"Kampung Siam" Kampong Siam by l_joo

Kampong Siam Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 6 photos

On 1st August 2005, I drove a day starting from Butterworth to Gurun on exit T173, taking the direction Jeniang towards Sik and all the way, Nami, Naka, Pokok Sena, Alor Setar and back. At first, I did not expect to see so many Siamese temples, but upon arriving, I began to contemplate about the history of Kedah state especially when looking at these Indo-Chinese or Hindu-Buddhism architectures, some old historical names like Pattani, Langkasuka, etc appeared and made me want to find out more about its past.

" According to many historical sources, the ancient Hindu-Malay empire of Langkasuka was centered in Pattani, today's southern Thailand, which encompasses of modern Malaysia states Kelantan, Terengganu and northern Kedah, as well as modern Thai provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Songkhla and Satun. While when exactly Pattani was Islamized is in debate, it was certainly one of the earliest Malay kingdoms to adopt the Middle Eastern religion around mid-13th Century. The kingdom adopted the name 'Patani' under the rule of Sultan Ismail Shah. According to local folklore, he was finding a spot for the kingdom's new capital, and when he arrived to the place he liked best, he shouted 'Pantai Ini!' which means in Malay, 'This Beach!' According to most accounts, this capital is thought to be today's modern Kru Se (Kampung Grisek).... "

" In 1788, when it became apparent that the British had no intentions of aiding him, Abdullah tried to expel Light from Penang. Light, anticipating such a move, managed to repel this challenge and consequently forced Abdullah to sign over Penang on 11th May 1791. In 1800, a tract of land on the peninsula mainland, Butterworth, was signed over to the British as well. In 1821, the Siamese conquered Kedah and ruled it for the next 20 years. Several attempts were made by the disposed Kedah Sultan to amass military support and restore the kingdom. Eventually Siam acquiesced, but not before separating Perlis from Kedah to form a separate vassal principality. Kedah itself remained a Siamese vassal state until 1909. On 9th July 1909, the Bangkok Agreement, which was ratified by the British and Siamese, effectively delivered Kedah to the British. Upon the appointment of Sir George Maxwell as Kedah's British adviser, Kedah officially became a British colony. This lasted until the Japanese Invasion in 1941. British rule resumed on 1 September 1946 and Kedah was placed under the British Military Administration.... "

...17th century saw Kedah faced with ravage attacks from the Portuguese and the Achinese. In the 18th century, Penang, which was, once belonged to Kedah, was handed over to the British in compensation for the latter?s protection from Thai attacks. However, Kedah still fell to the Thais in 1821. In 1909, the Thais handed over Kedah to the British when a British Adviser was appointed to advise the Sultan on state matters. After the Japanese occupation, Kedah joined the Malayan Union and subsequently the Federation of Malaya in 1948. Thus the present Royal family can trace its line to the Hindu times. The Kedah Sultanate began when Maharaja Derbar Raja the first ruler who converted to Islam and changed his name to Sultan Muzaffar Shah. He ruled from 1136-1179AD. Since then there have been 27 Sultans who ruled Kedah. Before Sultan Muzaffar, 8 Maharajas had ruled Kedah and this shows the Kedah Sultanate is the oldest Sultanate in the region. Kedah is also the site of some of the earliest known stone-age artifacts....

  • Last visit to Kampong Siam: Jan 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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