Pulau Ketam, Selangor, Malaysia.
Trip Start Jun 04, 2005
1Trip End Jun 04, 2005
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Below is a write up on the island. The English isnt too good but it gives a fairly good picture and infomation about the island.
Pulau Ketam, literally translated, means "crab island". It is a small island located off the coast of Klang. The island is easily accessible from the Port Klang jetty by ferry. The "floating houses" that come to view as visitors approach the island is a sight to awe any city slickers. Perching casually on long wooden stilts, these dwellings are suspended about one to ten (1-10) metres above sea level.
Pulau Ketam is the best opportunity for visitors to witness and experience the unique lifestyle of fishermen. Homestay facilities are readily available. And, Pulau Ketam also having a very special viewpoint with town city where this island escape from air pollutions, traffic jams, finding car parking problem etc.
Seafood is a natural wonder of this isle, and Pulau Ketam is renowned for fresh crabs, prawns and fish. It is indeed a seafood gourmet's paradise!
Tourists who had visited Pulau Ketam might wonder how the village became a paradise from a desolated island. The History is interesting and worth compliment.
Long time ago, Pulau Ketam was desolated, Small Island full of "Mangrove Swamps" and famous for its crabs. Three Hainan fishermen from Bagan Hainan, Port Klang, were the first to arrive at Pulau Ketam catching crabs for their living. At first, the came and returned to Port Klang daily. The journey took almost a day. A few months later, they built a small house to stay over nights. They rowed back to Port Klang the second day selling crabs and buying daily sundries it return. At 1872, they built a temple named "Chuan Eng Bio" located near Jalan Timur now. After that, they had decided to stay permanently.
In 1883, the population increased almost to hundred. The Major activities were catching crabs, fishes and prawns. Some of them built sundries shops, and fish dealer shops. As time past, population increased gradually, the Hokkien and Teochew Group also came to this island to earn their living. They stayed at Jalan Besar, Sungai Dalam and Bagan Teochew. Wooden house name "Kongsi House" was built. ("Kongsi" Mean Sharing). Those who were than 20 "Kongsi House" in this island. Now, every villager had his own house, thus the "Kongsi House" became a history testimony.
Since Tanah Melayu was conquered by Japanese, a lot of people flee to Pulau Ketam, because it was safe and peace from war. So the population boomed. At the time, "Hai Ann Ferry" company provided ferry Services to the population.
In 1950's, the diesel engines and new fishing net had been introduced to this island, thus improving the fishing skill, increased the captures. The number of residents, houses, shops had increased tremendously. Soon, The Pulau Ketam Electric Company was built to provide electricity supply for this island.
From 1960's to 1970's, post office, primary school and the other basic facilities sprouted in this island as well.
But, unfortunately, tragedy happened in the year 1967 and 1972, where fires destroyed all the houses and shop lots in Jalan Besar and Sungai Dalam. All the shops were rebuilt later. For preventive measures, The Bomba Sukarela Pulau Ketam was form at 1972. All of Volunteer Members are from Pulau Ketam's residents.
In 1991, the new jetty was ready to use, and piped water was supplied from the mainland by governments.
In 1993, the Hospital Desa Pulau Ketam began to serve the village.
During 1994's Christmas Day, another fired destroyed 4 shops in the main street.
In 1998, Pulau Ketam experienced slight flood. It affected roughly 30% of the resident’s areas. At the same year, Alam Flora started to collect rubbish, making this island cleaner than ever.
In 1999, the new ferry services had been introduced. One of the KTM terminals located at Pork Klang. Both types of transportations make the journey to Pulau Ketam more easy and time saving.
To date, Pulau Ketam is equipped with almost all the basic facilities. It also plays a role as a major fish, crabs, prawns provider to Klang valley, and a tourism spot of Negeri Selangor.
Culture / Religion
The Life in this island is full of Chinese culture and traditions, something different but fascinating.
Have you ever seen the bride groom welcoming the bride by boat? If not, come and witness here. Because car and other vehicles are not available in this island, thus the groom has to drive his fishing boat to "receive" the bride. The "Open car door Ang Pow money" changes to "hold boat tie Ang Pow money". Sometimes they will walk around the Jalan Besar market "informing" others that "We Just married today?"
There are many family name associations like Chia Association, Chua Association in this island. They will help in the funeral works. Normally it will take 3 days to accomplish. The host will prepare food and drink for guest. If you ever heard a villager saying "go to eat fish porridge tonight", it means attending these occasions. The host will invite monk or Taoist to organize "funeral chanting" attended by all the relatives, in believing that it will help the dead to "Amithaba Buddha Western Pureland" for the next life. The coffin will bury or burn in the mainland.
