Kg. Kuantan Fireflies

I have been wanting to see fireflies (or kelip-kelip in Malay which means twinkling lights) in action since I was a kid. I only realised the dream recently during a two days trip to Kuala Selangor with my family.

At first we decided to stay at Firefly Park Resort and take the fireflies tour offered by the resort but we were told that we could only check-in at 2pm. We were there around 12.30pm and decided not to wait. We drove around the town looking for another hotel and then I remembered that there’s De Palma Hotel in Kuala Selangor. We followed signboards (there’s one misleading sign few meters away from the hotel, though, that says turn left instead of going straight and turn right) and checked-in the hotel. There were rooms available and so we do not even have to wait until 2.00pm. I like the environment and the rooms are all in the form of chalets.

And orange in color. I love.

De Palma

Watercolor on Moleskine watercolor book

After having late lunch/early dinner at Pantai Jeram, we headed for a cruise at Kampung Kuantan Fireflies Park. This park is managed by Majlis Daerah Kuala Selangor with the sponsorship of Tenaga nasional. Tenaga nasional has thus far been a major monetary contributor to preserve the fireflies colony in Kampung Kuantan. But that goes beyond monetary value as the effort has also proved to provide a sustainable livelihood to boatmen whose income are derived from tourism activities.

yassin at the entrance

yassin at the entrance

The park opens from 7.30pm until 10.30pm and after we purchased our tickets of RM40 for one boat, we headed to the jetty. The queue was quite long as there were many groups of tourist.


long queue

We finally boarded a wooden dinghy boat operated by a friendly boatman. The usage of the small boats will also avoid sound and smoke pollution that can disrupt the firefly’s habitat. The boatman explained to us that the most of the species found here is the Pteroptyx tener type. He told us the difference between kunang-kunang (Photuris) and kelip-kelip (Pteroptyx). According to him, there are hundreds of kelip-kelip in a group to compare with kunang-kunang that only have about 5 or little more in a group. And furthermore, kelip-kelip emits rythmic light unlike kunang-kunang which emits spontaneous light.

When he paddled, we saw kelip-kelip litting up Berembang trees along the river!! The view was magnificent and if I were a litle dragonfly lost in this area, I would definitely find my way home.


Very hard to take pictures in the dark. These are the best we could.

The boatman also told us that the best time to see fireflies is when there isn’t any moon. The darkness will let us really see them. He then took us near the trees and let us see kelip-kelip up-close and personal. We had some on our palms and then let them flew back to their group. Catching kelip-kelip  is prohibited and would cost you RM1000 fine.

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  1. Growing up in the States, we used to catch fireflies as a kid. But in a town an hour or so from KK, there’s a place to view fireflies but it’s not much of a resort unlike this one. Just a tourist attraction.. Basically, they’ll bring you on a boat tour around the river during sunset and when it’s dark, they’ll bring you to watch the fireflies. And yes, it is quite difficult to snap their pictures in the dark even with the snazziest low light camera.

    But it definitely is a sight to behold.. it looks like those fairy lights lining the trees.. I would love to go again with my kids. Perhaps I can go to this resort. At least they have chalet-like accommodations! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing! <3

    p/s: Btw, Yassin is so grown up already.. no more "Small boy" look! hehehe

  2. Twinkling lights… what a perfect name. I have really missed fireflies this past summer – I just recently moved to the UK, and we don’t have them here. They were a very common sight back in the States.

  3. mmg salah satu tmpt yg masuk dlm places to go tapi sampai skrg tak achieve.. pernah lalu je masa nak pegi kenduri..

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