Kuala Lumpur, or KL in short, is undeniably a well-known destination in Asia. While you might think that you have explored every corner of the city, there are actually more beyond that. It is not only about shopping, food and the Petronas Tower, but also many incredible natural getaways just about an hour away. Here are six recommendations that can bring you new perspective about vacationing in this metropolis.
1. Bukit Tabur
Located only 20 km away from the city centre, Bukit Tabur has been quite famous among the locals and perhaps some foreign hikers. Why hikers and not tourists? This is because Bukit Tabur is really great for hiking or trekking.
For anyone with an adventurous spirit and eagerness to explore Kuala Lumpur in a different way, Bukit Tabur could be an unique tourist attraction. It has five hills with different peaks, different views, different trails and different adversity levels – East, West, Far East, Extreme and Extra.
The most popular trail is by far the West trail as it offers arguably the most stunning view from its peak, while you will also have the view of the Klang Gates Dam on one side and lush-surrounded downtown KL on the other side along the way to the top.
Steep trail, hard rocks and boulders are also the elements you need to expect apart from its stunning view, and the same goes for the other four trails. You will also need to pay a small amount of RM5 for each way you decide to go, but then again, all the sweat and effort will definitely paid off by the amazing view when you are standing atop the peak.
2. Kanching Rainforest Waterfalls
If you’re not into adventures but still want to have a getaway from the city life, fret not. Kanching Rainforest Waterfalls is just under 1 hour drive from the city with public transport also available for you to get here.
The waterfalls is located in a forest reserve and has 7 level covering a vast area. The first until the fourth level can be easily reached through a concrete pathway, and you can also find a pool each on both second and third level where visitors can swim and enjoy the fresh water flowing down from above. The park even comes with dressing rooms, toilets and shelters.
As the concrete path ends on the fourth level, you will need to put in some effort to climb a few steep slopes and take on a more challenging path to get onto the higher levels. A plus point is that only a handful of people would do this, hence, you could mesmerize yourself in the serene beauty of the highest waterfalls almost all by yourself.
3. Batu Caves
Batu Caves is widely known as a must-visit tourist destination for anyone visiting Kuala Lumpur. Located only about 13 km north of the city, it is no wonder this place always become crowded during weekends and holidays as it is both a natural and spiritual attraction combined in one place.
There are 4 caves to be found here – Temple Cave (Cathedral Cave), Dark Cave, Cave Villa and Ramayana Cave – and all of them are naturally created inside an enormous limestone hill. The Temple Cave is the biggest among them, with a flight of 272 steps of stairs being the only access route.
The inside of the hill is surprisingly huge with a very high ceiling, and it used to be a Hindu temple for worshipping the Hindu god Lord Muragan, whose giant gold statue majestically stands in front of the cave. The Dark Cave, on the other hand, is more for recreational and adventure purpose.
The Cave Villa, consisting of the Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave, is located at the base of the hill with a display of Hindu statues and paintings, while the Ramayana Cave embraces statues from Ramayana, a Hindu epic.
While you explore around all the Caves, beware of the wild monkeys which might snatch your food or belonging if you are not watching, and sometimes even from your hands!
4. Broga Hill
The Broga Hill is quite popular with the casual hikers and people like doing exercises in front of a beautiful sunrise. Reachable in less than an hour’s drive from the city, this hill usually gets pretty crowded in the morning, and especially so during weekends or holidays with people catching the sunrise.
The Hill has three peak, with the first peak being the nearest from the foot when you arrive, and it is said that the first and second peak are the best spots to enjoy the sunrise.
Considerably easy, the trails in Broga Hill have its own challenges as well, where people need to climb up the steep hill with help from only a piece of rope, or if you are lucky enough, maybe a hand from other hikers.
Apart from being a popular sunrise spot, Broga Hill will still charm you even if you climb it later in the morning, as the view from 400m above a green forest, with the city to be seen in a distant, is just as astonishing as the hill is.
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Tired of skyscrapers being your only view during the day? Head out to Sekinchan that is just one and a half hour from Kuala Lumpur and a one day trip would make a perfect getaway.
Being a beach front fishing and rice-producing village, you can enjoy the views of green lush paddy fields along the way towards Sekinchan, and visit the Paddy Museum at the final stop for you to understand the process of rice production which is the main staple food in Malaysia.
From the paddy fields to the beach, you can play kites and bubbles in either one that will surely take away your stress. The beach itself is not quite clean, but you can watch the fishermen fishing from the wharf nearby, and since you are in a fishing village, be sure to eat the fresh seafood served in the many restaurants around the area.
Sekinchan also has a temple with a captivating tranquility and an interesting big tree on its front yard, in which you will see a lot of red ribbon hanging on it because it is actually a wishing tree, with visitors hanging the ribbon while making their wishes.
6. Chiling Falls
Expect more than just a fall in Chilling Falls for there is also a fishery research project named Sungai Chiling Fish Sanctuary. It is a real adventure to get to the main waterfall because you will need to walk through a natural forest reserve and cross some rivers before finally arriving at the stunning destination.
The trek is actually quite straightforward as there are sufficient signs to guide you to the waterfall, provided by the Fisheries Department who runs the research project here. The challenging and exciting adventure comes at the time you need to cross the river that has strong water current, and to add up the challenge, you have to cross the river six time before finally reaching the waterfall.
There are lots of fishes in the river which are not scared of human so you can play around with them. Moreover, all those efforts will be worthwhile in the end when you relax and dip yourself in the crystal clear, chilly fresh water pool at the bottom of the waterfall. There are actually two more waterfalls in the area which are unfortunately closed due to the dangerous path to get to them.