Gateway to Malaysia - Best of Selangor

GATEWAY to Malaysia, Selangor has the country's main entry points - the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang and the largest port, Port Klang. The industrial zones, commercial areas, international colleges, excellent healthcare institutions, impressive shopping complexes, recreation centres and extensive highways all contribute towards making Selangor the most developed state in the country.

Amid her modern facilities and booming urban hubs, Selangor still has large pockets of natural wonders. Its heritage and cultural values lend a soulful depth to this rich land with a history that dates back to the 17th century.

Surrounding the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, Selangor's strategic location boosts its appeal as the preferred holiday destination.

Nature and Adventure

See Natural, Glittering Light

Treat yourself to a magical night at the Sungai Kuantan Fireflies Sanctuary. The fireflies river cruise has put Kuala Selangor on the world map as among the few places where you can witness the amazing display of flickering lights by the tiny insects. Watch them "perform" with perfect synchronisation. Watching this natural phenomenon is one of the must do's while in Selangor.

Watching fireflies is an enchanting experience, there is nothing like cruising on a boat along the river in the night to capture the beauty of this natural wonder. A nervous excitement fills most people as they step into the boats, as the darkness is quite thick at first. In a matter of moments your eyes adjust and the fairy like lights of the fireflies line the shore. 

Firefly Park Resort Bukit Belimbing in Kuala Selangor, Malaysia. Is the only place in this region where you can witness the sight of millions of fireflies flashing in synchrony, often referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”.

Firefly Park Resort Kampung Bukit Belimbing is here to provide tourists with the convenience of a comfortable abode by erecting chalets along the riverbank which take great pains as to not upset the ecological balance of this nature's park. Built on stilts above clear riverine water that have abundance of different variety of fishes, the chalets also come with modern amenities.

Seek Solace in a Cave

One of the most visited places in Selangor is Batu Caves, comprising three big caves, including one which is called the temple cave with ornate Hindu shrines. Scaling the 272 steps leading to the temple is part of the highlights of visiting Batu Caves. Every February, the caves record more than a million visitors - Hindu devotees and tourists - as Hindus celebrate colourful Thaipusam. Standing tall against the majestic limestone hills is a 140-feet statue of Lord Muruga, said to be the tallest in the world. On normal days, while Hindu devotees do their daily prayers, nature lovers and avid cavers explore the other two caves. Rock climbers will find interesting climbing routes on the limestone walls.

Walk Through Nature Trails and Parks

Just at the fringe of bustling Kuala Lumpur is Selangor's green sanctuary. The Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) is like a balm to nature and adventure lovers. FRIM's boundary stretches far into the jungle with a gurgling river. Take on the nature trails or wetland areas, or walk through the herb gardens and arboretums. Spread a picnic mat or pitch a tent at any picnic spot or the designated camping site. But don't leave without trying the canopy walk or looking up to the crowning glory - the artwork of nature.

Another green spot near the city is the Kanching Recreational Forest - a popular weekend getaway. The natural enclave is home to various species of birds and monkeys but its refreshing seven-tier waterfall is the number one attraction. Located nearby is another popular picnic spot, Templer Park, and the beautifully landscaped Commonwealth Forest Park.

Other recreational parks include those in Sungai Tekala, Sungai Congkak, Sungai Tua and Gunung Nuang.

Also worth going to are the Serendah International Orchid Park with more than 100 species of orchids and the Sepang Agrotechnology Park. Here, you can get an insight into modern farming and gardening.

Culture and Heritage

Share Home with Strangers

Home away from home may sound a bit too cliche, but that is what Selangor's homestay is all about. Selangor is blessed with a beautiful countryside with serene villages where age-old traditions are still observed. Selangor has several villages that welcome tourists - locals and foreigners - into their homes. Among the popular ones are Kampung Sungai Haji Dorani in Kuala Selangor, Kanchong Darat in Banting and Banghuris - a combination of three villages in Sungai Pelek.

Feed Silver-leaf Monkeys on Melawati Hill

Give them food and the silver-leaf monkeys will not refuse your offer. The gentle and adorable ones grab your attention as you climb up the steep Melawati Hill in Kuala Selangor. They have somewhat become the mascot of the hill. The hill was a fortress built by the second Sultan of Selangor in the 18th century. Walk through the fortress, and see historical remains like cannons, the original foundation stones and an execution block. There are also a lighthouse, a royal mausoleum and a rest house. Try climbing up the lighthouse and you will be rewarded with a spectacular view.

Kuala Selangor has many other attractions, including a lush nature park, fishing villages and some of best seafood restaurants you can find.

Mingle with Shy Orang Asli

They are shy but the Orang Asli of Pulau Carey are not stingy to share their culture and heritage with outsiders. The island, some 20 minutes' drive from Klang, is home to the Mah Meri tribe, famous for their woodcarvings and mask sculptures. Come over during their annual festival and you'll be taken into a different world of tribal culture. At the eastern side of Selangor, Gombak is also home for the Orang Asli. The community here is rather modern and well developed. Learn more about Malaysia's Orang Asli at the Orang Asli Museum which displays an extensive collection of tribal paraphernalia.

Gaze at Regal Heritage

Though Klang is currently the royal town, Jugra was earlier graced by royalty. Located near the locals' favourite beach, Morib, the little town has two stately constructions - Bandar Palace and Royal Mausoleum. Drive around the area and you will find a mini zoo belonging to the Sultan and sites of a demolished prison and palace.

Other Must Do's

Have Fun at Theme Parks

Selangor has (all) the theme parks that even metropolitan KL claims as among its own attractions. Here, you find the Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Mines Wonderland at Mines Resort City and Wet World Shah Alam. Just choose one to suit your recreation needs and budget.

