Kuala Kedah Fort

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Canons ready to fire! Brick walls along the riverbanks with metal canons positioned as what may have been set up before
Canons ready to fire! Brick walls along the riverbanks with metal canons positioned as what may have been set up before

Fort gate of Kuala Kedah Fort
Fort gate of Kuala Kedah Fort
The ride from the capital city, Alor Setar was long, 10 kilometers to the mouth of the Kedah River in Kuala Kedah, but the scenic countryside and good roads were enough to make the trip comfortable and not boring.

There, at the coast is an interesting fort that was built during the 17th century by the Portuguese, strengthened in 1771 by Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah and has been a silent witness to the struggles of Kedah, the Portuguese and British, the ruling sultans and the invading Bugis and Siamese. This is the Kota Kuala Kedah (Kuala Kedah Fort).

Much has probably changed since the last cannon fired in 1838. There are now modern structures consisting of a canteen and a tourist center. At places where there are breached brick walls are wooden benches. The atmosphere is idyllic though but the afternoon is hot and humid, the sky overcast and not much tourists when I arrived.

There are still brass cannons positioned facing the Kedah River. Instead of armies and soldiers, local fishermen standing on the concrete ledge at the edge of the river while line fishing. Along the river is a ferry carrying several vehicles to Langkawi.

While Kuala kedah is not so much known about this fort, it’s far more popular as the jump off point to Langkawi.

Fort walls make as a backdrop for park benches
Fort walls make as a backdrop for park benches
Fishermen outside the fort walls along the river
Fishermen outside the fort walls along the river

Getting to Kota Kuala Kedah is a bit difficult as there are no public transport. One either has to go there by private car or, as with touring around much of Alor Setar, by hired taxi.

This trip made possible by Tourism Malaysia and AirAsia Zest.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

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