HOW DOES THE LOCAL COMMUNITY BENEFIT FROM THESE TOURS?
100% of your payment goes directly to the local community for hires and services (e.g. guiding, boating, cooking). A portion of your fees also goes to an education fund to support the continued education of our full- and part-time youth rangers e.g. certification courses/marine workshops.
Who are the Kelab Alami YOUTH RANGERS?
Our youth rangers and guides are from surrounding villages and were trained from young as habitat experts and monitors. Today they work full-time or part-time for Kelab Alami and also conduct scientific research for themselves and their community or assist visiting scientists in their work. The Kelab Alami youth are also trained as community researchers, collecting and curating local cultural and fishing heritage for the Kelab Alami Nature & Heritage Centre.
We don’t understand Malay.
All of our youth rangers speak fluent Malay, but a few of them can also guide in English but at a slower pace! Give them a chance to practice their English with you.
IS THERE A First Aid kit ON THE TOUR?
We have a First Aid kit on standby but do bring your own medicines if you need them. Please let us know in advance about food and other allergies if you have any.
HOW DO I BOOK A TOUR/WALK/CLASS?
These tours require a non-refundable deposit of RM100 per person to be paid ONE WEEK before the tour date to confirm the booking. The remainder can be paid in cash upon completion of the tour. For Mangrove Habitat Walk and Taste of Tanjung Kupang Market Tour, the non-refundable deposit is RM50 per person. The remainder can be paid in Malaysian Ringgit cash upon completion of the tour. If in doubt, please follow the booking procedure of that tour. To book, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are Singaporeans. Do you have a bank account in Singapore?
What happens if the weather is bad. WHAT IS YOUR REFUND POLICY?
The weather could be very hot, or it might rain – but in the event of a storm/dangerous weather, walks and tours will be cancelled on the spot for safety with only partial refunds made.
WHERE CAN WE HAVE LUNCH/DINNER AFTER THE TOUR?
We can recommend several food stalls/restaurants in the area after your tour with us. If you are a group of minimum 20 pax, you can pre-book your buffet-style meal at an additional cost of RM40/pax. We serve rice/noodle with a selection of seafood, meats, vegetables and dessert with cold drinks. We buy what is seasonal so we know it’s fresh. If you are vegetarian, allergic to certain foods or prefer not to have certain foods as part of your meals, do let us know at the time of your booking so we can prepare in advance. Groups of minimum 20 pax who are not booking a tour, but want to savour local village cuisine can book with us as well, but group tours will have first preference.
Do you sell drinks and snacks?
No, but canned soft drinks can be purchased at Pak Ngah jetty. If you bring your own snacks during the tour, please bring your litter out with you.
DO YOU PROVIDE ACCOMMODATION?
No, but we can suggest a few good hotels about a half hour's drive from us and some homestays within the village.
does the kelab house have a prayer room?
No, but there is a nearby surau for men and women.
We already have a tour guide, can we do a tour without your guide to cut costs?
Our goal is to empower the community through their ability to share their local and scientific knowledge with a visitor. To properly enjoy a tour of our habitats, it would be better with a resident guide as only they would be able to add value to your visit. This also enables you to make a positive contribution to the community. While there is nothing stopping you from doing a tour without our guide, we ask that you please look elsewhere for boat rental.
We have wash room facilities. Please bring your own towel, change of clothes and toiletries.
PHONE RECEPTION & ELECTRICITY
There is phone/data reception in Kelab Alami but there is no phone/data reception at Pak Ngah Jetty. The Kelab house has electricity if you need to charge your phone. In Malaysia, the standard voltage is 240 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. We have type G sockets so bring an international adaptor if you need to.
If you’re driving, just key in ‘Kelab Alami Nature and Heritage Centre’ into any navigational app or device (Google Maps, Waze etc) and you’ll be able to find your way here.
HOW DO WE DRIVE from Iskandar Coastal Highway OR the Tuas Second Link from Singapore?
