Kuala Selangor and Fireflies ~ Places
to Visit from Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Selangor is
notably most famous for the fireflies which are found on the mangroves
alongside the Selangor River. Also here are remnants of the old Fort
Atlingsburg on top of Malawati Hill that offers a panoramic view of its
beautiful coastline and the antics of the free roaming The ‘Silver-Leaf’
Kuala Selangor is a small town situated at the estuary of the Selangor River is about 75km northwest of Kuala Lumpur.
Situated about 75km about 1.5 hours drive away, it is a pleasant drive out away from the city, winding through old rubber and palm oil plantations, a few shanty-looking towns and several Malay villages …peering into a way of life that perhaps seemed all too familiar to the British planters who used to own large tracks of lands out here at the turn of the 19th century.
In its early years, the hill provided a vantage point for monitoring ships entering and leaving this part of the Straits.
This hill which some refer to
as Bukit Selangor is well known in the late 1700s, when the second Sultan of
Selangor state had this fort built on top of the hill to protect the state
from the invading Dutch, who had already conquered Melaka just down the
The star attractions at the Melawati Hill, however are the monkeys that loiter around the area seeking food from the visitors.
Visitors will be delighted to watch two species of free roaming monkeys that have made this hill their home. The ‘Silver-Leaf’ monkeys are the shy ones, more reticent than the ‘Kera’ (the mischievous long tailed macaques), which grabs not just food, but would snatch bags and cameras off unsuspecting hands.
The Silverleaf babies have orange fur as compared with the adults. While
observing these monkeys. You can purchase drinks and snacks as well as
bananas, peanuts, biscuits/bread types to feed the monkeys from the vendors
here. Be wary though as these are wild and unpredictable animals.
Here you can savour freshly cooked seafood while watching a river view sunset.
Over years the place has
become more touristy and popular with most Malaysians due to its freshly
served seafood and its pork free status. The prices seemed to have increased
but reasonable and the food/ambiance is still the same which is pleasing.
If one is not comfortable here and want a Malay halal seafood serving, then try Medan Ikan Bakar Pantai Jeram — seafood restaurant at Pantai Jeram located about 18km south of Kuala Selangor town, along the coastal road to Klang. The food here is great and for about RM100 you get Chili Crab, Grilled Fish, Grilled Squid, Mixed Vegetables, Tomyam Soup, rice and drinks.
‘Kelip-kelip’ as they are known in Malay, means 'to twinkle'. The fireflies aren't flies but are in fact tiny 6mm long beetles, the species found here is known as Pteroptye tener.
Here visitors can board a river boat to witness one of nature’s wonders - The fireflies dancing to the beat only known to them, producing a rhythmic whistling sound.
The entire riverside is lit with pulsating lights, the bushes over the flat surface of the river appearing like Christmas lights.The tiny lights shining from their equally tiny butts is reflected brightly from the river’s brown surface.
The night’s illumination
represents the culmination of the bugs’ lives: mating. For this purpose,
they choose only young Berembang trees; hence their massive concentrations
in these select bushes arising from the muddy bottom of the tidal river.
Needing a damp and swampy
environment to live, the "Berembang Tree" or known by its scientific name 'Sonneratia
Caselaris' grows wildly along the banks of Sungai Selangor.
Each tree has different groups of families and sometimes the synchronisation of flashes on one tree falls out of synch with the neighbouring tree. However, for optimum effect, it is best to visit the place just after nightfall and not later than 11.00pm, after which time the kelip-kelip would have found mates or mated, and subsequently the flashing would stop.
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