, you won’t go wrong with Kedah.