Watch fireflies in Kuala Selangor and have an experience of a lifetime! A trip to Malaysia is not complete without seeing the biggest colony of fireflies in the world. This might not be the most picture-friendly article on this site. However, the experience was one that will stay with you for a long time. Read all about it in this article about how you can watch fireflies in Kuala Selangor.
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watch fireflies in Kuala selangor
About 90 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur you’ll find the sleepy old town of Kuala Selangor. At first, you might not get to impressed by this place. However, the more time you spend here, the more Kuala Selangor will grow on you. The main highlight is of course the Fireflies. However, while visiting here – you’ll also want to stop and see the Silver leaf monkeys.
You can read more about the Silver leaf monkeys at the end of this post. But first, we will focus on the fireflies. You all know about those moments that you keep with you forever. As it’s happening you know that this will be something you’ll remember forever. This is such an experience! We are 100 percent that you will love this magical moment with the fireflies and that you will keep it with you forever!
Fun facts about fireflies
A lot of people think of fairytales and movies like Tinker bell or Avatar. However, fireflies are real and so cool. Many people have the privilege to see a firefly and most are amazed. But to see so many in once is so much more special. In Kuala Selangor, they have the largest colony of fireflies in the whole world. Here are some fun facts that you might not know about these blinking creatures.
- Lightning bugs or fireflies are not really flies. They are beetles.
- There are about 2000 different species of fireflies but only some of them have the ability to light up.
- The light is created due to a chemical reaction.
- The light that’s created is mostly male fireflies that are looking for a mate. They blink with different patterns and when they find a mate – the female will start blinking in the same pattern.
The fireflies at Kampung Kuantan
There are three different species of fireflies at Kampung Kuantan. Most common is the Pteroptyx tener. No, you might not need that detailed information. However, in this case, it’s important because here, they flash their light synchronized – something that’s pretty unique and not common at all. They spend their days resting and eating snails that are easily found in the area.
During the evening it’s time for the fireflies to find someone to mate with and that’s when the show starts. The trees light up and it’s an amazing scene! This is something that needs to be experienced and is almost impossible to explain. Make sure to watch fireflies while visiting Malaysia.
Did you know that between 1984 and 2004, 50 percent of the trees where the fireflies live was reduced. Today there are several organizations protecting the fireflies.
Watch fireflies from a boat
There are three different operators that arrange tours to watch fireflies in Kuala Selangor. We ended up going with Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park. Since we booked our tour through GetYourGuide we didn’t know that there were other operators out there. We were super happy with our tour and recommend it wholeheartedly to everyone traveling in Malaysia.
The most important thing is to be on time. If you are coming here on a tour, you’ll be fine because then they plan everything. Be on time and be here before it gets dark. We were here during the winter and the boat went out about 19:50. Come to think of it… calling it a boat is a bit misleading. Actually, we went on a traditional sampan (a wooden boat powered by a guide).
what to expect while watching fireflies
When the time is right and right before it gets dark it’s time to get into the boat and row into the mangrove forest. At first, you are just enjoying the water and the quiet surroundings. After a couple of minutes, you might get worried and start to think that this will be one of those nights where the fireflies aren’t active. No worries – they are here, it just takes several minutes to get to where the magic happens.
Suddenly, there they are – the fireflies light up the mangroves like Christmas trees. It’s something magical about this scene. To show you a video or pictures of this phenomenon would be awesome. However, it’s almost impossible to catch this on film or capture it on photos. The reason is that it’s too dark and the boat is moving for the camera to capture it. Or at least to capture it in the right way.
Watching fireflies in Kuala Lumpur -a bucket list experience
We can not stress enough how special this experience was. Like I mentioned before, this is something that will stay with you forever. If we were to give you just one tip, that would be to be on time. You want to savor this moment and it might get destroyed if you have to stress while getting there. While you are waiting, there are several interesting signs that you can read and learn more about the fireflies.
Since we did this tour with GetYourGuide, we visited several different places before ending the tour with the fireflies. This was the last stop of the tour but you can go here on your own and don’t need to book a tour with a company to enjoy the fireflies. We also got to visit the Batu Cave, see the Silver Leaf monkeys, and had a nice lunch at a restaurant. Money well spent!
Information – watch fireflies in Kuala Selangor
Address: Jalan Rawang, 45000, Kuala Selangor.
Price: About 50 RM per sampan (boat). That’s about 10 euros.
What to bring: Insect repellant and shoes with a rubber sole.
Visit the Silver Leaf Monkeys In Kuala Selangor
Even if the fireflies are the main attraction to do while in Kuala Selangor, there are also some really cool Silver Leaf monkeys that you can visit. They live in the Kuala Selangor Nature Park and you can easily get here by taking a nice train ride to the monkeys. Be aware of the Macaque monkeys that are also living in the same place – they are not as friendly and peaceful as they look.
We are recommending this place with extreme caution. There are people selling food for the monkeys here. Don’t buy that! The monkeys are wild and that’s the way we want to keep it. By feeding the wild Silver Leaf monkeys, you are contributing to domesticating animals that are supposed to be wild. We can promise you that you will enjoy yourself just as much by just watching the monkeys without any interaction.
Never buy food to feed the monkeys – just watch them from a distance and dont interfer with their lives.
The silver leaf monkeys and their babies
The monkeys are called Silver Leaf because of their silver shade against their black hairs. However, when the babies are born – they are bright orange in color. After a couple of weeks, they turn into the black and silver colors that they end up having. This is a great experience and the monkeys are so cute. The sad thing is to see is all the tourists that keep feeding the monkeys.
If you are afraid that you will be tempted to feed them. In that case, don’t go there. We are always super careful and only want to promote things that are good for the animals and this turns bad if you start feeding them. With that said… the monkeys and their babies are some of the cutest we have ever seen! Observe them at a distance and get great photographs of them!
Restoran Qun Hua Kuala Selangor Seafood.
If seafood is your thing then Restoran Qun Hua Kuala Selangor Seafood is the place to be. It’s not a fancy place and the tables and chairs are simple and somewhat like at your grandmother’s place. We ended up coming here for lunch and it tasted really good. They served several different dishes and it was nice. We ate shrimp and crab that was good and tasty.
It’s almost like coming home to someone and eat a fresh and home-cooked meal. No, it’s not fancy and nicely plated. However, that’s also part of what gives this place charm. Ask to be seated next to the river that flows outside. Or, even better – make sure to be seated next to a faucet because you will need to wash your hands after your meal. Because this is a place where you eat a lot of the food with your hands!