Kuala Selangor, a little town 60 – 90 minutes away from KL, it is mysterious and mesmerizing at night with the little twinkling bugs – the fireflies, or “kelip – kelip ” in Malay. “Kelip-kelip” is such a cute name because “kelip” itself means to twinkle, and to “kelip” twice means firefly! There are two places where you can check out these dazzling bugs – the Firefly Park at Kampung Kuantan and Firefly Resort at Kampung Bukit Belimbing. Viewing is best on a moonless night.
As the night grew darker, it became even more fascinating, seeing the fireflies twinkle in such synchronization as if they have an internal timer within them. In fact, the twinkling action is their language of love used during mating.
As the boat is small, the boat rower could take us really close to the fireflies – so close we were right next to the berembang trees which the fireflies feed on. Gary even had a firefly flew onto his shirt. It also felt more “personal”, where you could chit-chat a bit with the boat rower – who rows the boat by manpower.
I was glad that we went for a second tour because by then, it was pitch-black. It was a weird sensation – I was on a full boat, yet it felt like it was just me and the fireflies because everyone was so quiet and was careful not to disturb the creatures, yet at the same time I knew we all had the common goal of embracing the magical moment where thousands of fireflies twinkle away. My pictures don’t do the fireflies justice because they really do twinkle much more magnificently, quite like thousands of happy flickering bulbs on Christmas trees minus the celebration feel.
I enjoyed both tours immensely. The two have subtle differences :
Kampung Kuantan – smaller boats @ RM50 per boat regardless of pax. You can find other parties to fill up the boat if you wish. The rower brings you close to the berembang trees and there you get closer interactions with the boat rower. The boat takes you along one side of the river and comes back on the other side.
Kampung Bukit Belimbing : Bigger boats @ RM15 per person, boat leaves when it gets filled up. The boat maintains about a 1-3 meters distance to the berembang trees. The boat takes you along one side of the river and comes back on the same side. The amount of fireflies seemed to be slightly more at Kampung Bukit Belimbing during my visit though I don’t know that for sure. A restaurant is available next to the resort (closes at 9pm sharp).
Whichever tour you go with, it’s well worth it and please don’t use flash when you take photos as the lights “confuse” the fireflies and disturb their flashing patterns.