Mangrove forest and fireflies

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Kuala Selangor Nature Park

Flag of Malaysia  , Selangor,
Sunday, February 14, 2010

This trip couldn't start any worse than this. It was the Chinese New Year weekend and I thought most people would be at home or at their hometown celebrating the holidays with their families. I was wrong! As soon as I got to Chinatown, it was chaos. I didn't think that there would be that many people here. With the crowd and the heat, it drove me crazy and I was actually starting to turn back home. As I was walking back, I bumped into a couple of travelers from America that I met in Taman Negara. We chatted and they asked me where I was going. I didn't want to tell them that I was getting frustrated and about to abort my travel plan. In the end, I decided to go ahead to Kuala Selangor.

The bus ride wasn't easy. I took the 141 bus from Puduraya (waited in front of Ancasa Hotel) to Kuala Selangor and the fare was RM7.30. It took more than 2 hours to get there and the first 40 minutes spent just trying to get out of Chinatown and the rest going through endless oil palm plantations. The bus was full, and I felt like I left my nose at home cause everybody was staring. Finally at 3:15pm arrived at Kuala Selangor and I was not in a good mood. As soon as I checked in at the A-frame in Kuala Selangor Nature Park, I took a much-needed shower then head straight to the mangrove forest.

It was a small park and it was pretty nice and different from Taman Negara. You don't see many big trees. Mostly mangroves with their roots sticking out of the ground and bushes. More mosquitoes here though! I guess cause it was more wet and swampy. Saw a lot of birds, herons and the usual monitor lizards as well as monkeys. They have one species that I've never seen before, the silver leaf monkey. They have a walkway through the mangrove forest. You can see crabs and mudskippers down at the swamp but they were a lot of rubbish as well. So many of them. I wandered around the park for about 2 hours and then back to the A-frame, shower yet again and went for dinner. Most shops were closed, didn't have choice but to go to one Malay restaurant. The food wasn't that good and a bit over priced.

At 7:30pm the taxi driver came and drove me to Kampung Kuantan. The boat ride for the fireflies start at 8:00pm and it was RM 40 for 4 people. You can share this with others if you don't have enough people. Again, there were so many people there. The fireflies were nice but a bit too short. The ride took less than 20 minutes. You get on the small boat and one guy paddle it along the river and you see the Berembang trees flicker with thousands of fireflies on them. Very beautiful and they actually flicker rhythmically! Any attempt at taking pictures was futile. You should just enjoy the moment.

Nothing much to do for the rest of the evening. Visited the nearby Bukit Malawati but that didn't really interest me much. Went to bed kinda early and looking forward to go back home. Next day, arrived at Puduraya after the dreaded bus ride and again, saw the American couple. This time they were on the way to the airport and making their way to China for the rest of their trip. What a small world! We exchanged email and promised to keep in touch. Now I can take this off of the list of places to go. Phew!
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