Today Kampung Raja is no more. Modern developments such as the building of the Langkawi International Airport have taken away the glory of this ancient capital of old Langkawi. Now known as Padang Mat Sirat, this state of infamy was supposed to have begun when the Chief of Langkawi, Datuk Kerma Jaya unjustifiably put Mahsuri to death. Legend has it that with her dying breath, Mahsuri laid a curse on the islands for seven generations.
It was not long after this tragic episode that the Siamese attacked Langkawi, swiftly making their way to Kampung Raja to commandeer the rice stockpile. The invader's 'blitzkreig' was to come to nought upon reaching the place as what was left was the smouldering mound of scorched rice.
So huge was the rice reserves at Kampung Raja that it took a long time for the fire to burn out. The remains of the scorched rice and Kampung Raja was soon buried under the ashes of time and the whole episode immortalised in the tragedy of Mahsuri.
Today, local visitors and tourists make a bee-line for the still remaining patch of ground where some grains of burnt rice would be revealed, especially after a rainy spell. The area has now been fenced up to protect the place from the relentless ravages of tourism.
Should you find yourself visiting this historic site, please remember that it is situated within the compounds of a private residence and the owner has taken it upon himself to maintain the area. Entrance is free but some donation is most welcome to help pay for the upkeep.
To reach the Malay house where the patch of ground holding the remains of the scorched rice is located, you will have to pass a gauntlet of small shops within a bazaar. These shops sell anything from cheap Thai-made clothes to authentic Langkawi traditional medicines such as the famous Golden Gamat (Berche de Mer),Tongkat Ali root (Longifolia Jack), Kacip Fatimah, and others.
There is a Pasar Malam (night market) right opposite the bazaar every Sunday.