Kuala Selangor Fireflies - travelswithsun - Fireflies - photo credits to huang1129 (Instagram)

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.

Pasir Penambang in Selangor - photo credits to hyehy_life(Instagram)
Pasir Penambang in Selangor – photo credits to hyehy_life(Instagram)

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?

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!

Fireflies in mangrove - photo credits to chaby19913 (Instagram)
Fireflies in mangrove – photo credits to chaby19913 (Instagram)

Note: They also flash their lights in the day but human eyes cannot detect it!

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!

Pasir Penambang and Selangor River -photo credits to redzuannaitin74 (Instagram)
Pasir Penambang and Selangor River -photo credits to redzuannaitin74 (Instagram)

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!

Best Time To See The Kuala Selangor Fireflies

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!

Firefly tours begin at sundown - photo credits to bunnis (Instagram)
Firefly tours begin at sundown – photo credits to bunnis (Instagram)

Tours are usually available everyday:

From 7.30pm and 10.30pm.

Note: Except for rainy days because the rain deters some of the colony from participating in the mating ritual!

And if you don’t want crowds of other tourists to ruin your experience, then you should try to go on a weekday.

Where To See The Kuala Selangor Fireflies

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!

Sunset at Kampung Kuantan - photo credits to helena_juraj (Instagram)
Sunset at Kampung Kuantan – photo credits to helena_juraj (Instagram)

2. Kampung Bukit Belimbing

This is the other small village that plays host to many tourists who come just for the fireflies!

Bukit Belimbing - photo credits to hasfizulhashim (Instagram)
Bukit Belimbing – photo credits to hasfizulhashim (Instagram)

3. Pasir Penambang

Just an hour from Kuala Lumpur, city goers come here for the fireflies as well as the seafood!

Pasir Penambang in Kuala Selangor - photo credits to liansin (Instagram)
Pasir Penambang in Kuala Selangor – photo credits to liansin (Instagram)

Read also: Kuala Sepetang Another Fishing Town To See Fireflies

How To Get To Kuala Selangor

You have a couple of options to reach Kuala Selangor from Kuala Lumpur:

  1. 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
  2. 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!
  3. 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
  4. Rent a car – Something like RM200+ for a day’s rental
  5. Train – not possible (yet!)

Note:

 

  • If you’re relying on public transport, you might want to stay overnight in Kuala Selangor as it will not be easy to find public transport back to KL late at night!
  • You might also want to consider staying overnight instead of driving back. If you are not familiar with Malaysian roads at night!

Read also: Kuala Selangor Day Trip – 29 Things To Do In Kuala Selangor (New Guide)

Cost of Firefly Tour

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.

Eagle feeding tour at Pasir Penambang - photo credits to liyanaabdah (Instagram)
Eagle feeding tour at Pasir Penambang – photo credits to liyanaabdah (Instagram)

Taking a traditional sampan can cost RM50 per person while the electric boats or speedboats cost around RM15-20 per person.

Kuala Selangor Firefly Tours

Note: Tour times rely heavily on the weather. The firefly tour operators have the right to cancel if they deem the weather conditions unsafe.

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):

Sunset at Kampung Kuantan - photo credits to karensiusky (Instagram)
Sunset at Kampung Kuantan – photo credits to karensiusky (Instagram)

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.

Price: ±RM50.00 per sampan (maximum of 4 people per sampan)

Opening hours: 7.45pm – 10.30pm

GPS coordinates: 3.362180, 101.301575 on Google Maps or Waze

Remarks:

  • No parking fees
  • Boat ride is 20-30 minutes
  • Book your slot early if you’re going on a weekend!

Tip: To get the most out of your day in Kuala Selangor, you can do the eagle feeding tour in the morning! Most tour operators offer both in a single package!

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!

Kampung Bukit Belimbing Firefly Park Resort - photo credits to ele042008 (Instagram)
Kampung Bukit Belimbing Firefly Park Resort – photo credits to ele042008 (Instagram)

The boat rides typically take 30 to 45 minutes.

Price (tour): ~RM16.00 (Adult) and around RM9.00 (Child); RM25 for foreigners

Price (chalet for up to 4 people):

  • ~RM159.00 (Weekday)
  • ~RM212.00 (Weekend)
  • ~RM243.80 (Public Holiday)

Address: Kampung Bukit Belimbing, 45000 Kuala Selangor, Selangor

Opening hours: 7.45pm – 10.30pm (last call at 10.00pm)

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.

Address: Pasir Penambang, 45000 Kuala Selangor, Selangor

Price: ~RM20 for adults and ~RM15 for children.

Opening hours: 7.30pm – 9.30pm (last call at 8.45pm)

Remarks:

  • Plenty of fresh seafood to feast upon at the jetty – Like Restoran Kuala Selangor
Pasir Penambang jetty - Photo credits to siew.g.tan (Instagram)
Pasir Penambang jetty – Photo credits to siew.g.tan (Instagram)

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*

Klook.com

Do’s And Don’ts (And What To Bring On The Tour)

DO:

  • Take photos (WITHOUT flash)
  • Bring a night vision camera and binoculars if you have these
  • Wear your life jacket at all times and heed the safety instructions of the tour operators
  • Be quiet on the tour so you don’t ruin other people’s experiences!
  • Apply some mosquito repellent
  • Mind the ramp when you board the boat. It can be slippery.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes if you don’t want mosquitoes biting your toes!

