English teacher and blogger
Batu Caves is a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples in Gombak, Malaysia. (Shutterstock.com/gracethang2 )
Malaysia has a plethora of options when it comes to outdoor activities and is not as limited to malls and shopping as most people believe.
While it’s highly recommended to embark on a trek to the spectacular Cameron Highlands, or visit one of the beautiful islands in Langkawi, there are in fact a number of outdoor activities right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. So don’t be fooled into thinking you need to leave Kuala Lumpur in order to have a good time. Here is a list of five outdoor activities that the whole family can participate in and enjoy, to suit a variety of budgets.
Since its recent refurbishments, the Batu Caves have become even more of a top attraction in Kuala Lumpur. The colorful staircase is most inviting in the early morning when the area is less crowded. Regardless of what time you go, you will find a flock of pigeons eager to greet you, feasting on any morsels they can find. Treat yourself to some fresh coconut water before you begin the ascent. The climb, although exhausting in the heat of the day, is worth the walk up. Prepare to be entertained by monkeys whilst climbing, but avoid engaging with them.
Upon reaching the top, take in a bird’s eye view of the surrounding temples and appreciate the giant statue of Lord Murugan, before being enveloped by the mysterious cave above.
Situated 40 minutes away from the city center of Kuala Lumpur, the Batu Caves are fairly easy to get to with two modes of transportation to choose from depending on your budget. One option is to get a free shuttle bus from Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station to Sentul Station. From there, taking the KTM Komuter from Sentul to the Batu Caves stop would position you within walking distance. A return journey would roughly cost RM5 (US$1.10) and take about an hour, one way. A faster but more expensive choice is to take a local taxi or order a Grab. Expect to pay up to RM30 one way.
Black and white butterfly sitting on jibiscus blossoms in Butterfly Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Shutterstock.com/File)
This visually stimulating attraction should not be missed. Spend an hour walking through an open aviary of butterflies. Be awed by their beauty as they flutter past, whilst you walk through the lush gardens. This is an activity bound to entertain the whole family. Enjoy a stroll around the museum upon finishing and browse the many souvenirs on sale in the onsite shop.
Getting here is simple. Use the free Hop-on Hop-off bus or the KTM Komuter. Stop at the Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and walk toward Masjid Negara. The Butterfly Park is located right behind the Masjid Negara and entrance fees are approximately RM23 per person.
View of sunset from a jetty of Kampung Kuantan, Kuala Selangor. (Shutterstock.com/File)
Seeing the fireflies along the Selangor River is a must. Almost impossible to capture on camera because of the fireflies' sensitivity to light, this activity is best left to the imagination. It is often described as something magical and recommended by every traveler who has experienced it. Put on the life jacket provided and embark on a gentle boat ride along the banks of the Selangor River, while you witness the trees aligning the river sparkle and come to life.
Boat tours along the river operate between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. most evenings. The most convenient way to get here is by taxi. It is best to pay drivers extra to wait, as finding transportation out of the area can be troublesome. Expect to pay RM130 for a return journey, including waiting time, while entrance tickets cost on average RM25 per person.
A peaceful scene at KLCC park in the Petronas Twin towers vicinity in the morning calm where visitors have not arrived. (Shutterstock.com/AhBoob.Net)
This is a great place to unwind at in the evenings. Watch the infamous Lake symphony with the impressive Petronas Towers as their backdrop. This park is also one of the top recommended places to get pictures of the towers from.
Although situated right in the center of Kuala Lumpur, the park is a serene place to relax and enjoy refuge away from traffic and the bustle of the city center or if you’ve exhausted yourself from shopping in the adjacent Pavilion Mall. Taking a walk around the 50 acres of open space is idyllic or you can opt for jogging on the 1.3-kilometer field track. In addition, there is a number of seating areas or large patches of soft grass if you fancy sitting down. Entry to the park is free.
Putra Mosque or pink masjid in Putrajaya, Malaysia. (Shutterstock.com/File)
Taking a train to Putrajaya is well worthwhile, a journey of no more than 15 minutes from Kuala Lumpur Sentral at an average price of RM10 one way.
Arguably the best way to see Putrajaya is from above, so taking a Skyride is a must. Take the time also to experience Malaysia’s first and largest helium balloon ride. Enjoy incredible views of the city surrounding you and below from a distance of 152 meters. Tickets for this attraction are about RM70.
Whilst safely back on the ground in Putrajaya, there are a number of activities to choose from depending on your interests. Possibilities include visiting the famous equestrian park, the botanical gardens, the wetlands park, the prime minister’s office, going on a river cruise, or visiting the well-known Putra mosque. (wng)
Yasmin Kamal is currently living in Asia and blogging about her experiences as a hungry, traveling woman. Originally from London, she's been living, working and travelling in Indonesia, Southeast Asia and Egypt before that for the past three years.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.