Monday, December 27, 2010

Travel: Melawati Hill, Kuala Selangor

Kuala Selangor Nature Park

Welcome to Bukit Melawati

Bukit Melawati or Melawati Hill is located at the coastal town of Kuala Selangor in the state of Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. To get here, you can drive from the Kuala Lumpur City or Petaling Jaya and it takes about 45-60 minutes drive along a scenic route passing local towns, plantations and villages.

According to historical records, Kuala Selangor had settlements as early as the 16th century. Other areas such as Jeram 10 miles from Permatang, on the other side of Sungai Selangor (Selangor River), also existed. These places were under the rule of the Malacca Empire and after that the Johor Empire.

The history of the fort began with the downfall of the Dutch East India Company after the fourth Dutch-English War (1780-1784). When Dutch influence declined, Selangor, backed by Johor and Riau, invaded Melaka, which was also under Dutch rule, but failed. The Dutch then invaded Selangor and conquered Kuala Selangor in July 1784.

During the invasion, Fort Malawati collapsed but was reconstructed and renamed Fort Altingsburg, after the Dutch Governor-General. One year later, on June 28, 1785, Sultan Ibrahim with the help of his brother, Dato' Penggawa Permatang Mahabijaya (Penggawa Tua) and Bendahara Abdul Majid of Pahang drove the Dutch out in a night raid. The attack, which began after the evening prayers (Isyak), succeeded in securing Bukit Malawati before sunrise. From that date until the British intervention in 1874, this fort was to be the scene of many a battle.

This hill which some local people refer to as Bukit Selangor is well known as in the late 1700s, the second Sultan of Selangor state, had this fort built on the top of the hill to protect the state from intruders. There were also some cannons places along the Melawati Fort which main purpose was to defend Selangor from the invading Dutch during that time.

The irony was that the Dutch did invade and take over the fort and reinforced it by placing better Dutch made cannons which you see there now. It was also once called Fortress Altingsburg when the Dutch were in power.


During the weekends, there will be trams that run up the hill from the foothill for a fee of RM2.00 per adult and RM1.00 perchild. These trams are well decorated and colourful, so remember to take a photo or two as a momento. 

Private cars are allowed up the hill during the weekdays. There is a big parking bay available for your use at the foothill. If you are fit and do not mind walking, a walk up the hill will take you approximately 15-20 minutes.

Tram ride up

Getting up to the Melawati Hill can be done via booking the tractor-tram ride.

Melawati Hill

The canons will be covered in yellow clothes if the Selangor Sultan is not-well or gering

Baitulhilal (Balai Cerap for anak bulan Ramdhan)

Traitors Grave

Traitors Grave is a graveyard which I am not sure if this is the real 'Traitors Grave' as it is called. Maybe this graveyard was the site where traitors and enemies were captured and beheaded during the Dutch era.

Outdoor Amphitheater

There was also an amphitheater which was recently built in the last few years.

The Poison Well

One of the attractions that you can see here include the Poisoned Well that was said to be filled with a poisonous mixture of juice from bamboo shoots and latex. It was used to execute traitors by lowering them into the well. Old cannons that wereused in the olden days can be seen along the higher ground of the hill.

Altingsburg Lighthouse

On reaching the top of Bukit Melawati, you will be greeted by a beautiful lighthouse called Altingsburg Lighthouse and no one is allowed inside unless you apply for a special permit. 

This amazing lighthouse was built in 1907 and named after the then Dutch Governor. The lighthouse also surrounded by a fence and it is still in use till today. There is also the lookout point where you are supposed to see the beautiful coastline of Selangor in the distance.

Dutch Cannons

Guide map of the area

There is a map of the entire Malawati Hill at the lookout point and there are some vendors selling drinks and snacks on weekends too. It is crowded on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

Royal Mausoleum

There is also the Royal Mausoleum in Bukit Melawati where the 3 graves of the first 3 Sultans of Selangor are buried.

1. 1st Sultan of Selangor (Sultan Selangor Pertama) - Sultan Salahuddin (1742-1778)
2. 2nd Sultan of Selangor (Sultan Selangor Kedua) - Sultan Ibrahim (1778-1826)
3. 3rd Sultan of Selangor (Sultan Selangor Ketiga) - Sultan Mahmud (1826-1857)

Kuala Selangor Historical Museum

Kuala Selangor Historical Museum is also located on top of the hill and is opened daily except on Mondays. There are manyhistorical artifacts and write up about Kuala Selangor and the surrounding areas that you can see and explore while you are here.

