Among Malaysia’s most developed and progressive states, Selangor boasts the largest economy and the lowest poverty rate in the country. The ‘Golden State’ has a seemingly endless variety of attractions, adventures and activities for the wanderer, matched only by long list of historical landmarks spread throughout the nine districts that comprise the state.
If you’ve been wanting to explore the rich heritage of this populous state and its connection greater Malaysia, but don’t know where to start, here’s a selection of points to set you off on your journey. Make a weekend out of it and bring the family, or go solo and immerse yourself in everything this great state has to offer.
Istana Bandar Jugra – Kuala Langat
Originally the administrative centre of the Selangor Government for over a century, Istana Bandar now doubles as a royal gallery open to the public and a place of Quranic study by the Malaysian Islamic Organisation.
Constructed largely out of bricks with lime plaster, the palace boasts beautiful cengal timber on its staircases and doors. Largely Islamic design elements with influences from the Middle East and China are evident throughout. Built by Sultan Alaeddin, the fifth monarch of Selangor, at the turn of the century, visitors can discover the life of this god-fearing man here and his contributions to the state and the Islamic faith during his reign.
Bukit Melawati – Kuala Selangor
Bukit Malawati served as the war headquarters during the administration of the Selangor Sultanate in the 18th century. Built by Sultan Ibrahim of Selangor as a stronghold against Dutch invaders, it was eventually captured by the Dutch and renamed Fort Altingburg, only to be taken back by the Sultan and then eventually destroyed during the Selangor Civil War.
The hill affords striking views over Kuala Selangor, especially during sunset and sunrise, while silver-leaked monkeys call the area home and serve as one of the main attractions here. On weekends, visitors can take a tram service to the top for a mere RM3 – operations from 9am-6pm.
Royal Klang Town – Klang
Well known as one of the oldest cities in Malaysia, Klang is rich with history, traditions and customs. Being founded on the south bank of the Klang River, which is known for its prolific tin production from the 15th century on, Klang became the capital of the Government before it was transferred to Kuala Lumpur.
The newly introduced Royal Klang Town Heritage Walk Tour Programme by Tourism Selangor takes visitors to some of the city’s most prominent historical buildings and shop lots where fortune telling services, paintings, textile weaving and much more can be found. Visitors can also view a wide selection of handicrafts at Jalan Tengku Kelana, or Little India, and interact with the locals here.
Morib Beach – Kuala Langat
The 3km-long beach overlooking the Straits of Melaka is an important historical site. In 1945, it was the landing site of the arrival of the British army during World War II and eventually became a stronghold against the Japanese assault which signified the end of the World War II in this region.
Now, Morib beach has become a place for recreational and relaxing activities, camping and much more. Located only an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, this is the perfect place to escape the city and enjoy some sun, sea and sand.
Kajang Town – Hulu Langat
As one of the fastest growing districts in Selangor, Kajang has much to offer the discerning visitor. Famous for its satay – head to Haji Samuri Sate Restaurant next to Kajang stadium for some of the best – the town was once the settlement for the Temuan tribe back in the 1700s. Close to Sungai Langat, Kajang City contains many historical buildings of traditional Chinese and European design, including the fascinating Hulu Langat Hokkien Association, formerly the residence of the late business tycoon Low Ti Kok.
Kuala Kubu Baru – Hulu Selangor
This famous area was in the early 1900s placed under the administration of the first Resident General of the Federated Malay States Frank Swettenham, where it became the gateway to the state of Pahang, and the main supply line for the British forces located in the former Old Market Town. The British also ended up moving their administrative centre to Kuala Kubu Baru due to the Gread Flood.
This rapidly developing city offers much in the way of eco-tourism and extreme sports like paragliding, white water rafting and water tubing.
Raja Mahadi Town – Klang
Located not far from the Klang Municipal Council building, Kota Raja Mahadi was built by Raja Mahadi bin Raja Sulaiman at the height of the Klang war in 1866 – a result of the power struggle between Raja Mahadi and Raja Abdullah.
The years have weathered down the building so that all that remains of it is the gate which became a symbol of the strength of the Raja Mahadi empire. Visitors can stop at Kota Raja Mahadi near the Sultan Alam Shah Building to take pictures and see the remains of this historical door.
Bangunan Tan Boon Chai – Hulu Selangor
The Tan Boon Chia building is located in Rasa, Kuala Kubu Bharu, which is an urban area known for its illustrious tin mining activities. Built in 1918 by a miner of the same name, the building has 51 rooms and served as the administrative headquarters of Malaya which was occupied by the Japanese during World War II. The building can now only be seen and photographed from the outside to avoid any deterioration, and visitors can also make their way to Bandar Rasa to enjoy a range of relaxing activities.
Dutch Hill – Kuala Selangor
Known as Fort Utrecht after the Dutch ship used around the time of King Haji Fisabilillah’s defeat by in Teluk Ketapang, Bukit Belanda or ‘Dutch Hill’ served as the first and most-fortified Dutch fortress because of its strategic location which allowed enemies to be seen from afar. Now, close to Bukit Malawati, visitors can also stop by and visit the ruins of this historical site to explore the grounds and take in the vistas over Sungai Kinabatangan and maybe grab some photographs of the wildlife that call Dutch Hill their home.