DON’T:

  • Use flash in your photos
  • Forget to wear long sleeves and long pants to deter the mosquitoes
  • Overload on mosquito repellent. Some people find the smell overbearing.

5 Other Attractions In Kuala Selangor

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.

Silver leaf monkeys can be seen on Bukit Melawati, Kuala Selangor - photo credits to athena_starfish (Instagram)
Silver leaf monkeys can be seen on Bukit Melawati, Kuala Selangor – photo credits to athena_starfish (Instagram)

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 Restaurant

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!

Seafood at River View Seafood Restaurant
Seafood at River View Seafood Restaurant. (Photo credits to weekendnotes.com)

Address: No. 1 Jalan Besar, Pasir Penambang, 45000 Kuala Selangor, Selangor

Opening hours: 11am to 9:30pm (They close earlier at 9pm on weekends, Closed on Mondays)

Contact: +603-3289 2238

Notable dishes:

  • Fresh crabs and prawns
  • Salted egg crab
  • Marmite Baby Squid
  • Steamed fish
  • Claypot crab rice

Halal: Yes

II. Hai Ung Seafood Restoran K.Selangor

This restaurant also faces the river and offers fresh seafood!

Seafood at Hai Ung Seafood Restaurant
Seafood at Hai Ung Seafood Restaurant. (Photo credits to klchin.blogspot.com)

Address: Pasir Penambang, 45000 Kuala Selangor, Selangor

Opening hours: 10.30am to 10.30pm

Contact: +6012-710 6989

Notable dishes:

  • Szechuan style baby shark stew – for the sake of the sharks, please don’t order this! =(
  • Salted egg crab
  • Deep fried tilapia with dried chilies
  • Fried oyster omelette
  • Fish maw soup
  • Clam soup
  • Marmite baby squid
  • Steamed prawns
  • Fried beehoon with lala

Halal: No

III. Jeti Seafood Restaurant

Another option for those seeking a Chinese restaurant that is halal!

Seafood at Jeti Seafood Restaurant
Seafood at Jeti Seafood Restaurant. (Photo credits to wonderfoodtravel.blogspot.com)

Address: No. T26, Jalan Pasir Penambang, Pasir Penambang, 45000 Kuala Selangor, Selangor

Opening hours: 11am to 11pm (But on Saturdays, they are also open from 10am to 10:30am, And on Sundays, they close earlier at 10:30pm)

Contact: +6017-349 7713

Notable dishes:

  • Crab dishes
  • Oyster pancake
  • Salted egg fried squid
  • Steam fish
  • Fried beehoon with lala mee hoon
  • Assam pedas grouper

Halal: Yes

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.

Seafood at Cheng Sun Restaurant
Seafood at Cheng Sun Restaurant. (Photo credits to TripAdvisor)

Book early! And mind that the menu is completely in Mandarin!

Address: Lot 580, Bukit Robinson, Simpang Tiga Ijok, Batang Berjuntai, Kuala Selangor, Selangor

Opening hours: 12 to 2:30pm, and again from 5:30pm to 10pm (Closed on Mondays)

Contact: +603-3279 1895

Notable dishes:

  • Salted plum drink
  • Assam stingray
  • Fried eggplant
  • Salted egg lotus roots
  • Other seafood dishes

Halal: No

V. Restoran Tian Wai Tian (天外天海鲜餐室)

Packed on weekends:

This restaurant serves reasonably-priced seafood dishes done in either Malay or Chinese style.

Seafood at Tian Wai Tian Restaurant
Seafood at Tian Wai Tian Restaurant. (Photo credits to Restoran Tian Wai Tian fb)

Note: If you don’t speak any Chinese, it might be difficult for you to order dishes!

Address: 143, Taman Pinggiran, Pasir Penambang, 45000 Kuala Selangor, Selangor

Opening hours: 11.30am to 3.30pm, and again from 5.30pm to 11pm

Contact: +603-3289 2507

Notable dishes:

  • Lemon chicken
  • Kung pao squid
  • Curry fish head
  • Taufu soup

Halal: Don’t think so.

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!

Mangrove walk at Kuala Selangor Nature Park - Photo credits to chrisdai (Instagram)
Mangrove walk at Kuala Selangor Nature Park – Photo credits to chrisdai (Instagram)

With over 200 bird species including migratory birds! Guides are available.

Bring insect repellent and drinking water!

Kuala Selangor Nature Park - photo credits to mikiinnature (Instagram)
Kuala Selangor Nature Park – photo credits to mikiinnature (Instagram)

4. Sekinchan

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!

Sekinchan paddy fields - photo credits to nazrilism(Instagram)
Sekinchan paddy fields – photo credits to nazrilism(Instagram)

There’s quite a lot to explore in Sekinchan and we have previously covered those in a separate post.

Sekinchan - photo credits to meisinleong(Instagram)
Sekinchan – photo credits to meisinleong(Instagram)

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.

Sasaran Sky mirror - photo credits to yuichiro_travel (Instagram)
Sasaran Sky mirror – photo credits to yuichiro_travel (Instagram)

We have a handy comparison table of the available tour companies and what they offer in our Sky Mirror of Sasaran post.

Perfect reflections at the Sky Mirror - photo credits to gohchongkeat (Instagram)
Perfect reflections at the Sky Mirror – photo credits to gohchongkeat (Instagram)

There’s plenty more to see in Kuala Selangor, you can check out the full post of things to do here.

Conclusion

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!

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