There are some interesting relics and artefacts to remind students and publics of the rich history of Kuala Selangor.

Operating Hours:
Tuedays to Sundays : 9:30am to 5:30pm
Fridays: 9:30am to 12:15pm and 2:45pm to 5:30pm
Mondays: Closed

Entrance Fee
The visit to the Museum is free of charge.

There is generally not much to do up here. So many locals and some tourist will visit this place for about an hour or two. Mostly in the evenings you might see some locals walking, jogging and do some recreational activities there. 

Silverleaf Monkeys

The focal point of the Melawati Hill is actually the Silverleaf Monkeys that loiter around the area seeking food from the visitors. You can feed those monkeys with vegetables, fruits and nuts. Breads, vegetables and fruits can be purchased from the sellers at the hill. However, you could also bring some foods from your home. As some of the monkeys are wild, be careful when you want to feed them. 

Foods for monkeys sold by the monkey food sellers here

Banana anyone?

Hey, let's swing on the tree

Silverleaf Monkey

Those dark haired monkeys have a silver shining on their fur. The Silverleaf babies have orange fur as compared with the adults. After 2 months they get the silver colour of the elderly monkeys. The Silverleaf Monkeys are a delight to meet. They are gentle and seem to always have a thank you for every piece of food given.

You can also have a look at the Silverleaf Monkeys at the Kuala Selangor Nature Park. Here you can also rent a cabin for the night. In this Park they do also "bird watching".

We saw a large group of Silverleaf Monkeys at the lighthouse on "Bukit Melawati". This hill is also near the old center of Kuala Selangor, near the new bridge.

Hi there!

Feeding the Silverleaf Monkeys

Silverleaf Monkeys

Beside monkeys, you could also find Malaysian Tiger here. Unbelievable right?

Tadaaaa...Tiger Ice cream!!!

Kuala Selangor Freshwater Fish Park (Taman Ikan Air Tawar)

This park is one of the tourism product or attractions that developed by the Majlis Daerah Kuala Selangor, MDKS. It was built in 2004 and opening to public on 1st Januri 2009. Located in the Kuala Selangor Nature Park Rainforest Reserve and just beside the Melawati hill. 

Freshwater Eel

Large aquarium

Only 5 minute to arrive at the park by tram. This park is suitable and a good place to learn about fresh water fish because you could find more tahn 1500 freshwater fish from 60 species  includes Crocodile Fish, Gian Snakehead (Toman), Tor Tambra (Kelah), Golden Arowana (Kelisa), Catfish (Keli), Carp (Lampam), Featherbask (Belida) and many more. Most of the fish are collected and catch from the Selangor River, Kuala Selangor.

There is also an informatioan gallery about the frshwater fish for visitors to learn about the type of freshwater fish, habitat, and fishing tools that used to catch freshwater fish like bubu udang, bubu daun, bubu saadah, raga tok, raga batang, serkap and many more. 


Types of Malaysian Freshwater Fish

There are other animals like porcupines (landak) and birds like Kuang Raya and peacock too.

Kuang Raya




To Self Drive there - Head to Sri Damanara or Sungai Buloh road.

From KL City, head to Jalan Kuching, turn off at Jalan Ipoh/Kepong turning and keep left. Passing Jinjang, Kepong then Sri Damansara. Head towards Sungai Buloh and follow Kuala Selangor.

From PJ city, head on the LDP Highway to Sri Damansara passing 1Utama, Curve, Toll, keep left to Sungai Buloh and head to Kuala Selangor.

Alternate way would be from Klang head to Kapar and then to Kuala Selangor. 
If you are a tourist, there are travel agents who have packages that visit here. Inquire with your tour agent.

This place is child friendly as I could see many families here with children and some school kids come here with their friends. Melawati Hill is a great place to educate and expose your children to nature especially the Silverleaf Monkeys. But you must make sure ur children safety and keep an eye on them.

There is no entrance charge to visit the Melawati Hill.

Tram Ride Tickets charge on weekends:

Adults: RM 2.00
Children: RM 1.00
Opening Times: 9am to 4.30pm
You can stay there after 4.30pm to see the sunset.