SELANGOR'S only forest reserve look out vantage point is 263m above sea level and is known simply as the purpose it is there for - Look Out Point.
Situated along the curvy stretches of the Hulu Langat Highway, Look Out Point is about 5km from Pekan Batu 14 Hulu Langat in the Kajang municipality (MPKj) and 2km from Pandan Indah, the Ampang Jaya Municipal Councils administrative capital.
From the tower or the restaurant's terrace, a breathtaking view of the Ampang Jaya skyline stretching into Kuala Lumpur meets the eye with a multitude of buildings, houses and skyscrapers dotting the landscape.
Prominent in the background are Menara Kuala Lumpur and Petronas Twin Towers with the growing city and its suburban areas in plain sight.
Look Out Point was first opened in 2001 by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo and was shut a year later for upgrading works.
The Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) undertook the improvement works even though the forest reserve is situated within MPKj's boundaries.
In April 2005, MPAJ handed over the project to MPKj, which in turn handed it over to Tourism Selangor Sdn Bhd. It was subsequently relaunched by Dr Khir.
The cost for the overall project, ac-cording to Tourism Selangor general manager Mohamad Nik, was RM20mil.
Today, Tourism Selangor is working with Pinang Harmoni Sdn Bhd under a joint venture agreement to market the place.
Mohamad said the 7.2ha forest area was ideal for recreation seekers.
Camping and jungle trekking are the main activities and there are adequate facilities to accommodate corporate companies and schools that organise camps, motivational and team building activities.
Quality Khyam tents from France are perched at various sites.
Each tent can accommodate nine people, while two VIP chalets, fashioned like hotel rooms, are a walk away from the recreational areas.
There is also a multipurpose hall and training centre near the campsites.
The Burma Bridge is an added challenge to nature lovers.
A bamboo-framed amphitheatre with wooden stools makes an ideal platform for theatrical shows in the middle of the forest.
There are three restaurants that sport the unmistakable Minangkabau roofing incorporated into their overall architecture. However, Tourism Selangor plans to only open one serving local cuisine for the time being.
The other two will be temporarily used as meeting halls.
Frangipani trees, Fan Palm and decorative plants add to the beauty of the restaurant area that is situated just minutes away from the tower.
The view from the restaurant's terrace is breathtaking, especially at night.
We have brought many food and beverage operators to view the restaurants but lack of parking space deters them from a commitment,'' said Mohamed, adding that they were on the look-out for suitable operators to run the chalets.
Not many know that the Look Out Point is open,'' he added.
Tourism Selangor is currently in the process of marketing the place.
Pinang Harmoni director Mohan Singh said there were souvenir shops, a surau, reflexology path and 22 toilets within the area.
Look Out Point's attraction lies not only in the grand view it offers, but also in the century-old trees, cool environment and jungle flora and fauna there are in the vicinity.
As one walks beneath the towering trees, the musical sounds of insects, birds and monkeys are distinct and inviting.
Mohan Singh said jungle trekking would be a popular activity once more visitors had become familiar with the area.
The trekking path is a kilometre long with rest areas along the way.
We will be hiring rangers or army personnel to lead people into the jungle, he added.
Since the area is basically a recreational spot, motorists are advised to park their vehicles at the entrance before taking the stairs up to the Look Out tower.
There are 199 steps that lead up to the tower, but it is not strenuous, unless one embarks on the ascend at noon.
It is advisable to take a walk or jog early in the morning or perhaps even in the later part of the afternoon.
For details, call 03-5513 2000 (Tourism Selangor).