Kuala Selangor – Sekinchan

Kuala Selangor is a popular day trip destination for KL-ites.

For first timers, you will of course go up Bukit Melawati to roam around the fortress, lighthouse, museum, mausoleum and hobnob with the monkeys.  Then there is the usual seafood lunch at Pasir Penampang.  I don’t find the seafood to be that great but what the heck.  Or, for something different, Restoran Bagan, a corner Malay shop at the foot of Bukit Melawati (near the mosque) has good sambal for a nasi lemak breakfast.

After lunch, if you fancy a walk in the heat and humidity, head to the Kuala Selangor nature park.  Thank goodness there are plenty of coconut stalls in Kuala Selangor to replenish lost body fluids.  Then in the evening, the fireflies await.

For regular visitors to Kuala Selangor, however, the purpose of the journey is to stock up on fresh seafood and preserved seafood like anchovies, salted fish and crackers.  Pasar Pasir Penampang is the place to buy fish, prawns, crabs, cockles, clams and sotong.  My favourites are the small white pomfret (which we would fry crisp until the whole fish is edible, bones, head and all) and the lala’s which are still very much alive.

The freshly baked caramel biscuits sold at 168 Lock Siew Moy are also a favourite.  They carry the halal chop.

Fishing boats at Tanjung Karang
Fishing boats at Tanjung Karang

From Kuala Selangor, head towards Tanjung Karang and Sekinchan.   Almost everyone will tell you to visit the paddy fields and Pantai Redang while in Sekinchan.  I was most disappointed with Pantai Redang.  As the river mouth and fishermen’s wharves are nearby, the sea is an uninviting grey.  The beach is also nothing to shout about.  The one good thing is you can collect nice turquoise coloured clam shells as the beach is littered with them.

While at Pantai Redang, you can also add the most photographed tree in Malaysia to your photo collection.  The tree with red strips of wishes hanging on its branches is right next to the Chinese temple.  You won’t miss it.  Loads of local tourists will be striking poses there.

Green green paddy field of Sekinchan
Green green paddy field of Sekinchan
Baby frog in Sekinchan paddy field: edible when big?
Baby frog in Sekinchan paddy field: edible when big?

The paddy fields on the other hand, are much better.  Acres upon acres of green (or yellow, depending on the season).  You can visit the Paddy Gallery or just walk along the paths that zig zag across the paddy fields (think this could be trespassing, though).

The seafood in Sekinchan is cheaper and tastier than in Pasir Penampang.  There are many seafood restaurants along Jalan Bagan Sekinchan. Cha Po Tian restaurant is recommended by a lot of blogs but I found the wait to be too long and the food not as superlative as touted.  I am going to be a contrarian and recommend the fried baby sotong and chinese pomfret mee hoon at Loong Hua restaurant.

For fresh seafood (Bagan, near to Pantai Redang is where you can find them), I would still opt for Pasar Pasir Penampang which has more variety under one roof with slightly better prices.

As you travel from Kuala Selangor to Sekinchan, you will come across a number of fruit stalls selling corn, mangoes, bananas and other fruits.  Prices are not the same from stall to stall, and they are not necessarily cheaper than elsewhere.  Mentarang (a type of clam) lovers will also find plenty of stalls selling either fresh or baked mentarangs.

All in, if shopping complexes are not your thing, then Kuala Selangor-Sekinchan is a pretty good way to spend the day.

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