The Northern Region, locally referred to as “Utara,” encompasses the states of Perlis, Kedah, Penang, and Perak. This region is renowned for its rich history, cultural diversity, and natural beauty, representing a fusion of traditional charm and modern attractions.


The Northern Region lies in the northwest part of Peninsular Malaysia. It is bordered by Thailand to the north, the Straits of Malacca to the west, and the states of Kelantan and Pahang to the east and south, respectively. The region boasts a mix of scenic beaches, limestone caves, and lush rice paddies.


The Northern Region holds historical significance as one of the earliest settled areas in Malaysia. Kedah is among the oldest sultanates, predating even the Malacca Sultanate. Penang, once a part of Kedah, became a bustling port under British colonial rule. Perak had a central role during the tin-mining boom of the 19th century, while Perlis, historically under Kedah, has its unique legacy with Thai influences.

Highlights of Things to Do

  • Perlis:
    • Gua Kelam: A walkable limestone cave.
    • Tasik Melati Recreational Park: Serene lakes set amidst a park, ideal for relaxation.
  • Kedah:
    • Alor Setar Tower: A broadcasting tower offering panoramic views of the city.
    • Paddy Museum: A unique museum showcasing the significance of rice cultivation.
  • Penang:
    • George Town: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its British colonial buildings, Chinese shophouses, and vibrant street art.
    • Penang Hill: A hill resort with panoramic views of the island.
  • Perak:
    • Ipoh: Known for its British colonial landmarks and a hub for food lovers.
    • Perak Cave: A limestone hill comprising of temples and caves.

How to Get In and Out

  • By Air: Penang International Airport in Penang and Sultan Azlan Shah Airport in Ipoh serve both domestic and international flights.
  • By Train: The Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) train service connects major towns and cities within the Northern Region and extends to Thailand and the southern parts of Malaysia.
  • By Road: The North-South Expressway runs through the region, connecting it to the southern states and Thailand. Regular buses also operate between states and major cities.
  • By Sea: Penang has ferry services connecting to the mainland and Langkawi. It also boasts cruise ship ports for international travelers.

The Northern Region of Malaysia offers a diverse experience for travelers, blending natural beauty with historical and cultural treasures. Whether you’re looking to explore ancient temples, unwind on sandy beaches, or delve into local cuisines, the Northern Region has something for everyone.