While searching the internet for tour operators in Malaysia to take me and my kids on day excursions I did find quite a few including MM Adventures.
I sent a number of emails to various operators to enquire about their tours and services. Some responded but most failed to adequately answer my many questions except for Michael.
After sending a lot of emails to Michael, the owner of MM Aventures, I made the decision to book three separate day trips from KL including White Water Rafting, Caving, the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary and the Fireflies at Kuala Selangor.
Michael even called me on the phone at home one Sunday morning to answer some of my many questions.
I made a wise choice in booking because Michael was generous with sharing his wealth of local knowledge and making it easy for us to experience local foods and customs of all the places we visited.
MM Adventure Services will definitely be my choice of tour operator when I return to Malaysia. Check out Michael's website, which he constructed, for the many tours available with MM Adventure Services.
Fondest memory: Michael made many impromptu stops to sample freshly cut fruits in season including the infamous king of fruits, the durian. As well as trying various roti breads with curry dipping sauces washed down with a hot teh tarik, an aerated tea sweetened with condensed milk.
We also made a stop at a roadside stall for some lemang , which is a traditional food cooked in a hollowed bamboo stick lined with banana leaf to prevent the rice from sticking to the bamboo. The bamboo is split while you wait and the moist, firm roll of rice is cut into bite sized pieces and then dipped in tasty sauces not unlike a rendang sauce.
All that is left of Bukit Melawati are a couple of cannons from the old forts, foundation stones and also a rock that is believed to have been used for executions. The view from the peak of the hill is breahtaking and lovely. The entire delta can be seen and much of the mangrove swamps still exist, lining the coastal plains.
There is also a lighthouse (the Altingsburg lighthouse) and several old colonial houses built during the British days (although a few houses looked abandoned when I was there!).
In the late 18th century, the second Sultan of Selangor had a fortress constructed on the hill to protect the state from intruders. The hill provided a vantage point to monitor ships in the Straits of Malacca. However, the Dutch destroyed the existing fortifications on the hill during their 1784 invasion and built a European-style castle naming it Fort Altingsburg (named after their commander).
Favorite thing: Situated at the mouth of Selangor river, it covers approximately 497 acres of mangroves and mudflats which is home to various flora and fauna. Two watchtowers and hide-outs have been constructed to aid bird-watching. The park also has a man-made lake that provides a roosting and feeding sites for various birds. You can spot otters, leopard cats and the silver-leafed monkeys here. The park, managed by the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) has well-marked trails for jungle-trekking.
Favorite thing: Several families of the silverleaf monkeys and long-tailed macaques hang around the peak of Bukit Melawati for food handouts from visitors. The adorable silverleaf monkeys are gentler than the more mischievous macaques. Visitors will be delighted watching the free-roaming monkeys in the area.
Favorite thing: On the summit of Bukit Melawati is a lighthouse (Altingsburg Lighthouse), still in working condition but out of bounds to the public. Nearby is a small pavillion (Baitul Hilal) where religious authorities gather to sight the new moon before Ramadhan and Syawal begins.
Favorite thing: On the way down Bukit Melawati is the mausoleum where the remains of the first three Sultans of Selangor lay. A "penggawa" or chief cannon, ceremoniously draped in yellow cloth, sits in the mausoleum.
Favorite thing: The fireflies shine at night to attract mates whilst feeding on the young shoots of the "Berembang" trees. On a dark, moonless night, the surrounding trees in the area look like Christmas trees with lights!
Kampung Kuantan, located about 15 minutes drive from Kuala Selangor is the best place to see firefly in close distance.
Fondest memory: I've visited Kg. Kuantan together with a few Japanese friends. Usually, 4 in a boat or 'sampan' in Malay words, and all you have to do is sit still while enjoying the river cruise. Please do not 'flash' photo!
Favorite thing: Near Kuala Selangor there is a hill that dominates the Strait of Malacca. Due to its strategic position, the Dutch built a fort here. There is almost nothing left from it, but there are a lot of langur donkeys around which make the delights of all the tourists (unlike the macaques, these are always very friendly and never bite).
Favorite thing: The fireflies found in Kuala Selangor are not flies, they are actually a family of the "Lampyridae" beetles.
There is 5 of of us from left: Samson from Kenya, Andy from Germany, me , Stephan from Germany and Emanuel from Canada.
we have a lots of fun together.