The Baling district is a small town, in southeastern Kedah, Malaysia and is approximately at 56 km from Sungai Petani town. It is also located about 110 km from Alor Setar, it borders Perak and Betong, the southernmost town of Thailand about an hour drive from there.
Baling was once declared by Malayan government as the state of emergency, where there were war against communist guerrillas occurred in 1948 through 1960.
Baling has gotten its name coming from the story of Raja Bersiong or The Fanged King, a popular legend of Kedah, recorded in the famous manuscript Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa. Raja Bersiong was a ruthless vampire-like king with a taste for human blood who preyed on his subjects. His subjects finally rose against him and burned down the residing palace at the Old Kedah capital in Lembah Bujang. When the fanged king fled his palace, he fled to a place named Merbau and began removing his fangs by twisting them by hand. As a result of the twisting act, Merbau was renamed as Merbau Pulas where pulas in Malay means twisting.
After the king had successfully removed both his fangs, he threw them away to a faraway place. The place where he stood when he threw his fangs is known as Baling which means throw and the place believed to be the site where the fangs landed was named Siong, which means fang in Malay. Siong is one of the sections in Baling district. Baling district has eight sections altogether, namely Bakai, Baling town, Bongor, Kupang, Pulai, Siong, Tawar and Teloi Kanan.
The name Baling is also from Thai language ‘Ba Taling’ meaning river bank.
The most common way to get to Baling town is via road. One can drive via the North-South Highway (PLUS), taking the exit at Sungai Petani Selatan and head to Baling town following the signage around.
Baling is the gateway to the East Coast for Kedah and Penang motorists. Baling is also the northern end of Highway 76 which begins in Kuala Kangsar, Perak and connects to the border town of Pengkalan Hulu.
Baling Clock Tower is the most famous landmark that situated in front of Baling town mosque, built to commemorate independence of Malaysia in 1957. The clock is still ticking until today and standing tall with the embossed word “MERDEKA” below its face, which means independence.
Several other places of interest in Baling district are mainly attract nature lovers. Bukit Hijau Recreational Forest located approximately at 20 km from Baling town is famous for its amazing seven level cascading waterfalls that create seven pools of cool, refreshing crystal clear water. Lata Bayu Recreational Forest is also known for its 20 m cascading waterfalls that forms a pool called Lubuk Lesong, making it an ideal spot for picnicking and swimming activities.
Ulu Legong Hot Spring Recreational Center located at about 30 km to the North East of Baling town offers a different experience. The natural hot spring water has a wonder healing properties from the mineral rich water.
The picturesque scenery from the peak of the Baling Hill is a rewarding experience. Baling Hill at height of 420 m has been well known to hikers for its limestone and karst formations.
Hotel Baling has a very good location, situated at the centre of Baling town. It offers splendid service together with wide range of facilities provided.
One of the most common preferred hotel situated in Baling town. This hotel is likable by many tourist travelling solo, accompanied with friends or family.