Forget the usual spots, we’re recommending bird-watching, hardcore rock-climbing and even swimming with sharks to tourists entering Malaysia again next year.
After two years of pandemic lockdown, Malaysia is finally opening up to the world again from Jan. 1, especially to neighboring Singapore. Both countries have established a vaccinated travel lane, aka VTL, for fully vaccinated individuals to travel between the Kuala Lumpur and Changi international airports from the end of this month.
If you’re one of those making bookings to fly to Kuala Lumpur, how about making further plans to explore outside of the city.
There’s more to the Malaysian capital other than the Petronas Twin Towers and Central Market. Here are seven different ways nature-lovers can enjoy Kuala Lumpur.
MEET NEW FEATHERY FRIENDS
A peacock perched on a fence. Photo: KL Bird Park Malaysia/Instagram
The Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is a public aviary home to more than 3,000 birds from approximately 200 different species. Among them are the grey-crowned crane, the hornbill, and the African grey parrot.
If you’re lucky, you might even get to feed them at designated times as they fly around you. Admission costs RM25 (US$6) for Malaysians and RM63 (US$12.70) for foreigners.
KL Bird Park, 920, Jalan Cenderawasih,
Perdana Botanical Gardens, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
SWIMMING WITH SHARKS (FOR CERTIFIED DIVERS ONLY)
People in diving gear watching sharks. Photo: Aquaria KLCC
Kuala Lumpur may be landlocked but don’t let that stop you from taking a dangerous swim.
Dive into a 2.5-million-liter tank and swim with six different shark species and other creatures at the Aquaria KLCC oceanarium. Each swim is limited to 45 minutes and costs RM400 (US$100) per person.
Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre,
Jalan Pinang, 50088 Kuala Lumpur
Walk around the canopy at KL Forest Eco Park. Photo: Riviera Barnes
Forest-bathers will appreciate the city’s very own green oasis: the KL Forest Eco Park.
Formerly known as Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, this is the only patch of rainforest that still stands in the city. Take a refreshing hike to the top of the hill, where you’ll find birds, squirrels, and friendly monkeys. Admission costs RM10 (US$2.40) for Malaysians and RM40 (US$9.60) for foreigners.
Lot 240, Jalan Raja Chulan,
Bukit Kewangan, 50250 Kuala Lumpur
HANG OUT WITH FARM ANIMALS
Chickens at Kebun-Kebun Bangsar. Photo: Kebun-Kebun Bangsar/Instagram
Kebun-Kebun Bangar is a 2.5-acre farm filled with greenery, veggies, and free-range animals like ducks, chickens, sheep, cows, and rabbits that visitors can pet and feed. Entrance to the little farm is on a pay-as-you-like basis.
Lorong Bukit Pantai, Bangsar,
59100 Kuala Lumpur
EXPLORE INDIGENOUS CULTURE
Indigenous artist Shaq Koyok using the blowpipe. Photo: Jungle School Gombak/Instagram
At Jungle School Gombak, visitors can get firsthand knowledge about the culture of the Semai Tribe, from hut-making to laws of the jungle, food preparation, and tree-planting. Visitors can also learn and enjoy a musical performance by an indigenous tribe that uses bamboo guitar and the ‘chentong’, a kind of flute that they play with their noses.
A full day at Jungle School Gombak costs RM100 (US$20) per person.
Kampung Batu 12,
Jalan Gombak-Bentong Lama
TAKE A REJUVENATING SHOWER IN NATURE
Kanching Falls. Photo: Visit Selangor
Kanching Falls is renowned for its seven tiers of waterfalls, all accessible at RM1 (US$0.20) per person depending on accessibility. Situated about 21km outside of Kuala Lumpur, the first waterfall is relatively easy to reach and the nearest to amenities like ice-cream carts, campsites, and public bathrooms. The other waterfalls, each more powerful than the last, are surrounded by more adventurous river treks and pathways.
Taman Eko Rimba Kanching,
1, Rawang, Selangor
People beginning their climb up the Damai wall at Batu Caves. Photo: Klook
Did you know you can do hardcore rock climbing at one of Malaysia’s popular tourist attractions?
Located 23 minutes from the city center, Batu Caves has multiple caves that are up to 400 million years old, along with limestone hills, and a Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Murugan.
If climbing 272 steps isn’t for you, there are three different walls you can climb with the help of a guide. Priced at RM250 (US$60) per person, depending on the size of your gang, adventurers can climb either the Damai wall, Nanyang wall, or Nyamuk wall. Each of them varies in terms of difficulty.
Gombak, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor