Birds and Butterflies in Kuala Lumpur
After Vietnam, I flew to Kuala Lumpur and spent 3 days there. I got so used to riding around on my rental motorbike in Saigon that the first couple of days walking everywhere in KL was horrendous. To add to it, there was construction everywhere and rarely any sidewalks to walk on. It was also extremely humid and I was dripping my own weight in sweat. All that aside, I loved Kuala Lumpur.
The hostel I stayed at was right around the corner from the famous Jalan Alor Street known for their street food. The best being bbq chicken wings.
There were also durians being cut opened everywhere I went on this street. Despite its distinct horrific smell, durian is an acquired taste that many people love. Personally, I've tried it and definitely not a fan.
After checking out their street food scene, I set out to explore the city. My time here was short so I wanted to visit some place unique that I haven't seen before. Therefore, when I saw a brochure about Heritage Park that had the World's Largest Walk-in Free-flight Aviary and a 2 Acre Butterfly Park, I knew it was definitely worth visiting. Getting there however, turned out to me much more difficult than I thought.
On Google map, Heritage Park looks like it is a short walk from KL Sentral Station. In reality, there was no direct path I could take after exiting the station so I ended up getting lost trying to find the shortest route there. And as much as I avoided the myriad of shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur, I ended up stumbling into one. This mall however, was not filled with shoppers and tourists pushing past one another, but was completely empty. Given the modern design, I initially thought it was a building for corporate offices until I saw the signs inside informing that the mall would be open in the next couple of months.
As much as I enjoyed admiring the architecture here, when I couldn't find my way past the building, I had to walk back to KL Sentral Station and ask someone from the Information Desk. What seemed like simple directions ended up taking me around all the construction, up the side of a highway entrance, across a 3 lanes highway with cars hurling past me, continuing up winding streets before I found myself at the bottom of Heritage Park. Along the way, I saw this cool looking castle-like building, the National Mosque, and the fountains in front of it with the Kuala Lumpur Tower in the background on the right.
From the Mosque, it was more winding uphill roads that lead to the entrance of the Bird Park. All was well worth it because this place was huge. And it being a Walk-in Free Flight Aviary, most of the birds were allowed to roam around within the confines of the net-covered park while some were unfortunately caged.
Some were in a cage by themselves and others were kepts together in a much bigger walk-in metal cage and free to make out with one another or fight each other over food.
Those that weren't behind bars and/or in solitary confinement wandered the compounds with their own kinds and/or hung out with other birds.
Some had an area all to themselves with their kind but preferred to be alone to do yoga and take care of personal hygiene.
And then there were these little guys who were enamored with their own reflections in the water as they were definitely the most colorful ones of all.
I stayed at the Aviary for hours until it started to rain intermittently and announcement was made that they are closing in 30 mins. By the time I found my way back out of the entrance, the rain came pouring down so I ended up taking a cab back to my hostel. Since I didn't have enough time to see the Butterfly Park, I decided to come back tomorrow. Having learned my lesson from the day before, instead of exiting at KL Sentral Station, I took the connecting red line to Kuala Lumpur Station, which was alot of a closer walking distance to Heritage Park.
The 2-acres Butterfly Park was amazing. There were countless butterflies of varying colors and sizes everywhere. Some were easier to capture on photo than other, especially the ones that seemed to be high on sugar as they sucked the sweet from slices of pineapples and bananas laid out on feeding trays for them.
Others were taking a drink from leaves and/or just resting their wings.
Most of them flew from flowers to flowers as I chased after trying to get a clear shot.
In addition to all the butterflies, there were also a few dragonflies around.
I could have easily spent the whole day at this Butterfly Park but I also wanted to quickly check out the Orchid & Hibiscus Garden nearby, also located within the boundaries of Heritage Park. Both of these gardens were small and didn't have a wide variety of flowers to photograph but I did managed to get a few decent shots.
Other than flowers, I were also able to sneak a few unexpected shots as well that I wasn't planning to take pictures of in these two gardens.
And just as I was about to leave, I saw the most beautiful dragonfly I had ever seen and spent the next 30 mins trying to capture the best shots of him until a staff came by and told me they were closing.
As happy as I was to get all these photos of exotic birds and beautiful butterflies, I didn't want to leave Kuala Lumpur without taking a pix of the Petronas Tower. I read on a brochure that Sky Bar had the best view of the Towers so I set out on my last night to go there. I managed to find my way to the hotel that Sky Bar was located it in and enlisted the help of security guard out front to show me the rest of the way. He lead me from the front through the empty hotel to the back of the hotel and told me to wait while he went to check with a hotel staff. He came back to tell me that the Sky Bar was already closed even though it was only 10pm and the brochure said it would be open till 2am. Already tired from a long day and scheduled to leave early tomorrow morning, I didn't feel like trying to track down another bar/lounge with view of the Towers so I took this shot from the back of the hotel where I was at and called it a day.
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Keywords: Butterfly park, Free-flight, Heritage Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malayasia, Orchid Garden, Walk-in, World's Largest Aviary, bird, butterfly, chicken, dragonfly, duck, flamingo, orchid, parakeet, parrot, peacock
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