My mother is from Kedah, one of the states in northern Malaysia, bordering Thailand. Kedahans have their own dialect, but as compared to Kelantanese dialect, the Kedah dialect is still intelligible to most Malaysians. Situated at the northern part of Malaysia, personally I think that the weather is hotter there as compared to the Klang Valley. It is a different kind of heat though. While the Klang Valley is hot because of development, in Kedah, it is hot because it is just… hot.
One thing I love the most about my mom’s hometown is the travelling part. I think I have a keen interest on travelling because of this. Every year during Hari Raya or the Eid celebration, my family will be looking forward to the 400+ km journey on the road, along the North-South Expressway and sometimes, along the old trunk road. Ever since I was a little boy until the grown up man I am now, I am still looking forward for the trip up north.
Although the journey is just for 400 km, the view offered along the way is awesome and splendid. Imagine, driving on the mountain range along the highway with deep lush forests on the left and right side, accompanying us throughout the journey. There is also a long tunnel that we have to pass through, one of the earliest road tunnels in Malaysia.
I still remember, during my childhood days, when my siblings and I were asleep in the car, my parents would wake us up when we reached the tunnel. “Bangun-bangun, terowong! / Wake up, wake up, it is the tunnel!”. We would wake up, rub our eyes and jumped excitedly upon seeing the tunnel in front of our eyes. Back then, road tunnel were only available at the North-South Expressway (Menora Tunnel) and the Karak Highway (Karak Tunnel). That is why we were too excited to see one every year.
Recently, a new road to my mom hometown was constructed. Instead of going further north, we would exit at the royal town of Kuala Kangsar (click here to see one of the oldest palaces in Kuala Kangsar) in the state of Perak, proceed to Gerik and end up in my mom’s hometown in Baling. I love this new road because of the view. Driving along the road in early morning, thick fog will be everywhere covering the mountains along the way. Greenery is everywhere. We would turn off the car’s air conditioner and feel the natural breeze of air.
Sometimes, during this yearly trip to Kedah, my family will visit one of my bestfriends’ house in Changlun, a small town at the northern-most part of Kedah, close to the Thailand’s border. Here, we will be greeted by the lush greenery of paddy fields and clear bright skies. Train tracks running side by side with the highway and if lucky, the train coming from Kuala Lumpur heading to Hat Yai can be spotted. Even at dusk, the skies are beautiful here. Such amazing views.
Have you been to the northern part of Malaysia? Do you love the ambiance there?