The Lake Gardens were right up there on all the `must see in KL’ lists we’d gleaned from books and websites, so one fine day, after having spent some time jostling through the busy bazaars of the city, we took a train to KL Sentral, from where we got a taxi to the Lake Gardens. The Lake Gardens (Taman Tasik Perdana) centre around an artificial lake, and spread out over an expanse of 229 acres. It’s a huge sprawling complex of trees (mainly jacaranda, palms, bamboo and eucalyptus), watercourses and ponds. Jogging trails lead through the area and every now and then there’s a pebble path, covered with smooth round pebbles over which you can walk, barefooted, to try some reflexology on yourself.
The Lake Gardens are popular with locals, and within the park itself are a few isolated gardens, each a sight in itself. It was our misfortune that the first one we entered- the Deer Garden- was so disappointing (very drab and with barely a deer in sight) that we turned back almost from the entrance itself. The second one, the Butterfly Garden (Taman Rama) was, however, much more satisfying. It had plenty of butterflies, including some large and exquisitely colourful ones, all of them fluttering about under a huge canopy of net, with trees, plants and flowers all about. Pathways meandered through the enclosed garden, and every now and then, along the way, was the occasional surprise- a little wooden table with bright scarlet hibiscus flowers, sprayed with a solution of honey, supposed to supplement the butterflies’ diet. And there were other diversions, not all of them connected with lepidoptera: small birdcages; ponds filled with koi (a Japanese carp), turtles and terrapins- all are part of the jumble. The exit leads through a huge and well-labelled collection of butterflies, moths, beetles, arachnids, grasshoppers and whatnot- some beautiful, some masters of the art of disguise, many downright creepy, but most very interesting.
Another of the gardens within the Lake Gardens is the Orchid Garden- we were very keen on seeing this, but fate decided to play a mean trick on us, and we couldn’t find it (yes, sounds crazy, but there’s a shortage of signboards around, and very few people were in the park- and those who were there didn’t understand English). Things turned out for the best, though – having lost our way, we ended up at what is easily the best of the Lake Gardens’ attractions, the splendid Islamic Arts Museum (there’s a separate journal entry for this; it’s definitely one of Kuala Lumpur’s top sights).
Entry to the Lake Gardens is free, but you’ll have to pay entry fees to visit the various sights within the gardens. Entry to the Islamic Art Museum, for instance is RM8, while entry to the Butterfly Garden is RM10.