The more I see of Alor Setar, the more I think that it is an architecture enthusiast’s city. There are just many notable Asian and modern architecture in the city. Thai/Chinese at Wat Nikrodharam, Zahir and Albukhary mosques, as well as modern Menara Alor Setar.
But there’s another one with its Asian with heavy Thai influences, part of the royal palace, the Balai Besar. Originally built in 1735 as the Royal Audience Hall, it was where weddings, state assemblies and royal gatherings, including the installation of two sultans in 1805 and 1959, were held. During the Bugis and later the Siamese invasion, it was damaged that in 1896, was restored.
The Balai Besar is a gem of an architecture. The floors, poles and roof are made of wood. It has interesting Thai motifs and a beautfiul twin staircase leading to the second floor. While the front is really Asian architecture, with its airiness and lightness, the back is more of concrete and wood.