Bicycle fell down
All the roads in this island are higher about 3 or 4 feet higher than swamps. Almost 90% of the children experienced falling down to swamps while learning how to cycle. We called this "eating black chanting". May be you will get a chance to saw a children from swampland while you visit this island.
Dry Seasons lining-up for water
Before the government provided ware supply, villagers depended on rain water for daily use. Thus, every house is equipped with at least one water tank. If there was no rain for 2 month, all the water will be "out of services". Consequently government will send water from mainland by boat. Then villagers will take a trolley with tanks, lining up from heliport to police station waiting for water. Those taking water by their fishing boat had to line up beside heliport.
This has become a memory when water was supplied directly from mainland via water pipe underground in 1993.
Actually houses were built higher than the high tide level, about 3-4 feet higher than swamp land. It was a perfect drainage system, and we never experience flood. But in 1998, the abnormal high tide shocked the islanders. Almost 30% of the houses were covered by flood up to 2 to 16 inches or higher. Some of the roads "disappeared" and "drowned" in the floods.
During high tide, you may se children and teenagers swim beside their houses. That is a natural swimming pool.
Chinese Opera and Mini Concert
There are so many temples here. Some of them will organize Chinese Opera and mini concert at their God's birthday, lasting for 3 to 14 days every year. A lot of people will come to attend and enjoy the shows. This is one of the main entertainments on the island.
The 7th month of Chinese calendar is Ghost Festival. It is believed that ghost in hell has one month "holiday". People will prepare some food to "feed" the hungry ghost, burn some "money" for them. Temple will organize chanting rites for ghost.
Since 1950's, Syarikat Electric Pulau Ketam provided electricity supply 22 hours per day. From 7:30am to 9:30am the power was be interrupted for 2hours. But since mid year 2001, it providing 24 hours full electricity supply daily.
In the old days, villagers had to depend on rain water for daily used. Every house was equipped with at least one water tank. Since 1991, government is providing water supply from mainland via an underground water pipe from Pulau Indah (West Port), Port Klang.
Telekom Malaysia Branch was built in 1961. For Mobile Services such as Maxis (012), TM Touch (013), Digi (016) and Celcom (019) also available right now.
The only one is Malaya Bank Pulau Ketam Service Centre (Maybank) is providing basic banking services for the entire villager. It is equipped with ATM services.
Before Post Office was found; all the letters were sent through and collected from police station. Post Office was found in 1975.
Police Station was found in 1896, Public security is safe.
Pulau Ketam Volunteer Fire Brigade
In the year 1967 Pulau Ketam was caught by fire which destroyed more than 80 houses. In 1972 fire stuck again and destroyed more than 100 houses and shop lots. In conjunction with these tragedies, villagers formed up Pulau Ketam Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1972 to safe guard their own properties.
Hospital Desa Pulau Ketam
It was formed up in 1993 to replace the government clinic. In serious case, the patient will be send to General Hospital in the mainland by speedboat. Beside this, there is a private clinic providing medical services to the publics.
There are 3 kindergartens, 3 primary school and 1 secondary school here. A few villagers prefer to send their children to study in the mainland. The students can study till Form 5. Sungai Lima students went to school by "Students Boat"
The new jetty started to function in 1991. Ferries provide services daily. Cars are not available here because roads are narrow and short. Bicycle or bicycles equipped with motor called “motor-cycle” locally are the major transports used. Beside ferry, several boat companies also provide good transportation services daily. Sundries and many goods are transported to Pulau Ketam daily. Speed boat renting services is also available.
Basically, Pulau Ketam is two villagers in this island. They are Pulau Ketam village, and Sungai Lima village, separated by forest. No roads are available to link each and others. The Main transportations are boat. The population in Pulau Ketam village reached its peak of about 20 thousands in 1980's. The villagers were consisted of Teochew, Hokkien and some Hainnanse. The population in Sungai Lima was nearly 1.5 thousand, majority is Hokkien.
In Recent years, a lot of villagers have moved to the mainland, especially teenagers after finishing form 5. Most of them work or own some business in the Klang Valley. Some of them further their tertiary education. They only come back to island during weekends or in festive seasons. Most of them bought houses and cars in the mainland. Besides that, you can find a lot of villagers from Pulau Ketam at Endao and Mersing, Johor. Sometimes we called these new settlements as "Mini Pulau Ketam".
