By Anthony Dylan
I had always heard of Pulau Ketam or Crab Island being a must visit place. True, it is not one of the must go list of places to visit. However, with the travel restrictions overseas, it actually made us rethink of what domestic tourism would be able to offer.
There are not much write ups online about places to visit around Selangor. The most talked about so far is Sekinchan for its paddy fields, seafood and the sky mirror. The latter seems to be a much talked about activity where great near perfect reflective photos can be taken.
Recently, we also took a drive to the World of Phalaenopsis. It is so named after the specific species of an orchid. The place was located in Ulu Yam, Batang Kali and not difficult to find. Just “Waze” it and you would get there with no problems. You would pass a small road and with few car parking spaces so it is best to come off peak or better still on weekdays. Otherwise you would have to park further and walk in.
There is no entry fee and you are free to marvel amongst the public areas filled with beautiful orchids. You could also feed the ducks but you would need to buy some duck food. There is also a café located within the premises and is an Instagram heaven as every angle looked so pretty. This café overlooks the pond of lilies and frolicking ducks. We had some good coffee and a piece of Carrot cake and Yam Cake made by the locals of Ulu Yam. This was in addition to a simple plain nasi lemak which is just as good.
That was the spark we needed to continue to take ad hoc travel each month. Hence, in August, we decided that Pulau Ketam is worth a shot. From Subang Jaya, you could take the KTM Kommuter to the last station, Port Klang. This is just 100m to the entrance of the South Port Passenger Jetty which is the gateway to Sungai Lima and Pulau Ketam. We took a leisurely drive as we wanted to grab some brunch before heading to the jetty.
The Teluk Pulai Bak Kut Teh is located in Taman Intan, off the Federal Highway where the old Toll Plaza used to be. It has since expanded to 3 shoplots from the last time I was there. As we did not want to have too much food, we ordered the pork spare ribs as well as chicken feet and pork skin. This came with the usual yau char koay (Yu Tiao). There is another must order dish which we did not get as we thought it would be too much. The dried claypot bak kut the is a must order for our next visit. There is another well patronized bak kut teh shop nearby called ‘Weng Heong Bak Kut Teh’ which we have not tried as yet. The last Klang excursion trip had us savour the ones by Seng Huat and Teck Teh. Both were close to the Klang KTM station (not Port Klang Station). The latter was known as the most original of the lot in terms of taste as he does not serve condiments.
We left the restaurant which seems to have a constant stream of both dine ins and takeaways which followed the required RMCO SOPs towards the jetty. We parked the car at the paid open air car park where a Chinese Restaurant is located. This is about a 100 meter walk to the jetty as well. Upon reaching, there were RELA officers who would require you to either scan in or write your details down. Temperature checks are a must. Do beware though that the toilet use is chargeable at RM0.50 per person. It is clean though.
There are 3 main ways to get to Pulau Ketam. There are two ferries which charge RM9 per person per way or the speedboat which cost RM10 per way. The difference between them is that the speedboat takes just over 20 minutes to reach whilst the other two ferries would take about 40 minutes. The speedboat is highly recommended if you like the wind in your face and the sound of speed. As we thought of taking some leisurely ride, we decided on taking the ferry which had a top deck as their prices were the same. This was aptly named the “Alibaba Cruise”. We headed down to the pontoon for the 1230pm ride.
The cabin was modern, clean and well maintained. The air conditioning had no smell of dew. There is also a huge TV screen showing past Hollywood movies. If you would like to head to the top deck, it is also possible as this was open air. There is also a clean toilet facility in the boat. Seats were spaced with an empty seat in between as per the SOP for the RMCO.
Upon arrival at the Pulau Ketam Jetty, we chose to take a walk around the village. You would first pass through the commercial area and the landmark Voluntary Bomba station before entering a square with the Pulau Ketam temple and Chinese Chess club. Thereafter, the quaint village houses in bright colours greet you. You would also be able to see shrimps laid out to dry in the sun. The best part was that you could hardly find irritating flies.
The whole place has no mode of transport other than bicycles or electric powered bikes. No cars and no noisy fuel propelled motorcycles. Amongst the village area you would find places of worship, schools, library, clinics, police station, fire station, hardware stores, electrical and mechanical repair shops and sundry shops. The shop house markets would open only in the morning along with the many kopitiams. The brightly coloured wooden panels of houses create a cheery feel as you walk amongst the tight streets. Occasionally you would find unique murals. It is a sure thing that at nightfall, the place would be colourful as the electric lights get turned on. As we ended our walk, we chose to partake in their well known oyster omelette and a share of ABC (Air Batu Campur).
We bade goodbye to Pulau Ketam as we left on the next ferry at 430pm after spending 3 hours there. It is truly a wonderful place to visit for short sojourn. Crab Island is now done. Let us see where else would we go in September.