It's about that time of the year again. The end of the year where it just seems natural for most of us to take a break from the normal routine, finish off one's annual leave and go on a holiday. Since this is a motoring blog, a drive to holiday destination is what I will be featuring (as usual and as always). Those that have been following MyAutoBlog would notice that I have been writing about road trips in and around Peninsular Malaysia and what you can do when you get to that Malaysian destination. This latest 'drive-to destination' takes us to Kuala Selangor, Malaysia.
Kuala Selangor is a quaint old town situated on the West Coast of Malaysia in the state of Selangor. This sleepy hollow is basically an hour's drive from Kuala Lumpur or a good five hours or so from the Causeway(s). You could use the ELITE (Nilai-KLIA-Shah Alam) Highway and head towards Klang before heading north towards Kuala Selangor but I would suggest getting to Kuala Selangor using the Guthrie highway, which you can basically reach from the Federal Highway's first exit after the Federal Highway's Shah Alam toll booth. Upon entering the Guthrie Highway head towards Ijok. At the Ijok interchange/exit, head on towards Ijok and onwards to Kuala Selangor. The reason for this not so straight forward route is that the scenery is much better instead of passing lots of workshops, factory lots and used car lots along Kapar/Meru Road. Furthermore, the road is slightly more challenging instead of just a straight line.
Once you reach Kuala Selangor you'll note that this little town is indeed a sleepy hollow. Kuala Selangor was once the capital of the State of Selangor and it is fillied with history. I have to say that it is one of the better preserved historical spots in Peninsular Malaysia, up there with Malacca and even Penang. Bukit Melawati, or Melawati Hill holds a heck of a lot of history and a fabulous view to boot. This I believe is a very good reason to spend a couple of days at this sleepy little hamlet.
Private cars aren't allowed up the hill. You can either walk up (which won't kill you as it is only a few hundred meters up via a tarred road) or take the passenger tram (which is actually a tractor badly disguised as a train) for a small fee. At the peak, there is a lighthouse, remnants of a fort with the actual cannons, a royal mausoleum (where a supposedly sacred and mystical cannon covered in yellow cloth stands guard), a chopping block which was actually used to chop people's heads off and a museum covering the history of Kuala Selangor. You could actually spend a whole day exploring the hill if you took your time.
Now the town itself is pretty cool too. There are pre-war buildings that would capture your sight, a clock tower commemorating Malaysia's independence and other odd bits here and there – check out the little pagoda as well as the converted fire station – this was actually someone's house before it became a fire station. Only in a small town like Kuala Selangor I suppose.
At night, you can head over towards one of the various seafood restaurants over at Jeram for 'Ikan Bakar' or grilled fish and seafood or over at Pasir Penambang (which is across the bridge crossing the Selangor River) for the usual chinese styled seafood dishes. You can also head over there for processed seafood too – lots of crackers, dried fish and even fresh fish at the market. But the highlight of Kuala Selangor at night is firefly watching at Kampung Kuantan. This village in Kuala Selangor is a great place to view fireflies in its natural surroundings – the area is actually part of Kuala Selangor's nature reserve and the river actually is one of the spots where you can watch a whole bunch of fireflies in action (the only other spot in Peninsular Malaysia that has this is somewhere in Mersing, Johore).
A whole lot of stuff to do around Kuala Selangor actually, even for a sleepy hollow. I say sleepy hollow as it only has one decent hotel there – the DePalma Hotel, Kuala Selangor but it does give you an excuse to get out and start exploring. Whilst the drive there isn't as entertaining as a drive up Genting or Cameron highlands, it does have its good points, like the actual destination itself.
- DePalma Hotel, Kuala Selangor
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