I love the city life, but I get anxious if I don’t expose myself to greenery every few days. While visiting Kuala Lumpur, I decided to go on hike at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM). About 80 years ago, FRIM wasn’t a lush forest full of hiking trails, wildlife, and inspiring trees. FRIM was actually an abandoned area full of mine pits and shrubs. Today, many people visit FRIM to learn about wildlife and forestry research, view brightly coloured gardens, to go on walking trails and hikes, have picnics, and to go on the canopy walkway (my motivation).
The canopy walkway, one of the major attractions to FRIM, was built in 1992 and overlooks Kuala Lumpur at about 300 meters above sea level. Walking across the canopy feels like you are an animal living amongst the trees. The air is crisp and the scenic views of Kuala Lumpur make you forget you are standing on a suspended bridge. You need to hike about 2-3 kilometers to get to the canopy walkway. Before you start off on your hike, be sure to purchase tickets at the FRIM One Stop Centre, because you wouldn’t want to go all that way to be disappointed.
The hike wasn’t easy. It starts off with non-intimidating smooth walkways but this lasted for 10 minutes. I met a man along the way who said, “Good Luck” to me before I followed the sign to the canopy walkway. I wasn’t sure why he said good luck until I ran out of water and was sweating like I just completed an hour of boot camp fitness training. I felt stupid for being in flip flops (I highly recommend wearing proper footwear), as the trail is filled with large tree roots above the ground, rocks, and muddy areas.
But getting to the canopy was worth the hike, and I am not just saying that. I actually forgot I was in Kuala Kumpur, which is exactly what I needed: a break from the city life. At the end of the hike, there was a picnic area where you could refuel with snacks and water. There are many guided tours of the canopy hike, but I went on my own and was able to explore nature at my own pace.
If you need a break from the city, head on over to FRIM for a challenging hike that will take you about 2 hours to complete. And don’t go in flip flops like I did, so you can save yourself the dirty looks.