Firefly – Malaysia

The Ministry explored the thriving ecosystem of fishing villages, stalls and transportation docks along the banks of the Sungai Batang Kali River near Kuala Selangor. For those of you wondering ‘where on earth is that?’ it is about an hour (in good traffic) north of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Why would the Ministry go to Kampung Kuantan? We wanted to witness the firefly spectacle of course. Kampung Kuantan has grown as a tourist destination in the past decade due to it playing host to one of thIMG_4891e largest firefly colonies in the world. The fireflies feed on a local mangrove tree (Berembang trees) which thrive in the area.

The big attraction for tourists is the river ride on one of the little wooden boats available. As many tourists know locals are never short of an advantageous business idea so for a small cost a local will paddle a ‘sampan’, a small wooden fishing boat, down the Sungai river past the fireflies. Most people would guess they’re just a few flickering lights in the mangroves but at a later hour the males synchronise their lights together making the mangroves akin to that of a christmas tree.

A small tip from the Ministry, don’t just buy a tour company ticket. Get a cab and go to one of the restaurants along the Sungai River, for example our photo in the main picture. They have incredibly cheap and fresh seafood. It is a better idea to hang around toward the end of the night to get one of the boats as the fireflies have a stronger presence later in the night.