Post-MCO Travelling Guide: Selangor, the Abode of Sincerity
It has been a while since our last Travelling Guide, which was about Kelantan, before we were hit by the CMCO back in October 2020. Now that the situation has let up, and over 90% of the adult population has already been fully vaccinated, the government has seen it fit to open up interstate travel and domestic tourism again, at least only for fully vaccinated individuals at the moment. Thus, we will now resume our local travel guide, this time labelled post-MCO rather than RMCO, and this month’s feature is Selangor Darul Ehsan—Darul Ehsan means “Abode of Sincerity”. It’s the largest in terms of population at more than 6.5 million residents, though it’s nowhere near the top in terms of both area and population density, as Penang itself is already twice as dense as Selangor, while Kuala Lumpur is almost nine times denser. With that many people, however, there are many, many interesting places to visit in Selangor, whether it’s about sightseeing or food or accommodation, there are bound to be several that would interest even those who are already living in Selangor.
Shopee is currently having a campaign where users can get one RM100 voucher to be used on selected tour packages under the Kita Selangor 2.0 campaign by paying via ShopeePay. This campaign is until 31 December 2021 and is limited to 10,000 total voucher redemptions throughout the campaign, so get your voucher today and
Secret Garden—1 Utama Shopping Centre
Many would already know of 1 Utama Shopping Centre which is (in)famous for being the largest shopping mall in Malaysia as well as being among the top 10 largest shopping centres in the world—number 8 at the time of writing. However, hidden on one of the rooftops of 1 Utama is a well-kept public secret: you see, there is a Secret Garden which is not so secret, but access to it is quite limited to keep its conditions pristine and well-maintained. It’s one of the largest rooftop gardens in the world at about 30,000 square feet, with 600 species of tropical plants, the vast majority of them rare and exotic. Prior to its public unveiling in 2009, it had been developed in secret for five years!
- Entrance fee: Free
- Opening times: 10 AM–10 PM Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays
Sky Mirror—Kuala Selangor
While Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia has been described as the world’s largest mirror and is also called the “Mirror of the Sky” due to it being a large salt flat with a thin and reflective layer of water, we have our very own Salar the Uyuni right here in Malaysia; more specifically, it’s in Kuala Selangor, and it’s called…Sky Mirror. Now, this place is always accessible, but unlike Salar de Uyuni, the phenomenon that transforms it from a regular boring sandbar into a fantastically massive mirror only happens twice a month: at the new moon and at a full moon, and that is also dependent on tide levels. When you’re there, you’ll not only be looking at yourself and the sky since it’s the sea, so there are plenty of crustaceans such as clams and crabs that you can find in the vicinity, and if you’re lucky enough, you might even be able to spot some dolphins on your boat trip to the sandbar.
- Entrance fee: Price is dependent on tour package and pickup point; tour packages include fully guided tours of the sandbank which include a 30-minute boat ride
- Opening times: 24/7, but check ahead with tour guides/agencies for the best times to visit, as well as weather forecasts
Everyone who has been to Selangor should visit Batu Caves at least once. It is a Hindu shrine that becomes very lively every year during Thaipusam, especially since it houses the world’s tallest statue of Murugan, the Hindu deity that is the focus of Thaipusam. Visitors are also challenged to climb up the 272 concrete steps leading up to the main cave that houses a temple, known as…Temple Cave. There are two other large caves beside several smaller ones, and all the caves are occupied by long-tailed macaques. Unfortunately, the Dark Cave, which is about two-thirds of the way up the stairs towards Temple Cave, has been closed since January 2019, and no cave explorations could take place without their guidance.
- Entrance fee: Free
- Opening times: 7 AM–9 PM daily
Zoo Negara—Ulu Klang
Zoo Negara is the national zoo of Malaysia. It houses over 5,000 animals from 476 different animal species across 110 acres of land in a largely open concept, allowing about 90% of its animals plenty of space to roam about freely. They’ve recently done some extensive renovations to their attractions, making it more comfortable for both visitors and their resident animals. Don’t miss their popular multi-animal shows which happen twice daily at 11 AM in the morning and 3 PM (3:30 PM on Fridays) in the afternoon, where several different animals will perform various tricks to entertain the audience. Meanwhile, you can also go fishing at the fishing zone area around the Tunku Abdul Rahman Lake, and all fish caught other than the Jullien’s Golden Carp may be taken home by anglers, though there is a catch: anglers would have to pay RM40 (RM75 for non-MyKad anglers) per fishing rod. Currently, Zoo Negara has a special ZooKu Membership programme for children 3–17 years old where each child only needs to pay RM30 for unlimited visits to Zoo Negara for an entire year, and the membership also gives parents a 20% discount on their entry tickets too.
