Between Langkawi and Penang, Alor Setar is a massive city boasting wonderful landmarks, jaw-dropping mosques, and enlightening museums and historical monuments. This sprawling metropolis is the capital of the state of Kedah and has recently become an important tourist destination in all of Malaysia.
If you travel to the city’s outskirts, you will notice wide-open paddy fields and serene nature trails. Without further ado, let’s dive right in and see what Alor Setar has in store for you.
10 Best Things to Do in Alor Setar | Malaysia
1. Gawk at beautiful paintings at Kedah State Art Gallery
Established in the 1800s, Kedah State Art Gallery is located in the city center. The building’s architecture exudes immense Thai influence. Art-enthusiasts will be delighted to visit this gallery as it showcases some of the best art pieces, craftwork, native musical instruments, and several other interesting objects and artifacts.
Other than that, this gallery also exhibits a multitude of traditional Malaysian jewelry and clothing. This is a great place to experience Alor Setar’s rich culture.
2. Discover the distinctive stores of Alor Setar’s Chinatown
Like most other metropolises in Malaysia, Alor Setar has a bustling Chinese community in the eponymous Chinatown. This place is inhabited by several people hailing from China, and it is known for its unique dining options, souvenir stores, and several retail outlets.
This neighborhood has a multitude of colorful buildings boasting conventional Chinese architecture and designs. Try out the amazing delicacies, such as noodles and dumplings, served by authentic Chinese restaurants.
3. Reach the summit of an elephant-shaped mountain
Standing at a height of 218 meters, Gunung Keriang is a well-known mountain in Alor Setar that resembles an elephant. This distinctively shaped mountain occupies a space spanning nearly eight kilometers and is mostly composed of limestone. This mountain houses a vast number of natural habitats within its ecosystem, sheltering a diverse range of creatures.
While trekking to the top of the mountain, you will come across several caves packed with bats. If you make it to the top, you will get a gorgeous view of the paddy fields encompassing this magnificent mountain.
4. Visit the spot that led to the creation of Alor Setar
If you are interested in the history surrounding the state of Kedah, you will love visiting this entry. When the Sultan of Kedah first came to this land in the 18th century, he built himself a palace. Although this palace no longer exists in the city, you will still discover a plaque created in his recognition.
The plaque is situated close to Dataran Alor Setar, and the locals recognize this place as the origin of this marvelous city. Thankfully, this location is accessible to the public.
5. Photograph the amazing Nobat Tower
In Dataran Alor Setar, Nobat Tower is the region’s most revered historical monument since its construction in 1906. Standing tall at 59 feet, Nobat Tower features a yellow dome and a building that showcased a variety of instruments only accessible to royals.
This famous site is one of the city’s main tourist attractions, and perfect for taking memorable photographs.
6. Check out the picturesque clock tower
Known as Menara Jam Besar among the locals, the magnificent Big Clock Tower lies next to the world-famous Zahir Mosque. The building boasts a blend of orange and yellow colors, imitating traditional colonial architecture.
The clock tower and its neighboring mosque were built around the same time. Back in the 1900s, the clock tower was used to alert citizens about prayer time. Many believe this to be the most picturesque clock tower in Malaysia.
7. Discover what it’s like to be a Sultan
On the Northern side of Dataran Alor Setar, the Sultan Museum is housed in a palace-like building resembling a European government office. This magnificent museum is applauded for showcasing some of the great Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah’s belongings, pictures, and documents.
This is the perfect place to learn about the great sultan, and it will surely entice any history buff. You will also catch a glimpse of his luxurious vehicles and watches in the museum.
8. Appreciate the beauty of the Zahir Mosque
The humongous Zahir Mosque in Alor Setar’s most prestigious landmark, and it is officially recognized as Kedah’s primary mosque. None of the other mosques in the region even compare to this mosque’s enthralling beauty. Dating back to 1912, this mosque has been constructed on the burial ground of Kedah’s martyrs during the Siamese invasion.
This mosque boasts five domes and has several complex carvings throughout its exterior and interior. As you enter the mosque, you will see an outstanding blue mosaic above you, and the walls are embedded with intricate Arabic Calligraphy.
9. Dine at the incredible Art Nature Café
Are you feeling exhausted and hungry from all the traveling? Come on down to the well-liked Art Nature Cafe in Alor Setar. This cafe serves mouth-watering local and international dishes such as Brown Rice Nasi, Wasabi Sauce Egg Toast, Laksa, burger, and so on.
To make things even better, the cafe has a peaceful atmosphere inside and features plants in every corner and adequate natural light. The seating arrangements are modern and very comfortable.
10. Take a tour of the astonishing Royal Hall
The astounding Royal Hall has a classic Kampong style architecture and is situated on the other side of the Zahir Mosque. This place is well-admired for hosting grandiose weddings and a variety of deluxe ceremonies and festivals.
Back in the 19th century, the Royal Hall was completely obliterated during the region’s war with the Siamese. Fortunately, this place was meticulously renovated from the ground up to resemble its former structure and design.
In Conclusion, Alor Setar is a marvelous city, and it offers tourists a great number of places to visit. It has some of the most picturesque national monuments in all of Malaysia. If you want to take a break from venturing through dense wilderness, make sure to visit the vibrant city for a different experience.