Looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur’s hectic city life? Thankfully, there is no shortage of outdoor activities in KL and Selangor. Here’s our selection of the best activities to do and parks to visit to help those of you looking to get out there and be active map out your trip.
Explore Tropical Forests
You’ll find plenty of hiking trails in and around Kuala Lumpur, through lush tropical rainforests and sprawling parks alike. Bukit Tabur is one such popular location, a hill just North-east of the capital city, one 30-minute drive away. It’s part of the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge, the longest quartz formation in the world and home to a number of plant species. Whether it’s the moderate West Trail you choose to take, the more difficult East Trail, or the most challenging Far East and Extreme Trails, you’re guaranteed a scenic vista as a reward for your efforts.
Alternatively, head to the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), a forest reserve another 30-minute drive away from KL. Not only are there a campsite, picnic area, a waterfall to marvel at and plenty of unexacting hiking paths—stop by to get a closer look at some exquisite Malaysian flora, visit the FRIM Research Gallery and admire the specimens on display, or check out the Malay traditional house they’ve set up to catch a glimpse of a historic Malaysian lifestyle.
Discover Scenic Waterfalls
Speaking of waterfalls, Kanching Falls is one of the most famous in Malaysia. They’re tucked away within the KL Forest Eco Park (Taman Eko Rimba KL), another rainforest preserve. While the lower few of its multiple tiers are relatively easily accessible, the higher tiers may require a bit more trekking to get to, but you’ll get away from most of the crowd, which will come in handy if you’re looking to go for a swim. Once you’re ready to take a break, you’ll likely find several spots along the path to lay down your picnic mat.
Are you the adventurous type, but looking for something other than the typical white-water rafting or rock climbing? Get down and dirty at the ATV Adventure Park, yet another half-an-hour drive away from Kuala Lumpur. You’ll get the opportunity to ride through the Malaysian tropical rainforest on their all-terrain vehicles, and their numerous off-road courses will take you to various landmarks, such as the Ampang River Waterfall, Klang Gates Dam, as well as the aforementioned Bukit Tabur. Visit their website for the latest information on their packages and pricing.
The Lake Gardens: Closer to Home
Perhaps you’d prefer a calmer day out than roughing about on dirt bikes. Look no further than the Perdana Botanical Gardens (also known as the Lake Gardens), a tranquil, well-maintained park right at the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Admission is free! There, you’ll find plenty of Instagram-worthy attractions littered about to keep you and your family occupied. Take a stroll under the shade of its numerous tropical trees—the Perdana Botanical Gardens are one of the best places to get a closer look at some of the exotic local tree species Malaysia has to offer. Some of the Lake Gardens’ senior residents are over a hundred years old! Be sure to pay a visit to the Herb and Spice Garden, as well as the Sunken Garden, which is masterfully landscaped.
We as Malaysians are very proud of our national flower, the hibiscus. Hence, the Lake Gardens have dedicated an entire area to the exhibition of this lovely flower, centred on a rustic Colonial-style building converted for this purpose. The grounds also feature an Orchid Garden with up to 120 species of orchids. Lastly, visit the relatively new Cycad Island, located at the centre of the lake, if not for its extensive collection of cycads (palms), succulents, and bamboo shoots, then for the beautiful photos you’ll surely be able to take. The Perdana Botanical Gardens are easily accessible from Kuala Lumpur via car and public transport.
For the Animal Lovers: Deer, Butterfly & Bird Parks
Kids and animal lovers alike will be intrigued by the KL Deer Park, a two-hectare enclosure within the Perdana Botanical Gardens. Home to a family of Fallow deer, a deer species native to Europe, you may spectate them prancing about delightfully from the safety of the walkways around their enclosure, and a bridge that runs across.
For those that aren’t afraid of bugs, stop over at the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park instead. It’s not part of the Perdana Botanical Gardens but located within its bounds. It’s one of the largest and most majestic butterfly farms in the world, spanning almost two acres and housing more than 5,000 live butterflies, among other insects, exotic plants, and ferns. There you’ll also find a large lake brimming with Japanese koi fish and freshwater turtles, besides an impressive collection of framed butterflies, beetles, and other insects from all around the globe. Tickets for adults are priced at RM 25, and children from the ages of two to 11 may enter for RM 13 each. There are cheaper rates for Malaysian citizens. Visit their website for the latest, most up-to-date information on the KL Butterfly Park.
Not quite daring enough for the Butterfly Park yet? The KL Bird Park will fit the bill! Also located within the Perdana Botanical Gardens, the bird park is home to approximately 200 different local and foreign species of birds, numbering more than 3,000 in total. The park is divided into four zones. The first and second are free-flight zones, enabling the birds to freely coexist in a peaceful sanctuary closely resembling their natural habitats. Bird feedings are a spectacle, and take place at specific times daily. Some of the beautiful birds on display include the ostrich, the scarlet ibis, the Indian blue peacock, the flamingo, and the Indian ring-necked parakeet (better known as the lovebird). Zone three is home to the magnificent rhinoceros hornbill, the national bird of Malaysia, and some other species of smaller hornbills. You may dine in the presence of these glorious animals at the Hornbill Restaurant and Café’s open-air veranda, and acquire some souvenirs to remember your visit at the Hornbill Gift Shop. Last but not least is zone four, the residence of approximately 20 species of parrots—including some rare or critically-endangered ones—and the location of the park’s bird show, with performances twice a day. Admission to the park is reasonably priced, and tickets for adult Malaysian citizens will set you back RM 25, while children can enter for RM 6. Tickets are more expensive for non-Malaysian citizens. Visit the KL Bird Park’s official website for more details.
A Pilgrimage to Batu Caves
One of the most iconic tourist destinations in Selangor, Batu Caves is the site of a Hindu temple, very conveniently accessible via public transport. From the colossal statue of the Hindu god at its entrance to the 272 vibrantly-painted steps to the caves themselves, their natural splendour once you step within its interior, Batu Caves truly is a sight to behold. Halfway up that immense flight of stairs, you may stumble upon the Dark Caves, slightly off the beaten path. You can opt for a guided tour through its shady interior for a close-up look at the ecosystem of a cave and some rare, endemic fauna.
Sunway Lagoon: Your One-Stop Shop for Fun
If an amusement park is more your thing, Sunway Lagoon has you covered. Also easily accessible via public transport, Sunway Lagoon is one of the foremost theme parks in Malaysia. It’s divided into several zones, namely the Amusement Park, Wildlife Park, Water Park, the adrenaline-packed Extreme Park, the horror-themed Scream Park, and Asia’s first Nickelodeon-themed park, the Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon, featuring primarily water-based rides and some of your favourite Nickelodeon characters! With the plethora of attractions available to you, you’re bound to find something for everyone, whether it’s family or a group of friends you’re going with. For the latest, most up-to-date information on Sunway Lagoon and pricing, be sure to visit their website!
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