Fireflies are also known “Lightning Bugs” and they shine brightly at the night to attract a partner. While we humans tend to chat up our prospective partners, fireflies send each other little light signals. Apparently they shine during the day too but we just can't see it.
They are only seen at night in “Berembang” trees along the Selangor River. I could not spot any in the palm or any other tree for that matter. The overall effect is just like the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree.
I don't have any pictures to show you because it's difficult to get a long camera exposure from a moving boat. And using a flash is not allowed and pointless anyway.
I visited the Firefly Park as a part of the MM Adventures Firefly Tour which included a seafood feast and a visit to the Lighthouse and Silver-Leafed Monkeys at Bukit Melawati.
Just a small piece of advice... do try to avoid tours on moonlit nights as the ambient light is enough to make the fireflies difficult to see except in tree darkened corners.
I know of two places where you can catch them. One's at Kampung Belimbing, the other is Kampung Kuantan. From the highway nearest would be Kg Kuantan. That's the one I took and it was good. Not too sure bout Kg Belimbing's.
Perhaps I am over ambitious, I am interested in seeing the little deviations from the ordinary. For the vicinity of Kuala Selangor, I have drawn up here an example of a typical day's program covering the list of interests I have mentioned. You can adjust and pick those items that you fancy. In fact for me, there could be even more side trips that I would check on during my visit to the place. Browsing through the pictures together with this page, few items not mentioned on this list. By the way, I am there monthly to check on bird life in that area and at the same time keeping an eye on physical changes in the area.
Proposed agenda for a day trip to Kuala Selangor.
8.00 am - Arrival in Kuala Selangor Nature Park - walking through Malaysian secondary forest, mangrove forest. For Fauna & Flora, also doing bird watching
11.00 am - Hike up Bukit Melawati for the museum, well, execution stone, Rest House, historical Fort and the Dutch Lighthouse. Photograph the Silver-leaves Langur
Noon - Have lunch in Pasir Penampang Sea Food Restaurant. Or stay on to try the traditional Hainanese cooking at the Government Rest House. Fantastic view of the town and river as you have your meal.
2.30 pm - Adjourned to see life in the rice fields. Beautiful scenery and stop by their stalls. Fruits like Mangos, bananas and sweet corns are the common items for sales by the roadside. See the local customs and practices.
5.30 pm - Back to Bukit Melawati to watch sunset over the Malacca Straits
7.30 pm - Dinner in Tanjong Tengkorak - a dilapidated wooden shack within a small fishing community with boardwalk as alley
10.00 pm - Join the crowd and take Fireflies tours
11.30 pm - Return to Kuala lumpur.
There are many more eateries and places of interests that you may discovered.
In fact the local are in Kuala Selangor for quite a different purpose besides those as mentioned by me. They would look for fresh fishes, the by-products from the marine industry like dried prawn fritters, fish balls, sometimes cockles and mussels.
This market sells dried and fresh seafood... Fresh catches from the sea and preserve marine products such as fish and prawn crackers and shrimp paste can be found in abundance here... Fresh fish are only available at certain times of the day when the fisherman return from the sea...
Bukit Melawati is actually a fort built on top of a hill in the late 18th century by the second Sultan of Selangor to fortify his position... All that remains today are pieces of the foundation, some cannons and lots of monkeys... The silver-leaf monkeys, grey in colour, are gentle and accepts food from visitors gratefully... On the other hand, the more common long-tailed macaques are rascals and will not hestitate to steal food when you are looking... There is also a lighthouse, a royal mausoleum and a rest house here...
The park, also known as Taman Alam, is a sanctuary fro many different types of flora and fauna... It offers visitors the chance to witness life in a mangrove swamp, complete with mosquitoes and scent of muddy peat... Wildlife such as otters, leopard cats, silver-leaf monkeys, mudskippers, king crabs and 156 species of birds can be spotted in the park... There are towers located in and around the park to facilitate bird-watching... The lake in the park is man-made and is controlled via luice gates... Chalets and kitchen facilities are available as well...
This scintillating display of fireflies portrays an image of a flashing Christmas tree... The thousands of fireflies found in the mangrove swamp of Kampung Kuantan produce a synchonised, rhythmic flashing, which could arguably be one of the best sights in the world... The skilled local oarsmen make this experience a memoable and unforgettable one... Visitors should also try the seafood here...
