Cycling and Adventure Trip to Pulau Ketam, Selangor

Due to the pandemic, we were only allowed to travel within Selangor state and Kuala Lumpur. What a better time to visit some of the small towns and places in Selangor. On this trip, I visited Pulau Ketam, a small island off Port Klang. Pulau Ketam is a mangrove island about two and a half hours away from Kuala Lumpur.

There are two fishing villages on this island, Pulau Ketam, and Sungai Lima villages. About 8,000 people stay on this island. Most of the people here speak Hokkien and Teochew. They have settled on this island since 1880.

How do you get there?
There is a train service from Kuala Lumpur to Pulau Ketam Jetty, or you can drive there. There is paid parking beside the jetty. From the jetty, you need to take a ferry ride to the island.

What is there to do on this island?
Most of the visitors only go for a day trip. They come for seafood, shopping, and a bit of walking around. Bicycles and motorised cycles were for rent to those who wanted to explore more of this village.

If you are a photographer interested in understanding/documenting the village and how people live on this island, I recommend that you stay at least a night on this island. There are many lodging houses catering to the visitors. Most of these lodging houses were not listed on any of the online booking sites. However, you can find it listed on Google Maps. You need to call the owners directly to book your stay. Do stay away from the jetty hotels. I booked a lodging house which is about a half an hour walk from the jetty.

I will let my photos do the talking.

A welcome sign to Pulau Ketam village welcome you when you arrive.
I was taken aback by the multi-coloured painted houses around the whole village. I asked a villager why they did this? Her answer was that there was little to do on the island and all of a sudden the community leader suggested that they brightened up the village.
A brightly painted house in purplish pink.
Even the fences were brightly painted.
The villagers here were very house proud. They kept their house very neat and clean. Notice that there were no rubbish on the path.
A typical timber weather board house with galvanised zinc roof. It’s reminiscences of my childhood days.
A gateway to the kampung (village). There were no cars or motobikes on this island. Bicycles and electric bikes were for rent for those who wished to explore the place.
Bridge across the tributary. The mid section of the bridge was high enough for fishing boats to pass.
There is water and electricity supply from the mainland to this island. Before 1980 ‘s, there was no electricity and water was drawn from wells.
The houses were built on stilts. The mangrove swamp gets flooded on high tide.
There were fire hydrants along the water line just in case there was a fire.
Many such Chinese temples were built to make offerings to the Goddess of the sea. Fishermen were very superstitious. I used to stay very near a fishing village. One of the taboos when having dinner is to turn the fish when one side of the fish was eaten. The right thing to do was to break the main bone and eat the other side.
Night scenes were where the locals come out to play
The town has two main streets. The main street from the jetty is usually more crowded and the prices of the food were higher. It caters mostly to day trippers. The next street was quieter and the food prices lower. This is where the locals patronised most.
There were a couple of karaoke joints on the island.
This was one of the many hotels near the jetty.
The night scene around the village.
More night scenes
The police station
I was lucky. It was full moon. This was taken near my lodging house
Moon over Pulau Ketam. This was taken outside the leisure deck of my lodging house.
A villager looking for “balitung”around the concrete structures.
A recreational space for senior citizens
little free library from Rotary Club
Ms Cheah was from Teluk Intan. She married her husband and moved to Pulau Ketam about 36 years ago. She described how when she first moved here, there wasn’t any electricity. They had to light kerosene lamps at night. Water was from the well. She said that life has improved over the years. Her son took over the family business in seafood trade and fishing fleet.

She also told us that there were no visitors during the MCO period. The ferry service were suspended. Most of the shops in the village centre were closed.
One of the many lodging houses in the kampung.
The walkway to one of the lodging house
I was curious to find a red board erected in some houses. It turned out that the red boards were for fengshui. It is to block the bad chi from flowing into the front door of the house
This breakfast place was very near my lodging house. It was next to a school. It was famous for their laksa and mixed rice. It catered mostly to the local reidents.
This was the end of the village. There were a few structures erected for the farming of “bird’s nest”.