Somehow Sharo heard about the canopy walk at The Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM). We decided it would be a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon while visiting Kuala Lumpur. With little more than the name and a general location, we headed out to find a taxi driver that could get us there.
The Forest Research Institute Malaysia is a forest research facility run by the Malaysian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, stretching over almost 550 ha. The institute promotes sustainable forestry management and the optimal use of forest resources through the knowledge and technology obtain through a variety of research projects, and is a popular spot for picnics, joggers, and nature lovers. We were visiting FRIM for it’s Canopy Walkway.
After agreeing to pay a taxi driver the metered rate for as long as he needed to hang out and wait for us, we headed 16km outside of Kuala Lumpur to FRIM. Once arriving, we paid RM5 per person plus RM5 for our camera at the gantry. We then stopped at the “One Stop Service Center” to inquire about how to get to the Canopy Walk and discovered that we needed to purchase tickets there. After paying RM10 each for Sharo and I and RM1 for Nancy, we were on our way to the trail entrance.
A leisurely 900 m walk with sweat pouring off our bodies led us to a small sign on the side of the trail pointing us to the Canopy Walk. A couple of Monkeys played in the trash can at the fork in the trail.
Another 500 m up a fairly steep incline saw us arrive at the start of the 150 m long Canopy Walk. We all looked at the aluminum ladders with their occasional zip ties holding them together and figured it looked safe enough – so off we went, keeping the requisite 3 meter distance between each other.
There is a feeling one gets in the pit of their stomach when a 40 m section of aluminum ladder begins to bounce up and down and swing side to side. It is even worse when you are in the middle of the span and the nearest solid footing is either 20 m in front/behind you, or 30 m below you. After stopping in the middle and allowing all motion to subside, I realized that I had one option, as the person behind me was waiting for me to move.
Finishing the walkway, we realized that the last section of ladder was jammed between the railing of the final landing structure and held down with ropes. We both thought of our former landlord Q, and the many ingenious “fixes” that he is known for.
On our way down from the Canopy Walk, we met another couple from Europe who were traveling around SE Asia for several months and began chatting by a stream where the Canopy Walkway trail and the main trail meet. As we were talking, Nancy came to show us a picture she had just taken of a small iguana sitting on a rock by the stream.
As we headed off to meet the taxi driver, we didn’t pay attention to where we were going and walked right past the trail, chatting away with the other couple. While they headed off at a quicker pace, we slowly came to the realization that it was taking us much longer to get down than it should have. As we backtracked, we discovered the trail right next to the pump house – about 10 feet from where Nancy showed us the picture of the iguana!
After exiting the trail at the picnic area, we changed Nancy into her swimming suit and grabbed a delicious lunch at the small restaurant. If you have children and are planning to go to The Forest Research Institute Malaysia, take swimming suits. There is a great swimming hole right by the restaurant and Nancy spent about an hour playing with a Malaysian family in the water.
Heading back to Kuala Lumpur in our taxi, we were thankful that we had made an agreement to have our taxi driver wait. There were several families that we saw at the restaurant who were walking several km to the entrance of the park in search of a taxi or bus. Unfortunately, even on a weekend, there are limited taxis entering FRIM, and we did not see any bus stops.
When we arrived back in Kuala Lumpur, our taxi driver actually charged us less than what the meter said (RM90), and made a deal to take us to the airport for about RM10 less than what we were told it should cost!