Bukit Belanda or Fort Utrecht is 420m high and lies just behind Kampung Bilit... During Worl War II, the British forces use the hill as an observation post... Bukit Belanda means "Dutch Hill"... It got its name because for a short period during thre war, the Dutch were in charge of North Borneo... The hike to the top takes about 45 mins...
Several families of Silver-Leafed Monkeys and Long-Tailed Macaques hang around Bukit Melawati looking for a feed of fresh, crunchy beans from visitors. If you hold out a bean, these friendly primates will gently take it from your hand and happily munch on this treat.
These monkeys will also suddenly leap up and onto your shoulders hoping for preferential treatment with some food handouts. Don't make any sudden moves because they will cling to your hair or part of your face for support.
But still be careful when feeding the monkeys because although they have had a lot of contact with humans, they are still wild animals and can be a bit unpredictable.
When you have run out of beans, just hold your hands out, palm first to show you have nothing left and they will gladly go to the next visitor.
I'm still in two minds about feeding the monkeys because it has made them dependant on handouts from humans instead of foraging in the forest. However, it is still a wonderful interaction zone and kids (including the big ones) get a lot of pleasure from feeding these playful primates.
The cute Silver-Leafed babies have a glorious golden fur compared to the dull grey of the adults.
I visited Bukit Melawati as a part of the MM Adventures Firefly Tour which included a seafood feast followed by a visit to the Firefly Park.
The fireflies is the biggest attraction of Kuala Selangor. The one i have been is Bukit Belimbing. There are resort there as well if you wanted to stay over.
The boat fee is RM10 per person, it will bring you around with the boat about 30 minutes.
The experience of seeing so many fireflies are stunning, you can't imagine it if you havent been... I heard, the fireflies here are getting lesser... go now before its too late.
Driving straight after the kuala selangor town, about 15 minutes, you will see a stunning view of padi fields on your right. When you standing in between the padi fields, your world just suddenly feel peaceful and quite....... very nice!
Kuala Selangor Nature Park is situated at the mouth of Selangor River , in the state of Selangor , Malaysia. It covers approximately 800 acres of mangroves and mudflats and is the home to various wildlife such as otters, monkeys, birds, mudskippers and crabs.
When i was there, we are quite late, we reach there around 5.00pm and the counter of ticketing closed. We get the permission from the staff there, and they let us in.. We are so happy, holding the map the staff gave, and waiting toward the jungle. Once we step into the road toward the mangroves area, we felt the friendly mosqitors all over our body.. not long after that, we have to gave up and return to the entrance. It might be the timing issue, getting dark, and the friendly insects will all come around..
We will get back there one day...it should be a very nice place.
The monkies here are quite special, named: Silverleaf Monkies. They have some silver fur shinning in them. And their baby, are in all gold colour fur, slowly, it will turn dark like the adult...I heard this type of monkies are very friendly and polite, they will not fight for food like other brown monkies.. i never dare to walk close to them.. you can go and find out and let me know :-p
Kampung Kuantan, is located 9km from Kuala Selangor town. The 30 minutes boat or sampan ride down the river bank and the boatman will tell you the story about fireflies. It is best to go there during warmer months i.e. from May –September apparently is the best time to see fireflies. The boatman told us there are only 3 places in the world that have fireflies Kampung Kuantan, Brazil and caves in New Zealand.
But only the fireflies in Kampung Kuantan are synchronized when they twinkle. This was my second time here and it’s still amazing to see this insects lighting up the berembang tree and flickering like the Christmas tree lights.
The "Berembang Tree" or known by its scientific name 'Sonneratia Caselaris' is a type of mangrove tree that grows wildly along the banks of Sungai Selangor. "Berembang Tree" is important to the existence of these fireflies as it provides food for these insects. The fireflies will suck the juice from the leaves as food. No photography allowed during the boat ride.
They charge per person RM10.00 or RM40.00 per boat.( if there is 5 person the additional person pays the boatman).
At the height of the migratory bird season (around September), a large variety of birds find their way here. The birds come as far away as Northern China and Siberia to escape winter. Some common species found here are the Grey Heron, Milky Storks, Plovers and various species of Sandpipers. Nordman Greenshank, one of the rarest birds can also be found here as well.