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Kuala Kedah


Kota Kuala Kedah

Kuala Kedah is a fishing village situated at the mouth of the Kedah river, less than 10 km from Kedah's capital Alor Setar. It's known for its ferry to Langkawi and for its fort: Kota Kuala Kedah.
The fort is rectangular in its shape and it's situated on the northern shore of the Kedah river. Its west wall is facing the Straits of Melaka, the south wall is overlooking the river towards the town of Kuala Kedah, the north wall is facing a thick mass of mangrove swamps and the east wall is facing the small fishing village and padi fields.

It was built as as a protection for the state of Kedah and its capital, Alor Star. The fort was built in 1771 during Sultan Muhammad Jiwa’s reign and was completed in 1780. The fort has survived attacks by the Bugis, Achechnese and the Siamese. In 1909, when Kedah was officially under British rule, a few government offices were built within the vicinity of the fort, including a lighthouse. A new gateway was built which exists to this day.

During the Japanese occupation in the Malay States, the fort was used as their Armed Forces’ headquarters until their defeat in the hands of the British in 1945. In August 31 1978, the fort was dubbed a ”historical land site” by the Department of Museums and Antiquities (currently known as Department of Museums Malaysia) under the “Artifacts Act 1976”, Act 165.
The partially restored fortress can be seen from the jetty but reach it by car or taxi as the walk is quite far.

 

At the Langkawi ferry terminal is a row of shophouses standing parallel to the car park in front of the blue terminal building, There's an ATM, 7-eleven and two restaurants selling Chinese and Indian-Muslim food at either corner of the row. Following the main road down from the terminal will only take you to residential areas with little to see. The village is mainly used as a departure point to get to the islands, making the terminal the main commercial area.


Kota Kuala Kedah at the right

 

You can take a taxi from your hotel or a taxi stand in Alor Setar. It will cost you about 20 ringgit to get to Kuala Kedah. Or you can hop on one of the many local buses, that leave opposite Pekan Rabu Market in Alor Setar. The bus will have a sign in the front window announcing its destination. Buses run every 10-15 minutes from about 06:30 to 22:00 and the ride takes only 15 minutes, costing 2 - 3 ringgit. It's a great ride on a straight road passing through smaller villages and endless green paddy fields.
As you arrive with the bus from Alor Setar there's a green mosque at the main intersection, where the bus turns left. It's only 50 meters to the blue Langkawi Ferry Terminal. The bus will stop on the main road in front of the terminal car park. Follow the row of shop houses on your left as you walk towards the terminal.

The ferry tickets are sold inside at Ferry Line Ventures counter, the first in a row of five. The ticket to Langkawi is about 25 ringgit for adults and 20 ringgit for children. A signboard will tell you when the next boats leave. Don't get confused by the different names of the boats: all boats go to Kuah Town in Langkawi and are from the same company.
The ferries leave daily on the following schedule:
07:15, 08:00, 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, 13:30, 15:00, 16:30, 17:30, 19:00
Getting away from Kuala Kedah is easy as taxi drivers wait like hawks outside the terminal arrival hall, and buses run every 10 to 15 minutes at the bus stop out on the main road, heading back to Alor Setar..


The counters

 

 

  Ben van Wijnen

 

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