Friday, 13 May 2016

KL Tower and Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve

It was supposed to be a rest day. As usual, I couldn't put my feet up, and let my hair down. Instead, I decided to have a little leisurely trip to KL Forest Eco Park in Bukit Nanas, which, judging from google map, is a mere 10 to 15 mins walk from Fraser Place where I stay.

Street sign, KL, Malaysia
"KL Forest Eco Park" is indicated on street sign as "City Forest"

City Forest is an appropriate name because it's a tropical rainforest in the city centre. This isn't a garden, but 100% genuine rainforest. It's probably the only such rainforest in the middle of a modern city. I think this rainforest survives the relentless property developers because of KL Tower. For now. Let's hope this lung, for KL's sake, will live on.

Having said that, KL is still reasonably wild as far as SE Asia cities go. On the way from the airport yesterday, the driver suddenly stopped in the middle of the highway. I didn't see any pedestrian or car, and so failed to see why the sharp brake. He pointed at the road just a little ahead, there I saw a large lizard crossing the highway in its own pace. While KL city loves to see itself to be a modern city, and it is, but its wild side exerts itself here and there, now and then. This is probably because of its relatively low population density relative to other Asian cities.

Before Petronas Towers (1996) and Pavilion (2007), KL Tower was the top touristy place to visit, and from there you get a panorama of KL. Now, you can also do so from the observation tower of the Petronas Twin Tower.

KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Left:  KL Tower peeps behind KH Tower.
Top:  KL Tower pops up next to UBN Tower

KL Tower is so tall that anywhere you look it peeps up behind it. Peekaboo! You don't even need a map to get to it. Just kidding.

KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Elevator entrance, KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Elevator entrance to the top of KL Tower. The design takes after a mosque's mehrab (or mihrab) with an opening.

I couldn't bring myself to shell out RM52 to go up to the Observation Desk. Besides, I was only thinking about going to do a bush walkabout.

Even without going up all the way to the top, standing on top of the hill (Bukit Nanas) where KL Tower is erected, you can still get an elevated view of the surrounding.

View from Bukit Nanas, KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
View from Bukit Nanas

There're a few other touristy stuff to do on this nick of the wood, especially for the family like the Mini Zoo, and I think they're building an Upside Down Museum like the one in Georgetown, Penang.

Mini Zoo, KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Upside Down Museum, KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A mini Upside Down Museum is being built...I'm guessing

While the KL Forest Eco Park is free admission, you need to get ticket from the ticket counter. While I was there, there was nobody guarding the gate (because it's free). If there is, they probably ask you to go back to get your free tickets.

Suspension bridges were built recently to cater for a rainforest canopy walk. If you want to visit a tropical rainforest at the convenience of the city centre, KL Tower is a good place as any.

Suspension bridge, FKL Forest Eco Park, KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Suspension bridge, FKL Forest Eco Park, KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Promotional poster for the City Forest tends to show a family monkeys. I did hear some monkey calls while i was there, but I didn't see any of them. Didn't even see the kind of large lizard that i spotted on the highway. Who knows? You may get lucky and come across a boa constrictor that strangles you and swallows you whole. I wasn't that lucky.

Suspension bridge, FKL Forest Eco Park, KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

While it was only 15 to 20 minutes of walk, i forgot to take the altitude and humidity into account. I wasn't thinking in 3D. 10 mins uphill is like 30 mins on leveled ground. A leisurely stroll turned into a little bit of hike. By the time I got back down the hill and onto the main road of Jalan P Ramlee, I was hungry and exhausted that I would eat anything at 1st sight. That large lizard looks pretty tasty right now. If there's a boa constrictor, i would probably eat it before it eats me. "Snake eats man", that would be a nice KL newspaper headline. "Man eats snake", who cares, right?

At the intersection of Jalan Puncak and Jalan P Ramlee, I saw The Weld. At the street level, the Weld hosts a food court, which looked like a mirage in a desert. A desert oasis with air-cond and Arab and other types of food. L'chaim! (Oops, did I say something in Hebrew when I meant to say it in Arabic? But then I can't tell the difference between Arabs and Jews. Know what I mean?).

Just when i couldn't decide what to eat, and asked for a sign (i bother Her for every little thing). Instead, I got 2 signs.

Food sales Signs, The Weld, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Special Sign of the Day.
"Fatimah", that's a sign!!!

One problem led to another. Both looked good, but since I don't have bryani as often, I decided to go for it. I don't know if i was famish (or because it's so cheap), it was the best nasi bryani i had ever had (mind you, i haven't eaten a lot of nasi bryani, and so i'm no bryani expert). The rice was tasty. The chicken is crispy and mouth watering. Although the part that near the breast is a little rough and bland. That's to be expected. I gave it an 8.5 / 10. Or as they say in certain country, bloody bewdiful.

Chicken nasi bryani and a can of Sarsi.
I think my pic looks more deish than theirs.

I grew up in Asia drinking Sarsi, a sarsaparilla-based soft drink that's not well known in the West. I hadn't come across this soft drink in Sydney having lived there for 3 decades. I discovered a sarsaparilla based drink in Singapore that's made by Australia, and yet I never came across this drink in Australia. I could only conclude that this drink was made for export to Asia.

In Asia, especially SE Asia, it's as popular as Coca-Cola. In some places, more so. It tastes like a daring mix drink of Coke and cough syrup. Nice. Whenever I'm in SE Asia, i would take any opportunity to drink this sarsaparilla-based drink, to reawaken my childhood memories.

Hindu temple, Opposite The Weld, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I would call it a "street temple" because it's essentially a little temple located at the corner of the street. It's somewhat bigger than a shrine.

Hindu temple, Opposite The Weld, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Hindu temple, Opposite The Weld, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Hindu temple, Opposite The Weld, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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