The Big clock building (Bangunan Jam Besar) in downtown Alor Setar city in northern Malaysia

From Alor Setar, visitors have easy access to the largest paddy irrigation scheme in the country. Partially financed by a loan from the World Bank, the first stage of the Muda Irrigation project scheme started in the early 70s and initially covered an area of 33,600 hectares. The scheme area covers over 100,000 hectares today and is also home to various agro-based tourism activities including homestays and fruit and animal farms which have their starting point from Alor Setar.

Visitors can check out the Paddy Museum to find out more, including historical details like the Wan Mat Saman canal which was dug in 1885. Alor Setar’s Chinatown is among the most preserved in Malaysia and its rows of shophouses evoke a 1950s nostalgia. Along the southern flank of Chinatown is a waterfront that stretches for a few hundred metres.

The tallest structure in the state is Alor Setar Tower. The design atop this 543-feet telecommunications tower has been described as looking like a spaceship from a vintage sci-fi movie, and it provides a viewing platform where one can have a panoramic view of all four corners of Alor Setar.

Dataran Alor Setar is the city centrepiece. The Kedah state art gallery housed in a historical building is here, as is Nobat Tower which dates all the way back to 1906. This three-tier, domed tower is where the classical musical instruments used during royal functions are kept. Within walking distance is Rumah Merdeka (Independence House) — the half brick, half wooden home belonging to the much loved late prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman who read the Malayan proclamation of independence from the British in 1957.

The house where Tun Dr Mahathir grew up in

Another house open to the public is the Malay rumah kampung where Mahathir – Malaysia’s past (1981-2003) and current (2018-  ) prime minister – grew up. The family home of Mahathir’s father (Mohamad son of Iskandar Kutty) has been turned into a mini museum honouring the premier. The No.1 attraction featured on all Kedah must-go tourist lists is Zahir Mosque, for good reason. Masjid Zahir, also functioning as the state mosque, is more than a hundred years old but remains beautifully preserved in its ornate architecture.

Next to the Zahir Mosque is a big clock tower and opposite the mosque is the Balai Besar — a grand Malay traditional-style building that has hosted coronations and royal weddings.

Another and newer mosque is the Al-Bukhary Mosque which has been praised for its architectural design and imposing outdoor water feature.


No. Tourist attractions and places Address & Contact
1. Mahawangsa River Cruise Alor Setar Kampung Lubok Peringgi, 05150 muzium, Kedah

019-379 9512

2. Kota Kuala Kedah 06600 Kuala Kedah, Kedah

04-741 2152

3. Muzium Negeri Darul Aman Highway, Bakar Bata, 05100 Alor Setar, Kedah

04-733 1162

4. National Science Centre Northern Region Jalan Gunung Keriang, 06570 Alor Setar, Kedah

04-720 7700

5. Paddy Museum Gunung Keriang, 05150 Alor Setar, Kedah

04-735 1315

6. Kedah State Art Gallery Bandar Alor Setar, 05000 Alor Setar, Kedah

04-732 5752

7. Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Sham Gallery Medan Bandar, Jalan Raja, 05100 Alor Setar, Kedah

04-730 3664

8. Wednesday Market Jalan Sultan Badlishah, Alor Malai, 05000 Alor Setar, Kedah

017-778 2767

9. Rumah Merdeka Jalan Putra, Bandar Alor Setar, 05150 Alor Setar, Kedah

04-720 4214

10. Menara Alor Setar Darul Aman Highway, Bandar Alor Setar, 05000 Alor Setar, Kedah

04-720 2234

11. Wan Mat Saman Canal Address: Taman Pesisiran Tanjung Chali, 05000 Alor Setar, Kedah
13. Kedah Royal Mausoleum

The Kedah royal mausoleum is located in Langgar, near the city centre.

Address: K133, Kampung Padang Wat, Langgar, Kedah
16. Nobat Tower Alor Setar (Balai Nobat) Address: Bandar Alor Setar, 05000 Alor Setar, Kedah
17. Kedah Royal Museum Address: Bandar Alor Setar, 05000 Alor Setar, Kedah