CONTINUING the StarMetro series of exploring Kuala Lumpur on a shoestring budget, we visit a series of scenic and nature-themed spots within the Lake Gardens area.
Some tips before following the itinerary below include — wear comfortable shoes, a disposable poncho in case it rains, and a camera (there are a lot of great photo opportunities in KL Bird Park and Butterfly Park).
It would be all right not to use a suncreen because these places have plenty of trees and it is unlikely that the butterflies will come near you if you applied some sort of cream. The time allocated below for each spot is a rough estimate with an average time given for taking snapshots,
Noon: My first stop in the itinerary was the KL Butterfly Park located along Jalan Cenderasari within the Lake Gardens area.
Although the mid-day sun was up when I visited this place, it was still quite cooling as the area is full of trees and plants. In addition, the overhead netting placed over the whole area to keep the butterflies in, also helps to reduce the heat from the sun.
The butterfly park claims it is the largest butterfly garden in the world, spanning over 80,000sq ft of landscaped garden with over 5,000 live butterflies, exotic plants, butterfly-host plants and ferns.
I am inclined to believe their claim on the amount of live butterflies the park has. Comprising various shapes, sizes and colors, the butterflies fly freely all over the place and even landed on some visitors who had patiently held out their hands.
Photographers will have plenty of opportunities to snap close-up shots of these beautiful creatures because there are more than a dozen trays bearing attractive hibiscus flowers strategically placed in the garden.
The beautiful array of flowers, water fountains, arched pathways and water flowing through the middle of the garden will certainly give visitors a relaxing experience.
Other attractions include hundreds of Japanese koi fish in several ponds as well as aquariums that house several species of fresh water turtles, frogs and fish.
After an hour’s walk through the garden area, I moved on to the exhibit area that showcase a large collection of butterflies and insects from around the world.
There are numerous informative exhibits that detail the life cycle and habitat as well as how the insects and butterflies contribute to the ecosystem. There is also a section where live insects are kept in a tank, including more than 50 live scorpions.
(Fee: MyKad holders — Adults: RM10, Children: RM5 (two to 11 years old). non-MyKad holders — Adult: RM20, Children: RM10).
The parking bays available here are limited, which might be a problem on public holidays and weekends.
1.30pm: By this time, I had gotten hungry, having enjoyed the grace and beauty of the butterflies. Thankfully, there is a stall about 200m away that serves reasonably priced Malay dishes.
This stall, which does not have a name, is located along Jalan Tembusu, next to the cross junction of Jalan Cenderasari, Jalan Tembusu, Jalan Lembah and Jalan Tanglin.
The stall operator serves mixed rice, nasi dagang, sup tulang, pisang goreng, tauhu goreng and an assortment of fried kuih.
I opted for their mixed rice, selecting a whole grilled fish, taugeh (bean sprouts), a generous portion of sambal sotong (squid in spicy chilli sauce) and my rice which was drenched in chicken curry. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal with the sambal sotong being my favourite. Best of all, my meal only cost RM8.50! Very good value-for-money indeed.
2pm: After the hearty meal, I then walked for 10 to 15 minutes towards the KL Bird Park in Jalan Cenderawasih.
Sprawling across approximately 8.46ha of verdant valley terrain, the KL Bird Park is one of the largest walk-in free-flight aviary in the world, with more than 3,000 birds of approximately 200 local and foreign species.
Upon entering the park, visitors will be greeted by the chirping of dozens of colourful Lovebirds and Eastern Rosella. In the next open enclosure, peacocks, chickens and several other species of birds move around freely.
The birds, accustomed to the presence of humans, have no qualms approaching visitors, which makes for excellent photo opportunities.
There are also opportunities to spend RM10 upwards to snap a photo with some of the exotic birds perched on one’s shoulder, arms or thighs. If you don’t favour this, then you could pay RM2 for a packet of seeds to feed some of the birds.
At 4pm, the Milky Storks were fed in the waterfall aviary zone, where fishes were left on the ground for the storks to feed without any barrier separating them and the visitors.
The visitors clearly enjoyed this because the birds too were feeling comfortable being around them.
My two hours here was extremely enjoyable and the entrance fee to the park was worth every sen.
Sadly, I had to cut my visit short because the weather took a bad turn.
Overall, the visit gave me many hours of fun with nature and its magnificent creatures, costing me a total of RM51.50.
(Fee: MyKad holder - Adult RM25, Children RM12. Non-MyKad holder - Adult RM48, Children RM38).
There is ample parking bays for visitors in this area. A taxi ride from here to the Butterfly Park costs about RM8.