Header image courtesy of @malaysia.truly.asia (via Instagram)
Do you feel stuck? When in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, there are a variety of natural attractions that allow you to enjoy a relaxing day with the sound of birds chirping. Forest bathing—or shinrin-yoku (森林浴; Japanese nature therapy)—simply means to immerse yourself in nature and to soak in the landscape with your senses. Here are five breathtaking forest reserves in Kuala Lumpur, all accessible to the public, for you to reconnect with nature and wash the stress away.
Originally known as the Sungai Buloh Forest Reserve which was gazetted in 1898, Kota Damansara Community Forest Reserve is the oldest forest reserve in Malaysia which is located alongside the North-South Highway opposite the Jalan Duta exit in Selangor. Though it’s a regenerating forest, it’s still home to a precious refuge for flora and fauna, amphibians, and reptiles which covers just over 800 acres, providing a much needed green lung for natural lovers to hike and explore. The forest trails total to 11 kilometres, consisting of seven interconnected routes, including Petaling Trail, Scout’s Trail, Temuan Trail, Sahabat Trail, Unity Trail, Harmoni Trail, and Aunty Sipew’s Garden.
Kota Damansara Community Forest Reserve, Jalan Merbah 10/1, Seksyen 10 Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Fancy spending a night camping in the wood? Established in 1993 to mark the 14th Commonwealth Forest Conference that was held in Malaysia, Commonwealth Forest Park is located at Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve on the road to Rawang, roughly 23 kilometres north of Kuala Lumpur. It is a good place for jogging, hiking, as well as camping, surrounded by landscaped gardens, water fountain, trekking paths, picnic gazebos, camping sites, and chalets. It’s also a resort, providing you with a variety of nature activities to join, for instance, jungle hiking, paintball, ATV, or Quad Bikes trailblazing.
Commonwealth Forest Park, Kilometer 23, Jalan Kuala Lumpur, Rawang, 48000 Rawang, Selangor, Malaysia
Located beside one of the city’s iconic landmarks, the Kuala Lumpur Tower, Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, also known as KL Forest Eco Park, is one of the oldest permanent forest reserves in Malaysia. This forest reserve was founded in 1906 and is also the only remaining tropical rainforest in the middle of the Kuala Lumpur city centre.
One of the most popular sites is undoubtedly an impressive 200-metre canopy walk situated in the forest, providing visitors with an amazing aerial view of the treetops as well as the city beyond. If you are a passionate hiker or jogger, then it’s for you! There are natural trails and trekking routes that allow you to connect with nature. It’s time to put on your cotton t-shirt and workout shoes and enjoy a relaxing nature walk here!
Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, Lot 240, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Kewangan, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Situated between Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, and previously an abandoned rubber estate, Bukit Gasing Forest Reserve is currently the haven of hikers and nature lovers surrounded by heavily populated areas. There are various hiking trails within the park, allowing all levels of hikers to stretch your legs, and get your lungs and heart working! You can enter the park via three different entrances, including the main entrance in Petaling Jaya and two back entrances located in Kuala Lumpur. The highest point of the park is about 160 metres, making it a baby hill for experienced hikers. If you love challenges, there are also several steep slopes in the park for you to train your body.
Bukit Gasing Forest Reserve, Bukit Kerinchi, 46000 Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Malaysia
Also known as Kanching Recreational Forest, Waterfall Forest Park Kanching is located in the Rawang district, just north of Kuala Lumpur. It’s best known for its multi-tiered waterfall, tumbling down seven near-vertical drops from a height of 208 metres. There are seven levels of waterfalls with increasing difficulty that can be accessed, allowing you to have a picnic, camp, swim, or jungle trek.
The most popular spots, where people can enjoy a natural shower under cascading water or wallow in the clear fresh pools, is undoubtedly at level two and three. The trail becomes slightly difficult when you reach level four, as there are no concrete steps for you to continue your journey. It’s also the only place in the world where you’ll find wild Giam Kanching or Merawan Kanching (Hopea Subalata Symington) trees.
Waterfall Forest Park Kanching, Kilometer 17, Jalan, Jalan Rawang, Templer Baiduri, 48000 Rawang, Selangor, Malaysia