See International Events

Selangor is home to world-class sporting facilities, such as the Sepang International Circuit with challenging tracks for races, including the Formula One; the Mines Lake in Seri Kembangan, one of the venues for F1 Powerboat World Championship; and the Royal Selangor Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in Malaysia attracting scores of yachters in the region. The club hosts the prestigious Raja Muda International Regatta.

Go to the Zoo

Let's go to one of the oldest and most popular zoos in the country - the National Zoo in Hulu Kelang, 13km from Kuala Lumpur city centre. Thousands of mammals, reptiles, birds and fish await your visit.

Pewter Workshop

There's this place in Setapak where you can make your own pewter souvenir. Royal Selangor's School of Hard Knocks offers a special pewter-smithing workshop for group of five to 50. Get your friends together and give it a try!

Royal Selangor Pewter is world famous, so don't miss a visit there.

Comb the Beaches

Just about 30 minutes' drive from the state capital, Shah Alam, you have the beaches to escape to. Morib, Bagan Lalang and the lesser known and recently developed Sepang Gold Coast are Selangor's attractions by the Straits of Malacca. Surrounding areas are a hive of activity with open-air eateries offering seafood and other local fare.

Morib beach, located within a 30-minutes drive from Klang, Morib is a popular recreational spot surrounded by whispering Casuarinas and swaying palms. At low tide, the shore stretches far into the Straits of Malacca. Visitors can watch small crabs that scuttle away and disappear into the sand. Lovers of history will also discover that Morib contains a wealth of historical sites such as ruins of old government buildings, royal graves and an abandoned palace.

Impian Morib Resort is established as a holiday destination that capitalized on being "Malaysia's First Integrated Beach Resort", a place to reside, work, relax and for recreation. A Master Layout Plan of 757 acres covers a development of 3-Star Hotel, corporate villa, 18-hole golf course, bungalow lots, clubhouse, corporate resort beach, lagoon and beach, plus a commercial centre.

Check out Shah Alam

The state capital Shah Alam has its own charms to entice visitors. While you are here, don't miss visiting these places:

* Blue Mosque

The Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque, or the Blue Mosque, is reputedly one of the most stunning structures in the country. It boasts the tallest minarets in the world and is famed for its magnificent interior architecture. Overlooking it is the Garden of Islamic Art, a beautifully landscaped park inspired by the Quranic Garden of Paradise. The park features calligraphy, sculptures, paintings, architecture and, occasionally, traditional Islamic performances.

* Lake Gardens

The man-made lakes are considered the heart of Shah Alam. The green lung is a favourite retreat for the residents. Apart from being the spot for picnics and leisure activities, the lake area also plays host to international events like the International Boat Show and the International Orchid Exhibition

* Sultan Alam Shah Museum

The commanding blue-roofed building situated in the centre of Shah Alam city is the Sultan Alam Shah Museum. On display is the grandeur of Selangor's bygone era with treasured artifacts, including the royal regalia of the affluent Selangor Sultanate and relics of the British era.

* I-City

I-City is a City of Digital Lights. Develop by I-Berhad as a retail and commercial hub with advanced information-communication infrastructure such as broadband speed of 20Mbps, fibre-optic network and a full gen-set back-up power supply.

Located in Section 7, it has installed millions of LED lights to brighten up the night. Visitors are welcome to an auspiciously themed park to take a breath of fresh air and enjoy the aura of a pure vision of peace, prosperity and good health. Dozens of digital maple and pine light trees make for a colourful forest that delights the eyes.

* Malaysia Agriculture Park, Bukit Cahaya

This is said to be the world's first agro-forestry park with a blend of natural forest and landscaped gardens. Main attractions include the Four Seasons Temperate Garden, Spices & Beverages Garden, Cultural Village, Ornamental Garden, Padi Garden, Botanic Garden and Cactus Garden.

* Shopping spots

Serene Shah Alam surprisingly has many shopping facilities. There are several shopping malls with the SACC as the most recent and highend mall. On Sundays, the Melawati Stadium holds a weekend market in its compound. Night markets, including the latest, Uptown, attract hoardes of shoppers.

* Study tours

Student groups always choose Shah Alam for their study tours which normally cover the bread factory, Royal Mint and Bukit Cahaya.

* Shop, Shop and Shop

With malls like One Utama Shopping Centre, The Mines Shopping Fair, Sunway Pyramid, Subang Parade, The Curve, Ikano Power Centre, Ikea, Amcorp Mall, I0I Mall, SACC Shah Alam and Bukit Raja Shopping Centre, who wouldn't get tempted to just shop, shop and shop?

Most shopping malls in Selangor serve as a one-stop centre, while some are situated adjacent to theme parks and hotels.

The malls are also a good place to look for good food - everything from traditional delights to international cuisine.

Another shopping area you shouldn't miss is Little India in Klang. You will love the sights and life in this busy stretch of road in the heart of town. Find here everything Indian - colourful costumes and fabrics, spices, jewellery, perfumes and sweetmeats.

Tee Off at Scenic Fairways

Selangor has about 40 golf clubs and that's a lot of choices for golfers. The lovely fairways lend the club areas a scenic setting that's also perfect for non-golfers to escape to.

Get Excellent Medical Treatment or Higher Education

Selangor has developed a niche in both medical tourism and education tourism. It has an established network of private medical centres offering world-class services and facilities.

Higher educational institutions - both public and private - are among the best in the country.

NST: Dec 30, 2006: Supplement: 28

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