Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Kepong Botanical Gardens KBG FRIM

Summary of Post
Short blurb on what to do and see in this lovely spot in FRIM just 20 minutes north of the heart of Kuala Lumpur. And how it is the perfect place for bike-run bricks for a triathlete wannabe (yours truly). :)

Waterlily in full bloom in July at the Kepong Botanical Gardens

Kepong Botanical Gardens (KBG)
The serious/real purpose of KBG is 'ex situ conservation', that is, as a collection of living plants from all over Malaysia (read more on FRIM website). These plants have been thoughtfully incorporated into various themed gardens, which themselves were designed to blend harmoniously into the Gardens' landscape. The result is a breathtaking oasis accented by precious and beautiful plants with the verdant green-cloaked hills of Bukit Lagong as its backdrop.

Ginger Garden, one of the many themed gardens in the Kepong Botanical Gardens 
What to do
Entrance fees are RM1 per person and a few bucks more for mountain bikes (Rates here). Visitors can jog, cycle,
picnic, look at the resident terrapins and fish in the lake, and gawk at the gorgeous flowers - there's something blooming at any one time of the year. There's a paved jogging/cycling track that winds around the lake and one lap is about 1 km. There are pavilions where you can have a family picnic, and benches that tired folks and sit and rest on. Oh yes, restrooms too. The more adventurous can venture off-track, up 'Bukit Hari' to the Helipad (the highest point). Ample parking space too. See the map below for an aerial view and here's the map to KBG.

Kepong Botanical Gardens (aerial view). Small loop 1.36 km. Large loop 1.74 km.

My visit today
I'm always surprised that there are so few visitors, there are no more than 10 vehicles in the parking lot when I pull in after work at 6 pm. I don't dare to cycle on the 'real' roads because I have had one to many close calls with Malaysian drivers, so KBG is where I can safely ride my bike. Today I did 10 km on my bike (40 minutes), then a quick 2 km run (15 minutes), stopping here and there to take photos. The newly-installed bicycle bell was very useful in warning other joggers that I was approaching from behind. I bought it from Samy's Bicycle Shop in Batu Caves where I went to get my bike serviced yesterday. I pushed hard on the bike, which I'm not sure my doctor would approve of  because I'm supposed to do 'light exercise only'... hehe. I can't wait to tell her I am doing a triathlon haha!

I would be happy doing endless laps around the Lake (partly visible on right). This place is so beautiful.

If I survive the PD Tri, I've got my heart set on doing future races to raise awareness of SLE (lupus), an autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself (joints, skin, kidneys, brain, etc). It is similiar to my illness Henoch Schonlein Purpura but more common than HSP, which is quite rare (maybe 10 people in Malaysia have HSP, last I heard). Some of my friends have lupus and  the sun is their kryptonite. Some have debilitating joint pains that really limit their mobility and ability to live a normal life. And some die from complications involving the kidneys, blood and brain. There is no cure.... yet. There are only a handful of lupus sufferers who are able to run and I want to run on behalf of those who cannot. Because right now, I can.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post. Also, check out my blog post on Canopy Walkway and Sungai Kroh Picnic (great outing for families with kids)!

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xo Gracie

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