Our (hilarious) adventure in Kuala Selangor
After we got of the bus, the bus driver shouted something to the only two (old) people sitting at the bus station. Probably that we wanted to see the fireflies. No one else was around and one of the two old men stood up and directly shouted the only English word he knew: “Fireflies! Fireflies!” and pointed to his little car.
We still had our big backpacks and wanted to get rid of them first, so we showed the guy an address we looked up in advance. It was to the National Park at Jalan Klinik. There we could rent a ti-pi hut in the middle of nature for RM 25 / EUR 5,75. We asked the old man how much he wanted for the ride. The two old men jibbered something to each other and the second man demanded RM 5 / EUR 1,15 We agreed on that and got in his car. This place was so quiet, no one was around.. except for some monkeys.
When we arrived we walked to the main building where an employee spoke English. We asked him if it was possible to stay the night in one of the ti-pi huts , but he told us that they were not available for 8 months because of renovations. Achok, that was his name, told us we could go to Hotel Melawati instead. We asked him if he could tell that to the old man and ask him how much he wanted now. The old man agreed to bring us to hotel Melawati, wait for us, bring us to the fireflies, wait for us again and bring us back to our hotel. Everything + the first ride was RM 50 / EUR 12 Sweet deal huh!
Hotel Melawati – short review
English is not well spoken in this area, which you’d think is weird since the fireflies are a touristic attraction. We got the cheapest room in the hotel which was RM 60 / EUR 14 for 2 persons. The room was big with a large bed, a dresser and a big shower. Overall clean and nothing fancy, cold water and next to the road. But if you’re on a low budget.. you can’t expect more. The staff is really nice and they try to help you, even if they can’t understand you.
On our way to the firelies
The old man waited for us and we drove to the fireflies when suddenly his car started to make funny noises. It was like a barking dog and the volume got tuned down. Before we knew it, his car broke down. He was shouting to himself, or the car, probably some Malaysian swear words. We laughed so hard, but it was starting to get dark and we were on a road with almost no cars passing by. He stepped out after trying to start his car and signed to other drivers. Some stopped and some didn’t. Now we were starting to think we were not going to make it to the fireflies. The park closes if there are not enough visitors after 8. Luckily, a big car stopped with a man in it and he ended up taking us to the park. He was so nice and he did it for free. We figured that the man was a police officer or something, he spoke English pretty okay.
So now we arrived at the firefly park and the first question that popped up was: ‘How in earth are we going to get back?’. It was dark already and no sign of the old man. But the friendly man who brought us told us that the old man would come and get us. We nodded and went on. Trust creates peace right? The place was filled with Asian tourists and we waited for a little while before we got on a boat.
It was simply aha-may-zingh! This is definitely one of the most special things we’ve seen in our lives. The fireflies were in the Mangrove trees and flying around. It was like you stepped in to a fantasy world, a dream come true. The trees were flickering like they were decorated with Christmas lights. We highly recommend doing this. Especially since the tickets are inexpensive (around RM 15 / EUR 3,50) and the boat ride is 30 – 45 minutes. Enough time to enjoy the fireflies!
Amazed by the firefly colony, we stepped outside the park and guess who was waiting for us.. It was the old man with a friend, sitting on a bench. We stepped in a different car, probably his friends car and it started well immediately… The car started to smoke and smell bad. But we could only laugh, we loved how these 2 old men were and we felt joy after seeing the fireflies.
Vincent & Johanna
* Note: all the prizes are according to the exchange rate at the time of travelling