Urban forest

The KL Forest Eco-Park, the only virgin tropical rain forest left in KL, offers a respite from the city’s hustle and bustle, writes Laveda Charles. A NATURAL forest is...

The KL Forest Eco-Park, the only virgin tropical rain forest left in KL, offers a respite from the city’s hustle and bustle, writes Laveda Charles.

A NATURAL forest is like a drop of fresh air in a concrete jungle. Surrounded by high-rise buildings in Kuala Lumpur city centre, KL Forest Eco-Park (formerly known as the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve) is exactly that. It is close to popular tourist attraction KL Tower. Entry is now free although a fee may be imposed soon to help maintain the eco-park. At the moment, visitors only need to register their names in a logbook at the entrance.

One of the country’s oldest rainforests, KL Forest Eco-Park is just a walking radius from the KL Tower, offering a variety of flora and fauna, light adventures and a respite from the city’s hustle and bustle. An ideal place for hiking, the nine-hectare park has a newly opened 200-metre canopy walk, where a maximum of 10 people can walk on it at a time. As you thread on the steady wooden planks of the bridge, you can capture beautiful photographs of the forest, the links on the canopy walk and of course, selfies.

After every 50 metres, you arrive at a tower where you walk up a flight of stairs that takes you even higher. This gives you an aerial view of the city, treetops and other natural trails that lead you through the forest.

It is advisable to go on your canopy walk from 8am to 11am to avoid the scorching afternoon sun. When you reach some of the canopy towers, look upwards and you may catch bats hanging in the dark corners of the roof.

For hikers and joggers, there are paved paths or natural trails such as the Merawan, Suboh, Penarahan and Jelutong trails that wind through the forest. The Jelutong trail leads you to the base of KL Tower which is convenient for those who want to enjoy other activities in the tower.

For hikers and joggers, there are paved paths or natural trails such as the Merawan, Suboh, Penarahan and Jelutong trails that wind through the forest. The Jelutong trail leads you to the base of KL Tower which is convenient for those who want to enjoy other activities in the tower.

Butterflies, squirrels and monkeys may cross your path from time to time.

The greenie in you will appreciate the variety of trees (Pertusadina Eurhyncha also known as Merega, Polyalthia Longifolia also known as Asoka, the 16-year-old Jelutong), plants (Boston Fern and Brittle Maiden Hair) and herbs. If you’re on a school trip, the park’s rangers will show you around and educate you on the endangered species found there.

There is also an information centre at the front gate. There is a five-minute slide show, together with information boards with the background and details on the endangered species.

You need about two hours to take a leisurely look around the park or half an hour for a quick look. You need to have a good pair of sneakers, a bottle of water and you need to be physically prepared. For first-timers, it may be exhausting hiking through the forest, so take your time and have a good breakfast to boost your stamina.

The other attractions at the forest reserve include camping for 50 pax and picnicking. It also accommodates those who want to conduct environmental research.

FROM NATURE TO SKYSCRAPERS

Unlike hiking in a forest, you may only visit KL Tower once or twice in your lifetime. The 421m tower, which is the second tallest tower in Asia today, recently celebrated its 20th year with the newly opened 300m high Sky Box.

The Sky Box, which is a transparent glass box, is an extension of the open-air Sky Deck. There are two sections of the Sky Box that gives a 360-degree breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Only three people at a time are allowed into the box. It’s a surreal experience as one feels he or she is floating on air alongside the beautiful skyline of the city.

If you love taking photographs, remember to bring along your GoPro camera, tripod or a selfie stick to take some memorable pictures of yourself with the city in the background. The best time to take a picture of the city is at 7pm, with the sun setting. This may be daunting for those terrified of heights, but the trick is not to look down, but keep your eyes fixed on the horizon.

The website shows that the Sky Box is priced at RM75 for Malaysians and RM105 for non-Malaysians. However, there may be special packages, so do check their official page.

The tower has a 276m high Observation Deck (entrance is RM52 per adult, RM32 for child, with MyKad promotions at RM32 per adult and RM21 for child) which is surrounded by floor to ceiling glass windows, offering a spectacular view of the city. You can find souvenir shops and photo booths in the same area. There is even a binoculars stand that you can use to get a closer view of the skyscrapers.

There are other fun things to do at KL Tower. Near the ticketing counter on the ground floor are plenty of eateries. You have to pay for most of the activities advertised in the tower and outside except for the KL Forest Eco Park (for now). There are also many family and individual packages available which can be booked online.

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KL TOWER No 2, Jalan Punchak, off Jalan P Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur

TEL 03-2020 5444

OPENING HOURS 9am-10pm daily

ATTRACTIONS INSIDE THE TOWER

Atmosphere 360, revolving restaurant open for lunch and dinner, Mega view banquet hall, Blue Coral Aquarium, F1 Simulator, Flavours of Malaysia restaurant, XD Theatre (entrance fees are available online)

OUTSIDE

Upsidedown House and Mini Zoo.

KL FOREST ECO-PARK KL

Lot 240, Bukit Nanas, Jalan Raja Chulan, KL TEL 03-2070 6342 OPENING HOURS 7am-7pm (Forest); 9am-5pm (Information centre)

This Article is Shared from: http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/12/193513/urban-forest
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