Literally, Kuala means rivermouth in the Malay language, and thus this is a small town where the Selangor River (Sungai Selangor) meets the sea. It was the old royal capital of Selangor prior to moving to Klang, and finally to Kuala Lumpur.
This small town was conquered by the Dutch when they invaded Selangor in 1784. It is located well off the normal tourism route and hence, still maintains its traditional "kampung" (village) atmosphere.
Visitors can board Selangor Bus No. 141 from Medan Pasar Bus Hub in Kuala Lumpur. The bus departs half-hourly from KL between 6.30am and 7.30pm, and takes 2 hours (++) to reach the bus terminal at Bandar Malawati, Kuala Selangor. (The last bus for the return trip from Kuala Selangor to KL is at 7.45pm) The one-way fare is RM7.30.
Alternative method is to take any bus to Klang from KL (high bus service frequency rate). From Klang, take the Cityliner bus to Kuala Selangor/Bandar Malawati.
Directions to Medan Pasar Bus Hub : The bus hub is about 100m north of Central Market. From Masjid Jamek LRT, walk 100m southeast along Jln Tun Perak before turning right into Lebuh Ampang. After walking another 100m, you will see the bus shelter next to a grey "clock tower" in the small square. While many buses stop on the southside of the square, the red Selangor buses, which also hav SELANGOR written on them, are north (December 2014).
Directions from Bandar Malawati Bus Terminal: The terminal is in Bandar Malawati, which is about 1km southeast of the town centre. You can then take a RM5 taxi ride / local bus to the town centre of Kuala Selangor (alternatively you can take a 15-20min walk). [The bus terminal is also served by Cityliner buses from Klang]
Its a one hour journey by cab. The cab might also not be able to pick up a passenger on the way back, so expect fares to be high. For comparison, the distance from KL to KLIA is about 80km and a one hour journey. Taxis typically want RM 70 for a trip to the airport. So you would expect something similar, or higher for this trip. You might be able to negotiate a good deal if you book the taxi for a return trip.
Hourly hire rates for a small taxi (red/white) is about RM35 an hour if you would like to book one for the duration of the trip.
Make your way towards Sungai Buloh exit from North-South highway and follow the road signs towards Kuala Selangor. Alternatively if you are starting your journey from Klang, you can drive towards Kapar and head straight from there towards Kuala Selangor. Either way, the journey should not take longer than 80 minutes.
Kuala Selangor is a relatively small town and has no public transport system. So really the only options are a sweaty walk or a take a taxi. (Apart of course from the tram going up and down Bukit Melawati.)
Bukit Melawati, known as Bukit Selangor to the locals, has an indelible mark in the history of Selangor. The locals built a fortress on top of the hill in the 19th century to defend Selangor from enemy attacks at the river mouth and provide a vantage point to monitor ships entering and leaving the Straights of Malacca. The fortress was captured by the mighty Dutch armies and was used as their base to launch attacks on Selangor to capture the luxurious tin trade. The fortress was renamed Fortress Altingsburg after the name of the Dutch Governor General at that time, Governor General Alting.
The fortress was later destroyed during the Selangor Civil War (1867-73) skirmish between warring factions fighting for tin rich areas. Sultans of various areas teamed up with different Chinese gangs and the war resulted in a bloody end only to be 'saved' by the British Resident, who was requested by other Malay Rulers to mediate talks to put an end to the futile feud.
Although the war has ended years ago, there are several remnants from the past that appeal to historical buffs and visitors alike. A couple of leftovers cannons and foundation stones are hugely popular with visitors who are fascinated with its historical values. Some of the foundation stones are believed to be used for executions for locals who dared defied the Dutch armies. Bukit Melawati also has a lighthouse and several old colonial houses built during the British era. Some of the lesser known attractions on the hill include the Poisoned Well that was filled with poisonous mixture of latex and juice from bamboo shoots and reputed to be used to execute traitors by lowering them into the well drench in poison and the Royal Mauseleum that is the final resting place for the first three Sultans of Selangor.
The view from on top of Bukit Melawati is panoramic. On a clear day, visitors can see the Malacca Straits. The sunset view at this hill is rated among the nicest in the country. A little fishing settlements can be viewed from the hill as well. The sight of fishing boats rounding up their fishing trips and laying the nets down are a welcome sight after the hustle of the cities. From the hill visitors can also see the entirity of Kuala Selangor Nature Park, a great birdwatching site which is located at the foot of the hill.
The Chinese nicknamed the hill as "Ma Lau San" which loosely translated as Monkey Hill. This is because the hill is swarmed by several families of Silver -Leafed langur Monkeys and Long-Tailed Macaques. Visitors come in droves to feed the monkeys with peanuts and vegetables that can be purchased from vendors around the area. The grey-colored langurs are generally quite gentle while the macaques are more aggressive and will grab any food you are carrying. However do take caution as these animals are born in the wild and may be dangerous if provoked.
Visitors can choose to walk up the hill or opt for a tram that runs up the hill (note: tram only runs at weekends and holidays when cars are not allowed up the hill) and costs RM5 per adult and RM2.50 for children. The tram will bring visitors up round the hill and then down to the fresh water fish park. Visitors can choose to alight at any point that they wish and resume the ride on another tram.
Go and see the Fireflies (Kelip-Kelip in Malay) at the Firefly Park in Kampung Kuantan and Kampung Bukit Belimbing in the evening. To get there, take a taxi (there are no local buses). No entry fee, but you pay RM50 per boat (4 persons maximum to a boat). Boat ride starts at 8PM and last boat leaves at 11PM to see the fireflies on the river banks. As their flashing becomes sychronised you can see entire trees flashing in the banks for Sungai (River) Selangor. Bring mosquito repellent and expect a long queue on weekends and public holidays.
Another place to see the fireflies utilizes quiet motor boats and has a 15rm entry fee with about 10 people to a boat. Guesthouses and travel agents can help you book a taxi and take a cut from it. More than likely, a taxi could be rented for 20 but several drivers claimed 30 was standard. You can tell the taxi driver which place you want to go.
Pasir Penambang, just minutes by car from Kuala Selangor town, is famous for seafood. Some restaurants are on the water, just by the river, and make for a good meal while watching the sun set. Expect to pay around RM15-50 per person, depending on what you order. You can walk there in 15-20 minutes. Cross the bridge and go through the construction site on the left. Follow the river.
There is also a McDonald's located along the main road.
There are no bars in the old or new center of the town, and the cafés and restaurants do not offer alcoholic beverages and close quite early (9-10pm at the latest). Beer can be purchased at the 7-11 or cheaper at the local Speedmart 99 around the town center. Small bottles were about 6 and big around 12.
If you do not have a car, and you are staying at the Firefly Resort, there is a small kedai makan (restaurant) across the road (the seafood restaurant at the resort has since closed). If you are an Orang Asing (foreigner), be sure to brush up on your Malay, though all the usual staple food is available here. Be sure to ask for Kopi Ais (iced coffee)!