The states of Kedah and Perlis represent a rural idyll that is central to the Malay identity. Limestone pillars thrust up through emerald paddy fields, which contribute to the harvest of over half of the country’s domestic rice supply. Not that many foreigners see this. In fact, most travellers would draw a blank if you asked them about Kedah. That’s because almost everyone knows this state by its biggest island: Langkawi. And justifiably so. Langkawi's glorious clear waters and luxurious wide beaches warrant the attention they receive.
Perlis, Malaysia's smallest state, has an even lower profile. Like Kedah it borders Thailand and most travellers simply rush through it on their way up there. Their loss; this friendly corner of the country is part of the Malay heartland and well worth a visit.