Friday, May 08, 2009

Pulau Ketam

Crab Island - Village on Stilts

Pulau Ketam or Crab Island is on the itinerary of most major city tour companies. But if you decide to go at it alone, then it is really not diffcult.

You can either drive to Port Kelang and take the ferry to Pulau Ketam from there or use the more convenient KTM Komuter train.

Pulau Ketam got its name from crabs - or rather the main activity there (crab catching) in the 1800s.

The village on stilts was believed to have been set up by crab catchers in the swamplands that is now the island proper.

Actually, there are two islands here - Pulau Ketam and Sungai Lima which are divided by mangrove swamps.

The population is almost entirely Chinese, comprising a majority of Hokkiens, Teochew and some Hainanese. There are also Malays on the island.

Villagers are mostly fishermen and some of them traders dealing in marine products. There is also a police station, bank and numerous seafood restaurants.

Pulau Ketam is well-known for its seafood and floating fish farms. The latter attract scores of anglers during weekends. There are also some hotels on the island and even the floating fish farms have rooms for rent.

There are several seafood restaurants but shop around if you are looking for bargains. If money is of no restriction, then any will do. Simple rule of thumb is to head for the more popular ones.

There are also many shops selling marine produce such as dried shrimps, fish and prawn crackers, and the likes.

Pulau Ketam residents travel on bicycles and motorcycles. Some use motorised bicycles. Keep an eye out for them when exploring the island.

There is a lovely temple about 300 metres from the jetty.

Getting there:
The KTM Komuter operates from Sentul Station to Port Kelang end-to-end. Train fare from Sentul costs RM9.60 (adult/return fare) and half for children below 12. If you board the Komuter train from KL Sentral, the fare is cheaper.

Take this train till Port Kelang. Then walk to the jetty to Pulau Ketam located about 100 metres from the train station.

Travel to Pulau Ketam is by 'jet ferry' which services the mainland and the island at regular intervals of about 40 minutes.

The ferry is airconditioned and quite comfortable if you don't mind the noise and some boneshaking.

Fare is RM6 per adult one-way (half price for children below 12) and tickets are sold on board.

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