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Kuala Selangor

"The fireflies in Kuala Selangor is the only place in this region where you can witness the sight of millions of fireflies flashing in synchrony, often referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. It is one of the must visit place of interest (POI) in Malaysia. You will be taken on a boat ride along the Selangor River where the fireflies inhibit around the branches of the “Berembang” trees along the riverbank. Here, up to thousands of fireflies may group together on a tree, beginning their display about one hour after sunset. A really bright display lasts for about two to three hours, continuing at lower levels until dawn."


Kuala Selangor is a quiet town at the river mouth of the Selangor river. The city center is near the new bridge. There are also some shops and there is the old bus station. Near the mosque there are also a  lot of shops, but the old shops are favourite. Specially to the Malaysians, who come here every weekend from Kuala Lumpur to see the picturesque lighthouse, Silverleaf Monkeys and the fireflies.
There is only one 3 star hotel in Kuala Selangor: De Palma Inn. Here you rent a chalet for about RM 108,-  The chalets do have a shower/toilet, refrigerator and a TV. 
There's a small swimming pool, where you'll meet the Silverleaf Monkeys early in the morning. Sometimes they are on the roof of your chalet. The hotel is very quiet hotel.  

The fireflies is the biggest attraction of  Kuala Selangor. When you stay in De Palma Inn,  a van of the hotel will take you to the fireflies in Bukit Belimbing at 20.00 hours. It's a short ride, about ten minutes. The boat trip starts in Kampong Bukit Belimbing. Along the shores of the Selangor river it's very dark. The river lurches through the jungle. The boat has an electric motor, so it doesn't make a sound. It would disturb the fireflies. First the trip takes you downstream. Suddenly you see the fireflies at the river banks. It looks like a Christmas tree with flashing lights. Sometimes you see them moving.
No flash pictures may be taken. It's so romantic: in the dark on the river, with the fireflies in the trees. You get lost in a wonder.....
Then the boat goes to the other side of the river and takes you upstream and again is there the spectacle of lights It's all so romantic.......

 

The second attraction of Kuala Selangor are the Silverleaf Monkeys. Those dark haired monkeys have a silver shining on their fur. The Silverleaf babies have orange fur as compared with the adults. After two months they get the silver colour of the elderly monkeys. The Silverleaf Monkeys are a delight to meet. They are gentle and seem to always have a thank you for every piece of food given.
You can also have a look at the Silverleaf Monkeys at the Kuala Selangor Nature Park. Here you can also rent a cabin for the night. In this Park they do also "bird watching".
We saw a large group of Silverleaf Monkeys at the lighthouse on "Bukit Melawati". This hill is also near the old center of Kuala Selangor, near the new bridge. In the weekend you can take a train ride to the lighthouse. Of course the train is pulled by a car.  
The way to the top of Bukit Melawati is winding en for a great part it's  "Jalan Sehala"  (one way traffic). Upstairs there are some stalls, where can have a drink or eat a little bit. 

A young man with roots in India, talked to me:. 
"Do you see the Silverleaf Monkeys up in that tree. Shall I call them for you?"
He didn't wait for an answer and went back to his motorbike, which seemed to be a lemonade- and bakery shop. He took some bread and  walked to the gate of the lighthouse, calling the Silverleaf Monkeys. The monkeys heard him shouting and they came down from their tree and rushed to the gate.
They walked to him and he handed one of them a piece of bread. They were waiting politely for another piece of bread. The weren't pushy like the other brown monkeys, the Long-Tailed Macaques, which hang around here for peanut handouts from visitors. The Siverleaf Monkeys are very polite and they wait till you hand them a piece of bread.
The guy from the lemonade- and bakery shop gave us the rest of the bread. And really it was breathtaking to see such friendly monkeys. 
It was a nice experience, because the long-tailed macaques, on the other hand, are generally a little more mischievous and if you turn your back for a second - you'd never know what they would do.

One Remark: Always be careful when feeding the monkeys. Although they have had many interactions with humans, we must remember that they are wild and wild animals tend to be erratic sometimes.

The third interesting sight is Bukit Belanda (Tanjong Keramat), the old fort Utrecht. It's on a small hiil on, just beside the road from the De Palma Inn and the city. It's just outside the school, which you will pass. The fort was built by sultan Ibrahim of Selangor, but Van Braam conquered the fort for the Dutch East India Company. Some old stones remind us to that time and the fort. 

A grave known as "Makan Anak Dara" lies in front of the fort. According to the local story an 18- year-old girl called Siti Aishah was buried here. She ran away from home to avoid a forced marriage. She was never seen again. Her clothes, however, were found hanging from a leban tree above this site.

If you are planning on driving from Kuala Lumpur , take the Sungai Buloh (Route 54) or if you are coming through the North-South PLUS Highway, exit at the Sungai Buloh signboard and follow the road signboard.

 

 

Interesting Places:

Kuala Selangor Nature Park - well known nature park for migratory and local birds & other animals at Kuala Selangor.

Kuala Selangor fishing village - fishing village with cheap seafood restaurants.

Pantai Remis - pristine beach beside Pantai Indah Resort, food and souvenir stalls open on weekends & public holidays. Stroll along the beach and collect shellfish or other group activities.

Mangrove Forest Reserve - serene mangrove
forest at Pantai Indah Resort, great for collecting seashells, small prawns, fishes, cockles, crabs, clams, hermit crabs. Excellent for educational tours and activities.

Bukit Malawati Historical Hill - where the site of the first Selangor Sultanate's Palace and Altingsburg light house are located.

Sekinchan Paddy Fields - well known as the golden rice fields of Malaysia.

Tanjung Karang fishing village - old fishing village with cheap seafood restaurants.

Kampung Kuantan Fireflies Sanctuary - well known fireflies sanctuary at Kuala Selangor.

Sungai Buloh New Market new market - selling lots of seafood and delicacies in Jeram.

Pasir Penambang market - selling fresh and dried seafood.

 

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   Ben van Wijnen

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