Welcome respite from city life

The shallow pools at the foot of the waterfalls and rivers are family-friendly as there are no strong currents.

A VISIT to Commonwealth Forest Eco Park in Rawang, Selangor, is like stepping into a deep jungle surrounded by natural wonders.

This hidden gem is tucked away about 30km from Kuala Lumpur, less than an hour’s drive via several routes including the Kuala Lumpur-Kuala Selangor Highway or Latar Expressway.

The lush forest setting, which is part of Kanching Forest Reserve, filled with the sound of birds chirping in the distance is certainly a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city living.

According to Hulu Selangor District forest officer Zulkurnain Zakaria, this recreational area launched in 1993 is able to accommodate up to 400 individuals at one time and is a popular picnic spot and campsite for families.

“The area is family-friendly as the pools at the foot of the waterfalls and rivers are shallow (knee- and ankle-high) and there are no strong currents, so parents need not worry as these are safe play areas,” he said.

To enlighten visitors on the uniqueness of the forest, he said they would be exposed to over 10 plant species found in the 300ha park, which would hopefully instil a love for nature, especially among the young.

Zulkurnain said among them was the Hopea subalata Symington, locally known as Merawan Kanching, which was categorised as an endangered species and only found in Kanching Forest Reserve.

“We also plan to plant exotic and unusual fruit trees now rarely grown, such as tampoi, macang, keladan and bangkong, as part of conservation efforts to ensure that they do not go extinct and for the future generation to enjoy them,” he said.

This recreational site is also equipped with facilities such as toilets, hall, surau and rest huts, he said.

He added that accommodation was available too with chalet rental as low as RM50 and campsite rental at RM10 a day.

Zulkurnain reminded that it was everyone’s responsibility to maintain the cleanliness of the natural surroundings and visitors must ensure they do not litter, leave their garbage or damage the plants.

He also urged them to stay safe while carrying out recreational activities.

To ensure public safety, trees are currently being pruned and maintenance work is in progress at the park, which has been temporarily closed since May following the movement control order and decision to ban recreational activities in public spaces and open recreation areas.

The park is expected to reopen to visitors again by the middle of next month, but only those who have been fully vaccinated will be allowed in with strict adherence to the standard operating procedure set by the National Security Council. — Bernama

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