learning to pause instead of pressure

#MYTravelAdventure – What’s your local travel story?

Travel To Port Klang (Port Swettenham)
 source: guttedarcades

This is a story about my hometown, Port Klang where I would visit once a year. You see, everyone wants to go somewhere exciting; Penang, Malacca, Ipoh where food is abundance and culture is prevalent. But for me? I find beauty in the forgotten. #MYTravelAdventure – What’s your local travel story? This is my Malaysian local travel story. I'll be reminiscing this as a child and as an adult.

Port Klang is a town and the main gateway by sea into Malaysia. Colonially known as Port Swettenham, it is the largest port in the country. These sights were reminiscent of my childhood, both memorable & painful.

Port Klang is the top 13th container port in the world

KTM Port Klang
There are a few ways to reach here by public transport. The easiest way would be taking the KTM Komuter. The trip from KL Sentral (RM4.30) will take about 80 minutes. The train route passed Subang Jaya (RM 2.90), Shah Alam and Klang. The Port Klang railway station is located opposite the ferry terminal l

Port Klang used to be a thriving port town, bustling with town folks from all over thanks to it being the largest port in the country. Being the main gateway by sea into Malaysia, the Brittish colonized this town. AND because the journey from Klang by horse or buffalo wagons to the city was "too long and boring", Frank Swettenham the appointed British resident at Port Klang built a train linking from Port Klang to the city, Kuala Lumpur.

Known during colonial times as Port Swettenham. It was renamed to Port Klang in July 1972. I was born 9 years later. Ref.

 source: akubudaktelok64

If you just watch Beauty & The Beast, then the atmosphere during my childhood was exactly like the town Belle grew up in. People were all over, it was busy, it was awesome growing up in this town. I took my brother and sister on foot to discover the whole town in a day. We would stop by the Kedai Runcit to buy "yum yum" (snacks) and then fishes from the pet store. Of course, our fishes died the next day because we didn't understand a thing about keeping fishes as pets.

The local tavern where daddy always brings us to have chicken chop dinner had strange looking people from the port that I've never seen before. They were white and they had caps. Photographs of ships, strange people filled the walls of the Tavern. Now I realized, it was "ang mohs" from the ships.

D'Tavern, Restaurant & Pub, Port Klang

still old school setting

 hall of visitors, the past

HNS Westminter crew
I always make it a point to visit this tavern nearby my home to have their chicken chop. It's one of the oldest tavern around and was once beaming with sailors from all over the world. I'm amazed it's still surviving despite the harsh changes made to this small town.

my home town Port Klang

At the age of 10 & being the eldest, I brought my 5-year-old bro & 2-year-old sister to tour around Port Klang like free-spirited doves. Now, it's better to exercise caution when you walk around this town.

The oldest hotel in Port Klang town

During its heyday, it's one of the nice hotels for seafarers and visitors from the port but to date, it's not exactly a place to crash for the night anymore. This hotel and building was built by my grandfather. The hotel is probably the only hotel in Port Klang town now.

Pasar Pelabuhan Kelang

The oldest wet market in Port Klang, fishermans comes here to sell their catch

The wet market in Port Klang is probably one of the oldest structure here and still withstood the test of time. This is still a bustling place in the early morning. Just minutes away from my home, my grandmother always sent me here to buy catfish in the morning to feed our 50 cats (we like to rescue animals)

Grandmother handed to the 10 year-old me RM5 every morning to go to the fish market to buy a bag of "cat fish". It's not really catfish, it was just that sardine looking fish to feed the 50 cats and kittens we rescued back at home. My grandmother and I love cats. We have a colony of "atap cats" who only live up the house roofs. We have garden cats, house cats, and back-alley cats. Somehow they all started their own families and we have a huge cat zoo.

We also have 15 dogs and puppies. All this in a single storey house in Port Klang.

the colonials shops that was my "shopping mall" at 10 years old

 abandoned beauty

traveling to the past

how grandma used to shop

Death by Expressway. The shophouses that used to be alive is where I spent most of my childhood rummaging through toys, books, snacks every Sunday morning split between my sibblings. Dad plays mahjong nearby with friends at coffeeshop, we'll go there spy at him through the window & extort for money. Yes I use the word extortion, we won't leave him alone unless he pays protection money

Port Klang was awesome until the new North-South Express Highway started construction. The town I loved went through a slow death. Nobody saw it coming. We didn't even have a protest against this. The express highway was big and tall. My favorite Kedai Runcit stores were just a few feet away from it. The whole stretch of colonial stores suffered from this change.

People started moving out and laborers from neighboring countries started making this their new home. From the bright, bustling town I grew up in, my town has turned into a cowboy town, unfamiliar, dark and unsafe. Shops I grew up visiting, closed down. The fish market, is it still there? The old cinema, abandoned and probably haunted.

my grandma's hardware store in Port Klang

While I was walking around Port Klang this morning, I passed by my grandma's hardware store, still there after so many years. It's the same row as the Great Wall mall (many might not remember Great Wall anymore, used to be the only shopping place for us back in the golden days). Also beside this shop, is where the famous tong shui stall is located at the main road of Port Klang town.

the hawker square where I used to buy tong yuen for auntie

The famous tong yuen stall in Port Klang, operated over 25 years by father & daughter team. It's still here with a bowl of tong yuen from RM1.  Featured on: The Star - February 2009. Roadside stall next to Econjaya (now closed but the signboard is still there)Jalan Raja Muda Musa, Port Klang Opening hours: 8pm - 11:30pm (Closed on Sundays)

Walking around Port Klang after so many years. It was still beautiful. It has potential. It was still awesome to me. It could be alive again, there's so much history and the Tavern is still standing tall serving chicken chop. If only Mr.Seksan of the Sekeping Projects, could come here and turn my once awesome town into a more awesome place.

How Malaysian travel changed me? Well, Malaysia has many wonderful awesome places to visit, and it should not be limited to places of popularity, it could also be a place you find interesting like Port Klang. To appreciate what we have and the forgotten. An adventure of your local beauty of the past. 

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  1. That's wonderful Tammy! I see beauty in the forgotten too. Now I'm kinda miss my hometown in a small village in Terengganu. Haven't been there for a while. Nonetheless it was a fun read from you!

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