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Kedah - The Rice Bowl of Malaysia

Kedah, together with the neighbouring state of Perlis are traditionally known as the 'Rice Bowl of Malaysia'. Vast stretches of rice fields dominate Kedah's panoramic landscape. Alor Setar, its capital, is home to many old buildings which still stand in their original form together with other relics of the past. Of interest is the Balai Besar, an impressive wooden edifice built in 1898. It is frequently used for state and royal functions. The Zahir Mosque, another outstanding landmark built in 1912, is one of the most beautiful mosques in the country. The Royal Museum, a fine example of local architecture, houses a veritable collection of Kedah's royal and cultural heritage. Other attractions in Alar Setar include the birthplace of Dato' Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and the Pekan Rabu bazaar. Here one can shop for a variety of local wares and handicrafts as well as sample traditional fares like dodol, a popular Malay sweetmeat. The Alor Setar Tower, Kedah's most recent landmark provides a breathtaking view of the town and it surroundings. A short drive from Alor Setar brings one to the border town of Bukit Kayu Hitam, a duty-free centre. This state is one of the oldest states in the country.

Kedah most famous destination is Langkawi, known the world over for its idyllic setting, legends and myths. Langkawi comprises a group of 99 islands, each with its own natural appeal. Among the prominent ones are Pulau Dayang Bunting Isle of the Pregnant Maiden, Pulau Singa Besar, a wildlife sanctuary, Pulau Payar, a marine park and Pulau Beras Basah Isle of Wet Rice, a popular spot for swimming. Langkawi is a free port which offers plenty of good buys. Kuah, its main town, is a shopping haven. The island is fast gaining a reputation as a popular venue for international exhibitions and conferences. It is also the venue for the exciting Langkawi International Maritime and Air Show LIMA. Other points of interest are the Mahsuri Mausoleum, Air Hangat hot springs, Galeria Perdana, Eagle's Square, Seven Wells, Underwater World, a crocodile farm and the Tanjung Rhu Beach.

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