Air Hitam Dalam Educational Forest in Seberang Perai is an unassuming playground for birders searching for Penang’s winged wond...
The Green Lungs of Klang Valley
Amidst the malls and skyscrapers, one yearns for a return to nature. Thankfully, our valley is peppered with parks and forests still standing tall. Wear your comfiest sports shoes to trek in these spots.
KL Forest Eco Park
Tourists and city dwellers can have a quick escape from the concrete jungle by visiting KL Forest Eco Park. Since 1906, this area in Bukit Nanas has been gazetted as the only natural rainforest reserve within the city. Surrounding the KL Tower, the park is a refuge for trees, birdlife and small mammals, including endangered species.
The major highlight, the 200m Canopy Walk, allows visitors to indulge in an impressive aerial view of the park and Kuala Lumpur skyline. There are also on-ground walking trails for those who are not keen on heights.
Address: Hutan Simpan Bukit Nanas, Jalan Raja Chulan, 50250 Kuala Lumpur (03 2020 5448).
Open daily, 7am-6pm. Free entry.
Situated in Kepong, this biotechnology research institute is also a popular recreational hub. It hosts Kem Perah, a popular camping ground that can serve up to 80 people. Other than essential camping amenities, it provides tent rental at RM30 per day.
As for casual joggers, they can choose among the five trails available across the 545 hectares of land. Those who wish to cycle can rent a bike at RM6 or bring their own onto the challenging 30km mountain circuit. The institute also provides a wheelchair-friendly trail via Laluan Razak. Birdwatchers can also have a field time along these trails.
Address: Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), 52109 Kepong, Selangor (03 62 797 000).
Open 5.30am-7.30am, 8.30am-7.30pm daily.
Kota Damansara Community Forest Park
Since 2011, Kota Damansara Community Forest Society has worked with the native Temuan Orang Asli to protect their home from urbanisation. Using Temuan’s knowledge, a 14km stretch of forest trails were constructed for first-timers, cyclists and experienced hikers alike.
The Tiga Puteri trail will reward hikers with Unity Peak’s panoramic view. If one is curious to know more about Temuan’s culture, book a guide and they will show their community’s lifestyle and natural resources at Tahak Sipew’s Garden. KDCF Society also hosts an annual open day event, offering various activities for families to enjoy.
Address: Jalan Merbah 10/1, Seksyen 10 Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor (017 633 0672). Open daily. Free entry.
Taman Botani Shah Alam
Located at the outskirts of Shah Alam’s urban sprawl, this park offers more than a scenic retreat. Visitors may jog on the walkways, cycle along the paddy field, or kayak across the lakes. For anglers, they can also fish at the retired dam Air Kuning.
Extreme sports enthusiasts may sign up for Skytrex Adventure, with beginner to advanced level obstacles piercing through the forest. Families can check out the deers at the animal farm or experience winter in the Four Seasons House. Traditional Malay houses scattered across the park are also available for rental.
Address: Tanam Pertanian Malaysia, 40000, Shah Alam, Selangor (03 5510 7048). Open Tue-Sun, 7.30am-5pm. Entry RM3 for adults, RM1 for children and senior citizens.
Taman Rimba Kiara
A major hot spot for runners and cyclists is Taman Rimba Kiara, located within the neighbouring suburbs of Taman Tun Dr Ismail. On weekends, residents often swarm the park with their families for picnics and exercises, including free zumba sessions.
Adjacent to the park is Bukit Kiara, in which first-timers can explore the tarmac trail and be rewarded with a picturesque circuit of mini waterfalls. However, beware of monkeys and snakes that may cross your path! Experienced trekkers and mountain cyclists can test their endurance on the steep hilly jungle trails.
Address: Jalan Abang Haji Openg, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur. Open daily. Free entry.
By Afi Noor
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