Alor Setar

A worthwhile visit to Alor Setar

The city center of Alor Setar still has those ubiquitous old shophouses

The city center of Alor Setar still has those ubiquitous old shophouses

It was still early morning as the sun was still a few degrees from the horizon as shadows fell on the facade of old shop houses lining the main street. I hired a cab to take me around the city center and its main attractions and for the succeeding hours till before my bus trip back to Kuala Lumpur.

I was still sleepy, having arrived the previous afternoon at the Shahab Perdana bus terminal after several hours on the road from Malaysia’s capital. After dinner that night, I was shooting and walking for several hours as it was the tail end of the Nine Emperor Gods festival. Although I had a comfortable stay at the Leverage.

Well, that day in Alor Setar, I was a tourist. And what do tourists do? But of course, see the sights and places that the city has to offer and I was ready with my cab driver!

A taxi driver whiling away time as he awaits his turn to serve a passenger

A taxi driver whiling away time as he awaits his turn to serve a passenger

I was in awe of both Masjid Zahir and Masjid Albukhary. Both mosques a contrast in history and construction but equally beautiful. I fell in love with the intricateness of Wat Nikrodharam. When I arrived at Balai Besar, I was entranced by the lightness of its construction.

And then there’s Balai Nobat, the two former court buildings now galleries: Balai Seni Negari and Galeri Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, the tall Clock Tower and Royal Palace arch replica. It was all there, tightly located in just one small area which has a good view of Menara Alos Setar.

A taxi driver in Alor Setar waits for arriving passengers at the bus station

A taxi driver in Alor Setar waits for arriving passengers at the bus station

Outside the city center, there’s the shopper’s paradise of Pekan Rabu, the birthplace of Mahathir Mohamad. Tanjung Chali is beautiful to look at the opposite bank of the Sungai Kedah. The gatees of Istana Anak Bukit was just grand and the Muzium Negeri was interesting. Then we went farther outside. We visited Muzium Padi, just beside Gunung Keriang. We also had a bit of history at Kota Kuala Kedah.

Of course, when it came to eating, I had a great time sampling different Malaysian cuisine: Tandoori chicken at Tandoori Salam. Nasi kandar salam at one of the eateries, delicious Zakaria laksa (laksa teluk kuchai) and capped with laicikang.

Desepite the short time I was there, I did had a great time knowing more about Alor Setar and the diversity of Malaysia. Do visit this state. You won’t be disappointed.

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.

One Comment

  1. Micole l Philippine Traveler
    December 12, 2013 @ 21:40

    Tandoori Chicken I miss it! My only ever Trip in Malaysia I miss too! Hoping to visit again and this might be a good place to see! =)

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