Pulau Ketam - Cycling on Paved Roads Held Up by Stilts

Tripoto
16th Mar 2018

Pulau Ketam, Selangor, Malaysia - Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Pulau Ketam - Cycling on Paved Roads Held Up by Stilts by Tara Anne Nikezic

The pavements are highlighted with light yellow paint signaling space allotment and the directional flow of organized traffic lanes the same as civil road systems, just narrow versions – think Venice except Malaysia not Italy. Signs around sharp curves warn cyclists to caution around the bends. I would urge visitors to heed those warnings especially around the bridges as the downward descent can give your bicycle the velocity kick and the sharp bend will leave you less appreciated by the oncoming traffic as you’re occupying both lanes. With no cars or motorbikes permitted on the island, this may give you a false sense of security relaxing you from thoughtful vigilance concerning road safety precautions. Don’t be fooled by the silence of no motor traffic on these roads, you still must exercise extreme caution with cycling your way around the narrow streets or risk disastrous collision with the 10 year old local speed demon carrying groceries on one side and a 4 year old little brother on the other who ferociously speeds past you on an electric bike probably thinking, “dang tourists, learn to ride a bicycle.” Haha, just kidding however true.

In searching to understand and learn about different cultures and ways of life, I had become discouraged previously with visiting other villages primarily in Malaysia’s northern neighbor Thailand with expectations of seeing just life as it goes on but then experiencing what is comparable to a human zoo. Pulau Ketam helped reinvigorate visiting village life with not providing an authentic feel, but by being just authentic giving me a refreshed view. As I made my way around, stopping to take photos of tiny shrimp prawns drying in the sun or watching a group of four people laughing as they deshell some recent catches, I was admiring one of the fishing boats that lay among the rest on the channel as one local man walks up and says to me “welcome to my island and thank you for visiting my home.” As the pleasant conversation ensues, he shares with me the history of how the community came to be knowing it quite well as he was born and raised in Pulau Ketam and has spent his whole life there. I feel the sense of pride radiate from him too when I share I came from America and wanted to see Pulau Ketam.

SIGHTS TO SEE

Pulau Ketam; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Pulau Ketam, Selangor, Malaysia by Tara Anne Nikezic

Pulau Ketam; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Pulau Ketam, Selangor, Malaysia by Tara Anne Nikezic

Pulau Ketam; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Pulau Ketam, Selangor, Malaysia by Tara Anne Nikezic

Pulau Ketam; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Pulau Ketam, Selangor, Malaysia by Tara Anne Nikezic

Pulau Ketam Locals; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Pulau Ketam, Selangor, Malaysia by Tara Anne Nikezic

The Chuan Eng Bio temple, located near Jalan Timur, was built in 1872.

Chuan Eng Bio Temple at Pulau Ketam; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Pulau Ketam - Cycling on Paved Roads Held Up by Stilts by Tara Anne Nikezic

Chuan Eng Bio Temple at Pulau Ketam; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Pulau Ketam - Cycling on Paved Roads Held Up by Stilts by Tara Anne Nikezic

Lotus Topped Facade Entrance of Chinese Temple and View of Chuan Eng Bio Temple at Pulau Ketam; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Pulau Ketam - Cycling on Paved Roads Held Up by Stilts by Tara Anne Nikezic

Pulau Ketam; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Pulau Ketam - Cycling on Paved Roads Held Up by Stilts by Tara Anne Nikezic

Stairway Leading to Hindu Temple at Pulau Ketam; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Pulau Ketam - Cycling on Paved Roads Held Up by Stilts by Tara Anne Nikezic

Inside Hindu Temple at the Top of the Stairs at Pulau Ketam; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Pulau Ketam - Cycling on Paved Roads Held Up by Stilts by Tara Anne Nikezic

WHERE TO STAY

Homestays and hotels are available on the island, with the largest hotel being the Hotel Sea Lion with rooms starting around $40 USD.

WHERE TO EAT

The coastal fishing villages along the Malacca Strait in Selangor are famed to have amazing and cheap seafood, in my experience with Pulau Ketam I didn’t feel that statement to be accurately applied in terms of price. Though we arrived in a near famished state, after reviewing several menus of the seafood restaurants lining the street after the pier, as budget travelers we reluctantly decided to hold our appetites for less costly waters. We grabbed a light late lunch of a dish of clams in a hot chili sauce called Lala (28 Malaysian Ringgit, $7 USD) and a small plate of seafood fried rice (7 Malaysian Ringgit, $1.81 USD) at Kinho Restaurant to have a taste of seafood while on the island.

Seafood Fried Rice at Kinho Restaurant; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Restoran Kia Hiong Haun 佳香园, Jalan Besar, Pulau Ketam, Selangor, Malaysia by Tara Anne Nikezic

Lala (Spicy Chili Clams) at Kinho Restaurant; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Restoran Kia Hiong Haun 佳香园, Jalan Besar, Pulau Ketam, Selangor, Malaysia by Tara Anne Nikezic

GETTING IN

Pulau Ketam can be visited comfortably as a day or half day trip from Kuala Lumpur with easily taking an hour KTM train ride from Kuala Sentrale to the Port Klang pier station for 5.60 Malaysian Ringgit ($1.40 USD) each way, and then the half hour ferry to the island which departs every half hour to hour. We reached Pulau Ketam coming from visiting the Kuala Selangor Sky Mirror in 2.5 hours covering 49km by public bus #100, a transfer to Causeway Link bus P701 at the Klang Bus Terminal (1 Malaysian Ringgit, $0.25 USD), and then a 10 minute walk to the pier from the port station. Taking the 3:30PM ferry, gave us 2 hours to explore on bicycle and grab a quick bite before hopping the last departing return ferry at 5:30PM. Two hours at Pulau Ketam was sufficient to quickly cycle around the village, however 3-4 hours would have been more satisfying and it would have been more comfortable to maneuver around without a concern to monitor time carefully as to not miss the last outgoing ferry.

Krab Statue at Port Klang Pier for the Ferry to Pulau Ketam also known as Krab Island; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Port Klang, Selangor, Malaysia by Tara Anne Nikezic

Pulau Ketam Pier; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Jetty Pulau Ketam, Jalan Merdeka, Selangor, Malaysia by Tara Anne Nikezic

The passage through the mangroves lining the narrow channel connecting from Port Klang sets a serene scene for disembarking upon the small fishing village of Pulau Ketam. A colorful port awaits you as you hop off the ferry boat whose ride you purchased from the friendly Malay ticketing sales lady that hooked you a roundtrip ferry ticket for 20 Malaysian Ringgit ($5 USD) within seconds of walking out of the KTM train station entrance to the Port Klang ferry pier.

Just a half hour ferry ride on your air conditioned and karaoke screened boat transfer and you’ll arrive at Pulau Ketam, and for 8 Malaysian Ringgit ($2 USD) you’re cycling your way around this fishing village where the concert paved roads beneath your tire is still held up stilts meters below the water.

Even without renting a bicycle, everything is walkable and between one photogenic spot to the next, you may even end up walking your bicycle more than riding it.

Rental Bicycles and E-Bikes at Pulau Ketam Pier; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Jetty Pulau Ketam, Jalan Merdeka, Selangor, Malaysia by Tara Anne Nikezic
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