Alor Setar, Malaysia

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Alor Setar, Malaysia

Region: Kedah


Geographic Coordinates: 6.118300, 100.369000
Temperature Range: 25.0°C to 35.0°C (77°F to 95°F)
Climate: Tropical climate with high temperatures and rainfall throughout the year.
Population: 217000
Language: Malay

Alor Setar is a bustling city situated in the northern state of Kedah, Malaysia. It serves as the capital city of Kedah and is known for its thriving commerce, Culture, And tourism. This city has a rich history dating back to pre-colonial times when it was called Alor Star, Which means the shining river. Today, It has become one of Malaysia’s fastest-growing cities with a population exceeding 420, 000 people. One of Alor Setar’s most notable landmarks is the Alor Setar Tower that stands tall at 165 meters.

It offers visitors breathtaking views of the entire city and surrounding countryside from its observation deck. Another attraction worth visiting is Zahir Mosque that boasts stunning Islamic architecture with intricate designs on its walls and ceilings dating back to 1912. For those interested in history, There are several museums worth exploring such as Paddy Museum showcasing traditional rice farming methods used by locals for centuries; Kedah State Museum displaying artifacts from ancient civilizations that once inhabited this region such as Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms; and Royal Museum which was once home to the Sultan of Kedah.

Food enthusiasts can indulge in Alor Setar’s diverse culinary scene featuring traditional Malay dishes like nasi lemak (coconut rice), Laksa (spicy noodle soup), Satay (grilled meat skewers), Chinese restaurants serving delicious dim sum or hawker stalls selling local favorites like roti canai (flaky flatbread served with curry dipping sauce). Nature lovers can explore Gunung Jerai mountain located just outside Alor Setar offering hiking trails through lush rainforest leading up to stunning panoramic views at its peak. There are also several parks within the city limits including Taman Jubli Perak where visitors can relax amidst beautiful gardens filled with colorful flowers.

Alor Setar offers something for everyone whether you’re interested in history, Culture, Food, Or nature. With its friendly locals and vibrant atmosphere, It’s no surprise that Alor Setar is quickly becoming one of Malaysia’s top destinations.



Important Landmarks

  1. Alor Setar Tower (Menara Alor Setar)
  2. Zahir Mosque (Masjid Zahir)
  3. Paddy Museum (Muzium Padi)
  4. Balai Nobat
  5. Royal Museum (Muzium Diraja Kedah)
  6. Wat Nikrodharam Buddhist Temple
  7. Rumah Kelahiran Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
  8. Kedah State Art Gallery (Balai Seni Negeri Kedah)
  9. Gunung Keriang Recreational Forest
  10. Aman Central Shopping Mall

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture – Alor Setar is known for its paddy fields and is a major producer of rice.
  2. Manufacturing – The city has a number of factories producing products such as textiles, electronic goods, and food processing.
  3. Tourism – Alor Setar has several tourist attractions including the Alor Setar Tower, Pekan Rabu market, and the Zahir Mosque.
  4. Education – The city is home to several universities and colleges including Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) and Kolej Poly-Tech MARA (KPTM).
  5. Retail – There are numerous shopping malls in Alor Setar including Aman Central Mall, Tesco Extra, and Village Mall.
  6. Healthcare – The city has several hospitals providing medical services to the local community.
  7. Transportation – Alor Setar is an important transportation hub with a major airport (Sultan Abdul Halim Airport) and railway station connecting it to other parts of Malaysia.

