After you have visited the fishing village, and if you have more time, you may want to continue your drive to the Sekinchang district.
There are paddy fields of green that are quite pretty, and would be an eye-opener for city folk and their kids who have never seen rice fields up close before. The green fields that we caught on camera that day was very pretty - fields and fields of light green paddy, their leaves shining in the sun and reaching for the skies.
Geographically, this area is one of the largest paddy fields in the state of Selangor. The fields are located mostly towards the South West of Selangor state.
For those visitors to Kuala Selangor who have come in search of the famous kelip-kelip (fire flies or natural Christmas lights, as some people call it), you may also want to explore the fishing village of Bagan Pasir. As the fire flies are only visible at night, apart from checking out the nearby bird park (Taman Alam) and having dinner at Pasir Penambang, you can plan a whole afternoon's tour of the area, beginning with this fishing village.
The township of Tanjung Karang is about 14-20 km from Kampung Kuantan and Kuala Selangor and approximately 70-75 km from Petaling Jaya. The fishing village of Bagan Pasir itself is a collection of motely wooden houses built on stilts on the river banks. It has its own town hall and school.
The village, while not exactly beautiful, does have a charm of its own and provides for some photo taking opportunities. I noticed that there was some development taking place presently, for example to improve on the roads.
You could also learn a thing or two about the lifestyle of local fishermen and others who earn their living from the river.
The banks of the river is rather swampy and is covered with mangrove plants. The eco system here is rather interesting, so should you be interested in the plant and animal life here, you could certainly do a bit of exploration.
Argument: Seafood that you buy at the supermarket or local wet market is usually not as fresh as it might appear. Besides possibly having been pre-frozen in the cold room, preservatives are often used in order to maintain the *appearance* of freshness. It's not wrong of course, and the fish does have to travel quite a fair way from the fishing boat, to the middle man, to your local supermarket and finally onto your dinner plate, so there is not much choice. But is there another way?
Solution: For the discerning customer who is concerned with the use of preservatives and other additives, and who enjoys the delicious taste of fresh fish, there is a place that people come to, in order to stock up on fresh fish. Just how fresh, you might ask? Fresh off the boat (see pics)! Fish that isn't sold is usually cleaned and turned into salted, dried fish (see pics).
Note: Bring an ice pack or cooler bag, ice will be provided.
What to buy: Catch of the day - depends on the season. They come in different sizes too.
Ikan Merah (red snapper, I think)
Ikan Bawal Putih (Pomfret)
Prawns (trawled prawns are cheaper, those "individually caught" are pricier, but stay fresher longer)
Ikan Selar (smaller version of Kembung)
Large and small white Cuttlefish
What Time?: Fishing boats start to return to the pier from about 2 pm onwards. Some boats will arrive as late as 4pm.
Finally, the catch will not be as good during the rainy season.
What to pay: Usually cheaper than at your local supermarket, prices vary of the size and quality of the fish. Sometimes, it can be 1/2 or 1/3 the normal retail price.
Local visitors to this area inevitably come because of the supply of fish fresh off the boat. Although it is about 1-1.5 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, many town folk do come here to stock up on their seafood. For an indication of prices, check out my shopping tips.
However, even if you don't wish to buy anything, stand back and watch all the action. It is quite an eye-opener !
PS. For those who have visited the famous Tsujiki fish market at Ginza, Tokyo, Tanjung Karang 's fishing village is not on the same scale, but there are some similarities! For example, the fishy smell, the wet, slippery floor, and not least, the sense of anticipation and excitement of customers waiting to get good deal for their cooking pots. :)
I guess I am rather given to impulse, but to drive 60 km out of town just for fish? Are you sure? asked my husband. Anyway, I won him over & so we set off at around noon on Saturday.
We knew the way but had not anticipated the traffic jam at around Sg Buloh. That was rather bad (we promised ourselves that if we go back, we'll try a different route the next time). By the time we reached K. Selangor, it was already 2pm! Stopped for a quick bite of roti chanai at a coffee shop, then continued on our way.
Found the turn off to Bagan Pasir just outside the town of Tanjung Karang. Upon entering the fishing village, we did not know where to go. Had we arrived too late to catch the boats? Urghs, the kids were getting restless too!
Ermmm, What's that smell?
Then we noticed a covered pier where some vehicles were parked. We decided to stop there & hopped out of the car. The kids said "Phee Yew, what IS that smell".
Indeed, not much was happening, and we did wonder whether we had indeed gotten there too late (around 3pm). But for a few cuttlefish and tiny prawns, most of the containers were empty, leaving behind only some melted icy fishy water. But, there were customers standing around, obviously waiting for something... But what? Within minutes, all was revealed, when a fishing boat arrived on the pier, and suddenly, there was a sense of bustle and excitement in the air.
In the end, we managed to *catch* two fishing boats (hehe, like the little humour?).
To cut a long story short, basically the fishermen sell their entire catch to the wholesaler. The wholesaler then sorts and weighs the fish and pays the fisherman, before putting aside those fish that are meant for special customers and pre-orders, and only then do the retail customers who are present have a chance to quickly grab (and I do mean *grab*) whatever they want to buy.
Fondest memory: All's well that ends ...with a Barbeque:
We spent about RM85 on 2 kg of medium and large prawns (You can not choose, you just grab whatever is left, haha), and RM45 on fish, (3 small white pomfret at RM15, RM5/kilo for a large yellow "eel" looking fish (my dad says it was an eel but who knows for sure?), the whole fish was only RM20 and we made 5 meals out of it!, balance on small sized selar, cuttlefish and catfish (patin) look alike.)
If we had a freezer, we would have stocked up and purchased even more!
The next day, we had a Barbeque, with lamb, beef, cuttlefish, prawns (marinated with ginger juice and dark soy sauce, wrapped with pandan leaf), and delicious fresh fish (marinated with chopped tomato, basil and other herbs, and rock salt, wrapped in banana leaf, and covered with foil).
Scrumptious & yummy!
The dragon fruit was newly introduced to Malaysia and can be found here at Kuala Selangor and also in and around Negeri Sembilan. There are two main types of dragon fruit - white flesh with tiny black seeds and pink flesh with tiny black seeds, both are mildly sweetish or bland, depending on your luck. The type commonly found in Malaysia is the first type, although it is said that the pink type (that is grown in places such as Taiwan) is sweeter. Both types are very quite succulent and juicy, and with a pleasant and mild fragrance, and tastes good with ice-cream or jellies. Besides being tasty, they're also good for you as they contain a lot of Vitamin C.
I managed to get a picture of the tree and the flower but the trees were not mature enough to have any fruits yet. Don't you think the tree looks really interesting? It has the appearance of a cactus, in dark green, with longish branches right at the top but no leaves. Usually, the tree is supported by another long stick so that it can grow higher above the ground.