Photo-Essay: Fishing Village Built on Stilt

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by Authors: Mahfuz Jaffar

Pulau Ketam literally translated, means “Crab Island”. It is a small island located off the coast of Port Klang, Selangor, Malaysia, and was founded circa 1880. The island is easily accessible from the Port Klang jetty by ferry for about 30 minutes.

This island is below normal sea level, that is why the whole fishing village is built over stilt. This island is a major supplier of crabs and fishes to the nearby city. Mangrove swamp surrounded this island, this habitat is ideal for crab to thrive. Hence the island get its name the “Crab Island”.

There is no water source at this Island. The drinking water is being piped in from the Port Klang (mainland) by submerge pipeline. Electricity supply is also from the mainland. The whole village survive from fishing only. There is no veggie, fruit tree due to land flooded during high tide. All veggies or fruits are imported from the main land.

The island is not beautiful but really quite interesting if you want to see a traditional side of Malaysia. It assaults your senses in many ways. Pulau Ketam is an extremely low profile, stress-free spot. It’s really worth a vacation simply for seafood, the local eating places offer seafood and incredibly known for crab, shrimp, shellfish and fish dishes.

Many citizens of Kuala Lumpur visit this island to escape the daily hectic life. It is about everyday people; the island itself has some basic lodges for people who want to stay longer. Pulau Ketam only consists of two small villages on stilts and not much more. The biggest part of the island is only accessible by boat because of the swampland and mangroves. Main activities are walking around in the village, or biking through the village on a rental bicycle. Appreciate the simple life there, cars and motor bikes free island. Basically, bicycle are the main transport being used here. It is a small island with nice sea view.