Discover with Timothy Tye
Discover Sungai Petani, Kedah, with Timothy Tye

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Sungai Petani Clock TowerSungai Petani Clock Tower (23 August, 2015)


B. Melayu

Sungai Petani (GPS: 5.64195, 100.48954; Jawi: سوڠاي ڤتاني) is the second biggest city in Kedah, after the capital Alor Setar. It is popularly known as S.P. Located to the south of Kedah, Sungai Petani is closer to Penang than to Alor Setar. (The influence of Penang is apparent in that most of the cars on the roads in Sungai Petani bear the Penang registration plate.) In the 1990's it was the second fastest growing town in Malaysia after Johor Bahru, but the pace has somewhat stalled since the recession of the late 90's.

How to reach Sungai Petani

Sungai Petani is 35 km north of Butterworth. You can reach itby car or by train. If you are going by car, take the North-South Expressway to Exit 168 (Sungai Petani South) or Exit 170 (Sungai Petani North). By train, take the KTM Electric Train Service, which serves the Sungai Petani Railway Station between Kuala Lumpur and Padang Besar.

Where to stay in Sungai Petani

There are a few hotels in Sungai Petani. When asked to suggest where to stay, I would suggest the one where I have stayed before, and have enjoyed my stay there. That one is Cinta Sayang Resort. The resort has its own golf course and also owns The Carnivall water themepark next door.

Map of Sungai Petani

One of my aims with this travel guide is to help people planning to explore Sungai Petani find all the important sights easily. To do this, I am providing you the GPS coordinates for the places that I have identified.

Where to go in Sungai Petani

The Carnivall Water Theme Park

The Carnivall is the only water theme park in Sungai Petani. It has many slides of various heights. One can also go horse riding here, among other activities. The theme park is ideal for children and grown ups.

Details

Places of Interest in Sungai Petani

  1. Amanjaya Mall (GPS: 5.67365, 100.50982)
  2. Arked Niaga Pekan Rabu (GPS: 5.67365, 100.50982)
  3. Central Square (GPS: 5.6364, 100.48854)
  4. [email protected] (GPS: 5.63965, 100.48171)
  5. Church of Christ the King (GPS: 5.64981, 100.48966)
  6. Cinta Sayang Resort (GPS: 5.65877, 100.51876)
  7. Econsave Bandar Petani Jaya (GPS: 5.62192, 100.54005)
  8. Econsave Taman Petani Jaya (GPS: 5.63138, 100.48777)
  9. Eupe Food Court (GPS: 5.65276, 100.51747)
  10. Giant Hypermarket Sungai Petani (GPS: 5.61645, 100.4716)
  11. HSBC Building (GPS: 5.64248, 100.48875)
  12. Kelab Sungai Petani (GPS: 5.64113, 100.48907)
  13. Kompleks Cayman (GPS: 5.63949, 100.4846)
  14. Merbok River Jetty Complex (GPS: 5.68223, 100.46828)
  15. Persatuan Pendidikan Akhlak Meng Lip Sean Kor (GPS: 5.69996, 100.52228)
  16. Petani Parade (GPS: 5.61288, 100.48455)
  17. Restoran Hussain Nasi Kandar (GPS: 5.64061, 100.48308)
  18. SP Plaza (GPS: 5.64516, 100.48858)
  19. Sri Suvbramaniya Swami Devasthanam Hindu Temple (GPS: 5.63857, 100.49267)
  20. Sultan Muzaffar Shah Mosque (GPS: 5.64716, 100.4877)
  21. Sultan Mudzaffar Shah I's Tomb (GPS: 5.68591, 100.4478)
  22. Sungai Petani Clock Tower (GPS: 5.64324, 100.48901)
  23. Sungai Petani Club (GPS: 5.64589, 100.48446)
  24. Sungai Petani Police Station (GPS: 5.64113, 100.48907)
  25. Sungai Petani Railway Station (GPS: 5.64302, 100.48975)
  26. Taman Jubli Perak (GPS: 5.64665, 100.48466)
  27. Tesco Sungai Petani, (GPS: 5.66146, 100.50187)
  28. Tesco Sungai Petani Selatan, (GPS: 5.62256, 100.47585)
  29. The Carnivall Waterpark (GPS: 5.66099, 100.52494)
  30. Ukir Square (Sungai Petani Express Bus Terminal), (GPS: 5.64302, 100.48975)
  31. Village Mall, (GPS: 5.66019, 100.50144)
  32. Wat Chaisuwan Pradittharam, (GPS: 5.59993, 100.46941)

Categories of sights in Sungai Petani

Petrol Stations in Sungai Petani

  1. BHP Jalan Kampung Baru (GPS: 5.636112, 100.486216)
  2. BHP Jalan Kuala Ketil (GPS: 5.634527, 100.501672)
  3. Caltex Lagenda Heights (GPS: 5.664149, 100.503565)
  4. Caltex Taman Sejati Indah (GPS: 5.614724, 100.482425)
  5. Petron Jalan Badlishah (GPS: 5.646336, 100.491869)
  6. Petron Jalan Bakar Arang (GPS: 5.630687, 100.481025)
  7. Petron Jalan Kampung Baru (GPS: 5.635361, 100.485506)
  8. Petron Sungai Lalang (GPS: 5.679945, 100.508195)
  9. Petronas Jalan Bakar Arang (GPS: 5.635361, 100.485506)
  10. Petronas Jalan Kuala Ketil (GPS: 5.634516, 100.501151)
  11. Petronas Taman Ria (GPS: 5.663839, 100.504402)
  12. Petronas Taman Sri Wang (GPS: 5.618200, 100.498071)
  13. Shell Jalan Kampung Baru (GPS: 5.636010, 100.485889)
  14. Shell Jalan Kuala Ketil (GPS: 5.636054, 100.499569)

