The newly opened park offers amateur hikers and visitors a chance to be closer to nature with breathtaking views of KL
by ADRIAN PHUNG / pics by ADRIAN PHUNG
IT HAS been more than five years since my friends and I had any hiking activities together. I still remember our last hike at Taman Botani Bukit Cerakah in Shah Alam.
The long hiatus is not because Kuala Lumpur (KL) or the Klang Valley is short of hiking places, there are plenty actually, but due to our busy working schedule and the pandemic, it’s been hard for us to organise this outdoor activity.
Hence, when I stumbled upon videos on KL East Park, located within Sime Darby Property Bhd’s vibrant KL East township, I felt that it was time for my friends and I to get up from our lazy couches and gently hike together. The newly opened park offers amateur hikers breathtaking KL views at its peak and a chance to be closer to nature.
Before embarking on the “adventure”, I decided to do research online to find out details about the park. According to its website, the park is a naturally regenerating secondary rainforest spanning 21.4ha, and is home to some rare, endemic species and beautiful geological formations.
The enthralling KL East Park offers hikers and parkgoers rewarding nature and geology, given its physical connection to the lush Bukit Tabur and the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge, renowned as the world’s longest quartz formation. The uniqueness of the geological formation also allows visitors to see, learn and experience nature in its natural settings.
To further distinguish itself from the other parks in KL that are generally man-made and created for community use, the developer even planted and geotagged more than 300 species of trees, herbs, shrubs and palms — all noted for their ecological and economic values — to ensure ease of conservation and reference. Hence, if you like to know more about those plants, you can easily scan the QR code available.
The website even stated that if you are lucky, you can spot some of Malaysia’s most fascinating birds, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies and beetles during the hike. Upon reading this, I was raring to go as it is not always that we can be up-close and personal with some of these rare and endemic species.
Booking For Slots
To go for a hike or stroll at KL East Park, one need to make booking at www.kleastpark.com by clicking the “Book Your Hike” button within 72 hours of your intended outing day. For example, if you like to visit the park on Sunday, the earliest you can book your hike would be on Thurs- day. There are five-time slots available for each day, namely 7am-9am, 9am-11am, 11am-1pm, 2pm-4pm and 4pm-6pm.
You might wonder why prebooking is necessary for this park when it is something not required at some of the parks you have been to. Well, according to the website, the pre-booking is required to avoid overcrowding and ensure visitors can enjoy the park to its fullest. At the same time, it helps to keep the park healthy and preserve its biodiversity in the long term.
Truthfully, I felt that there is nothing wrong with this as each of us should play some part in upkeeping the park. Once I was done with all the necessary “administrative works”, a confirmation email with a QR code was sent to me with all details I had just filled. In the email, it was stated that we needed to present the QR code to the staff on duty when entering and exiting the park.
Tip: Try to book it as early as possible (within the 72-hour time frame) to avoid any disappointment or having to keep asking your friend when is their next free time because I heard that each of the time slot would be fully taken within an hour or two of being opened for booking. I guessed all this is due to the park being virally shared on different social media platforms.
There are various ways for you to get to the park, either by public transport (LRT train) or by car. If you are travelling by train, you can take the LRT to the Gombak station and once you disembark, you may proceed to take a 20-minute walk to the park entrance near
to the KYS KL East International School. If you are driving, you can park your vehicle at either KL East Mall or KL East Sales Gallery. From there, you just need to walk for 10 minutes to arrive at the park entrance. Just consider it a warm-up session prior to your hike.
At the entrance, all you need to do is present the QR code to the staff to scan for entry. Once you enter, you will notice an Instagram-able spot with the park’s name and a “mini-waterfall” in the background. There’s also a map of the park depicting various milestone markers as well as flora and fauna that you might encounter during the hike.
While we were making our way up to the lookout point, there were some stone benches and one shelter for us to take a breather. There were also two mini “challenges” along the way that tested our wit and teamwork. (To be honest, the two mini “challenges” were just two fallen tree trunks that were blocking the way. All you need to do is just crawl under the first one and climb over the other.)
Captivating KL Views
After successfully manoeuvring these two “challenges”, we continued our little adventure to the lookout point. We reached the point after around just 10 minutes and all of us wasted no time in taking pictures of the beautiful KL views and selfies to mark our accomplishments.
After spending close to 20 minutes admiring the views and enjoying the fresh air, we started back to the entrance. On our way down, we took the opportunity to take more photographs of the wonderful KL view in different angles.
Overall, the hike at KL East Park was an eye-opener for my friends and I as it not only gave us an opportunity to be closer to the nature, it is also provided us a platform to learn about some of the flora and fauna that we did not know of. We will definitely be coming here again soon.
The park is open daily to all from 7am-6.30pm, with the last entry permitted to the park at 4.30pm, free of charge until Aug 31. Beginning Sept 1, 2023, a token entrance fee will be imposed to ensure the park’s long-term sustainability and conservation of the precious flora and fauna that are available there.
- This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition