Baling is a great stopover if you are driving up the hills of Kedah to the northern Perak and Kelantan.
Located at the base of a major limestone hill with temple caves, Baling is typical Malaysian town with Chinese residents and surrounding Malay villages who are farmers and fruit growers.
Baling is well known in Malaysian history in the period of Communist uprising when the first Prime Minister of Malaysia Tengku Abdul Rahman Putra negotiated with Malayan Communist Party Leader Chin Peng on conditions of surrender and peace. Though the negotiation was a failure, this place has been a place in history.
On top of Kedah Peak, 1200 m, you can see an amazing view of the flat rice fields below and the coastline of Kedah of the Straits of Melaka that leads to the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean.
There are also some off shore islands including Pulau Bidan where a long bridge has been built connecting the mainland to the island.
The air is really refreshing cool and you will need a light jacket at night when it gets colder and windier. There is a hotel with room and chalets and you can have a light meal at the hotel. There is a small indoor sports hall and then nothing else.
Also there is pathway that leads to a waterfall for a short trek.
There are school children who walked up along the road - about 15 km. A shorter jungle hike from Yan is done by local scouts but you must be prepared and have someone who is familiar with the trail as it is a challenging jungle hike.
It is highly recommended to come up by just driving and see a majestic view at the top of the world.
Along the way up Kedah Peak, we were surprised by a troop of monkeys who will wait for passing car by the roadside. When we stopped, all the monkeys will come near to car and wait for food. So bring along some wholesome fruits like bananas or groundnuts.
What was delightful was that they all stand on two legs and do a "begging" posture.
Be careful as many parents stopped their cars in the middle of the road for the children to see the monkeys close up.
Also noticed that the monkey leader has lost a limb. Perhaps ran over by a vehicle. So drive slowly to avoid other cars and friendly monkeys "Macaques".
In the picture, the monkeys quickly lost interest with us as we did not bring any food but quickly turned to their right as they hear another approaching car.
Sungei Petani famous landmark is the Clock Tower.
It was built in 1936 by a local Chinese businessman Lim Leang Teng to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary.
The tower is located at the north end of the main road passing through downtown Sungai Petani.
This is the new icon of Alor Setar, the second tallest telecommunication tower in Malaysia. Although it is not as tall as KL Tower, it can be seen wherever you are in Alor Setar.
The height is 166m and there are two viewing stations, an outdoor and an indoor. As there are not many tall buildings in Alor Setar, you will see the entire town and miles of rice fields in all direction, Kedah Peak as well as the sea coast and off shore islands.
At night, with the lighting of Menara Alor Setar, it is like a light house in the middle of a sea of rice fields.
Kedah is an agricultural state in Malaysia & rice is the main product for their agriculture efforts. The padi fields give spectacular views & the fields will normally merge with the horizon. Give you the "Ocean of Field" kind of view.
Best view of padi field will be slightly before harvest season, where the entire field is painted with golden color. Partly due to rice grains that ripen & also the field will left dry to ease the harvest activities.
We heard of the water fall within walking distance from the camp site..
However.. we all are in low morale after realized that out breakfast had been robbed by the monkeys.. no mood to trek anymore..
All we left are 2 cans of tuna, which the monkeys do not now how to open.. without bread.. so everyone has no mood for the waterfall.. keep the tent and clear the **** those unethical monkeys left inside the tent...
Meantime one of my friend still patiently completing his task.. catch insects for his biology major girl friends.. =S!!
We met the only Gunung Jerai guide at the night near the campsite. He told us, this is the only mountain in Malaysia that you can have both the land and sea view.
The view from the peak is so amazing that you can have half the coast and anothe half of it is laid by the padi field in Alor Setar.
There is a beautiful waterfall in Bukit Hijau. Natural and relaxing.
The waterfall is far better than hotspring.. In hotspring, it is always too hot to swim inside the pool.. only putting your leg inside.. but in waterfall is different.. we play inside the water and stand under the fall taking pictures and shouting as if we are back to the childhood. =)
In the picture- it was so stupid and pain standing under the waterfall and we did that just to make this picture taken..
The water is sooo hot.. around 50 degree celcius..
There are more and more people in the midnight.. 1 to 2am in the morning, and it was a rainy night..
Morning is rather cool.. less people, fresh air and new filled pool.
Since no water sports on the lake during middle of the year, no choice, we have our simple picnic in a small hut near the swimming pool in hotel. The only food we prepared is -- tuna sandwich. The tuna was left by the monkeys in Gunung Jerai because they dont know how to open the cans.. =S
Pedu Lake is a well-known destination for holiday. Howver, it is better to pay a visit in the end of the year. Other than the end of the year, the lake is quite dry-out.
Water sports stopped as well in mid year due to the low water level.
Off Kedah mainland, there is this legendary Pulau Dayang Bunting (Pregnant Maiden). You can visit this island as part of the Island Hoping package by any Langkawi tour agencies.
Do pay attention to the shape of the hills. Amazing huh!!!
The Gunung Jerai is the tallest mountain in the entire rice field plain. It provides significant landmark for sailor centuries ago, way before any GPS or satellite systems existed. Gunung Jerai also provides good catchments for water whenever it rains.
FYI, growing rice is very dependant on the amount of water available for watering.
This harvester will facilitate in harvesting, the automation of this task really help to speed up the harvesting process & yield more profits. Reason, overripe padi grain will fall on the ground & goes to waste.
Small personable 34 room boutique hotel with all sea facing rooms Small, friendly and personablemore
1536-G Jalan Sultan Badlishah, Alor Setar, Kedah, 05000, Malaysia
Good for: Business
Batu 1 3/4 Kelibang, , Kedah, 07000, Malaysia
Good for: Couples