If you are using the Iskandar Coastal Highway, take the Port of Tg Pelepas exit. If using the Tuas Second Link from Singapore, take the first exit after the toll to the Port of Tg Pelepas (PTP).
From this PTP highway, turn right at the 2nd traffic light(first traffic light is to Forest City). Please drive carefully here as the lorries drive fast and there is sometimes burst lorry tyre debris scattered across the highway. At the big cross junction turn left towards Pendas. You are in Kg Pekajang - the roads have a lot of holes. Go slow and feel free to drive on the wrong side to avoid holes if you need to. Please be wary of children cycling out from the small roads without warning.
You will pass a mosque on your right and GO under a bridge and will begin to see the port infrastructure and factories on your right. Keep going straight past the large signboards to Yeo’s and Saujana restaurants (popular with Singaporean visitors). You are now in Tg. Adang. Keep going straight.
Enjoy the view of traditional kampung homes and shops. After about 10 mins you will come to the Forest City junction with a huge highway over the kampung and a construction road. Drive slowly under this highway and past the construction. You are in Kg Pok. On your right you will see SRK Sri Morni Pok (a primary school) and the village hall (Dewan Kg Pok) – keep going straight. You will soon pass Indra Corner (a pretty good warung over Sg Pok) on your right. Keep going straight.
You are now entering Tg Kupang, and will pass the entrance & archway to the Ibu Pejabat Pembinaan Forest City (on your right, photo below)
Keep going straight for about 10 minutes. You will eventually pass SRK Tg Kupang (primary school on your left), a small mosque and a graveyard. You then go through a tunnel (under the 2nd link highway). Keep going straight.
On your left there will be an AgroBazaar. Keep going straight for about 100m until you see new condominium type housing on your right (photo above).
Immediately after these condominiums and before the blue zinc compound is our home base. Enter the small road between the new purple/grey houses to find the Kelab Alami house. Ours are the yellow wooden units at the centre.
IF THE TAXI DROPS US AT kelab house, How do we transfer to/FRO the jetty/MANGROVES?
Transport to the jetty from the kelab house (by motorbike/ car) can be arranged at RM5 p/pax return. This will take time and you will need to arrive at the kelab house early.
can you pick us up from the bus station?
We can arrange for van pick-up from the Gelang Patah bus station for an additional RM200 per van (up to 10 pax). This fee includes: pick up from Gelang Patah, transport to Kelab Alami house then to jetty/ pick up from jetty and return to the Gelang Patah bus station. Allow half an hour travel from Gelang Patah bus station to the clubhouse. From the clubhouse it's about a 5 minute's drive to Pak Ngah Jetty.
are there taxis or ride-sharing cars i can call after the tour?
No, you will have to pre-arrange your ride back to Singapore or your onward travel.
Depending on your needs, the distance and the time taken, boat prices can vary. The general guideline is as follows: within Sg Pendas: RM250 p/hr, to Pulau Merambong or seagrass area: RM500 p/hr, to Puteri Harbour or PTP: RM750 p/hr. Prices can be negotiated if there is a need to rent for half a day, a full day or for several days. These prices do not include guiding fee.
Why do the prices seem high for 'just' a village organisation?
We want to make sure that the community is properly compensated for the work that they do, and that their time, skills, knowledge and experience are valued. Prices set are fair for the value that they provide, and through this effort, the local people will also understand that what they share and know are important and worth good money. This helps to preserve it for future generations.
Can we just rent a boat for research or self-tour?
Even if you are licensed boat captain, we will not be able to rent out our boats without our fishermen as the boat captain as you may not be familiar with these waters and vessel traffic. We have set prices for boat rental that comprise the fee paid to the boat captain, boat rental, boat repairs, use of life jacket and petrol. We provide a fair price to ensure that the community is properly compensated for their time and effort.
Your price is too expensive, can I rent a boat elsewhere?
