Bukit Melawati is place full of history and one of Kuala Selangor's most popular tourist attractions during the day. This little hill was once home to a mighty fortress built by Sultan Ibrahim of Selangor towards the end of the 17th century, an effort to safeguard Selangor from Dutch forces that had conquered Malacca, a little further down south. The fort faced the sea with an impressive view of the coastline and the mouth of the Selangor River. Built with solid slabs of stone and held by massive pillars, it was certainly an impressive sight during its days. Despite all its stature, the fort faltered in the face of powerful Dutch cannons and fell to their naval forces after a two week siege.
The Dutch forces soon fought with Sultan Ibrahim’s troops again; and in less than a year, the Sultan launched a successful night raid and recaptured Melawati Hill after driving the Dutch back to sea. The fort continued to be at the epicenter of many struggles and battles over the years, especially during the Selangor civil war, fought between factions created by rival sultans and Chinese tin miner gangs. When British forces arrived to impose their presence in Selangor, they hammered the fort into little pieces, with the help of massive gunboat Rinaldo. Today, all that remains for visitors to see are a few decrepit foundation stones and walls, along with some of the 68 cannons originally used for the fort’s defence.
The Kuala Selangor Lighthouse is the town's most famous landmark and symbol. It was built in 1907 and is also known as the Altingsburg Lighthousewhich was the old Dutch name for Bukit Melawati. It is 27m high and its light can be seen 18 nautical miles away. It is not open to the public.
The Silvery lutung or better known as the silver leaf monkeys are probably Bukit Malawati's most popular attraction; They originate from the surrounding mangrove forests below, the monkeys have become accustomed with constant handouts and feedings from tourists. Several families of Silver-Leafed Monkeys and Long-Tailed Macaques hang around here for bananas, peanuts or vegetable handouts from visitors. There are vendors selling food nearby for you to purchase and feed these monkeys.
The Silver-leafed babies have golden fur as compared with the adults of ashen grey. These Monkeys are a delight - they are gentle and seem to always have a thank you for every morsel of food given. The common (brown coloured )long-tailed macaques, on the other hand, are generally more cheeky and can be agressive and if you turn your back for a second - you'd never know what they would do.
It is however, as you can see from my pictures, a lovely place to take some selfies as well as take some memorable photographs. After we took our photos with the monkeys and our own pictures, we boarded the next tram that came along.
Since my other half was waiting down below the hill and we did not quite want to traipse all around the hill, we did not really get to check out the other interesting sights you should not miss if you can..You see, in Bukit Malawati, there are historical relics which includes the protective walls of the fort, the palace ground, a lighthouse, royal graves, seven wells, a flat stone used for beheading offenders, a 100-step ladder, a poisoned well and several cannons targeted at the mouth of the Selangor River. FYI, Bukit Melawati has been designated a historical monument and historical site under Antiquities Act 1976 in 1977.
|can you spot the baby monkey|