Wednesday, March 18, 2009

KL Lake Gardens and Finding KL Sentral

“91.6 hectares of undulating greenery.”

This is the lush Lake Gardens, which is built around an artificial lake. This is also Kuala Lumpur’s most popular park, although there were just a few souls walking about during my visit. The park - locally called Taman Tasik Perdana - dates back to the 1880s.

It is easier to start your way from the National Monument, cross
Jalan Parlimen, then stroll through Jalan Cinderwasih. As I’ve earlier mentioned, you have to be a little cautious from a good number of wild monkeys lingering along Cinderwasih.

My visit to the Lake Gardens was a literal “passing along”. I was looking for a taxi that could take me back to Berjaya Times Square, but every single taxi refused unless my destination was KL Sentral – KL’s central hub of trains and transport. For Pete’s sake, I was thinking, I am taking a taxi so I can directly go where I wanted to go - NOT to be taken to a train station! The idea was just plain ridiculous to me! But you know how greedy taxi drivers are, regardless of whether you’re in NYC, Berlin, Manila or London. As I have said before, taxi drivers are the bane of metropolitan existence. They are wolves! Nuf said!

So – I walked! And walked! I saw a couple of museums, the Planetarium. The sun was up but it was an acceptable day so far! I saw a concrete structure by the road side where I sat for about 15 minutes, watching the few cars pass by! I didn’t exactly know where I was. But my mind was working over time.
Matigas ang ulo ko eh! And I refused to take a taxi that will only take me to the KL Sentral which, as far as I know, was nearby!

Why not walk my way towards KL Sentral ?

I finally saw someone. I asked!
“Can you please tell me how to find KL Sentral?” He was a tall Malaysian, looking bored and waiting for something. I was instructed to jump over a wall through an area of greenery. A park, maybe? Though there were doubts in my mind, I found the resolve to do as I was told. Heck! There’s always a place for a little adventure! The instruction was, “Go through the walls, then walk through the waving path. Pass through a lake, then you will find a tunnel. Walk through the tunnel, then you will see skyscrapers. Follow that path. That’s where KL Sentral is.”

A minute later, I was jumping at walls. Walking by my lonesome, on a deserted place, sent shivers down my spine. Not a moment later, I encountered a jogger! I peeped through the shrubs and what welcomed me was the
wide expanse of a placid lake. Wow! From a distance, there was a solo fountain spurting a gush! A guy was canoeing around it! Birds of paradise rose by the lake side, and I felt like a peeping tom standing behind the bush!

It was beautiful!

I looked behind me, until I saw a
dark tunnel. I carefully checked what was under that dark tavern. It was really a short walk through a kaleidoscope of colors, but it somehow felt a bit of a risk. Oh well. I was internalizing my karate chops, and my hawk’s vision was on alert!
Phooey! I walked through the tunnel, until I found myself at the other end of it, and I saw wonderfully coiffed grounds. Some 50 meters or so, stood tall humongous buildings. I looked around and I was alone. I walked further and crossed a busy highway, skipped some road blocks, until I reached the concrete jungle that’s the KL Sentral! Wow! Isn’t this amazing? And I’m strictly on rhetorics!

Nothing less tha idyllic...

On photo, this secluded tunnel doesn't look menacing at all! It's different though when you are on your own!

A pond welcomes you from the tunnel... and an unoccupied building!

Fast Facts:

The Lake Gardens is open daily, free of charge, from 9 AM to 6 PM, although I’d suggest taking necessary precautions in secluded areas just to be on the safe side. From Bukit Bintang or KLCC-Petronas Towers, you can take a taxi – agree on a price first – and peg it at 15 ringgit, although during peak season (summer), most taxi drivers would ask for 20 ringgit one way, which is ridiculous! Haggle hard!

Walk around this solitary bench, and head to the highway, then through the busy street...

This is the Eye in the Sky.

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