Kuala Lumpur is a real urban jungle. You’ll find yourself surrounded by shiny skyscrapers and huge traffic jams. Scooters and cars are constantly moving ahead regardless of the pedestrians. There is also a continuous hustle and bustle on the sidewalks. However, at the same time, you can also admire numerous oases of lush greenery. While my planning of visiting Kuala Lumpur with children I paid particular attention to these aspects. It is here that you can take a break from the noise of the city and catch your breath before the next day in the urban jungle.
Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia. For tourists coming from Europe this city often is a transfer point for further travel. What attracts to the city the most are undoubtedly twin towers called Petronas Towers, which for many years were the tallest buildings in the world (they are still holding the title of the tallest twin towers).
„Kuala Lumpur” in Malaysian means simply a muddy estuary. The name speaks for itself. The place where today’s modern metropolis is growing, once was dominated by nature. It is here that two rivers meet (Klang and Gombak) and a thick rainforest grew around. Interestingly, the remains of it – actually 9 ha (over 22 acres) of forest, are still growing in the city center! In 1906 it was still 17.6 ha (435 acres).
- KUALA LUMPUR — THE SECOND ASIAN CAPITAL CITY IN OUR JOURNEY
- MOVING AROUND THE BOTANIC GARDEN ON TWO WHEELS? — WHY NOT!
- KUALA LUMPUR WITH CHILDREN? SEGWAYS AT THE LAKE GARDENS ECO RIDE
- SEGWAYS IN KL LAKE GARDENS ECO RIDE
- HAVING LUNCH IN A COMPANY OF COLORFUL BIRDS
- JUNGLE INSIDE THE URBAN JUNGLE, OR THE FOREST ECO PARK
- KLCC PARK — THE PERFECT GREEN SPACE IN THE CITY CENTER
KUALA LUMPUR — THE SECOND ASIAN CAPITAL CITY IN OUR JOURNEY
Kuala Lumpur was supposed to be a quiet stop (read more about our trip by clicking on #100daysinasia). We found a nice apartment with a rooftop pool and a view of the Petronas Twin Towers. It unfortunately turned out that the pool on the roof is forbidden to enter with children, and the train of which the station is right next… leaves once an hour, but despite that, we were able to complete our minimum plan for the city. We visited the colorful temples at Batu Caves, went to the National Elephant Sanctuary in Kuala Gandah. We also saw Petronas Towers, China Town, Little India, the National Mosque (Maajis Negra) with the market next door.
However, while traveling with children, you should also pay attention to places where you can relax, look for green scraps of the city and that’s what this post is about.
MOVING AROUND THE BOTANIC GARDEN ON TWO WHEELS? — WHY NOT!
When I looked at the map of KL in searching of green places, what particularly caught my eye was the Botanic Gardens. This is a nearly 92 ha (227 acres) park, which is almost as big as Royal Botanic Gardens in London which is 130 ha (320 acres). It was founded in the late nineteenth century by English colonizers (Malaysia was a British colony) and initially, due to its location, the park was named simply Lake Gardens.
Of course, we wanted to visit it, but we decided to do it quite unusually — at least for us.
Have you ever tried moving on segways? If not, you definitely must try it. We had our initial doubts. Will our skills allow us to do it with the children on our backs?!
KUALA LUMPUR WITH CHILDREN? SEGWAYS AT THE LAKE GARDENS ECO RIDE
I’m not a kind of a tough lady. Even though I really wanted to, after the first minutes of trying I was too afraid, so I told my husband that he would go alone, when I would sit on a bench with girls and wait! However, when I saw that a flock of monkeys was prowling around the bench, I decided to try one more time… I could not convince myself to lean forward (in order to make it move), I had the impression that I would fall on my back, where I was carrying a valuable cargo. It turned out, however, that falling off the segway is not so easy!
After a few minutes of practice we didn’t want to leave our machines! I became so cheerful and caught the wind in my sails so much, that I heard the message „slow down, slow down!” repeatedly.
It’s a great solution for visiting large urban spaces, especially for those who would like to see a lot, but do not feel strong about walking everywhere or have little time, or simply for those who want to gain new experience.
SEGWAYS IN KL LAKE GARDENS ECO RIDE
We visited a large part of the Botanic Garden in Kuala Lumpur, which turned out to be quite mountainous. Driving them provided us with extra joy, but probably if we were here on foot it would be an extra effort, especially in the heat.
We were both in the garden with orchids and hibiscuses which are the symbol of Malaysia (you can see them on the banknotes). The garden itself is less impressive than the one in Singapore, but it still pleases the eye, the more that the whole area is surrounded by the city.
We went to the deer park, because we expected to meet small fawns, which we have already seen in the Singapore ZOO, but we saw a real full-sized and familiar deer. Not that we didn’t like it but… well, it just wasn’t exotic enough to us.
