Pulau Ketam, Selangor

Spontaneous trip is always fun. The art of not planning is what makes it more exciting.

Few weeks back on Sunday, my family and I went to Pulau Ketam after a morning walk at a park. It was unplanned and I mentioned to my husband that I would love to go and look what’s in Pulau Ketam and he said the magic word—let’s go. We took the Federal Highway and finding our way was easy, we just followed the signboards to Pulau Ketam Jetty.

We bought tickets at the price of RM7 per adult and RM4 per children (one way). 3 adults and 1 kid, to and fro = RM50. We boarded a ferry with a capacity of  at least 70 passengers. Interesting trip as it took us through Pulau Klang to reach Pulau Ketam. The narrow channel is covered in mangrove swamp and is uninhabited.

We reached Pulau Ketam in about 40 minutes time. We saw a lot of crabs when we arrived at the jetty—now we know how the island got it’s name, Ketam means crabs.

We had our lunch there before going around the village for a walk. We were quite hungry and below were the first two dishes that arrived on our table. The rest came later and I totally forgot to snap pictures. Haha. There are a lot of seafood restaurants here and we picked one with a Bismillah signboard. It’s a Chinese restaurant that serves only seafood and I saw that a lot of Muslims came here to eat. I totally forgot the name of this restaurant. But if you come from the jetty, take Jalan Dua and look for a restaurant with the Bismillah sign, it’s on your right side.

After lunch, we went around the fishing village to look at how a fishing village look like mostly the area of Jalan Timur and Sungai Satu.  Pulau Ketam is equipped with almost all the basic facilities—there’s hospital, police station, surau, fire station, power station, post office, bank, hotel and shops. Pulau Ketam is free from traffic jam as the main transportation here is bicycle.

Pulau Ketam was founded when three Hainan fishermen from Bagan Hainan, Port Klang, arrived at Pulau Ketam catching crabs for their living. At first, they came and returned to Port Klang daily. The journey took almost a day, so they built a small house to stay overnight. In 1872, they decided to stay permanently and built a temple named “Chuan Eng Bio” located near Jalan Timur. In 1883, the population increased almost to hundred and major activities were catching crabs, fishes and prawns. Some of them built sundries shops, and fish dealer shops. The locals are mainly Teochew and Hoklo (Hokkien) Chinese, with Teochew, Hokkien and Mandarin Chinese the main dialects spoken.

Chuan Eng Bio temple.

As we explored further, we saw houses and more houses built on stilts. I found it interesting that some of the houses have paintings on top of their windows. It is not just new year painting posted on top of their windows during Chinese festivals but more like a permanent fixture of decoration. Some of the houses have hanging lanterns too. I guess other than hanging it during festivals, lantern continue to be a means of artistic expression, both in terms of functionality, design, and decoration.

We came to the end of Sungai Satu where we reached a fish-dealer jetty. Fish dealing was not in sight as we came about 3pm. I think the dealing is in the morning. We took a rest before heading back the same way to the jetty.

We did not  get to visit Floating Fish Farm is as we were already tired exploring the other part of the island. We will save the other part for later when time permits. I bought a map at Greenway‘s shop and perhaps I can take the Visit Fish Farm Package. For a trip for 4 persons, the price is RM60. The package will include around the island tour on a wooden boat before arriving at the Fish Farm. At the Fish Farm, there will be a tour guide to explain about fishes reared there. Or perhaps we can take the Day Time Fishing Package which cost about the same price. This will be interesting as my son, Yassin, is very keen on fishing. He has his own fishing rod.


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Glutinous rice with salted fish and grated coconut in Ampang for breakfast

It has been few months already that I frequented a local stall that serves Glutinous Rice with Salted Fish and Grated Coconut, or locally known as Pulut Ikan Masin dengan Kelapa Parut. I discovered the stall while driving in the vicinity of the place I live in looking for breakfast.

Gerai Cik Ani Goreng Pisang is the name of the stall. Previously, Cik Ani sells goreng pisang (fried bananas) only in the afternoon but throughout the years, she expanded her stall to serve more authentic dishes for breakfast, lunch and tea-time. My top favourite here is Pulut Ikan Masin.

Pulut Ikan Masin is very common in the upper east coast of Peninsular Malaysia as well as other parts of Southeast Asia; namely Thailand, Burma, Laos and Indonesia. A cup of glutinous rice has about 150 calories, 2 very small cut of salted-fish has about 50 calories and another 50 for a spoon of grated coconut. In total, a plate of Pulut Ikan Masin has about 200 calories. I am highlighting it in case you need to keep track of your daily calorie intake.

So, if you are craving for Pulut Ikan Masin, come to Bukit Belacan (Lembah Jaya Utara), Ampang, Selangor and look for Gerai Cik Ani Goreng Pisang. You can ask for additional spicy sambal if you like and the price for a plate is RM2. It is only available during breakfast time from 7am to 11am, Monday to Saturday.

Gerai Cik Ani Goreng Pisang is located at the main road of Jalan Bukit Belacan, just in front of the 4th building of Permai Flats where a musolla (surau) is situated. There is also a grocery shop in front of Gerai Cik Ani.

Gerai Cik Ani is a typical by the road-side stall with only canopies to cover our head from the sun and the rain.  Expect to see a view of the locals; some waiting for bus, some driving out and about doing their chores and some in sporty attire walking/jogging their way to the nearby Ampang Forest Reserve. The area is very much a residence area where you can see few blocks of flats, surau, small shops, small houses, big houses, lush forest or even trace of people climbing up a hill nearby to put up flags.Very interesting view to complement a plate Pulut Ikan Masin dengan Kelapa Parut.

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Fraser’s Hill Day Trip

After having lunch in Damansara last weekend, my husband asked me, “where to next?” Instead of saying “home”, I said, “anywhere but here.” He replied, OK. Let’s go to Fraser’s Hill.” So, off we went.

Road to Kuala Kubu.

We took the Kuala Kubu Bahru route— E1, Route 1, Route 55 and Route 56—to reach Fraser’s Hill. We stopped by at Kuala Kubu Bahru town to buy USB phone cable; one of the things that we should have a spare in the car during spontaneous trip like this. Lucky our car has USB port, so charging is easy. The phone dubs as GPS.

Kuala Kubu Bahru town.

We drove across Sungai Selangor, passed by Selangor Dam and Chiling Fall and later found ourselves surrounded by thick forest of Selangor and Pahang. We wound down our side screens to smell the refreshing cool air filled with scent of trees and soil and perhaps Streptomyces too.

Aerial view of Sungai Selangor seen from the bridge on Route 55. Did you know that On 6 October 1951, Sir Henry Gurney was shot to death by the Communist guerillas on Route 55 while on his way to Fraser’s Hill for a meeting?

Empangan Selangor.

View on Route 56.

 After driving for about an hour from Kuala Kubu Bahru, we reached Fraser’s Hill.

Yassin and his cousin, Wanda. 

It was a bit gloomy when we reached here and temperature was around 17°C, just nice to go for a walk around the hill—thanks to its 1524 m elevation. First place we visited was the clock tower, the British-looking little stone building covered with creeper vines. This most photographed clock tower was designed by Malaysian Landscape Architect Z. Jaal for Frasers Hill Development Corporation in 1989.

So…, what’s Fraser got to do with this hill station situated in Pahang? Who is Fraser? I bet the history is familiar to some of you but I love to write about it again as you might missed some of the facts that I found while doing my reading online and offline.

Fraser’s Hill is named after Louis James Fraser, a Scotsman who prospected for gold in Australia but eventually struck tin here instead in the 1890s. In 1900s, he went missing but only few years later, a big search for him was conducted by Bishop Ferguson Davie of Singapore. It was an unsuccessful search and some believed that his opium and gambling business got something to do with his disappearance (read: murder). I could not help but think that maybe he was attacked and eaten by tiger. Or, fell down from a ravine.

