Selangor is well known for its numerous places of interest, including some that are internationally known. You can choose to cruise along the river, splash around at a water park or marvel at the mesmerising sights of Mother Nature – and revel in the fact that these places are just a few hours’ drive from the city centre. Sprinkled generously across the state are dozens of pockets of eco-wonders that lead into a world where you can relax and enjoy your surroundings. Selangor boasts at least 10 such symbols is testimony to its rich and diverse history. Here are the 10 icons of Selangor Darul Ehsan:
1) THE BLUE MOSQUE
One of the most beautiful structures in the country, the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah mosque – commonly known as the “Blue Mosque” – is well known for having the world’s tallest minaret. Sunlight filtering through the blue stained glass of the mosque renders a bluish ambience to its interior, evoking a sense of peace and serenity. Built in 1988, it can hold 24, 000 worshippers. Just next to it is the Garden of Islamic Park inspired by the Quranic Garden of Paradise. Nearby is the Shah Alam Gallery displaying arts and crafts.
Persiaran Masjid, Shah Alam
9 am – 7 pm (closed for prayers at 1 pm – 2 pm and 4 pm – 5 pm, and noon – 3 pm Fridays)
03-26158188 (Tourism Malaysia)
2) SEPANG GOLD COAST
On the west coast, overlooking the Starits of Malacca, is the little-explored Gold Coast. Lovely beaches, swaying palms and the fresh breeze definitely make this the perfect place for some peace and quiet. With first rate accomodation as a setting, plus a great choice in fresh seafood and a welcoming ambience, just sit with a drink in hand and enjoy the view as the sun goes down over the water.
03-26158188 (Tourism Malaysia)
3) BATU CAVES
They’ve made documentaries about this place, where up to a million people throng every year for Thaipusam. A focal point for Malaysian Hindus, 272 steps lead up to the shrine that sits within its depths. Set in limestone dating back some 400 million years, the jagged hills are home to three main carvens and a troupe of mischievous monkeys. The largest and most popular shrines, with ceiling more than 300 feet high, is known as Temple Cave. Inside, you can find yourself immersed in the plethora of colors, with music and chants form the devotees in the background. Resting points along the stairs provide nice views of the suburbs of Selangor as well as Kuala Lumpur, do don’t forget to bring along a good camera.
Jalan Batu Caves, MRR2 Selayang.
Operational hour :
7 am – 9 pm
4) MALAWATI HILL (BUKIT MALAWATI)
For a trip of historic Selangor, take a drive to Malawati Hill along the coastal town of Kuala Selangor. With a hilltop fort commisioned by the first Sultan of Selangor in the late 1700s to protect the state from the intruding Dutch, the hill is an easy walk through remnants of the past. Sight along the cannons towards the Straits of Malacca and imagine what the scene might have looked like in those days. But you don’t have to worry about any olden-day guard barring your way today; getting up Bukit Malawati can easily be done via tractor-tram or on foot. With a breathtaking view from the top and an opportunity to visit the past, Bukit Malawati is a destination well worth your time.
Operational hour :
9 am – 4.30 pm
5) DONG ZEN MONASTERY
Located in Jenjarom, approximately 45 minutes from Petaling Jaya, the Dong Zhen monastery attracts more than two million visitors who come to see the colorful lanterns during Chinese New Year. There, you can walk in the midst of beautiful flower arrangements, monuments, shrines and statues, while further in is Lumbini Garden – apparently meaning “abundance of fruit and flowers” – which has a tall rock formation rising out of a koi-filled pond and green-colored bridges criss-crossing the water. The monastery is also a cultural and educational centre that houses a Buddhist college and a tea house that serves great vegetarian food.
PT 2297 Jalan Sungai Buaya, Jenjarom, Kuala Langat
Operational hour : 9 am – 7 pm
6) FOREST RESEARCH INSTITUTE MALAYSIA (FRIM)
Picture, if you will, fields of green with Angsana trees standing majestically in the background. In this little piece of heaven, chirping birds, squirrels and colorful butterflies have made their home. Picture this place being just a short druve from the hustle and bustle of the city. This FRIM, a nature park with 15, 000 native plants, a waterfall and meandering river that is a popular venue for Bollywood movie and wedding photography. Care for a bird’s eye view?. Then register for a thrilling canopy walks set 30 metres up in the trees.
How did it all begin?
The Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), a government agency under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, started out in the 1920s as a project to rebuild a forest ecosystem in a denuded area. A separate forest research unit in Kepong was established in 1926 for this purpose. FRIM’s aim is to promote the optimal use of forest resources through research, development and application of foresty knowledge, under the management of the Malaysia Forestry Research and Development Board.
7 am – 7 pm (canopy walk, 9 am – 2.30 pm). Closed on Mondays and Fridays.
Admission: RM5 per person, RM5 per car
7) KUALA SELANGOR FIREFLIES
Fireflies at Kuala Selangor. Video courtesy of fengfeng2
Marvel at the spectacular display of twinkling lights as thousands of fireflies perform the mating dance among the Berembang, the mangrove trees that grow wild on the banks of Selangor River. The fireflies light up in unison every few seconds and these well-synchronised green flashes are sure impress visitors as they do the insects’ potential mates. The best time to visit is after nightfall, at 7.30 pm to 7.45 pm.
Kampung Kuantan, Kuala Selangor
RM 40 per boat (sampan)
8 ) KANCHING RECREATIONAL FOREST
Situated northwest of Kuala Lumpur, this popular tourist attraction is an excellent place for picnicking and camping especially near the cascading waterfalls. There are seven tiers of waterfalls, each with a superb view of the surroundings. The most popular tourist sports are the second and the third tiers, where the waterfalls end in spacious pools. Those with children might prefer the first tier where the river flows slowly, and is thus safer. Located nearby are Templer’s Park Jungle Waterfall and Commonwealth Forest Park, also ideal for picnics and camping.
Between Selayang and Rawang
Operational hour :
Tel: 03-55132000 (Tourism Selangor)
9) SULTAN ABDUL AZIZ ROYAL GALLERY
Get steeped in the heritage of the Selangor Sultanate dating back to the 18th century at this royal gallery. Constructed in 1909, the colonial building was turned into a public gallery depicting the legacy of Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, the late father of the current Sultan. The gallery highlights the rich history and the heritage of the Selangor Sultanate originating in 1777 from the Bugis Sulawesi Royal family of Opu Tanreburung Daeng Relaka of the Malay Achipelago. Items displayed include crown jewels, photographs and other priceless heirlooms.
Bangunan Sultan Sulaiman Klang
10 am – 5 pm (Closed on Monday)
10) SUNWAY LAGOON
Sunway Lagoon is by far the most frequented tourist destination in the country. For good reason!. With relaxing tube rides and man-made waves for surfing at the Water Park, hair-raising roller coaster at the Amusement Park, ghostly beings at the Scream Park and cuddly creatures at the Animal Park, there’s something for everyone.
3, Jalan PJS 11/11, Bandar Sunway
11 am – 6 pm, 10 am – 6 pm on public holiday/school holidays (Closed on Tuesday)
From RM 45 per adult
Information source: Vision Selangor magazine