Yes there are other people in the village who might be willing to work at your fee. But we ask that you consider the impact of your need to pay as little as possible. We hope to help the local community, not devalue and deprive them or a fair income given the time that they have taken or the opportunity cost of not going out to sea. We also cannot guarantee the safety and sea-worthiness of other boatmen and vessels, so please make your choice wisely.
The walks are suitable for adults and children with a few restrictions. The mangrove walks are a knee-deep immersion into a mangrove forest right under the Second Link Bridge to Singapore. This can be a little bit challenging as you will have to clamber over or on mangrove roots and is not recommended for young children below 7 years old and anyone with knee problems or walking difficulties. As for the seagrass and Merambong Island walks, children should be able to walk on their own and are able to understand what is being shared by the Kelab Alami nature guides and youth rangers.
What is the minimum number of people PER WALK?
Mangrove Walks: Minimum group size is 3 persons. Seagrass/Merambong Island Walks: Minimum group size is 5 persons, the group numbers should be in multiples of 5 persons to cover boat costs. Maximum group size for all walks is 20 pax.
How many people can a boat accommodate?
Seagrass/Merambong Island walks require the use of a boat with a carrying capacity of ±5 normal size adults (excluding youth ranger and boatman). This limit is to ensure safety at sea in strong winds. Occasionally, we have people who are of a larger build - if this is the case, please e-mail us.
What happens if there are only two of us?
If your group is under five adults, you will have to rent the entire boat for RM500/each. In addition to the usual cost of RM210 per person, you would then have to add on an additional RM100 for every person that is not there (to make up 5 pax) – so for example, if there are just 2 of you, the total cost will be RM210 x 2 +RM300 = RM720.
Can you accommodate my group of 30 people?
If you have a group larger than 20 pax, we may split the group up to other habitats. Please contact us at email@example.com for more information.
are the walks guided?
Yes, by the local youth rangers and nature guides of Kelab Alami. They are enthusiastic and knowledgeable and will show and tell you about these unique natural areas that cannot be found elsewhere in Peninsular Malaysia.
What can you guarantee we can see during the walk?
We cannot guarantee that anything will appear as the critters are wild and beyond our control. Even without major wildlife sightings, there will be lots of habitat trivia for you to learn and discover.
What can I touch?
We will warn you not to stick your hands and arms into tree trunk holes as you never know what might be lurking within! Our guides will be doing most of the animal or plant handling, if necessary, but we do try to keep this to a minimum so that the animals are not disturbed. Please follow our guides instructions at all times – there may be instances where you will be able to rescue and relocate animals stranded on the low tide to shallow water areas.
What do I wear for the HABITAT Walks?
We recommend wearing light long pants (not jeans!) if you tend to be allergic to things (some people itch if they touch epiphytes and other floaty critters in the water).
Aquashoes/dive boots/Adidas Kampung or old sneakers/school shoes that can be tied – they will get muddy! See examples of the right shoes to wear:
NOTE:Wellington (Pua Chu Kang) boots will not work as they will fill up with water – slippers & sandals will break. There are sharp things in the sand that can cut you if you are unlucky so you will not be allowed to go barefoot.
What else should I bring with me?
A waterproof bag to protect your stuff from the sea
Sufficient drinking water (more is better than less)
A change of clothes, towel, personal toiletries and medicine (we have a First Aid kit on standby)
Is there a jetty at the island?
No. We will bring the boat as close as we can get to the island and you will disembark from the boat in shallow waters; the water won't go past your knees.
Where DO WE MEET THE KA YOUTH RANGER?
Depending on the tide time, we usually meet at the Kelabhouse (90B Kg Ladang) to check your shoes / distribute life jackets / give you an extended pre-briefing, but other arrangements might be made depending on specific circumstances.
Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of your walk, or half hour if you are coming in a large group for the safety checks and if you need to use the washroom. There are no toilets on Merambong Island and in the mangroves. You can use the toilets at the Kelab house or at the Pak Ngah Jetty. We are constrained by limited tides and need to leave on time so that we can maximise time at sea or in the mangroves, so please be punctual.
