When night falls in this sleepy coastal village not far from Kuala Lumpur, the Kuala Selangor fireflies put on a magnificent display of synchronized dancing lights!
The fireflies (or kelip-kelip in Malay) live in a particular mangrove tree species called berembang that grow along the banks of Selangor River.
There are boat tours that take visitors out into the mangroves to witness the peculiar but enchanting night show!
Table of contents:
- What Is So Special About The Kuala Selangor Fireflies?
- Best Time To See The Kuala Selangor Fireflies
- Where To See The Kuala Selangor Fireflies
- How To Get To Kuala Selangor
- Cost of Firefly Tour
- Kuala Selangor Firefly Tours
- Do’s And Don’ts (And What To Bring On The Tour)
- 5 Other Attractions In Kuala Selangor
The Kuala Selangor firefly colony in particular may well be one of the biggest firefly colonies in the world!
Fireflies or ‘Lightning Bugs‘ do what they do at night in order to find a mate!
They are from the beetle family. The ones in Kuala Selangor are specifically from the ‘Pteroptyx tener’ species.
Which measure can grow from 5 to 25mm in length! They live up to 3 months!
The synchronized lights of this distinct firefly species is actually not a common feature among other firefly species!
It’s sad to note that fireflies used to be abundant in Malaysia but development has greatly reduced their numbers.
But visitors can still see many in Kuala Selangor!
How Do Fireflies Produce Their Lights?
Their bio-luminescence is owed to bacteria present in both male and female fireflies.
While other bio-luminescent insects merely glow, only fireflies can flash:
They do this by controlling the airflow that enters their abdomen.
This motion creates pulses of light that are akin to twinkling lights on Christmas trees!
There’s no best month or season to see the fireflies.
But to see them at their highest potential:
It’s best to go on a clear night without the presence of the moon. And before 11pm because that’s when most fireflies have already found a partner!
Tours are usually available everyday:
From 7.30pm and 10.30pm.
And if you don’t want crowds of other tourists to ruin your experience, then you should try to go on a weekday.
Within Kuala Selangor, there are a few places where visitors can see the fireflies:
1. Kampung Kuantan
About 7km from Kuala Selangor is the small village of Kuantan. This village is well known for its firefly tours!
2. Kampung Bukit Belimbing
This is the other small village that plays host to many tourists who come just for the fireflies!
3. Pasir Penambang
Just an hour from Kuala Lumpur, city goers come here for the fireflies as well as the seafood!
You have a couple of options to reach Kuala Selangor from Kuala Lumpur:
- Bus (a 2-hour journey)
- Selangor Omnibus No. 100 (Medan Pasar Bus Hub, Kuala Lumpur) from 6:30am to 7:30pm with intervals of 30 minutes. A one-way trip is under RM10
- Or take a ~50-minute bus (CausewayLink) from KL to Klang. Followed by the Cityliner bus or Bas Smart Selangor to Kuala Selangor / Bandar Malawati. Intervals of 30 minutes from 6.30am to 7.30pm. One-way ticket are under RM5
- Taxi – A one-way trip (~50 minutes) might cost you RM150 to 200 and higher easily. Especially if you want the driver to wait for you until after the tour too!
- Self-drive (your own car) – An hour plus drive from Kuala Lumpur
- Take the Sungai Buloh exit from the North-South Expressway and follow the road signs all the way to Kuala Selangor
- Rent a car – Something like RM200+ for a day’s rental
- Train – not possible (yet!)
The price varies depending on the tour operator.
Some offer pickup from Kuala Lumpur or even accommodation at their resort.
Packages may also include other activities like eagle feeding in the day time.
Taking a traditional sampan can cost RM50 per person while the electric boats or speedboats cost around RM15-20 per person.
1. Firefly Watching & Kuala Selangor Kampung Tour
A private tour service to Kuala Selangor that starts with pick up from Kuala Lumpur.
