Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Twinkle Little Firefly

Our recent holiday in Kuala Lumpur was planned as a long city trek, and we hadn't made plans to do any traveling outside of the city. After two full days in the of hustle and bustle we knew we had made a mistake and we needed to escape to the local countryside. Unfortunately, we didn't have a guide book or access to the internet to help us plan a day trip. We decided the best thing to do in this situation was to head down to the concierge, where after discussing our options we decided on a group tour to Selangor River, home to millions of fireflies.
Our tour ended up being us, the guide, and the driver. At first, we were a bit worried about having to keep a conversation going for the next six hours, but within moments we knew that there would be no problem keeping the conversation flowing with our very knowledgeable guide, Raj. In fact, by the end of the evening we really had a better understanding of the history and present day situation of the multi-cultural country that we were visiting.
The start of our journey took us past old rubber and palm oil plantations and small villages as we worked our way towards the Firefly Sanctuary. Kampung Kuantan is one of only two places in the world--the other being along the Amazon River in Brazil-- where millions of fireflies can be seen congregating in the same area.
When we arrived at the mangrove, we had to wait until sunset. Then, we were loaded by fours onto a small sampan--a traditional boat powered by a standing man rowing from behind.

We were surrounded by pitch black. It was as though everyone was holding their breath in anticipation, and the only noise was the rhythmic splash created by the oars. Suddenly, as if a power supply had been tuned on, the trees on the horizon began to twinkle. It was as though thousands of Christmas lights had been strung in the trees, but as we pulled closer to the banks it became very apparent that this was not man made show but a natural phenomenon. Once again, Mother Nature showed here true power as she took my breath away.


  1. Hi Maya, how interesting to visit a Firefly Sanctuary. I can't seem to see your photos but your description has given me a beautiful visual.

    Thanks so much for sharing. Hope to read more about your trip.

  2. I saw a few (I'm talking 3 or 4 at a time in Oz) never a swarm like this - impressive