Road trips are fun, but driving for several hours is not. Luckily for us in Malaysia, we never have to drive too long to have a fun excursion out. While most of us city dwellers are often stuck within the Klang Valley, travelling for day trips in Selangor can offer you an extreme change of scenery. In fact, you won’t even realise that you’re actually still within the state.
What you can do on these day trips in Selangor is very much nature-related. Within the Klang Valley you have high-rise buildings, rooftop restaurants, and all the bubble tea shops you can imagine — including the traffic. Outside of it, with less intense development, nature still prevails.
These are the places you go to hike, visit eco parks, traverse the many waterfalls, and of course — dine like a king. While you may feast on fine food in the Klang Valley, these provincial areas offer more history and depth in the specialty dishes they serve. Take Banting’s iconic “beggar chicken” dish, for example. Not a dish that you can easily find elsewhere, this whole baked chicken is buried under layers of soil and hot charcoal and takes 24 hours to cook. It’s a traditional method of cooking that most modern cooks have discarded in the pursuit of efficiency and time.
So take on a short excursion out of the Klang Valley the next time you’re hankering for a break, and drive out for these day trips in Selangor.
A little over an hour of driving from KL is Sekinchan, a coastal town north of Selangor. Sekinchan’s call to fame is its sprawling paddy fields that turn a lush shade of green right before the harvesting season. Once a quiet town, it was thanks to several movies and Hong Kong TV dramas filming on location that got people noticing Sekinchan. Now, people flock over to check out the paddy fields, shop for the freshest seafood, and throw their wishes into a special wishing tree by the beach. If you’d even like to stay the night, find out more about Sekinchan here.
While Pulau Ketam (Ketam Island) is no luxury beach getaway, it’s a cool little excursion that offers you a look into what an idyllic fishing village looks like. To get there, you’ll need to drive to Port Klang and get on the ferry at the jetty, and the journey to the island will take less than an hour. Once you arrive, you’ll immediately be able to feel how laid back the atmosphere is, and how neighbourly all the inhabitants are.
When in Pulau Ketam, the top two things to do are the feast on the seafood options and cycle your way around the island to burn off those calories. We kid. But really, the best way to get around the island is either by foot or by bicycle, so why not choose the latter?
Around the area, you’ll be able to see homes still in their traditional overwater structures and stilts going into the sea. When the tide is low, take off your shoes and spot tiny crabs that burrow into the sand. They may not be edible, but they’re definitely cute.
You can also cruise the surrounding waters on a wooden boat, fish, and visit the various landmarks around the island. Just be sure to catch the last ferry back at 5.30 PM on weekdays and 6 PM on weekends.
Love hiking, traversing the waterfalls, and nature all around? Then you’ll like what you find in Hulu Langat. It’s located on the southeastern part of Selangor and is right next to Negeri Sembilan. Here, you’ll find an emerald gem in the form of the lush, unspoiled forest, clean streams and waterfalls, and mountains to hike. There are several waterfalls for you to check out while in Hulu Langat: Gabai Falls, Lepok Falls, Jeram Perius, and Perdik Falls. Most of these waterfalls require effort to get to. You’ll need to trek for a bit in the forest before you are rewarded with a refreshing dip at these waterfalls. Hike up Gunung Nuang, Selangor’s highest peak, or if it’s too adventurous for you, just trek along Sungai Congkak. You can camp out here or bring a picnic spread along.
Most people will already be familiar with Kuala Selangor and the iconic fireflies that you can catch during sundown by the river. While that is a key activity to do, there are other things worth checking out in Kuala Selangor too.
Be sure to check out the many seafood restaurants and feast on them. Then, while the sun is up, take on a historical tour around Kuala Selangor. There are several landmarks in the town that are deeply rooted in history — such as the Tanjong Keramat Fort that was taken over by the Dutch, and the colonial-era Kuala Selangor Lighthouse.
If you visit during the right time, you’ll be able to access the Sky Mirror in the Kuala Selangor Beach. Essentially a local Salar de Uyuni, twice a month during the new moon and full moon period, the tide is shallow and reflects the sky, creating an Instagrammable photo of the horizons merging.
While essentially being three different districts of its own, one can easily cover Banting, Pulau Carey (Carey Island), and Tanjung Sepat in a day. Approximately an hour’s drive from the city, all three places are known for its variety in local delicacies.
Banting is famously known for its “beggar chicken” delicacy, which is essentially a whole chicken wrapped with a concoction of herbs and left to cook underneath layers of soil and hot charcoal for 24 hours. In Banting as well lies Morib Beach, one of the closest beach sites to the city. A fair warning — don’t expect anything spectacular, although in recent years the council has cleaned up its image thanks to nearby resorts such as Gold Coast Morib International Resort.
As for Pulau Carey, you don’t need a ferry to get to it, unlike Pulau Ketam. It’s connected via a bridge from the mainland, which you can get to by car. At the edge of the mainland before getting on to Pulau Carey is a multitude of seafood restaurants where you can get freshly-cooked Chinese style seafood at a fraction of the price it will cost closer to the city. Inside Pulau Carey are several Orang Asli homestay villages where you can go to learn more about the local indigenous people, as well as experience the ways of their living.
Finally, lower down south is Tanjung Sepat, an eco- and agro-tourism destination. There are specific parks that allow tourists the opportunity to see how local agriculture is done, such as the Kuan Wellness Ecopark, Ganofarm Homestay, and Bakaugruv Kampung Resort. Like Pulau Carey, Tanjung Sepat is also known for its fresh abundance of seafood thanks to it being a fishing village. Educate yourself on the agriculture industry in Malaysia, and then go feast on some seafood.
Most people will only know Kuala Kubu Bharu as a “by the way” location on the way to Fraser’s Hill. But avid hikers will recognise this name, as Kuala Kubu Bharu is where Sungai Chilling is. Other than nature-related activities, Kuala Kubu Bharu is the place to get local Malay fares such as lontong and soto. Get all these at the local farmer’s market in the mornings, where you can also see more fresh produce and possibly buy them for yourselves, at a fraction of your local supermarket’s price. There are also historical sites worth visiting, such as the old fire station, the clock tower, the Kuala Kubu Bharu railway station, and the St Paul Catholic Church.