Somewhere in the corners of Klang Valley lies the hidden attractions that you never knew existed. From rainforests to cultural villages, the Greater Kuala Lumpur area still has a couple of secrets waiting to be discovered.
If you’re new to the Klang Valley and keen to explore like a local, check out these hidden attractions before the tourist buses make their way there.
KL Forest Eco Park
It is easy to be distracted by the KL Tower that you won’t notice a lush forest reserve right in their front yard. Previously known as the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, the KL Forest Eco Park is where the local urbanites go for an afternoon of forest freshness.
Surrounded by modern buildings, this forest reserve is the last patch of tropical rainforest left in the city, which makes it even more special. Make the best out of your daytime visit by strolling on the canopy walk. Not only will you get a treetop view of the KL Tower, the lucky ones can even catch sightings of monkeys, birds, and wild insects!
Mah Meri Cultural Village
Pulau Carey is close to the hearts of the Mah Meri tribe who built their homes on the island for many centuries. Today, the Mah Meri Cultural Village has become a place for everyone to learn their culture, heritage and history. Known as the Masked Men of Malaysia, they are recognised for their mask craftsmanship, and you will see why from their spectacular handiwork decorated around the cultural centre.
Today, the cultural village hosts a variety of tour packages. Uniquely catered to students, families and tourists, you can explore a one-of-a-kind cultural experience here. Some of the activities include a cultural show, a traditional wedding ceremony, a visit to the origami centre, a village walk, and many more
Islamic Arts Museum
After visiting the National Mosque, swing by the Islamic Arts Museum to appreciate a variety of stunning artefacts and artworks. Home to the largest collection of Islamic art in Southeast Asia, the art selections encapsulates the beauty and serenity of the Islamic world.
Every step you take promises something new and wonderful to admire. Whether it’s the large-scale model of the Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca or the 9th-century blue Al-Quran, the museum is sprawled with a thousand more artefacts to cherish. If you have a thing for Islamic architecture, the inverted dome pavilion will mesmerise you with its shimmering mirrored facets and golden inscription of the Quran’s opening verse.
Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman
Did you know that the Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman is one of the oldest surviving traditional Malay houses in the country? Better yet, did you know this house was originally situated in Kedah before being relocated to Kuala Lumpur? What a journey this house has been on.
This traditional home was named after its original owner who was also the village headman in Kedah. Today, you can only access the interior of the house through Badan Warisan Malaysia’s guided tour.
With a minimum donation, you can catch a glimpse of the early 1900s furniture, kitchen utensils, and traditional ceramics. Stay close to their knowledgeable tour guides when they share stories of the traditions and architecture of the Old Malaya.
Little India at Brickfields
Similar to all the Little Indias around the world, our Brickfields neighbourhood is filled with vibrant sidewalks and gorgeous colours. The modernised heritage enclave is accessible via train and buses so you can immerse yourself in the cultural experience backed by the congested and energetic vibes of Kuala Lumpur.
Credit: psjeremy on Flickr
The Little India in Brickfields has everything you can imagine. Whether you’re looking for beautiful traditional sarees or handmade flower garlands, it will be a rewarding shopping trip soundtracked by pulsating Bollywood beats. For lunch, you can walk into any Indian restaurants for a serving of full-blown flavours. If you’re lost amid the lunch choices, we highly recommend Vishal Food Catering for a memorable banana leaf rice experience.
Royal Selangor Visitor Centre
Malaysians have many things to be proud of. One of them includes our dedication in crafting fine pewter. Since 1885, Royal Selangor is the powerhouse behind the world’s excellent pewtersmithing. For everyone to experience it first-hand, they established the Royal Selangor Visitors Centre that is open to the curious and interested.
Joining their free guided tours is the best way to gain an introduction to Malaya’s early tin mining development, traditional pewtersmithing tools, and ancient tin currency. For a hands-on experience, we highly recommend a session at The School of Hard Knocks where participants can create their own pewter dish through a guided pewtersmithing workshop.
Perdana Botanical Garden
The local taxi drivers might still refer to it as Lake Gardens, but the Perdana Botanical Garden is a stunning attraction. After the KL Forest Eco Park, the botanical garden is a scenic alternative for a nature escapade in Kuala Lumpur. Great for morning jogs and evening walks, the garden is shadowed by forest trees to keep you cool and shaded everywhere you go.
Along the way, you will find fascinating foliage in the Zingiberales and Heliconia garden. There’s also a Herb & Spice Garden and Sunken Garden to explore at your own pace. If you want to check out the lovely Fallow deers, make your way to the Deer Park that is situated close to the Tun Abdul Razak Memorial.
Orchid & Hibiscus Garden
If orchids and hibiscuses are two of your favourite blooms in the world, this will be your little happy place. Situated within the Perdana Botanical Garden, the Orchid & Hibiscus Garden is decorated with various species of the popular blooms.
The Hibiscus Garden honours our country’s national flower, and the garden is sprawled with a waterfall, fountains, and every Bunga Raya that you can ever imagine. The Orchid Garden houses a vast collection of 800 species of orchids where you can stop and smell every single one of them (if you have the whole afternoon to spare!).
Who knew the Klang Valley has room for a tropical rainforest, a traditional Malay house, and an ancient cultural village? If you’re new to Klang Valley, give the tourist map a rest and spend a day to visit the locals’ best-kept secrets!
This article titled ‘8 Secret Attractions You Never Knew You Could Find in the Klang Valley’ was published on Have Halal Will Travel in April 2018. Kindly refer to this link to view from its original publication.