The centerpiece of Shah Alam is the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Shah Mosque.
This huge, gleaming mosque that has the largest domes and tallest minarets in the world. at 140m. The colors of the mosque are blue and silver, reflected in the giant aluminium dome.
The mosque will accommodate up to 24,000 worshipers and it is the largest in Malaysia.
- Arts and Culture
- Religious Travel
Overlooking the town
Bukit Melawati, the hill overlooking the town.
It provided an ideal site for monitoring shipping in the straits of Melaka, first by the sultans of Selangor, then by the Dutch and British.
It is now also a place for sighting the "New Moon". A latticed structure has been constructed for the purpose of sighting the new moon to determine the date of fasting month of Ramadhan.
There is also a lighthouse, a wooden resthouse, and several monkeys on the hill.
You can walk up or there is a road that does a clockwise loop.
- Hiking and Walking
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.
- Family Travel
- National/State Park
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.
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
"Kelip-kelip" (Fireflies) Tour at Bukit Belimbing
The Fireflies Park Resort has a privately-run fireflies tour. The crowd here is smaller than the one in Kampung Kuantan and therefore, the queue is shorter. The river is also cleaner than the one in Kampung Kuantan. The electric boats here are completely silent and run on battery which therefore causes no pollution to the environment of the Fireflies Sanctuary. The boats are equipped with hard canopy and everyone on board gets a life-jacket. The boat service starts at 7.45pm to 10.30pm every night. Adults pay RM10.00 while children pay RM6.00 only. One boat can accomodate 12 - 15 people but it will go ahead with the journey even when the boat is not full. Ticketing booth opens at 7.30pm.
- Adventure Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Kampung Kuantan Fireflies
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).
Kuala Selangor is very much asssociated with seafood due to its vicinty to the Selangor river & the Straits of Malacca. The seafood retaurants are located in a small fishing townlet called Pasir Penambang. The seafood restaurants here serve "halal" seafood and you can see many local Malay Muslims, eating together with the Chinese & Indians.
- Food and Dining
Tram ride to Bukit Melawati
You should take this tram ride because no cars are allowed on the hill during weekends. Bukit Melawati offers the tram ride to the top of Bukit Melawati, stops for fifteen minutes and then proceeds down the hill. It cost RM 2.00 for adults and RM 1.00 for children. However, the entrance to Bukit Melawati is free of charge and it opens from 9.00 m to 4.30pm.
- Adventure Travel
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.
- Adventure Travel
A typical day trip program
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.
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
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...
Kampung Kuantan Fireflies Sanctuary
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...
Kuala Selangor Nature Park
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...
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...
Pasir Penambang Market
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...