Saturday, November 24, 2007


An Observation Tower within a tree provides a scenic view of the Institute's ground while displaying a clump of straight parallel growing tall trees around it.

Strong ropes strung from tree to tree high above the undergrowth constitute the Canopy Walkway. We were assured that the 'bridge in the sky' is checked and maintained every week to assure safety.

This is a view of the tree tops seen from above as you catwalk along the Canopy Walkway.Yes you are advised to put your steps forward one by one, moving like a light footed model less a rough momentum would shake the bridge while allowing 10-15 foot space between walkers.


We have been in the city umpteen times but never ventured outside its territorial borders for a much longer period than half a day. Except for Sungai Buluh for its flower and plant nurseries, Kuala Selangor for the ‘klip-klip’ sanctuary or Ulu Langat for the last vestige of Malay kampong community nearest the city and of course Putrajaya, our outings had been confined to the Golden Triangle and the likes of IKEA, KLCC, SUNWAY etc.

It came as a complete surprise but certainly rewarding and exciting to the point of impinging our childhood adventure days when we visited FRIM at Kepong Selangor for the first time. Had it not been for a meeting at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia on a particular Tuesday morning in conjunction with FRIM itself, perhaps we would not have discovered the treasure behind its close doors. Literally the Institute’s gate is never closed but strangely not many acknowledged the richness and attractions within the compound of the 1528 hectares site of regenerated and secondary forest holding hundreds of plant species. Its nearness to Kuala Lumpur city centre is an asset yet a paradox because it is most unexpected. Imagine Cameron Highland being that proximity to the metropolis of Kuala Lumpur.

Being at FRIM Kepong is like being in Kuala Lumpur and its suburbs in 1946 or earlier when the virgin forest still surrounded the city excepting for pockets of tin mining zones. You can imagine how much has changed since just looking at Selayang, Sungai Buluh, Batu Caves and Gombak. That is one exciting aspect for just being there. Of course there are more to be discovered.

We woke up in the early morning at the chirping of birds just outside the glass windows of the Institute’s Guest House. Upon prior arrangement you may book to stay at the six-room Guest House. Breakfast and other meals are available at the Cafeteria on the site. There is also a quaint Malay Tea House where you can sip herbal tea while recovering from walking the various nature trails. Provision for a large group to camp on site or stay in dormitories is available on arrangement. The Institute’s Museum and Library can also be on your visit list. We would recommend that you are on site quite early in the morning to reap full benefits.

FRIM’s par excellence would of course be its Canopy Walkway. The members of our team that came to visit obviously had no inclination of what they would get there. They had not expected a rigorous climb and walk up the steps to the highest point where the Canopy Walkway was built. In all you would have to allow for two hours to get and to return to base. By their attires they were ready for a Board Meeting much less climb hill. Still all persisted and reached the top rewarded by a panoramic view of the forest and all its inhabitants if you care to observe. The Canopy Walkway had existed since 1992. The Walkway system spans 200 meters and 30 meters above ground level, higher than most tall trees in the area. No descriptions will do justice to the beauty and panorama you will view as you catwalk along the narrow path of the Canopy Walkway. The pictures attached will hopefully spurt you to rush straight away to this magical abode with your loved one and the kids.

For the young ones cool mountain streams, camping sites and nature’s richness and wide open space await them. The Forest Research Institute Malaysia at Kepong Selangor set up for research and scientific study of flora and fauna has awaited visitors ever since. Yet we come to discover its existence and the treasures within only five days ago.

Will you take the steps to move towards this Shangrila? Don't wait too long.

Shamsul our FRIM guide was the exceptional man dressed for the hike and adventure into the rainforest. The two ladies assisted. Shamsul's two young sons however helped to make brave and determined men out of some of the group members.

FRIM's recreation area and picnic ground for the family with a waterfall nearby is worth visiting rather than spending hours at the shopping malls in the city. You will certainly get fresh air.

A discovery within the ground. It would make a decorative item alright.

(More pictures following .............)

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