Malaysia's Selangor: Attractions

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Selangor is one of the 13 states in Malaysia. It is on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and is bordered by Perak to the north, Pahang to the east, Negeri Sembilan to the south and the Strait of Malacca to the west. It completely surrounds the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. The origin of the name Selangor is lost in history, although some source claim the name to have come from the Malay word selangau, which gives the meaning of a large fly, most probably due to the abundance of flies in the marshes along the Selangor River in the state’s northwest. Another more plausible theory claims the state’s name was derived from the term Selang Ur meaning “land of the straits” (ur means “land” in Tamil, selang means “straits” in the Malay language). Selangor is also known by its Arabic honorific, Darul Ehsan (“Abode of Sincerity”). Selangor is hailed as the gateway to Malaysia, given its strategic location to all major travel routes. It is home to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), the country’s main entry point and Port Klang, the largest port in Malaysia. There is an extensive network of highways and expressways in the state, making all parts of Selangor easily accessible. The location of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city and Putrajaya, the new federal administrative centre within the bounds of the state further enhances the touristic appeal of Selangor. The magnificent Kota Darul Ehsan Arch along the Federal Highway welcomes visitors driving into the state, this Moorish styled arch, is the state’s most distinguished landmark, erected to mark the ceding of Kuala Lumpur to the Federal Government in 1974. Minusops Elengi, locally known as “Bunga Tanjung” is the state’s flower.

The state’s capital is Shah Alam and the royal capital is Klang. A third major urban centre is Petaling Jaya which was awarded city status on the 20th of June 2006. Hence, Selangor is one of only two Malaysia states with more than one city; the other being Sarawak. On 27th of August 2005, Selangor was officially declared the first developed state in Malaysia by the then state government. The traditional culture of Selangor’s Malay majority is influenced by those of Bugis, Johor, Minangkabau and Javanese ancestry. Selangor’s population also has Chinese and Indian influence; those two having larger minority populations. Selangor also receives a lot of Western influence as for being the most developed state in Malaysia. Same as the culture, the cuisine in Selangor also receives the influence from Johor, Bugis, Jawa and Minangkabau. Some of the famous cuisine in Shah Alam and Klang includes Rojak Klang, Lontong Klang and Mee Bandung. Other famous dishes offered in Selangor are Mee Jawa, Satay Kajang, Kuah Asam Pedas and Sayur Masak Rebung. Klang bak kut teh is famous among the Chinese population. It is an herbal pork soup which can be eaten during breakfast, lunch and dinner as well. All roads away from Kuala Lumpur lead to the state of Selangor, Malaysia's most populated and prosperous state. Selangor surrounds the burgeoning capital with green suburban arms and industrial tracks, but as the city is left behind, a different, older and more natural order quickly unfolds. To the west is the Klang Valley, whose tin mines were inextricably linked to the history and development of modern Malaysia. It was here that much of Malaysia's Civil War was played out. Continuing past the city of Klang, one eventually comes to Port Klang, where sampans come and go. Both to the north and south, Selangor is dominated by fishing villages on the coast and the Kampung inland. Heading east from KL, it is not the ocean but hills and forests that dominate. This is the beginning of the lush Malaysian heartland, and the spiritual connection to the landscape first takes hold at the extraordinary Batu Caves. Even further inland are the Genting Highlands, one of Malaysia's finest hill stations. Any direction one takes in Selangor...
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