Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Where to Picnic in KL?

Last weekend, we decided to fulfill our promise to little Alex. We had some superb picnics back in Europe when we spent a month last July-August 2012. Naturally, she has been asking for another picnic, and now we are back in Malaysia! So the question is ... where do we go?

Daddy googled up a list and he wanted to avoid the usual place that we know (which is TTDI park). He was being adventurous and wanted to see more of Malaysia (we are coming to our 6th year living here when Dec 2012 comes). I admit we haven't been to a lot of the picnic places. Top of mind if you ask me based on experience I would say  TTDI park and FRIM.

The name that came up in his search was Ampang Recreational Forest. We decided to check it out. After wasting 20 minutes of being lost (GPS not entered correctly because we couldn't find the exact description), we ended up driving up into the hills in the kampung area. I tried to ask a stranger, and naturally they didn't understand me (they didn't speak English). It was really a kampung though it was in the ends of Ampang. It actually felt like being in the provinces of the Philippines where life is simple. Anyway back to our story. We were so lost (and starting to get hungry). Finally we found the place (the entrance to the park). There was an empty parking lot outside the Ampang Recreational Forest. There was a huge sign. It said that they are collecting some entrance fees, but no one was around. I looked into the road ahead and had this sinking feeling that it was not what we expected.

After coaxing hubby that we cannot simply WALK into the forest where we don't know what to expect (and drag my daughter, the stroller, baskets of food), we drove into the forest area. After a 5-minute straight drive, this is what I discovered:

1. The place was in BAD shape. And I mean bad. The roads were broken, some parts almost falling off into the river, the holes were ultra huge. If you have an expensive car -- don't even bring it in!

2. The river was flowing smoothly -- but the water was ultra brown! There were huge rocks that created a nice water flow... however I would not -- and I mean NEVER attempt to go into the water. After that thought, I witnessed so many locals swimming and wading in the river! hmmm...

3. There was no suitable picnic place at all. Period. Some of the sheds that were initially there (probably was super nice years ago) were so broken that it already fell into the water or rocky area... so sad.

If I were you, FORGET ABOUT THIS PLACE. It was like the "end of the world" feeling for me... and this is just Ampang! I could not believe that there is such a place ... it would have been nice if the government kept it well.

After wasting our time and now with grumbling tummies, we drove to the next decent place we know-- Lake Gardens.

It was a superb choice. On a Saturday lunch time, it was not crowded. We were able to get a good parking spot. Then in just a few steps, there were PICNIC TABLES that were very clean and under the shade. Perfect spot. Perfect picnic. Perfect ending to an almost disastrous beginning.

I would highly recommend going to LAKE GARDEN for family picnics. In fact, I think we will do it more often... We even enjoyed the "choo choo train" ride provided by DBKL for a small fee of RM.50 per person... we enjoyed going around to see some of the sights (a view of the Butterfly park, KL bird Park, etc). My little girl also enjoyed playing in the 2 HUGE (and i mean huge) playground of Lake Garden. I never noticed those stuff before! Perhaps because my last visit to Lake Gardens was when we didn't have a child yet -- and when you are single you tend to look at other stuff like flowers, the greens, lake , etc... didn't bother with the playground. Now, I was IMPRESSED with the huge playground they had... my daughter didn't even manage to slide in all the slides because it was that many!

Hope this helps fellow families looking for picnic sites. And hope it helps to avoid a disastrous trip to Ampang Recreational Park.
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