Kuala Lumpur is a high-tech and highly developed modern megalopolis, with a range of hallmarks that pay tribute to this fact: impressive skyscrapers, resembling massive steel needles jut out from the ground, while a plethora of ultramodern shopping malls and multi-level traffic are almost constantly covered with hordes of busy people. However, although the city would appear to be the very definition of a concrete jungle at a first glance, it would be unfair to refer the Malay capital as such. Kuala Lumpur's spectacular array of gigantic glass and concrete buildings blends harmoniously with its fantastic gardens and parks, many of which were designed by the world’s best renowned landscape designers.
Kuala Lumpur’s most popular green area - and unsurprisingly the most frequented place of relaxation for capital’s locals and guests - is the Botanical Garden, which stretches over the lush green hills that surround the picturesque Tasik Perdana Lake in the city center. The garden is not only an opportunity to admire Malaysia’s charming flora, but also a unique chance to experience the close atmosphere of a primeval tropical forest. Visitors to this seething mass of green can quickly forget about hustle and bustle of the deafening megalopolis. In fact, the Botanical Garden’s huge grounds and surrounding areas contain several unique theme parks, each of which representing a peculiar museum of nature, where guests can observe the true richness and variety of the tropical verdure and watch a wide variety of exotic animals in their natural environment.
The Orchid & Hibiscus Gardens are both situated in the park. These gardens represent a true paradise of flowers, where an amazingly varied collection of these beautiful tropical flowers take the most unusual forms, colors and aromas. The Bird Park is located not too far from the aforementioned gardens. This is the largest open aviary in the world, and a home to 3000 birds, most of which were brought to Kuala Lumpur from far flung places across the globe. The Butterfly Park neighbours the bird park, and is a site where more than five thousand exotic butterflies fly about under a high net, which stretches around the enclosure. A little further onwards, a selection the earliest examples of cloven-hoofed animals on Earth – the kanchils, or so called mouse deer – live in the Deer Park.
The Kuala Lumpur National Zoo is another place to admire the sheer variety of wildlife than can be found in and around the city. This attraction is famous for its size and the number of species that it holds. More than five thousand animals – mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish – all live in the zoo.
A more natural attraction in the immediate reaches of the Malay capital is the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, which situated in the city center. This is considered to be one of the oldest forest reserves in the country, and represents a preserved area of genuine jungle ecosystem, where many species of exotic animals have found their habitats, and plenty of tropical trees grow. However, the most amazing gift of nature to have been inherited by Kuala Lumpur is undoubtedly the Batu Caves. These were formed inside a forest-covered limestone hill, which towers over the northern outskirts of the city, over 400 million years ago. Inside the caves, a huge collection of stalactites and stalagmites transform the enclosed spaces into the stuff of fairytale.
Kuala Lumpur has dedicated itself to achieving the status of the garden city, and nowadays can be classed as one of the greenest capitals in the Southeast Asia. However, the commitment from local authorities to ever greater biodiversity means that the number of parks, gardens, and public green spaces is constantly being increased. They greatly enlivens the urban landscape, harmonizing it and filling it with bright colors. At the same time, these new green areas are an attraction in their own right, drawing ever greater numbers of travellers to Kuala Lumpur every year.