Kuala Selangor is a city in Selangor State.
Literally, Kuala means rivermouth in the Malay language, and thus this is a small town where the Selangor River (Sungai Selangor) meets the sea. It was the old royal capital of Selangor prior to moving to Klang, and finally to Kuala Lumpur.
This small town was conquered by the Dutch when they invaded Selangor in 1784. It is located well off the normal tourism route and hence, still maintains its traditional "kampung" (village) atmosphere.
Visitors can make their way to Kuala Selangor by taking bus No. 141 in front of the main bus terminal, Puduraya Bus Station in KL. The one way fare is RM5.60 and the tickets can be bought on the bus itself. The journey will take 2 hours to reach the bus terminal at Kuala Selangor. Buses actually arrive at the new bus terminal in K/S, from where it will be a 15-20 min walk (or RM5 taxi ride) to the actual "center" of the town, where the old bus terminal is located. Alternatively, for a small fee of 1.40 RM, regularly running local buses can be caught from the "new" bus station to the "old" bus station and depending on the driver this fee may be waved as it is such a small journey.
The Bus from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Selangor departs half hourly from 6.30am and the last bus is at 7.30pm. If you are not spending the night over at Kuala Selangor, the last bus leaving from Kuala Selangor will be at 7:45pm.
There are also Nasional buses between Klang and K/S serving the new bus station.
Its a one hour journey by cab. The cab might also not be able to pick up a passenger on the way back, so expect fares to be high. For comparison, the distance from KL to KLIA is about 80km and a one hour journey. Taxis typically want RM 70 for a trip to the airport. So you would expect something similar, or higher for this trip. You might be able to negotiate a good deal if you book the taxi for a return trip.
Hourly hire rates for a small taxi (red/white) is about RM35 an hour if you would like to book one for the duration of the trip.
Make your way towards Sungai Buloh exit from North-South highway and follow the road signs towards Kuala Selangor. Alternatively if you are starting your journey from Klang, you can drive towards Kapar and head straight from there towards Kuala Selangor. Either way, the journey should not take longer than 80 minutes.
Kuala Selangor is a relatively small city and has no public transport system. So really the only options are a sweaty walk or a take a taxi. (Apart of course from the tram going up and down Bukit Melawati.)
Bukit Melawati, known as Bukit Selangor to the locals, has an indelible mark in the history of Selangor. The locals built a fortress on top of the hill in the 19th century to defend Selangor from enemy attacks at the river mouth and provide a vantage point to monitor ships entering and leaving the Straights of Malacca. The fortress was captured by the mighty Dutch armies and was used as their base to launch attacks on Selangor to capture the luxurious tin trade. The fortress was renamed Fortress Altingsburg after the name of the Dutch Governor General at that time, Governor General Alting.
The fortress was later destroyed during the Selangor Civil War (1867-73) skirmish between warring factions fighting for tin rich areas. Sultans of various areas teamed up with different Chinese gangs and the war resulted in a bloody end only to be 'saved' by the British Resident, who was requested by other Malay Rulers to mediate talks to put an end to the futile feud.
Although the war has ended years ago, there are several remnants from the past that appeal to historical buffs and visitors alike. A couple of leftovers cannons and foundation stones are hugely popular with visitors who are fascinated with its historical values. Some of the foundation stones are believed to be used for executions for locals who dared defied the Dutch armies. Bukit Melawati also has a lighthouse and several old colonial houses built during the British era. Some of the lesser known attractions on the hill include the Poisoned Well that was filled with poisonous mixture of latex and juice from bamboo shoots and reputed to be used to execute traitors by lowering them into the well drench in poison and the Royal Mauseleum that is the final resting place for the first three Sultans of Selangor.
The view from on top of Bukit Melawati is panoramic. On a clear day, visitors can see the quaint Malacca Straits. The sunset view at this hill is rated among the nicest in the country. A little fishing settlements can be viewed from the hill as well. The sight of fishing boats rounding up their fishing trips and laying the nets down are a welcome sight after the hustle of the cities. From the hill visitors can also see the entirity of Kuala Selangor Nature Park, a great birdwatching site in itself, which is located just at the foot of the hill.
The Chinese nicknamed the hill as "Ma Lau San" which loosely translated as Monkey Hill. This is because the hill is swarmed by several families of Silver -Leafed Monkeys and Long-Tailed Macaques. Visitors come in droves to feed the monkeys with peanuts that can be purchased from vendors around the area.The monkeys are generally quite gentle and feeding the monkeys is a sport in itself. However do take caution as these animals are born in the wild and may be dangerous if provoked.
Visitors can choose to walk up the hill or opt for a tram that runs up the hill (note: weekends only) and only costs RM2 per adult and RM1 for children. The tram will bring visitors round the hill and Kuala Selangor Nature Park. Visitors can choose to alight at any point that they wish and resume the ride at another tram.
Go and see the Fireflies (Kelip-Kelip in Malaysian) at the Firefly Park in Kampung Kuantan and Kampung Bukit Belimbing in the evening. To get there, take a taxi (there are no local buses). No entry fee, but you pay RM40 per boat (4 persons maximum to a boat). Boat ride starts at 8PM and last boat leaves at 11PM to see the fireflies on the river banks. As their flashing becomes sychronised you can see entire trees flashing in the banks for Sungai (River) Selangor. Bring mosquito repellent and expect a long queue on weekends and public holidays.
Pasir Penambang, just minutes by car from Kuala Selangor town, is famous for seafood. Some restaurants are on the water, just by the river, and make for a good meal while watching the sun set. Expect to pay around RM15-50 per person, depending on what you order.
There are no bars in the old or new center of the town, and the cafés and restaurants do not offer alcoholic beverages and close quite early (9-10pm at the latest).
If you do not have a car, and you are staying at the Firefly Resort, there is a small kedai makan (restaurant) across the road (the seafood restaurant at the resort has since closed). If you are an Orang Asing (foreigner), be sure to brush up on your Malay, though all the usual staple food is available here. Be sure to ask for Kopi Ais (iced coffee)!
- De Palma Inn has 48 deluxe and superior chalets and junior suites. All the usual frills of a 3-star hotel such as swimming pools and tennis court are available here. The hotel also offers optional mangrove walk, fishing and boating activities. For a nominal fee, visitor can pay the hotel to arrange for transportation and tour to the fireflies centre.
- Firefly Park Resort offers chalet style stay with usual creature comforts such as color TV, air-con and kettle. They can of course also help arrange for fireflies tour. Stay is 130RM per night (weeknights), 180RM per night (weekend), 200RM per night (holiday).
- Hotel Kuala Selangor is in the center of the town, opposite the old bus station. Rooms are RM30-50, with the most expensive options offering attached bathroom, TV and air-con. Reasonably clean.
- From the Firefly Park Resort, you can plead for a good deal to go to towns including going to Ipoh for RM220. Make sure you get a taxi with safety belts.
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