Taste of Tanjung Kupang Market Tour Taste of Tanjung Kupang Cooking Class
What meals will we be cooking?
Upon submitting an email of enquiry, we will send you a menu to choose from. You will be able to choose the menu that interests you and let us know if you have food restrictions or prefer to learn vegetarian/vegan only options. All market produce and food presented during these tours will be halal.
Where do you get your produce from?
All our ingredients will be locally bought and fresh from the sea (where relevant). We hope to give you a chance to enjoy local ingredients cooked in local traditional style – yet provide you with information on how to substitute them for other ingredients where necessary. We of course encourage you to return to our village to buy village produce and fresh seafood and continue to contribute to our local economy.
What time and day are the market tour and cooking class?
We can arrange for the tour or cooking class to be held on any day, but they must take place in the morning as that is when the market opens. We recommend meeting for the market tour by 8:30am so that you can catch the hustle & bustle at the jetty, and there are of course more market stalls to enjoy between Friday to Sunday. The cooking class (without market tour) can begin at 9am so that food will be ready in time for lunch.
What if we have more or less than the minimum or maximum numbers?
We can only accommodate the numbers as indicated on the tour or class details. Small group sizes enable more interaction and information sharing. We need to maintain minimum numbers to ensure that our costs are covered too. If you have a larger group, we can split them into several days or for the market tour alone, we can split them into different groups (but as our market area is rather small, we hope to be able to minimise this).
Will you be providing notes for the cooking class?
We will give you recipes to take home, and there will be space for you to add notes if you need to. There will also be time over lunch to ask questions or pick up other tips that you might have missed or would like to find out about.
Do we get to eat after the class?
Yes, we will all sit down to a meal together and test each other’s dishes. This is when we can get to know each other better and perhaps you can find out more about our local culture and heritage cuisine – or our other tour offerings. We will also provide a little more than just the dishes we cook, such as rice and local salads or fruit.
Will we have someone to clean up after us?
We ask that you participate in the cleaning up of your cooking area and dishes after the class, however everything will be set up and ready to go when you arrive. We will provide you with aprons as you cook, but please wear suitable clothes for cooking (and perhaps sweating) over a gas stove.
How come the price stated for the cooking class is only for January – June 2019?
This is an introductory offer. The Taste of Tanjung Kupang initiative was created to document and preserve our heritage cuisine and provide an avenue for local women and men to share their skills with others. This effort is new to the village and we are aware that we are not professional chefs with experience in teaching the general public so during these months, we welcome feedback on the classes and market tours so that we can eventually price it closer to the value that we provide. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to begin our journey to share our traditional food with the world.
Do we need to get off the boat and / or get dirty?
No, this tour is just a leisurely cruise with some opportunities to try your hand at fishing techniques. But you won’t step off the boat into any habitats along the way.
Are there restrictions to when we can take these tours?
These tours are not tide-dependent so we can arrange them at a time that suits you. However, we recommend either early morning (8am) or early evening (4.30pm) so that it is not too hot. These are also the times that animals are more active so that there might be a higher chance of seeing them. Otters are usually present at the lower tides (but cannot be guaranteed), you can email kelabalami.walks for more information on these times if you are interested.
Are these tours suitable for everyone?
Yes they are, but young children should be accompanied by parents, and we need to know in advance that you will be bringing them so that we can prepare the appropriate child-sized life jackets. Everyone must remain seated in the boats at all times.
ARE the tours guided?
Yes the Kelab Alami youth rangers will provide a running commentary throughout the tours and there will be stops for them to explain the scenery around you.
How much do we ‘experience’ during this tour?
These tours do not give you an experience to touch or feel any flora or fauna, you will be seated in a boat but it will be a visual feast with much local cultural and ecological knowledge to learn, and after the tour you will enjoy some local delights as refreshments.