Anyway…Bishop Ferguson Davie, on the other hand discovered a perfect hill resort and suggested to the authorities to develop the area.  By 1922 a road had been cut through the mountains to the valley, which soon sprouted bungalows and even one of Malaya’s first golf courses. Since then, Fraser’s Hill retains a wonderfully weird mixed-up character, where locals eat curries off banana leaves in an English cottage next to a golf course while the call to prayer sounds from the mosque.

A colonial building converted into a bar and restaurant. A Scottish one. To commemorate Fraser, I suppose.

Ok, enough with the history.

After the clock tower we visited Allan’s Water; an old dam which was converted into a lake. The dam was formerly served as a reservoir supplying fresh water to Fraser’s Hill. Since it was no longer used, it is converted to a recreational lake, providing boating and picnic activities for visitors. The name Allan’s Water was a tribute to Mr J. H. Allan, an assistant engineer who surveyed the area and mooted the idea of building a dam there.

We did not went on the boat but we walked along the trail at the right side of the lake. It was here that a LEECH decided to make me a victim. Tolong!! I was screaming like crazy but my husband and son laughed at me. While my niece was comforting me saying to just let it fall by itself, I took a twig and get it OFF me. Crazy la, such a scary experience. LOL.

After Allan’s Water, we visited a flower nursery next to it. Previously, it was a flower garden but had been closed down for four years previously. A new owner took up the space and the nursery has been opened for almost 10 months now. It is still in its stage of adding more plants but one thing for sure, they have a mini strawberry farm here. We got to taste it and it was sweet! Unlike those sour strawberries I bought from supermarket. My husband bought a pot to care for. The nursery worker told us that a pot of strawberry plant can make up about 50 more and he later taught us how to go about it.

Later we just wandered around the hill taking pictures. We passed by some of the nature trails; namely Bishop Trail, Mager Trail, Kindersley Trail but as we were not ready for long trails, we skipped the idea. Trail’s length are ranging from 500m (Abu Suradi Trail) to 5km (Pine Tree Trail). While passing by the latter, I saw that it was sealed with no-entry tape, almost certain that it was closed for the day or perhaps for good. Do check with the information counter at Puncak Inn near the Clock Tower if you wish to go on one of the trails.

Before we get home, I captured some photos of flowers. I’ll cover more about flowers found in Fraser’s Hill in another post. we did drop by Smokehouse for coffee/tea but too bad that it was just closing for the day. It was around 6pm. But I did take some pictures.



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Kemensah Waterfall

Initially, the plan was to go to Batu Asah Waterfall yesterday but after asking the locals the whereabouts, I had to scrap the idea. We actually need to hike or take the ATV in order to reach the place. Having kids (my son and 2 of my sister’s kids) and just me, I made a decision to just settle for a small waterfall along the Kampung Kemensah main road. The signboard says Kemensah Waterfall. Good enough for us and we rented a chalet just to have a place to sit, eat and put our things. Day use fee is RM40.

Two-tier small waterfall

Yassin enjoying the cool waterfall.

Kemensah Waterfall is located in Kampung Kemensah, Hulu Kelang. Getting here is easy, you need to look for Zoo Negara.  Take the main road beside the zoo before reaching Kampung Kemensah. Just take a drive further up and look for chalets on your left. If you go further up, it’ll lead you to ATV Adventure Park and further up to a  dead end where Institut Budaya Baru Melayu Selangor is situated. Well, I drove that far. I did dropped by ATV Adventure Park to ask for direction and the person-in-charge was the one who told that we cannot reach the place by car; only by foot, ATV or bike and it’ll take an hour to reach the place. It’ll be great to take the ATV but the fee is too high, me cannot afford to take 4 ATVs to Batu Asah Waterfall. It’ll cost me RM600!

The chalets here are purely kampung style, very basic and toilet is few steps away on sharing basis. There’s no restaurant here, so we were lucky that we had our lunch before coming here and brought some sandwiches and drinking water.

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