Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day Trip to Dutch Hill

As I was driving on my way to Lumut from KL last 2 week, I was passing by a place called "Bukit Melawati". Back in the good old school days, I believe this place was mentioned in our history books, on the chapters of Dutch invasion in the 15th century and subsequent civil wars fought in Selangor in the 17th and 18th century. Curious of the historical past, I decided to take a short tour around the place.

So, I did a short detour to this place. It was also known as Bukit Belanda, or "Dutch Hill". This place is located in Kuala Selangor, famous for the firefly sightings. By the time I reached there, it was almost close to 5pm, and I only managed to take a very very short tour at the museum located here. Didn't have the chance to fully digest the information and the historical background of the place, as the tour was cut short.Quite a waste, actually.

Anyway, below are some snapshots of the place.

The road leading to the top of Bukit Melawati. Road is wide enough only for one car and it's a one-way road. The road is open to public on weekdays, so one can drive up. However, it's closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Therefore, you can opt to take a tram to the top, or you can walk up. Ticket cost only RM2 for both way.

It's a brisk walk of 15 minutes from the bottom of hill to the top, if you choose to do so.

During the old times, lots of merchant ship, especially Dutch ships, plied the route of Straits of Melaka. From the top of the hill, one can see the coastline from afar.
It was due to this strategic location that the Dutch decided to build their fort in the 15th century after they conquered Melaka , hence the name Bukit Belanda (or Dutch Hill, in Malay). Subsequent power struggle followed, led by the Malay warlords to take back the hill from the Dutch after that. These warlords succeeded in the end, and the name was changed to Kubu Melawati.
From here, you can see small fishing villages dotting the river banks.
You can also see the mangrove sanctuary, a haven for migrating birds.
I saw 2 eagles soaring sky above during my visit.
Scouring for food in the marsh.

You will be greeted by this 17th century cannon. Originally brought by the Dutch to protect the fort from enemies. There are several cannons placed all over the hill top, all facing towards the sea, supposedly to guard the straits from pirates and enemies alike.

Mentagar tree.
This type of tree can be found in abundant in Kuala Selangor. Well, that's what it was stated in the museum.
The shape of the tree is rather nice, don't you think?

This tree is a favourite hangout for the monkeys that lives surrounding the hill.

View of a cannon below a mentagar tree. I lovethis photo shot.

There was a chair below the tree too (not captured in the shot), and I saw two monkeys sitting there, lovey-dovey-ing to each other.

Btw, these monkey falls under the group "Homosapiens". Hehehe...

Altingsburg Lighthouse on top of Bukit Melawati.
Beacon of hope for ships sailing in the dark.

A 17th century cannon, with the lighthouse at the background

Lots and lots of silverleaf monkeys can be found here. One rough count showed there were at least 100 of them here.
These monkeys are adorable, seriously. They are very friendly and approachable. I was a little afraid when seeing a whole group of them, but once you started feeding them with long beans and bananas (which was sold here), and seeing how beautiful they are, my scared feelings are gone. Beautiful, you say?
No kidding. They have a sporty hairstyle, like David Becham's mohican hairstyle which was famous a few years back. They gave them nickname "David Beckham".

Close up of a Silverleaf Monkey, with the mohican hairstyle (barely visible here)

Long tailed macaques. Another type of monkey that lives on the hill. This type of monkey is rather hostile. Doubt if they have the word "friend" in their dictionary, if they have any.
Try not to be near them, as they are rather fierce.

(Photo taken from another website)

Other than monkeys, there are also a few other wild animals found here.

A python, about 3 metres long

And a tiger!! Hah!!

Overall, the trip was satisfying even though it was a short one, less than 1.5 hours. This was suppose to be a historical tour, but I spent more time admiring the view and the animals, rather than spending time understanding the historical past of the place.

Nevertheless, I look forward to visit the trip again, but I will have to make sure I reach there earlier, not late in the evening!


y(a)ppie said...

oh you should've stayed for the sunset!

Big Bad Wolf said...

Hey yappie..
I cant drive in the dark, especially on road without street lighting, as my eyesight is worsening.
THe road from kuala selangor to lumut is pretty dark, so i decided to cabut earlier. :)

How are u btw?

y(a)ppie said...

doing well, thanks! ups and downs but that's life!

Big Bad Wolf said...

Yeap, c'est la vie.
Just take it as it is.