The bustling city of Kuala Lumpur has many tall buildings and modern structures. However, many people are not aware that in the heart of the city, a patch of greenery still exists.
In fact, one of Malaysia’s most prominent landmarks, the Kuala Lumpur Tower (KL Tower), is built on top of one of the oldest forest reserves in Malaysia, the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve.
Gazetted in 1906, Bukit Nanas serves as a green lung of Kuala Lumpur and is home to an abundance of flora and fauna unique to the Malaysian tropical rainforest.
Bukit Nanas can be categorised as a heritage for two reasons. Firstly, it is the only remaining patch of tropical rainforest that still stands in the middle of the city. Secondly, it is one of the oldest permanent forest reserves in the country (it celebrated its Centennial Anniversary in 2006).
The 10.5 hectare forest reserve was also gazetted as a Wildlife Reserve and Bird Sanctuary in 1934 and in 1950 respectively, with a section of about five hectares dedicated as a Virgin Jungle Reserve.
When paying a visit to KL Tower, visitors should include a trip to Bukit Nanas in their itinerary, as it lies just beside the entrance to the tower and requires no admission fee. It offers nature lovers a good opportunity to learn more about the ecology of the local forest. It is also perfect for shutterbugs and photography enthusiasts.
Nature guides are available to explain about the various types of flora and fauna in the jungle reserve. The daily guided tour runs at 11am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm and 4:30pm.
“This jungle helps to cleanse the air within its surrounding environment, and the visitors here are very supportive of preserving the natural ecology,” explained Anthony Paleng, one of the nature guides, whilst guiding a group of visitors to Bukit Nanas.
According to him, a rich variety of flora can be found within the forest reserve, which includes rare herbs, creepers, ferns, climbers and giant bamboo grasses. Huge tropical tree species also occupy the jungle namely meranti, keruing, chengal and pulai.
“All of the trees here have a unique way of surviving in the wild, a bio defense mechanism specific to each species,” he explained further.
Along the trail, there are traces of broken branches, indicating the presence of local monkeys. If you are lucky, you might see the two local species of monkeys that exist in the park, namely the Silvered Langur and the Long-tailed Macaque. Other varieties of fauna include squirrels, snakes and birds.
A camp site is available for nature lovers who wish to pitch a tent and enjoy the lush greenery of the jungle, free of charge.
People who love jogging can also enjoy running through the forest trail, and there is an outdoor obstacle course for those who want to do a little stretching and body lifting.
Visitors to the forest reserve need to take certain precautionary measures during their visit as there are some slopes that are quite steep along the forest trails. It is advisable for visitors to dress casually, ideally sports wear which includes running shoes, as there is a ladder section that could be tricky to navigate.
For more information, please contact:
Anthony Paleng (Nature Guide) Mobile: 6012-207 1562
Department of Forestry Peninsular Malaysia Tel: 603-2230 6342
Site Office Fax: 603-2292 5667
Lot 240, Bukit Nanas Web: www.forestry.gov.my
Jalan Raja Chulan
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur Tower (KL Tower)
The Kuala Lumpur Tower project was completed in 1995, and is used for communication purposes. It features an antenna that reaches 421 m (1,381 ft), which currently makes it the 18th tallest freestanding tower in the world. There are various activities that can be enjoyed by visitors here, which include a scenic view of the city through the observation deck, shopping, visiting the mini zoo, and also enjoying a pony ride. The Kuala Lumpur Tower also organises large-scale events annually such as the KL Tower International Jump Malaysia. KL Tower and Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve are on the KL Hop-on Hop-off city tour route. The KL Hop-on Hop-off city tour covers approximately more than 40 attractions where passengers can hop-on or hop-off the tour bus at any of the 22 designated stops in KL. The bus runs on a 15- to 30-minute interval between 8.30 am until 8.30 pm. For ticket prices and information on the KL Hop-on Hop-off city tour, visit www.myhoponhopoff.com.
Getting There: The forest reserve is located in front of Jalan Raja Chulan and not far from the Telekom Museum. By car, drive up the hill at KL Tower and pay for the entrance fee and car park; admission to the forest reserve is free. Alternatively, take the Kelana Jaya Line LRT and stop at the Dang Wangi Station, or take the KL monorail and disembark at the Bukit Nanas station. Those who use the Ampang Line LRT need to disembark at the Masjid Jamek LRT station.
Main attractions: The forest trail or “Jejak Rimba” activity on the tropical rainforest can be soothing, as a walk through the sanctuary can be a refreshing change to the fast pace of urban lifestyle.
Other attractions: A large field for camping, a bird watching area, a jogging trail, and a mini herbal park.
Entrance fee: Free of charge
Visiting hours: 7.00am to 6.00pm including weekends and public holidays.