KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — A visit to the Commonwealth Forest Eco Park is like stepping into a deep jungle surrounded by natural wonders.
This hidden gem tucked away in Rawang, near here, is actually just about 30 kilometres from the capital city or less than an hour’s drive via several routes including the Kuala Lumpur-Kuala Selangor Highway or Latar Expressway.
The lush forest setting filled with the sounds of birds chirping in the distance, which is part of the Kanching Forest Reserve, is certainly a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city living.
According to Hulu Selangor District forest officer Zulkurnain Zakaria, this recreational area launched in 1993 which is able to accommodate up to 400 individuals at one time, has been a popular picnic spot and campsite for family outings.
“The area is family-friendly as the plunge pools at the foot of the waterfalls as well as the rivers are shallow (knee and ankle length) and due to the absence of strong currents, parents need not worry as these are safe play areas,” he told Bernama.
He said to enlighten visitors on the peculiarities of the forest, they would be exposed to over 10 plant species found in the 300-hectare park, which hopefully could instill a love for nature, especially among the young.
Zulkurnain said among them is the Hopea subalata Symington, locally known as Merawan Kanching which is categorised as an endangered specie and could only be found in Kanching Forest Reserve.
“We also plan to plant exotic and unusual fruit trees now rarely grown such as tampoi, macang, keladan and bangkong as conservation efforts to ensure that they do not go extinct so that the future generation could still enjoy them,” he said.
This recreational site is also equipped with facilities such as surau, toilets, hall and rest huts he said, adding that accommodation were also provided with chalet rental as low as RM50 and campsite rental at RM10 a day.
Zulkurnain also reminded that it is everyone’s responsibility to maintain the cleanliness of the natural surroundings and visitors must ensure that they do not litter, leave their garbage or damage the plants and to stay safe while carrying out their recreational activities.
He said to ensure public safety, trees are currently being pruned and maintenance work is in progress at the park which was temporarily closed to the public since May this year following the Movement Control Order and decision to ban recreational activities in public spaces and open recreation areas.
The park is expected to open to visitors again by the middle of next month but only those who have been fully vaccinated would be allowed with strict adherence to the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the National Security Council.