I always have grand ideas for adventure for the year end, but by the time it comes, I’m so drained, I spend all my time sleeping and catching up with friends and family. So even though I had planned to do to mini trips during the break, I only ended up going to Pulau Ketam with Eddy.
Pulau Ketam (or Crab Island in English) is an island beyond Pulau Indah in the Port Klang vicinity (incidentally, Carey Island is next to Pulau Indah). For us, it’s just a drive down the Kesas Highway to Southport of Port Klang. There is a terminal at Southport dedicated to take visitors over to Pulau Ketam. There are also private boats and a host of other options. We chose to take the most prominent service provider with clear signs and a roster of ferry times.
The ride was in an air-conditioned ferry. Frankly, I would have preferred an open-air ferry, just to experience the sea a bit more. In addition, an open-air ferry would (hopefully) not have a Chinese karaoke blasting and bad acoustics with everyone talking at the same time making a huge din.
Pulau Ketam, when we arrived, had a very interesting jetty, with a bunch of modern art sculptures that made our arrival seem pretty welcome. The village of Pulau Ketam (and I am assuming Sungai Lima Village as well – the other village on Pulau Ketam) is on stilts over the sea and the little streams that flow into the sea. So basically, the village is elevated over water and land.
I guess some refurbishment must have been done because the walkways, for the most part, as well as the stilts were made of concrete, as opposed to wood as it must have been at some time.
The main walkway led us through grocery shops and many many eating places. In fact, some people came off the ferry and made an immediate bee-line for the seafood restaurants and eateries. We decided to just walk and see what there was to see. The sundry shops sold mostly dried seafood: salted fish, dried squid, anchovies etc.
Just following through the main walkway, we came to what looked like a town square, with a huge temple and alter. There are a few temples there, but I am not clear if they belong together or are separate entities. To learn more, you can go here.
We continued walking along the concrete pathway, and soon the shops became houses, most of them fishing houses especially if they were along the river way. Interestingly, little boys were jumping into the river and swimming from one side to the other for their own play. I wonder how many urban kids would do this. I wonder how many urban parents would allow this!
As we walked, we had to scoot aside because of the number of cyclists on the pathway, mostly villagers, but some tourists as well. You can rent bicycles at the shops near the jetty. After walking for about an hour, we decided to head back. There wasn’t much else to see except houses and boats. So it was off to lunch at the eateries nearer the jetty.
You can get all kinds of seafood stuff on Pulau Ketam. I opted for simple Chinese mixed rice, while Eddy took some fish paste noodles. I have to say that ours isn’t the usual tourist option, who would usually go for all kinds of seafood: from crab to shellfish, to fish. Saying that, the simple chap fan was so good, I went and had a second helping!
After that, we took another walk heading into the island but there was the same kind of things to see: houses, rivers, boats and fishing, peppered with a few temples that we hadn’t seen before. There were also quite a number of home stays, catering to the fishing enthusiasts of the nation. I guess if I were looking to soak up the atmosphere, I might rent a place for the weekend. Anyway, after about 45 minutes, we decided to head back to Port Klang.
Pulau Ketam was an interesting and different kind of day trip for us. There was no beach and there was no greenery, but it had a charm all of its own. If you are a fishing fan, or a seafood lover, I can imagine that this would be a super fun place to go to!
Otherwise, go with an open mind an experience a part of Malaysian life that has been around for some time, and is likely to be dying. I can see that many of the village folk are older, and can imagine that the young ones head to the cities to make a living. Hopefully, the fishing life and lifestyle won’t peter out and die, as it is so culturally rich and has been part of the Malaysian way for decades.