If you are looking for a place to visit in Malaysia, Ampang should be added to your list of places to go.
On the 14th of November 1963, The Malaysian Zoological Society established the first local zoo for Malaysians, and has since then become the most prominent zoo in Malaysia. With over 5137 specimens of mammals, birds and reptiles, this is certainly not to be missed when visiting Ampang! Sprawled across 110 acres of land, it is best to come here early as you would probably need a full day to appreciate everything the zoo has to offer, especially since it opens at 9am and closes at 5pm. Not only can you view all kinds of animals here, you can explore the 17 exhibits of the zoo like the Giant Panda Conservation Centre and Butterfly Centre, in addition to holding events here too! Imagine getting married here, that certainly would be a day to remember! You can opt to take a car or public transport to go here, though it is obviously more comfortable to take the first option, but if you go as a group, you could certainly split the cost of the ride. For convenience’s sake, you could also stay in nearby accommodations.
Half an hour out of the city, the Ampang Recreational Forest, or Taman Rimba Ampang, is one of the last remaining areas with natural vegetation, which makes it a great place to enjoy nature away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Open from 8am to 5pm, this green oasis has plenty of activities to keep you entertained throughout your visit, such as swimming, picnicking and trekking. There are multiple important recreational sites within the region, the most salient one being the Ampang Recreational Forest. It’s also one of the few places where you can see Malaysian wildlife up close, and home to all kinds of different types of trees and plants native to Malaysia, like the ramin tree and the kelapa plant. There are also many other attractions such as waterfalls, caves, and wildlife like monkeys and snakes.
The Saga Hill Trial is a hill of many stories, besides being a natural getaway for nature lovers. About half an hour away from Kuala Lumpur, you can come and explore its beauty from the trails. The trail begins from the base camp and slithers through various terrains that are rocky, muddy, or wet. It’s quite rewarding when you reach the top, as there is an open space with rest huts, hammocks, and a makeshift cooking area. Imagine a hearty meal after a challenging hike, what a great way to work out and spend time with family and friends! The trails are generally suitable for amateur hikers with zero hiking experience. The trails can be accessed at any time, by foot or car from Kuala Lumpur City Center, just don’t forget to invest in a pair of good hiking shoes and take note that weekends are more crowded than weekdays!
Even though Kuala Lumpur is full of so many exciting things to do, at times it feels like you’ve pretty much seen everything. Fret not, as you can always come check out The Garage KL (TGK), an edgy space that breathes the essence of art and culture. There’s so many things you can do here within one space, besides offering all kinds of events and programmes to enjoy! An illustration of this are the free workshops carried out where you can learn anything from painting to photoshopping! Furthermore, they feature local artists on a monthly basis in galleries, and if you get hungry from all that fun, you can fill your tummies here too! With its exposed brick walls and cement floors, The Garage KL is also a restaurant designed with an industrial twist, they have a food truck converted into a kitchen! You can expect burgers and pizzas at reasonable prices, and even gluten free bread for the health conscious. Even if you’re not here for any of that, you can also come here for a quick haircut. The Garage KL truly is a space designed with your needs in mind, and you can start coming here from 5pm and hang till as late as 12am.
How could anyone visit Ampang without visiting Malaysia’s most iconic landmark? Towering at 452m, these twin towers were designed to showcase the culture and heritage of Malaysia and have once held the record of being the tallest twin towers from 1998 to 2004. You can go up to the observation deck, or the skybridge, linking both buildings at level 45, and take in the unparalleled views of Kuala Lumpur’s urban landscape. The architecture alone is not to be scoffed at, with the levels of details put into it, such as the islamic geometric patterns on the floor’s plate. The best part is that it is fairly easy to travel here, and you can choose to take public transport like any LRT within Klang Valley to KLCC Station, or get a Grab, if you don’t mind the traffic. Bear in mind that it is closed on Mondays and Public Holidays, though you can visit it from 10am to 6pm from Tuesday onwards.
Taman TAR Wildlife Sanctuary is a 142-acre wildlife sanctuary that hosts many endangered animals like the Sumatran Tiger, Malayan Tapir and the Oriental Small-Clawed Otter that have been forcibly displaced due to development or natural disasters. Besides visiting these furry creatures, you can also hike the trails here, and it is never dull as there is an extensive trail system that allows visitors to go to different sections of the forest. You will also see a man-made lake that serves a crucial role in the preservation of Malaysia’s biodiversity. It is open from 9am to 6pm daily with admission priced at RM5 per person for adults and RM2 per child aged below 12 years old.
It was created to provide refuge for wild animals that are displaced by development or natural disasters.
Located in the eastern outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, specifically the Taman Tun Abdul Razak area, this hidden 272-metres above sea level gem is another great place to explore and hike at! With several hiking trails surrounding the park, visitors can come hike and admire the well-maintained surroundings! Don’t worry about getting lost though, as there are house pipes marking the stretches of trails, though you may need some kind of trekking stick to support yourself as it can be quite a steep climb. Other than hiking, visitors can also swim under one of the magnificent waterfalls or take pictures on the cliffside platforms. Since it is a two-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, you may need to plan your time accordingly, as you are most likely to spend a few hours there too.
Kemensah Valley is a small valley for recreational purposes just 30 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur that is enough to help you escape the concrete jungle. Come bask in the flourishing green paradise and breathe in the fresh and crisp air here, especially in the morning as it is less humid then! It is another perfect getaway for nature lovers, hikers or anyone who’s tired of just strolling around malls on the weekends. People mainly come here to camp as it is a pretty decent camping site with tent rentals and basic facilities, though you can also come fish here as there is a massive fish pond nearby. Another great perk is that it is quite near Zoo Negara and is open on a 24-hour basis.
Situated in the middle of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, Bukit Ampang is a small hill town with some really cool attractions, such as the famous Bukit Tinggi waterfall. Weekends are undoubtedly crowded as it is mostly full of families that wish to have picnics there. This untouched beauty also offers visitors that are feeling a little more adventurous a chance to hike, besides a great way to observe the plants and animals here up close! There are also lots of families who like to go for picnics there on weekdays when it isn’t crowded. If you didn’t bring any food though, that’s okay! There are also food stalls or food trucks to fill your tummies too. If you wish to escape the fast-paced city life for a bit, then this is definitely the perfect spot for you.
Ampang is a natural gem within Malaysia’s metropolitan city, and while it may not be the first place you think of when planning your next trip to Kuala Lumpur, there are some great reasons why you should include this in your itinerary! Take a break and reconnect with nature in Ampang, it certainly would be a trip to remember.