Selangor is Malaysia’s most developed state and largest economy, with a wealth of cultural, culinary and natural attractions. Last year, over 3 million foreign travelers, including nearly 200,000 Japanese travelers, visited Selangor to experience the offerings of Malaysia’s most progressive state, attesting to its popularity as a top tourist destination.
Centrally located in close proximity to the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor is Malaysia’s primary port of entry and is home to two international airports and the country’s largest seaport. The state’s economy is booming, contributing around 23 percent of Malaysia’s gross domestic product, and provides its citizens with a high standard of living while boasting the lowest poverty rate in the country. Selangor is one of Malaysia’s fastest-growing states and continues to attract investment, especially from Japanese companies in various manufacturing sectors that have operated in the region for decades.
Selangor is situated in the west of Peninsular Malaysia, overlooking the Strait of Malacca, and has large stretches of permanent reserve forest that account for nearly 32 percent of the state’s land. These forest areas, some of which are protected by the state in order to preserve biodiversity, are home to various wildlife, including migratory and residential birds, Nile hippos, crocodiles and silver leaf monkeys, which have made the region an ideal ecotourism destination.
Rich cultural heritage
Among Selangor’s nine districts, the Klang district is particularly beloved for its architectural and cultural gems.
The Sultan Abdul Aziz Royal Gallery, located in a classic British colonial-style building constructed in 1909, houses a plethora of artifacts centered on the history and heritage of the Sultanate of Selangor. This and other attractions, including the grand Alam Shah Palace and the majestic Tengku Kelana Indian Muslim Mosque and Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, can be appreciated on the Royal Klang Heritage Walk, a free guided walking tour that highlights Klang’s historical riches. Visitors can also relish local Klang delicacies such as Bak Kut Teh Klang, a popular pork rib dish, and delectable seafood from the fishing island of Pulau Ketam.
Natural treasures abound
One of Selangor’s most popular destinations is Sasaran Beach in the Kuala Selangor district. Commonly referred to as “Sky Mirror,” the beach is only accessible twice a month — during the new moon and full moon periods — when the tide ebbs just enough to cover a large stretch of flat island. During this natural phenomenon, the shallow water produces pristine, mirror-like reflections of the sky, offering visitors a marvelous visual wonder and unusual photography opportunities.
While in Kuala Selangor, travelers can visit other natural treasures, such as the Kuala Selangor Nature Park, where migratory birds are found from September to March, and the Kampung Kuantan Fireflies Park, featuring boat rides for visitors to admire the fireflies flickering among trees along the riverbanks.
No trip to Selangor is complete without a visit to the stunning Blue Mosque located in Selangor’s capital city of Shah Alam. The mosque’s most distinguishing feature, its enormous blue and silver dome, is the largest religious dome in the world and is surrounded by four towering minarets. The second-largest mosque in Southeast Asia, Selangor’s Blue Mosque accommodates up to 24,000 people and is visible from several vantage points in Kuala Lumpur.
The mosque’s design incorporates elements of Malay and Islamic architecture, with decorative Arabic calligraphy and other intricate patterns on doorways, windows and walls. The structure, which overlooks the landscaped Garden of Islamic Arts, exudes a tranquil ambiance, accentuated by the blue stained glass of its windows that illuminate the interior with calm bluish hues.