Beyond Shah Alam and places in Klang Valley, I can’t say I’ve seen a lot of Selangor, Malaysia. But apparently, there’s this district called Kuala Selangor, which despite being a namesake of its state, didn’t ring a bell until we’ve gone there for a culinary adventure. Read more…
Our day in Kuala Selangor started in the historical Bukit Melawati (Melawati Hill), where we were boarded in yellow and red trams to get us to the hilltop. Among the attractions we checked out were the Historical Museum of Kuala Selangor, the mythical Batu Hampar, and the majestic (and still functioning) Altingsburg Lighthouse.
Another draw of the hill is the silvery lutung or the silver-haired monkey (Trachypithecus cristatus) that roam freely around. These old-world primates, endemic to Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, and Sumatra, are listed by the IUCN as near threatened, and although mischievous, they and their orange-furred young are not violent and can be fed.
After Bukit Melawati, we were gathered in a hall to sample Selangor’s treasured culinary delights, including pecal (rice cubes and vegetables in savory peanut sauce), bahan-bahan (round rice cakes), kuih habuk-habuk (sticky rice cake filled with coconut), and my favorite, kuih bakar kemboja (grilled pandan rice cake). They also prepared lepat pisang (steamed banana parcels) and lepat ubi (steamed cassava parcels), which are interestingly similar to the Filipino suman.
Although we’ve filled our tummies to the brim over morning tea, we still had to eat lunch, as it was Malaysia after all. And so, we were given ample time to explore Kuala Selangor’s town center and pick where to have lunch among rows of restaurants. Anticipating that we’d be having traditional Malay food the coming days, I looked for a humble Chinese place and ordered my foolproof meal choice: nasi ayam (chicken rice) and char kway teow (fried flat noodles).
This year is Malaysia Year of Festivals 2015 with the theme “Endless Celebrations.” Visitors can expect a series of year-long special events and activities throughout the country. For more updates on MYFEST2015, check out tourism.gov.my and like Tara Na Sa Malaysia on Facebook.