Do we think that after this experience it’s a good idea to ride with children? Yes, it is! For us it is comparable with a fast march (but much less tiring). There is a very small risk of falling if you do not drive into high curbs or stones. Did our girls like it? Iga (7 months old) did, however Sarah (3 years old) not so much… because she would like to ride the segway HERSELF! Our guide who organizes trips on segways says that you can try with 5 year old children (although the site states that it’s allowed from the age of 7), but it all depends on an individual child.
Our visit to the botanic garden lasted for about 2 hours. We’ve driven 10 km (over 6 miles)! Despite this, we had an appetite for more when it comes to both the segways and the Kuala Lumpur Botanic Garden.
Unfortunately, there was not enough time to visit it once again, but this time on foot. Beautifully trimmed lawns, benches surrounded by tropical trees and flowers. The numerous playgrounds were also tempting, but unfortunately even a 100-day journey has its limits!
If you would like to gain new experiences, we recommend the services of Tourplus.my, which we went on a segway tour with. The renting price also includes training and care of a guide who is going to tell you few curiosities about the park.
HAVING LUNCH IN A COMPANY OF COLORFUL BIRDS
Right next to the Botanic Park is located the KL Bird Park, the largest park with free-walking birds in Central and Eastern Asia (though it might be the biggest in the world as advertised). On 8 ha (19 acres) you can walk right next to toucans, parrots, pelicans or peacocks. A large part of them lives in the world’s largest aviary that resembles their natural environment. There are over 3,000 birds in the entire garden!
There are also Hornbills, the symbol of Malaysia, but these are unfortunately kept in cages, as well as most parrots and ostriches, although I would rather not like to face the last ones.
We spent about 3 hours in KL Bird Park. It’s a nice place for taking a walk with children, both when it comes to the opportunity to watch exotic birds flying around, as well as beautiful tropical plants. The park is located in the valley, so walking there with a pram (and constantly running after Sarah up and down) was quite tedious. Here we unfortunately could not count on Segways. There is a Hornbill restaurant in the park, which is sometimes visited by park residents. Sadly, we could not eat in their company.
Na terenie parku znajduje się restauracja Hornbill, do której czasem przylatują mieszkańcy parku. Nam się niestety nie udało zjeść w ich towarzystwie.
What is important for traveling families, there is a playground in the park and educational shows taking place. We have not used the latter, but for our older daughter the playground is always a nice place to visit.
JUNGLE INSIDE THE URBAN JUNGLE, OR THE FOREST ECO PARK
I spotted a picture of hanging bridges surrounded by intense greenery on instagram when I was preparing for a trip to Kuala Lumpur. I decided that it would be a nice substitute for such attractions if it turned out that we would have to give up the Taman Negara jungle expedition (which sadly is exactly what happened).
When we told the taxi driver to take us to the Kuala Lumpur Forest Eco Park, he opened his eyes wide with surprise, as if he had never known about the existence of this place. To this day, we don’t know if we’ve met a rookie taxi driver, or Malaysians just don’t enjoy such a beautiful place that they have right at their fingertips.
Kuala Lumpur advertises itself as the only city in the world that has a natural rain forest in its center. FL Forest Eco Park is just it! It was founded in 1906 and the city authorities attach great importance to keeping it in the best possible condition, although since that time they’ve built the Kuala Lumpur tower on the top of the mountain, various types of bridges alongside of numerous asphalt alleys in the forest. So the truth is that the jungle has been tamed a little bit. Although… you enter your area at your own risk!
Hanging bridges have been built here, from which you can admire a panorama of the city, but the most wonderful view is the original rainforest, which has been growing in this area for hundreds of years.
At the top there are several attractions, which, however, did not seem to us attractive enough to visit them. There is an oceanarium, a mini zoo and a tower rising above the city (it is 276 meters high – over 3 ft). We chose and went down another road. There are several routes in Eco Park so you can easily find something for yourself.
KLCC PARK — THE PERFECT GREEN SPACE IN THE CITY CENTER
KLCC Park is located next to the Petronas Towers and a shopping gallery that is heavily air-conditioned, which was a huge relief for us in 35 degree Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) heat. In terms of the area it seems rather small (although it is 20 ha – 0.08 sq m), but it is really a great place to rest from the noise of the city. From the parent point on view, it is primarily a huge playground and a large paddling pool with infrastructure.
Out of curiosities, the park has an artificial lake with playing fountains. In the evenings you can see a show of music and light, although it didn’t make a great impression on us. In Wroclaw, we simply have better ones :)
If you travel with children, these places will certainly be a great fit! I was looking for them, because beyond my enormous need for touring, I also have to rest, which for me is best in lush greenery. It would be a sin to not to take advantage of it while visiting tropical countries.
What was lacking in Kuala Lumpur the most were small squares and playgrounds. Although we might just not have found it, there was no place for us where we could stop and rest in the shade of trees.