Merbok is a subdistrict in the district of Kuala Muda in the state of Kedah, Malaysia. Some other subdistricts in Kuala Muda are Tikam Batu, Padang Tembusu, Sungai Lalang, Bedong, Bukit Selambau, Sidam, Gurun, Semeling, Kota Kuala Muda and Tanjung Dawai.
Merbok’s name came about from the Langkasuka language terminology. The word ‘merbok’ itself means the declaratory place. Based on the Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa folk tale, Islam was declared as the official religion in Kedah was done in Kuala Merbok Port. The port was nearby which at that time was the Kedah capital, Bukit Meriam. The town Merbok’s name has no association with the bird Merbok.
Merbok is still an area in the state of Kedah. Hence making it part of the northern area of Malaysia. Malaysia will always have Bahasa Melayu as their main form of communication, however, the northern area of Malaysia would have a certain dialect to the language. However, they also communicate in English seeing Malaysia is a multicultural country. Moreover, tourists from all over the world are making English a more widely spoken language.
One can take a local flight such as Airasia or Malaysia Airlines and Firefly and fly Alor Setar Airport. There will be plenty of taxis waiting outside the airport to get the visitors to Merbok. The distance between the two places is 64 kilometres. It will take around 1 hour and 5 minutes to reach Merbok.
From Kuala Lumpur, visitors may take the North-South Expressway. Then visitors should follow the route towards Ipoh. Then they may take the exit 168 – Sg. Petani toward Sg. Petani/Baling. There will be further signboards to bring the visitors to Merbok.
From Kuala Lumpur, visitors may take buses from the many companies such as Sri Maju or Plusliner to go to Alor Setar. These buses can be found in Puduraya or Terminal Bersepadu Selatan. Then from Alor Setar, visitors may take the local bus to go to Merbok. They may also opt for a taxi to get to Merbok.
Forest Recreation Tupah is a forest area in Kuala Muda district. This place is 14 kilometres from Bedong and 54 kilometres from Alor Setar. The forest has a waterfall that attracts many people to come here and have a picnic and also to take a dip. The water is very cool and refreshing. Not to mention it’s all natural from the forest. It is recommended to go to this place via car or the route may be a bit long to walk. The road, however, is rather narrow so a skilled driver is needed. Since it is a famous spot for visitors, it is rather hard to look for parking on the weekends.
Bujang Valley is an archaeological site in Merbok, Kedah. There are still remains in this area that proves there was once a practice of Hindu – Buddhist in Merbok. Some have found that artefacts can age up to 2535 years old. More than 50 ancient tomb temples have been dug out here as well. Now and Archeological Museum is also located here. They have placed many artefacts that have been dug up here for display so that public may come and look at what has been left before. There are also excavations that have revealed jetty remains, iron smelting sites and clay brick monument.
This place was recently developed for tourism in Kedah. The best part of it all is the bots that are available for hire to cruise along the Merbok River. Visitors may stop at Tanjung Dawai as well before returning to Jeti Semeling. Visitors on this cruise may look at the mangrove that grows around the area. If the time is right, the visitors may be able to catch the sunset.