‘Klang! Klang! Klang!’- we followed the shouts to find what we were after: a bus to Klang. Despite my mutinous stomach, we’d decided to break camp in KL and head north, first stopping in Klang, about an hour outside of town, known for its abundance of Indian food (alleged to be better than what can be found in KL’s Little India). We opted for the train to Klang instead and my belly was in such a delicate state that I just drank tea and watched while R tucked into an actual platter of food. But this was just a stop along the way for us. After lunch we took a bus on to Kuala Selangor, a small town with easy access to the highly touted firefly tours. We checked into a very clean, very cheap Chinese-run hotel and I hibernated in bed, starfished under the moderately-effective ceiling fan while R took a spin around town, all three blocks of it. I allowed myself to be roused out of bed for the aforementioned tour and we found ourselves a friendly taxi driver who spoke absolutely no English. Using fingers and gestures, we agreed on a round-trip fare and he waited while we took the 20-minute boat ride about 200 meters down the river and back. It was a very low key ‘river cruise’; four people are loaded into boats that line up to paddle them a small ways down the river, then the boat turns around and makes its way slowly back to the dock, this time hugging the shore, where entire trees lit up with fireflies. It looks not unlike Christmas lights on a large shrub, but it is truly lovely. Close-up, you can see the fireflies flit from stem to stem and looking up at overhanging branches is like looking into a somewhat psychedelic night sky. The trip was quick, but certainly worth getting out of bed for.
The dock for the firefly cruises
The next morning I was feeling great (hungry!) and we had a nice little breakfast of roti bread and chicken curry along with a syrupy sweet cup of coffee. We went across the street to the bus station where our guidebook told us that we could take regional transport to the next small town north, changing buses 3 times to get our final destination of Lumut, where we still had to catch a ferry to Pulau Pangkor. A pair of taxi drivers told us that there was no longer such a bus service and that we’d have to take a taxi to get anywhere north of town. A little suspicious, we sought advice from an Indian woman, who was also waiting at the bus stop and spoke perfect English. In the end, we declined the taxi ride and ended up taking a bus back to Klang, where we were able to catch a direct bus up to Lumut. It was getting late by the time it was all sorted out and our bus didn’t arrive in Lumut until after 9:30. There was only one game in town as far as budget accommodation was concerned, so we took a room that smelled faintly of vomit and overlooked the bus station. We slept on top of the sheets and made a quick getaway early the next morning.
The small but nice beach at Pulau Pangkor
We took a ferry ride to Pangkor Town, then a taxi ride in a Barbie-pink minivan (the official taxi color- eat your heart out, Yellow Cabs!) to Teluk Nipah, where all the cheap hotels are. A little bit of shopping around brought us to a cozy, if basic room with its own bathroom and AC (luxuries that we typically don’t go in for). The beach is described in our guidebook as clean with emerald green water, but whether it’s because we’re in the tail end of monsoon season or things have just gone downhill a bit, there’s plenty of trash in the sand and the overcast skies aren’t showing the water in its best light. Nevertheless, we’re pretty blissed out and aren’t too worried about the small things. We’re treating our stay here as time to catch up on blogging (you’re welcome!) and reading and maybe even sprucing up our fledgling Malay language skills.
The majestic hornbill
The majestic hornbills eating trash
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