Noteable History

  1. Alor Setar was founded in the 18th century by Kedah’s Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin II.
  2. In 1821, a war broke out between the British and Kedah over control of the state. The war ended with the signing of the Burney Treaty, which made Kedah a British protectorate.
  3. Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, was born in Alor Setar in 1903.
  4. Masjid Zahir is one of Malaysia’s oldest mosques and is located in Alor Setar; it was built in 1912 and has become an iconic landmark for the city.
  5. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s fourth Prime Minister, was born near Alor Setar and grew up in nearby villages.
  6. Balai Nobat is a royal musical instrument that has been kept at Istana Anak Bukit since it was brought to Kedah from Yemen during Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin II’s reign.
  7. Pekan Rabu Market is one of Alor Setar’s most famous markets and has been operating since 1922.
  8. Wawasan Bridge spans across Sungai Kedah river connecting Kuala Kedah to Langkawi Island via mainland Malaysia; it is considered an iconic landmark for both tourists and locals alike due to its unique design resembling a sailboat or ship under sail.
  9. Kota Kuala Muda Archaeological Site (also known as Bujang Valley)is situated about 30km south of Alor Setar; it is one of the most important historical sites in Malaysia and has been identified as the ancient kingdom of Srivijaya.
  10. Tunku Putra School was established in 1904 and has produced many prominent leaders in Malaysia, including Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Balai Besar is a historical building that served as the administrative center during the Kedah Sultanate era.
  2. Paddy Museum is a museum dedicated to showcasing the history and culture of paddy farming in Malaysia.
  3. Zahir Mosque is an iconic mosque with unique architecture and intricate designs, built in 1912.
  4. Kedah State Art Gallery is an art center that showcases various forms of contemporary art from local artists.
  5. Alor Setar Tower is a telecommunications tower with an observation deck offering panoramic views of Alor Setar city.
  6. Kota Kuala Kedah Fort is a historical fort built in the 17th century, now converted into a museum showcasing artifacts from the past.
  7. Royal Museum (Istana Anak Bukit) is a former palace turned museum displaying royal artifacts and memorabilia from the Kedah Sultanate era.
  8. Wat Nikrodharam Buddhist Temple is a peaceful temple with beautiful architecture and serene surroundings, perfect for meditation or relaxation.
  9. Gunung Keriang Recreational Park is a nature park with hiking trails, picnic areas, and stunning limestone formations to explore.
  10. Menara Alor Setar Mall & Hotel Regency Plaza Alor Setar are two popular shopping centers where visitors can shop for souvenirs or enjoy local cuisine at food courts or restaurants available there!


Sports Teams

  • Alor Setar does not have any professional sports teams,
  • but there are several amateur and school-level sports teams in the city.
  • These include:
    • Football (soccer)
    • Badminton
    • Volleyball
    • Basketball
  • The most notable sports facility in Alor Setar is the Darul Aman Stadium
  • which hosts local football matches and other sporting events.


  • Cultural Events

    1. Kedah International Food Festival showcases the culinary traditions of Kedah, highlighting local delicacies and international cuisine.
    2. Pesta Nasi Kandar is a yearly festival in Alor Setar dedicated to the popular Indian-Muslim dish of nasi kandar, offering visitors a variety of dishes from different vendors.
    3. Alor Setar Heritage Trail takes visitors on a tour of historic sites and landmarks in Alor Setar, including the Royal Museum and Zahir Mosque.
    4. Hari Raya Aidilfitri is celebrated in Alor Setar with traditional food, music, and decorations as part of the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan.
    5. Chinese New Year is celebrated by Alor Setar’s Chinese community with dragon dances, fireworks displays, and traditional food offerings.
    6. Thaipusam Festival is a Hindu celebration where devotees pierce their skin with hooks as an act of penance and devotion to Lord Murugan.
    7. Lantern Festival (Mid-Autumn Festival) occurs every September or October when people gather to admire lanterns shaped like animals or objects while enjoying mooncakes with family members or friends.
    8. Merdeka Day commemorates Malaysia’s Independence Day on August 31st through parades and cultural performances showcasing Malaysia’s rich history and diversity throughout the country including Alor Setar.

    Cuisine

    • Nasi Lemak Royale is a renowned local dish prepared with coconut milk rice, fried chicken, sambal, and other condiments.
    • Restoran Nasi Kandar Al-Bismi is a well-liked eatery that specializes in the famous Malaysian-Indian dish known as nasi kandar.
    • Warung Pak Su is a well-known restaurant that serves traditional Malay cuisine such as nasi campur and laksa.
    • Restoran Mee Abu is a must-visit spot for noodle enthusiasts since it offers various types of noodles like mee rebus and mee goreng.
    • Gerai Makanan & Minuman Haji Saadon is another popular spot for nasi kandar in Alor Setar, recognized for its flavorful curries and gravies.
    • Roti Canai Kayu Arang is an iconic eatery that serves freshly made roti canai (Malaysian flatbread) with various savory or sweet toppings.
    • Restoran Citarasa Kampung offers authentic Malay dishes cooked using traditional methods and ingredients from the village.
    • Sate Kajang Hj Samuri – A chain of restaurants serving delicious satay (grilled meat skewers) with peanut sauce dip which has become one of Malaysia’s most loved street foods.

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Taman Jubli Perak (Silver Jubilee Park)
      2. Taman Bandar Baru Mergong
      3. Taman Rekreasi Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah
      4. Alor Setar Tower Run
      5. Gunung Keriang Recreational Forest
      6. Pekan Rabu Complex
      7. Menara Alor Setar
      8. Masjid Zahir
      9. Balai Nobat
      10. Kota Kuala Kedah Fort and Museum

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