To date, population of Pulau Ketam is around 6 to 7 thousands. Majority are Chinese. The Malays form mainland mostly work as policemen, nurses and secondary schools teachers. The numbers to be around 50 persons.
If you are visit to Pulau Ketam, you can speak Mandarin or dialect such as Teochew and Hokkien mostly of people will know and understanding this dialect and languages. Some of shop keepers can speak English as well.
Almost 80% of the villagers are fishermen. Thus, other business are mostly connected with fishery. Fish Dealing Centres were built nearby seashore. At night time, the sea products are being transported to Port Klang, and then send to wet market in Klang Valley, Some sea products are being processed domestically, such as fish balls, fish rolls, dried prawns and shell-off prawns.
Some petrol station are floating on the water, allowing service be done in high tide and low tide. Other shops like sundries shops, hardware, mobile phone, stationary, bank, post office, restaurants, market are located in main street, it is the Pulau Ketam Centre town areas. All the vegetables, rice and construction material are transported from mainland.
Pulau Ketam is a fascinating island, full of fishing village sceneries. All buildings are built 3-5 feet from the swampland. During high tide, houses look like "floating on the water" giving a wonderful and romantic feeling. Villagers are friendly and willing to help tourist in getting to know this island.
Fish farm is floating on the sea. It takes about 10 minute’s journey to reach by boat. Fishes are reared in these fishing farms. Most of the living fish are exported to Hong Kong. Some of them will be transported to other fishing farms or restaurants. It is an interesting experience to stand on a real floating farm on water. It is fun feeding the fish too. Chalets are available. You can stay at fish farm for a night. Please Contact GreenWay Tour Service for further information.
Pulau Ketam Jetty
Your first step on Pulau Ketam is the pulau Ketam Jetty. Villagers like to loiter around enjoying sea breezes after dinner. It is really relaxing and enjoying. At night times, teenagers assemble here for their leisure and social activities.
In Pulau Ketam have a special bride called "Couple Bridge" in Mandarin. If you go to Koperasi Herr Ming Pulau Ketam will via from this bridge.
Koperasi Herr Ming Pulau Ketam
Here you can see the boast used for transporting fish to the mainland. It is a nice place to take photos.
Nang Thiam Keng Temple
The Nang Thiam Keng Hall is a common place for holding wedding dinners. In 6th of 6th Month of Chinese Calendar is the God's birthday. This is a big event here. A celebration of at least 14 days of Chinese Opera and Mini Concert make the nights more lively and energetic. Every 3 years, the committee board of the temple will organize the ritual of "Gods Patrol and blessing the island". The event will be attended by many temples’ "God" together and "They" walk around the town, patrolling the sea, and guarding the island.
Hock Leng Keng Temple
One of the biggest temples in Pulau Ketam. The temple is beautiful with intricate sculptures and colorful painting. It celebrates its big events at 28th of 4th Month of Chinese Calendar, with Chinese opera and mini concert.
There are 11 bridges in Pulau Ketam. (Sungai Lima has another 3). The first bridge is near main street. Here you can see a lot of boats parking at the small private jetties.
A celebration of at least 14 days of Chinese Opera and Mini Concert make the nights more lively and energetic. Every 3 years, the committee board of the temple will organize the ritual of "Gods Patrol and blessing the island". The event will be attended by many temples’ "God" together and "They" walk around the town, patrolling the sea, and guarding the island.
Motel and sea food restaurants are easy to reach in Pulau Ketam. Sea foods are supplied directly from local fish dealer here, thus they are totally fresh and delicious.
Below is a list of contact person for motel and restaurants:-
1）Sea Lion Hotel- 03-31104121 03-31104072
012-2648052 Mr. Cha Keng Lee
2）Huan Kyu- 03-31105276
3）Pulau Ketam Inn- 03-31105206
4）Kim Chuan Motel - 012-3708483
5）Greenway Tour Agency- 03-31105402 或 03-3225333
Sea Foods Restaurants:-
1) Restaurant Ping Heong- 03-31104062
2) Restaurant Mei Sek - 03-31104180
3) Restaurant Seng Tian - 03-31104106
4) Nan Heng Seafood Restaurant - 03-31104002
5) Restaurant Kuai Lok Hian - 03-31104485
6) Restaurant Seafood Kia Hiong Haun - 03-31104668
7) Kim Hoe Seafood Restaurant - 03-31104216
1) Hong Heng Company- 03-31104126
2) Ah Chui Drysaltery Stall - 03-31104818
3) Sea Lion Hotel- 012-2648052 Mr Cha Keng Lee