Kuala Selangor: Wetlands Of Significance
The Expat|August 2017

Not far from the urban chaos of Kuala Lumpur lies a gem of a nature park, complemented by some of the best seafood around. David Bowden makes the short trip to Kuala Selangor and finds plenty to enjoy.

David Bowden

When I received my first pair of basic binoculars, the swampson the outskirts of my home city were places where the council dumped its rubbish – they were, after all, just wastelands.

Things have changed and these swamps, as I knew them, are now generically known as wetlands and they are definitely not wastelands anymore. We also recycle more garbage than we ever did and our wastes are dealt with in different ways, too. Perhaps the biggest change, however, is that these former wastelands are now tourist attractions; yes, who would have thought people would now be interested in taking their binoculars to such places to admire the wildlife found there.

Many residents of and visitors to Malaysia are wild about its wildlife and they don’t have to travel far from Kuala Lumpur to see native animals in their natural habitat. In fact, one of Malaysia’s most rewarding wildlife encounters can be experienced just north of Kuala Lumpur near the mouth of the Selangor River.

WETLANDS, NOT WASTELANDS

Like many other wetlands around the world, those near Kuala Selangor were once considered wastelands until they were recognised as one of the most productive of all natural areas. Kuala Selangor is a small fishing village situated just 65km from Kuala Lumpur (taking 60 to 90 minutes to drive, depending from where in KL you depart), and is best known among Malaysians as a pleasant destination for fresh and affordable seafood served in atmospheric restaurants beside the Selangor River.

These days, the seafood is still popular, but an estuarine nature park known as Taman Alam Kuala Selangor (Kuala Selangor Nature Park) now appeals to nature lovers in general and birdwatchers especially. While Kuala Selangor is among Malaysia’s smallest nature parks, it has a variety of natural attractions with reasonable facilities. The nature park, covering some 320 hectares, is located at the base of Bukit Melawati which is where the Altingsburg Lighthouse stands high above the town. The lighthouse’s name is obviously not Malaysian, as it was named by the Dutch when they briefly occupied this part of the world in the late 18th century. (Interestingly, this foreign name remains unchanged, although the area is best-known as Bukit Melawati.)

Access to the nature park is at the base of this hill with clear roadside directional signs to Taman Alam Kuala Selangor.

A DYNAMIC ECOSYSTEM

Kuala Selangor’s wetlands were once covered in mangroves, but these were harvested for their timber and, once cleared, converted into fishponds. After this project failed, the nature park was established and an artificial earthen bund was built and soon after, forest species re-emerged from the mud.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM THE EXPATView All

Island Gems In East Malaysia

Island Gems In East Malaysia

4 mins read
The Expat
July 2017

East Malaysian Adventures

East Malaysian Adventures

3 mins read
The Expat
July 2017

A Wonderful Escape In The Cameron Highlands

Andy Davison returns to The Lakehouse, his favourite boutique hotel in the cool Cameron Highlands, for a relaxing and rejuvenating escape from the city.

3 mins read
The Expat
July 2017

Rest And Relaxation

When it comes to health, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure, and by taking the time to slow down and nurture your body and mind, you can ensure that you stay healthy and happy. Though Malaysia offers a huge range of treatments that seek to soothe the mind and body, there’s more to what makes malaysia such perfect place to be pampered.

4 mins read
The Expat
July 2017

Looking Ahead To An Exciting Future At ISKL

Looking Ahead To An Exciting Future At ISKL

3 mins read
The Expat
July 2017

Expat News

Expat News

3 mins read
The Expat
August 2017

Kuala Selangor: Wetlands Of Significance

Not far from the urban chaos of Kuala Lumpur lies a gem of a nature park, complemented by some of the best seafood around. David Bowden makes the short trip to Kuala Selangor and finds plenty to enjoy.

6 mins read
The Expat
August 2017

Experience The Wonder Of Myanmar's Biggest Festival

Experience The Wonder Of Myanmar's Biggest Festival

5 mins read
The Expat
August 2017

Exploring Laung Prabang

Laid-back and unassuming, Laos is one of the region’s most intriguing travel destinations. Editor Chad Merchant visits the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang and finds it the country’s perfect starting point.

5 mins read
The Expat
August 2017

Malaysia's Quality Healthcare Continues To Soar

Malaysia has established itself as one of the top choices worldwide for those seeking medical treatments abroad. For expats living here, this just adds another layer of appeal for their home away from home. The Expat editorial team break down the reasons driving healthcare tourism and why expats in Malaysia are among the biggest beneficiaries.

6 mins read
The Expat
July 2017