Banks in Sungai Petani

  1. Affin Bank, Amanjaya (GPS: 5.670139, 100.506664)
  2. Al-Rajhi Bank, Lagenda Heights (GPS: 5.657477, 100.501020)
  3. AmBank, Taman Petani Jaya (GPS: 5.638179, 100.488809)
  4. Bank Islam, Lagenda Heights (GPS: 5.657188, 100.500876)
  5. Bank Islam, SP Plaza (GPS: 5.645012, 100.488816)
  6. Bank Simpanan Nasional, Amanjaya (GPS: 5.671943, 100.509051)
  7. Bank Islam, Jalan Ibrahim (GPS: 5.641803, 100.489106)
  8. Bank Islam, SP Plaza (GPS: 5.645012, 100.488816)
  9. Bank Simpanan Nasional, Jalan Ibrahim (GPS: 5.644582, 100.489543)
  10. Bank Islam, SP Plaza (GPS: 5.645012, 100.488816)
  11. Bank Muamalat, Perdana Heights (GPS: 5.671292, 100.506927)
  12. Bank RHB Islamic Bank, Perdana Heights (GPS: 5.670593, 100.506841)
  13. CIMB Bank, Jalan Kampung Baru (GPS: 5.636602, 100.487208)
  14. Hong Leong Bank, Lagenda Heights (GPS: 5.664214, 100.503137)
  15. Hong Leong Bank, Jalan Kampung Baru (GPS: 5.636137, 100.487358)
  16. HSBC Sungai Petani (GPS: 5.642428, 100.488709)
  17. Maybank, Lagenda Heights (GPS: 5.659041, 100.501605)
  18. OCBC Al-Amin, Lagenda Heights (GPS: 5.659222, 100.501358)
  19. Rakyat Xcess (GPS: 5.641456, 100.489181)

Hospitals in Sungai Petani

  1. Amanjaya Specialist Centre (GPS: 5.673145, 100.510778)
  2. Hospital Sultan Abdul Halim (GPS: 5.668459, 100.516351)
  3. Klinik Kesihatan Daerah Kuala Muda (GPS: 5.647550, 100.497271)
  4. Metro Specialist Hospital (GPS: 5.629068, 100.510080)
  5. Pantai Hospital Sungai Petani (GPS: 5.672398, 100.513262)

Mosques in Sungai Petani

  1. Masjid Abdul Rahman (GPS: 5.64094, 100.48491)
  2. Masjid Al-Muhsinin (GPS: 5.63521, 100.50106)
  3. Masjid Batu Dua (GPS: 5.63184, 100.52109)
  4. Masjid Pengkalan Lebai Man (GPS: 5.63271, 100.4947)
  5. Masjid Sultan Abdul Halim (GPS: 5.6514, 100.51863)
  6. Masjid Sultan Muzaffar Shah (GPS: 5.64716, 100.4877)
  7. Masjid Taman Keladi (GPS: 5.61623, 100.50577)
  8. Masjid Taman Ria (GPS: 5.66145, 100.50827)

Places of Interest in the vicinity of Sungai Petani

  1. Bukit Hijau: Recreational forest popular with local picnickers.
  2. Gunung Jerai: Highest peak in Kedah, with panoramic views all around.
  3. Kuala Muda: Local fishing port and village, a good place to buy fresh seafood and watch the fishing boats come to shore.
  4. Lembah Bujang Archaeological Museum: The best known archaeological site in Kedah, with remains of Hindu temples from as early as the 4th century AD.
  5. Lunas: Town near Sungai Petani, popular among the locals for its roasted duck delicacies.
  6. Sungai Sedim: Recreational forest with water sports and elevated canopy walk.

About Sungai Petani

Perhaps the most famous landmark in Sungai Petani is the Sungai Petani Clock Tower. In the last few years, the town has seen rapid development, both in terms of residential as well as commercial development. In recent years, a number of large shopping malls have opened in Sungai Petani, among them Amanjaya Mall and Village Mall.

There aren't many sightseeing places within Sungai Petani town itself. However, there are several interesting sights within a short distance out of town, including Gunung Jerai, Lembah Bujang, Kuala Muda, Tanjung Dawai, Bukit Hijau and Sungai Sedim, to name a few.

Etymology of Sungai Petani

Until the 1980's, Sungai Petani was spelled as Sungai Patani. Very old documents, for example those from 1928 and earlier, transcribes it as Sungei Pattani. There are several theories as to how the town got its name. The most simplistic explanation is that it derived its name from a river that flows through that area, one Sungai Patani. However, the river itself may have derived its name from Pattani, in southern Thailand. Some scholars believe that there had been a trade route between the Kingdom of Langkasuka, in Pattani, and the Merbok estuary, in Kedah. Misguided language purists changed the spelling of the town from Sungai Patani to Sungai Petani. In the attempt to pin the town name with a meaningful word - to them, at least - they have distorted the toponym of the town.

When I met with Sungai Petani-born historian, Dato V. Nadarajan (on 11 August 2015), he told me that the town had existed since ancient times, and was most likely named after Pattani. This is seconded by the Sungai Petani Municipal Council1, which states that the name came from the Sanskrit Pathini, which means "pure woman", which refers to a title given to a Merong Mahawangsa princess in the pre-Islamic era. Over time, it evolved to Patani before eventually transitioning to Petani, which means farmer in Malay.

The river flowing through the town is called Sungai Petani, but was originally known as Sungai Bertanding. A tributary of Sungai Merbok, it was renamed considering it is the main river flowing through the town.

Sungai Petani is on the map of Kedah

References

List of Towns in Kedah and Towns in Malaysia

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