Sunday, October 28, 2018

Short Trip to Kuala Selangor

Kuala Selangor is a town around 70 kms from Kuala Lumpur. We visited two main attractions there- Bukit Malawati and Kampung Kuantan.

Bukit Malawati is the place where the previous rulers built their fort of defense. There are several attractions available on the hill, including Altingsburg Lighthouse, Dutch and Malay handmade cannons,  the location of old Malawati fort, Historical Museum of Kuala Selangor, and many more. The attractions are connected by small roads which are closed to visitors during weekends and public holidays. Therefore visitors have to use tram service to move around the hill. We visited the hill on Friday afternoon, so we had no issue driving our own car there. 

Altingsburg Lighthouse was first built by Dutch some two hundred years ago, and named it after the Dutch Governor at that time. The lighthouse was then rebuilt in 1907 by British government, retaining the original name. The lighthouse is 83 meters high, sending light as far as 50 kms away towards the Strait of Malacca, signaling the location of the mouth of Selangor Rivers. It is still in operation today. 
The lighthouse is closed to public.
The Dutch cannons are located in front of Altingsburg Lighthouse, facing the Straight of Malacca. Dutch cannons are much bigger compared to Malay handmade cannons. This is a great place to enjoy the nice scenery around the estuary of Selangor River, while taking photos with Silver Leaf Monkey.

Historical Museum of Kuala Selangor District is just next to Altingsburg Lighthouse. It was a small museum with brief history of Selangor Royal family. We spent around 40 minutes in the museum.

The old location of Malawati Fort is located behind the museum. Today, only the stone walls and a few cannons can be seen there. Other structures had been long destroyed by war, or consumed by natural elements.

Batu Hampar or Bedrock is one of the old legacies from the fort. This stone structure is located at the entrance of the fort. Some believed the structure had been used for the execution of traitors, which had been denied by a few local historians. The real usage of the structure remains unknown. Can it be a coffee table for old king?

Old stone walls reveal the past of this area. Malawati fort was first built by Sultan Ibrahim- the second sultan of Selangor. The fort fell into different hands due to the political and military turmoils. 

The old location of Malawati Fort.

Silver Leaf Monkey, a threatened species in Malaysia, has grown extremely well in Malawati Hill. The monkeys are tame, human friendly, and presence almost everywhere on the hill (upper left). Monkey food was sold with RM 10 per pack. Although these monkeys are tame most of the time, they will get a bit frenzy during feeding time. So our advise- don't feed them if you don't want to have body contact with the monkey. 


There are a few other attractions nearby Bukit Malawati (upper left). During weekends and public holidays, visitors to Bukit Malawati are required to park their cars at the entrance to the hill and buy the ticket for the tram there (upper right). The is a Royal Mausoleum at the hill side (lower right). The mausoleum was not opened to visitor during our visit. The road on the hill is narrow. We saw several stone piles along the way. Are they historical relics? 

We spent around 2 hours on the hill. By the way, we saw some visitors walked around the hill by foot. There was no food and beverages sold on the hill, so we might need to bring enough drinking water and some snacks there. Mosquitoes were everywhere on the hill, especially at Malawati Fort area. So please get some insect repellents ready, just in case.

We continued our trip to Kampung Kuantan to see fireflies. Kampung Kuantan is located along Selangor River. We were lucky that night, the rain stopped around 4 pm. The night was cooling, and the fireflies were not affected by the rain water. Kampung Kuantan is located 20 minutes drive from Bukit Malawati.

The ticket counter opens at 7:30 pm, while the firefly watching tour starts at 8:00 pm. As we are required to queue at ticketing counter and the dock side, it will be great if we can arrange two persons in the group to queue at these two places at the same time. First, we bought our ticket for one sampan (non-motorized boat) with RM 50 at the counter, and then asking for others to join us. We took less than 1 minute to find a couple from Ukraine to share the boat with us. Every boat there can accommodate four people.  The whole boat tour took around 30 minutes.

Insect repellent is very important here as mosquitoes are fierce. We applied the repellent even onto our clothes. Insect repellent can be bought outside the ticketing counter as well with RM 5 - RM 10 per bottle. 

We reached Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park around 6 pm and found nobody there (upper left). However, the whole park was lighten up around 7:30 pm (upper right). After we bought our ticket, we need to queue at the dock (lower right). Life jacket is required before boarding the sampan. 

We were surprised to find an open air food court at the firefly park. 

Fireflies are sensitive to our flashlight. So the best place to take photo with firefly is here. 

Kampung Kuantan is quite far from everywhere. So if you are using taxi service or even Grab a car there, make sure you ask them to wait for your return trip. Fireflies are very sensitive to flashlight. So we can't actually take any photo after boarding the sampan. The fireflies are getting lesser there, despite continuous effort to conserve their habitat. We are glad to see our national energy cmpany, Tenaga Nasional is joining the conservation work now. We hope our small little fireflies can stay happily at Selangor River for a long time.

We went back to our hotel at Sekinchan at around 8:30 pm. We share our experience at Sekinchan in our previous post.

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