In need of a short getaway? How about an island trip? Pulau Ketam, literally translating to Crab Island, is a small island off the coast of Port Klang, Selangor. It’s predominantly home to two small Chinese fishing villages, as well as a community of Orang Asli. It’s no secret that most people journey here for the seafood; after all, it is called Crab Island. Still, there are plenty of other hidden gems to explore on this quaint island. Although the locals mainly speak Teochew, Hokkien and Mandarin, don’t let the language barrier curb your wanderlust!
Pulau Ketam is a haven for those seeking a small escape from city life, and you can catch a glimpse into local life. First established in the 1880s, the sleepy settlements on this island have grown to host over 1,000 homes. Visitors can access the island via ferry from the South Port Terminal in Port Klang for about RM20 for a two-way journey. You can park your car at the Asa Niaga Habour City compound, located right next to the terminal.
If you prefer to take public transportation, take the KTM Komuter train from KL Sentral to Port Klang station. The journey will take about an hour, and the ticket is priced at RM4.30. From the station, it’ll be a 5-10 minute walk to the jetty.
To make sure you make the most out of your day trip to Pulau Ketam, have a look at the ferry schedule. There are a few operators, so take your pick. You can buy your tickets right at the terminal. No promises that the ferries will be on schedule, though.
Pulau Ketam Day Trip Itinerary
The first ferry will leave for Pulau Ketam starting from 9am on weekdays, and 8.25am on weekends. Depending on your plans, this should give you plenty of time to thoroughly explore the island. The ferry ride will take about 30-45 minutes, so remember to pack some Mo Far Kor or anti-nausea medication if you tend to get queasy.
If the weather is good, then remember to take a moment to enjoy the scenic views of the glittering ocean, blue skies, and even the mangrove trees of the island. If you’re really lucky, then you might even catch a glimpse of an eagle or two soaring in the sky!
You’ll first notice the giant signage, indicating that you’ve arrived at Pulau Ketam. Be sure to take lots of photos; after all, no picture, no proof, right?
When you arrive, you might be surprised at how colourful the houses are. They’re also built on stilts, and most of them are either made of wood or concrete. You’ll also notice the amount of bicycles – the roads are very narrow, so locals exclusively walk or cycle around the island. You can rent an electrical bicycle for yourself to get around the island, too.
Explore the Fishing Villages
Pulau Ketam has two main fishing villages, Pulau Ketam Village (on the northern side) and Sungai Lima Village (on the northeastern side). The ferries will typically arrive at Sungai Lima Village, before heading to Pulau Ketam Village, so ask around if you’re unsure of where you’re going.
The island’s main economic activity is fishing, so walk around the fishing villages to catch a glimpse of daily life at Pulau Ketam. You’ll see the locals going about their daily activities, such as repairing fishing nets, and unloading the day’s catch. Don’t be shy to talk to them, they’re often super friendly. It’s also a great way to learn about the island’s history, traditions, and cultural heritage.
Rent a Bicycle
To blend in with the locals and to simply get around the island faster, rent a bicycle. Explore the island at your own pace, and the island’s flat terrain makes it perfect for cycling. Be sure not to crowd the street if you’re travelling with a group, and always be careful of the surroundings, and oncoming cyclists and pedestrians.
Visit scenic spots, discover hidden gems, and experience small town life. The island is filled with gorgeous murals, so take your time to cycle through the island to explore all the alleyways and discover all the hidden artwork. Plus, cycling is just more fun than walking.
Tour the Temples
The first settlers of Pulau Ketam mainly composed of Teochew and Hokkien Chinese who were deeply religious, and dependant on the sea to provide for their living. As such, the island has several temples, each with its unique charm. These temples may be smaller than those that you might be used to seeing in the city, but they’re very colourful and still places for the locals to practise their faith. You can explore the various temples on the island, and the vibrant colors and intricate designs make for a fascinating cultural experience.Don’t be shy to take pictures of the temples, they make for great Instagram stories and posts.
Feast on Seafood
As expected of a fishing island, there are plenty of seafood restaurants just waiting for you. Tourists mainly go to Pulau Ketam to experience extremely fresh seafood, so take your pick of the many seafood restaurants available.
The island doesn’t have halal-certified restaurants, but they do have muslim-friendly eateries that only serve halal-compliant food. Recommended choices include Remember Me Seafood restaurant, which is halal-friendly and run by a Muslim woman. Definitely go for their chilli crab and squid sambal.
You could also go to Poh Seng restaurant, which is near the police station. This restaurant doesn’t serve any pork or lard, and favourites at this restaurant include the curry bamboo clams and steamed flower crabs. Alternatively, you could also go to Kim Hoe restaurant for kam heong style bamboo clams, sweet and sour crab, butter prawns, and fried squid.
Head to Crab Island Mini Market
The busiest part of the island, you’ll find loads of locals selling their catch of the day here. You can’t go to a fishing island without bringing home some fresh seafood! The island is also famous for its dried fishes, and they’re all pretty affordable.
What is a day trip to Pulau Ketam without some shopping, anyway? Most of the island’s stores and restaurants are located at Jalan Besar, which is Pulau Ketam’s main road. Explore the island’s adorable and traditional shops for unique souvenirs. Handcrafted items and local products make for perfect mementos of your trip. Plus, you’ll be supporting local, which is always a huge plus in our books.