Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Fireflies, Kuala Selangor, 28-29 Jan 2012

Sat 28/1/12

My first overnight trip with friends after quite some time - the last one being in Cameron end July 2011. (Quite long for my standard lol!)

Anyways, this trip was sort of a 'bachelorette/hen party' (call it what u want, yeah yeah) for a dear friend of ours - Fizah who'll be getting married soon! Congrats to her! :)

I fetched Kay at 6.30pm from Komuter Sg Buloh (since she just arrived from a flight at KLIA) and it was the most convenient place to fetch (since I was from a surprise birthday party earlier at Bkt Kiara Equestrian Club). The other girls already departed earlier to book the chalet at Firefly Park Resort at Kg Belimbing, Kuala Selangor.

We arrvied at 8pm, refreshed a bit, then straight to the boat trip for the firefly watching. Looking at the jetty, it dawned upon me that I've been here before - during a school trip in Form 2, we stayed at Kuala Selangor Nature Park, it was really cool.

I don't remember exactly if the amount of fireflies were the same with back in the 90s. But I've actually been to a few firefly trips - 3 in Kuala Selangor alone (2 at Kg Belimbing, 1 at Kg Kuantan - both are on the same river - Sg Selangor) + 1 in Ibok, Cukai, Kemaman (Sg Yakyah - the jetty was at a floating restaurant - me & my Kerteh friends lepak-ed here for a few times. The food was not bad, I liked the burgers. Ah, I remember when me, Azni, Jue & Noi lepak-ed here one night, then we were trapped until midnite because of heavy rain -and we played a 'guess the song name' haha it was great mindless fun!)

Sorry, back to Kuala Selangor. The boat ride lasted for about 30 minutes - with 8 of us adults + 2 kids. Me, Kay, Fizah, Liza, Hidayah & husband, and their 2 daughters, andthe girls' friend from back in their uni days - Ija and her friend, Zue (I'm the outsider here hehe - thanks girls for inviting me!) The boats here are motorized, but it was manouvred slowly and the motors don't emit noise -so not to scare off the fireflies.

What we were told
We were told that the fireflies feed on the juicy shoots of the Berembang tree. They only flash their lights at night, when they are full & happy. During the day, they lepak at the Nipah tree. The blinking that we see comes from them flapping their wings. The life cycle of the firefly is about 3 months. The best time to see is just after dusk, so our timing was good.

Checking the facts
But erm, according to Encik Wikipedia, at night along river banks in the Malaysian jungles (the most notable ones found near Kuala Selangor), fireflies synchronise their light emissions precisely. Current hypotheses about the causes of this behavior involve diet, social interaction, and altitude. And again, from Wiki: Fireflies are a classic example of an organism that uses bioluminescence for sexual selection. They have evolved a variety of ways to communicate with mates in courtships: steady glows, flashing, and the use of chemical signals unrelated to photic systems. So, who to believe? Wiki I guess.

The light production in fireflies is due to a type of chemical reaction called bioluminescence This process occurs in specialised light-emitting organs, usually on a firefly's lower abdomen.

Oh yes, back to the trip. Ija payed first for the trip & chalet - so I'm not sure how much the boat ride cost - still waiting for her expenses calculation hehe. But the chalet cost RM230 for 4 pax - a chalet consists of 2 rooms with ac, 1 bathroom and a lving room with terrestrial tv. The chalet are on top of a man made lake with lotus flower blooming & fish swimming around - you can feed them - too bad we didn't have bread with us. It's a basic chalet only - I would rate it a 3 star - as long as the ac works, with hot shower, and clean bed, I'm good to go :)

Our water chalet

After finishing the boat ride, we went for seafood dinner at Pantai Jeram, quite a distance away, about 45 minutes. The food was just ok, but it was cheap. We had 2 types of fish - 3 rasa & bakar, tom yam, chilli crab, sotong goreng tepung and telur dadar - all for only RM130 for 8 of us. We also had satay, which was also just OK. We arrived back at our chalet at midnight, full and sleepy. We had wanted to gossip, but our eyes just couldn't take it anymore. It was time to doze off zzzzzzzzz...

Sun 29/1/12
Wakey wakey. It was a late wake up for us on a lazy Sunday. By the time we were ready, it was already about 10.30am, so we decided to check out, then only head out for breakfast. Fizah had googled a nasi ambang place called Warung Ibu nearby the place which she chanced upon watching Jalan2 Cari Makan. Unfortunately also, I had promised my mom to be back by 12 noon for my brother's birthday lunch, so I couldn't join the girls although I wanted to. Before we went back, we took photos at our water chalet and at the jetty. The river looked so peaceful, I wished I had more time to just sit there, enjoying the serenity.


the jetty

Sg Selangor

On the way back, I decided to try the LATAR highway. The first toll I had to pay RM2, then it was followed by the first exit - Kuang, 2nd exit - Puncak Alam, and then there was a second toll which cost another RM2. After the 2nd toll, I saw the exit to PLUS highway, so I took that exit and found myself just before the R&R Sg Buloh. I finally exited at Kota Damansara which cost another RM2.60 I think the duration and distance of taking the LATAR highway is longer and further than the Kuala Selangor - Sg Buloh trunk road to go back to TTDI. Oh well, at least I tried the LATAR highway. Along the way I only saw palm oil plantations when I was expecting some nice view. But the LATAR road condition is of course, smoother than the trunk road, so all was not lost..



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