Journey along Merbok River reflects ancient Kedah Tua Kingdom era

The river journey, taking an hour and 30 minutes, also passes through three islands named Pulau Tiga, which are located near the site of the old palace.

18 Feb 2024 10:00pm

MERBOK - For someone who loves greenery and enjoys beautiful scenery, experiencing a journey along the Merbok River is certainly exciting, especially with the panoramic view of the sea and sunset.

Famously known as a trade route through the entrepôt port during the reign of the Kedah Tua Kingdom, it undoubtedly leaves a profound impression on history enthusiasts regarding the narrative of the iron early civilisation of Southeast Asia at Sungai Batu.

Exploring the Merbok River through the boat service packages provided by the Sungai Petani Municipal Council (MPSPK) via catamaran boats named Mahawangsa I and Mahawangsa II seems to evoke memories of the myth of the Merong Mahawangsa Chronicles associated with the area.

The river journey, taking an hour and 30 minutes, also passes through three islands named Pulau Tiga, located near the site of the old palace.

This riverside is also said to be a centre for making charcoal from wood, as evidenced by the many remains of Gok structures found.

To commemorate this, a replica of Gok has been built by MPSPK near the Semeling Jetty as a symbolic representation of this activity.

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MPSPK Tourism Division chief Mohd Farid Ismail said that the Merbok River, rich in the biodiversity of mangrove forests, has 40 of the most abundant mangrove species in the world compared to a total of 60 mangrove species worldwide.

He added that the area is also listed as a geopark due to its sustainable development of geological heritage sites for Geo tourism.

He emphasised that the main attraction in the Kuala Muda district is undoubtedly Sungai Batu, where the discovery of artifacts proves the existence of an administrative centre, ritual sites, iron smelting sites and ancient and hidden ports with 1,001 valuable treasures.

According to Farid, the position of Gunung Jerai is also a symbol of the greatness of the Old Kedah Kingdom that can be seen when crossing the Merbok River.

“To enhance visitors' knowledge, MPSPK has built three galleries, namely the Old Kedah Gallery, Geopark and Biodiversity Gallery at the Semeling Jetty.

“Apart from that visitors can also enjoy the beauty of the sunset if they choose the evening package,” he said.

He stressed that each local tourist is charged RM20 for adults, while international tourists are charged RM35 and can be booked in advance to facilitate movement.

"We are also planning various other activities to improve this package, including feeding eagles, as is famous in Langkawi," Farid added."