This tour is available daily and tickets cost RM205 (for adults) and RM105 (for children below 12 years old)
2. Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park
Currently closed for renovation since August 2020 (last update in mid-March 2021):
This is the only tour that takes the eco-friendly route of using a traditional wooden sampan that is manually oared rather than a noisy speedboat.
The park is locally run by the district council.
3. Kampung Bukit Belimbing Firefly Park Resort
15 minutes’ away from Kampung Kuantan, is Firefly Park Resort.
Here, they offer chalet-style accommodation (with a swimming pool).
And run their own firefly tours using electrically-powered fiberglass boats (these are quiet and do not affect the fireflies!). With knowledgeable guides!
The boat rides typically take 30 to 45 minutes.
4. D Tour Kuala Selangor at Pasir Penambang
Besides Kampung Kuantan and Kampung Bukit Belimbing, you can get a firefly speedboat tour from Pasir Penambang jetty.
They do have boats for large groups (25-40 pax) available as well.
Book the tour now with KLOOK! The tour (mainly in Mandarin) combines 3 attractions – sea eagles, fireflies and blue tears!
Apply code KLOOKIA to enjoy an extra US$2 OFF on your first booking! *Only for NEW USERS*
It’s not all fireflies in Kuala Selangor!
Here are some other places you can explore while waiting for your tour to start in the evening:
1. Melawati Fort, Dutch Hill (Bukit Melawati)
Come to Bukit Melawati for the historical value (like the cannons and the Altingsburg Lighthouse). And the silver leaf monkey colony that live here!
We have a detailed post on visiting Bukit Melawati here on our site.
2. Seafood Restaurants in Kuala Selangor
There are so many seafood restaurants to choose from in Kuala Selangor!
We have listed 5 of the best ones here:
I. River View Seafood
A popular river-front Chinese restaurant that happens to be Halal and serves fresh seafood dishes.
Book ahead if you plan to bring a big group!
II. Hai Ung Seafood
This restaurant also faces the river and offers fresh seafood!
III. Jeti Seafood
Another option for those seeking a Chinese restaurant that is halal!
IV. Restoran Cheng Sun
With their very own vegetable farm and fish pond, you can expect some super fresh ingredients here!
This is a good place to stop on the way to Kuala Selangor or if you are returning to Kuala Lumpur.
Book early! And mind that the menu is completely in Mandarin!
V. Restoran Tian Wai
Packed on weekends:
This restaurant serves reasonably-priced seafood dishes done in either Malay or Chinese style.
Note: If you don’t speak any Chinese, it might be difficult for you to order dishes!
3. Kuala Selangor Nature Park
Opening hours: 9am to 6pm
A good bird-watching opportunity awaits at this wetland park! For just a mere RM4/adult to enter! Just be careful not to let the monkeys know you have food!
With over 200 bird species including migratory birds! Guides are available.
Bring insect repellent and drinking water!
About 30 minutes away from the firefly tours, is the small town of Sekinchan.
Sekinchan is best known for its glorious rice paddy fields that are a vibrant green or gold depending on the stage of the harvest season!
There’s quite a lot to explore in Sekinchan and we have previously covered those in a separate post.
5. Sky Mirror
You can get a tour to see the Sky Mirror of Sasaran not far from Pasir Penambang.
In fact, tour companies often offer a myriad of activities together like eagle feeding, fireflies, Sekinchan and the Sky Mirror.
We have a handy comparison table of the available tour companies and what they offer in our Sky Mirror of Sasaran post.
There’s plenty more to see in Kuala Selangor, you can check out the full post of things to do here.
Ready for a truly magical and romantic experience? See Kuala Selangor fireflies flicker in their natural habitat!
Choose from the many tours listed in this post. Perhaps you prefer going down the Selangor river in a sampan rather than a motorboat?
Maximize your time in Kuala Selangor and include some other attractions in Kuala Selangor for the day!