Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)

Finally, the mid-semester break is here (1 week)! There were just too much going-ons in the past two weeks that I am so excited to post. Lets start with my visit to the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) in Kepong 2 Saturdays ago.

Visiting this place has always been on my wishlist but there's always "more" exciting urban activities to participate in such as karaoke sessions and movies (sigh).

Anyway, I was there with my long-time buddy, Jason on 2 missions:
(1) To test my first DSLR (Nikon D40X).
(2) To explore more interesting places in the city.

We arrived in the late afternoon, around 3 pm. The entrance fee was RM6.00/car. After a briefing by the guide in the information office, we embarked on the shortest trail available, the Keruing Trail (which will usually take about 30 minutes to complete, if you don't lose you way). There were a few interesting trails but since we planned to leave by 5 pm, the Keruing Trail seemed to be the obvious choice.

The first plant that greeted us at the "entrance" was the "tallest bamboo plant in the world", according to the guide. I'm not really sure about this but it sure looked tall!

The main attraction of the trail was the "WOW" spot (it was written on the map). This was the spot where the treetops resembled fragments of land. What an amazing view! Scientifically, this is a survival technique where each tree is able to secure it's fair share of sunshine. Makes me wonder whether we, as human, can live harmoniously in a fair and square habitat (society), just like those trees. Perhaps we should learn a thing or two from Nature.

By the time we returned to the starting point, it was already 4 pm, thanks to long but fruitless photography session I was having along the trail. (Sorry about that, Jason)

On the way to the carpark, I couldn't help but be amazed but some attractive and colourful plants (to me, at least) that I just had to snap some shots.

The first mission failed as my shots were just so-so. I will try to improve my photography skills with more posts (especially on food!). The second mission was accomplished. What a great excursion FRIM had turned out to be! The scenery, the plants and the animals (saw a squirrel!) were quite amazing. This is THE place for an educational outing and for urbanites, a place to unwind and just absorb in the sights and sounds of nature. By the way, FRIM has a museum and other interesting sites too!

One thing left me confused was the popularity of this place. Why aren't we promoting this as a major tourist attraction? Perhaps I went at a wrong time (will try to be there much earlier the next time), but all I saw were a few tourists (in fact, only 2 couples) and some joggers. . Kuala Lumpur is not just a city, you know. And this place is able to give tourists a preview of our beautiful tropical rainforest, before heading for the real deal at Taman Negara. With better facilities and heavier promotion, I don't see why this place can't be developed into a great tourist spot. As much as I respect nature, I don't think by bringing in more tourists will contaminate this wonderful place.

Will definitely be back for the other trails and more well-equipped too. Jason came with bermudas and sandals while moi was in shorts and pumps. And we totally ignored the warning about leeches! What a crazy and adventurous bunch we were!

Do check out this website (it's a very slow one) for more information on this place.

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