- Entrance fee for Malaysians: RM45 for adults; RM18 for children (3–12 years); RM23 for senior citizens (60 years and above)
- Entrance fees for foreigners with i-Kad/Working Permit/Dependent Pass: RM50 for adults and senior citizens; RM25 for children
- Entrance fees for all other foreigners: RM88 for adults and senior citizens; RM43 for children
- Opening times: 9 AM–5 PM
- Contact: 018-233 1200/018-213 3200
Paya Indah Wetlands—Kuala Langat
If you’re into ecotourism, Paya Indah Wetlands is for you. It’s located next to the ELITE Highway about 9 km away from the small town of Dengkil. The Department of Wildlife and National Parks of Peninsular Malaysia (PERHILITAN) lists 14 different activities that you can do while you’re there, including feeding the hippos, crocodiles, fish, pelicans and porcupines. Yes, you read that right: there are hippos here that you can actually feed, so you don’t have to travel all the way to Africa to see hippos in their natural habitat. Of course, since hippos are not native to Malaysia, the hippos that you see there were originally from Botswana. The crocodiles, on the other hand, were imported from Langkawi.
- Entrance fee: Free
- Opening times: Saturday to Thursday, 7:30 AM–7 PM; Friday, 7:30 AM–12 PM, 2:45 PM–7 PM
- Contact: 03-8768 7616/8726
Willy Satay @ Medan Selera Ramal Junction—Kajang
Foodies will immediately think of satay when it comes to Kajang. There are now many, many places in Kajang selling satay, each with their own secret marinade for their meats. One of the relative newcomers to the satay scene in Kajang is Willy Satay, which started out about 13 years ago as a small roadside stall, but has since grown popular enough to have many branches today including Bangi, Seremban, and Terengganu, just to mention a few. What makes them so popular is that their marinade has a heavier emphasis of lemongrass for the fragrance, and their skewers are on the thicker side. They sell chicken, beef and mutton, as well as perut for those who could stomach the taste and texture. The main branch remains in Medan Selera Ramal Junction, so for the original experience, head there for your next satay fix!
- Address: Medan Selera Ramal Junction, Jalan Ramal 1, Taman Ramal Indah, 43000 Kajang, Selangor
- Opening times: 2 PM–10 PM (irregular; best to check via WhatsApp)
- Contact: 013-330 9291
Bamboo Biryani “Taste & See”—Klang
For something that’s really unique, try the bamboo biryani at Bamboo Biryani “Taste & See” in Klang. When they first started back in 2016, they set the foodies’ tongues wagging about how innovative and delicious this new way of preparing biryani is, the result of which is that the unique aroma of bamboo is absorbed into the biryani as the rice is steamed in the hollow bamboo tubes together with the meat or vegetables. Customers can choose from a plethora of different biryanis, including vegetarian, fish, prawns, chicken, mutton, crab, and even turkey. Bamboo Biryani also offers bamboo seafood platters in two different varieties: buttermilk and spicy masala. Their tagline is “Serving the best bamboo biryani in town”; do you think they’ve got what it takes? Well, the proof of the pudding—or biryani, in this case—is in the eating!
- Address: 16, Jalan Sri Damak 18, Taman Sri Andalas, 41200 Klang, Selangor
- Opening times: 9:30 AM–7 PM
- Contact: 012-684 0922
New Beggar’s Delicious Restaurant—Ijok
Have you ever heard of “beggar’s chicken”? It’s an ancient Chinese method of slow cooking by using clay to wrap the chicken and then baking it for at least six hours in slow heat. Though modern cooking methods replace the clay with more conventional cooking methods, New Beggar’s Delicious Restaurant in Ijok sticks to the traditional cooking method, and this proves popular with the locals as you would need to call ahead to preorder as they would be constantly making many batches, mostly for takeaways, and you may be disappointed if you go all the way there only to not have any more beggar’s chicken left. Apart from chicken, they also have beggar’s rice, beggar’s duck and beggar’s pork trotters, which, as you can guess, are cooked in the same method as beggar’s chicken, only using different ingredients. Watch how they prepare beggar’s chicken in this video!
- Address: Lot 894, Jln Harmoni 2, Simpang Tiga Ijok, 45620 Batang Berjuntai, Selangor
- Opening times: Saturdays and Sundays, 1–3 PM, 5–7 PM
- Contact: 019-317 3687
You can fly directly to Kuala Lumpur International Airport or klia2, both of which are located in the Sepang district of Selangor.
Buses are available from anywhere in West Malaysia that will take you to Selangor. However, be prepared for long hours on the road due to traffic.
The KTM Intercity to Selangor is available for West Malaysians from Perlis to Johor. Check here to see which KTM station is nearest to you.
Sama-Sama Hotel KLIA—Sepang
Sama-Sama Hotel is located near KLIA with a 24-hour free buggy ride that will take you from KLIA to the hotel in just three minutes via a connected covered skybridge. It is a multi-award-winning 5-star luxury hotel with nice views of the airport and runway.
- Contact: 03-8787 3333
New World Petaling Jaya Hotel—Petaling Jaya
Located right beside Paradigm Mall, New World Petaling Jaya Hotel is the first hotel in Malaysia under the Asian 5-star luxury hotel chain New World Hotels & Resorts. You can get a nice panoramic view of the city from their swimming pool on the 30th floor. We’ve also featured one of their restaurants, PJ’s Bar & Grill, as one of the best hotel restaurants in Malaysia you shouldn’t miss.
- Contact: 03-7682 0000
And there you have it, these are just some of the places in Selangor that we would like to highlight to our readers. Know of any other hidden gems in the area? Why not share them with the rest of the readers in the comments section below?
Your Gateways to Getaways,