on April 30, 2006
The Lake Gardens of Kuala Lumpur (Taman Tasik Perdana in Malaysian) are a huge and beautiful park, almost 100 ha in size. The gardens were constructed in 1880 as a colonial getaway around an artificial lake. Due to later extensions to the gardens, the lake is now located in the south west of the whole park. You can rent small rowing boats and pedal boats to get around the lake. The lake gardens itself consists of large lawns lined with big tropical trees, flower beds, ponds, fountains, grassy hills and jogging and hiking trails crisscrossing around the gardens. It is a very popular place for locals and tourists alike on fine days.A few other natural attractions are within the garden boundaries. In the north are the excellent Hibiscus and Orchid gardens, a real treat for flower lovers. Due to Malaysia's tropical climate there are always a few blooming specimen available with magnificently coloured flowers. From the lake gardens you just follow the signs up the hill. Entrance to the flower gardens is free, and the flowers are beautiful. A shop selling the flowers, gifts, snacks and drinks is available within the grounds. Just to the west of the Orchid Garden, across Jalan Perdana, is the free Deer Park. In here, spotted deer roam around in the bushes. Due to the dense shrubbery at places it is not always easy to spot them. Look out for the so-called kancil, the small (40cm long) Malaysian or lesser mouse deer.Also in the north of the gardens, to the east of the Orchid garden, is the butterfly park. The park is a recreation of a tropical rainforest, the natural setting for most of the 6000 butterflies. The butterflies are mostly nicely coloured rainforest species, but also a few brown or yellow coloured moths. Entrance to the butterfly park is RM2-4 (0.5-1 euro). More south, to the east of the lake, is the great bird park, featuring birds like ostriches and hawks in cages, but most notable for its free-flight aviary, apparently the biggest in the world with 3ha and species like the kingfisher, various types of hornbill and parrots. Entry to the bird park is again RM 2-4. Completely in the south of the Gardens, even beyond the National Mosque, is a planetarium, the National Museum and the Islamic Art Museum. The latter one must be one of the nicest one of its kind around the world.The Lake gardens can easily be reached from Merdeka Square in the north, close to Masjid Jamek LRT station, or the huge blue-tiled National Mosque (difficult to miss!), close to the nice Old Railway Station, currently the LRT station named Kuala Lumpur (not to be mixed with KL Sentral).
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