The Tropical Gardens of Malaysia – Part One

Malaysia  is a kaleidoscope of flowers, wildlife, tropical fruits, exotic food and nature.

From the bustling, metropolis of Kuala Lumpur, the Capital of Malaysia, to the quiet beaches and exquisite beauty of Langkawi, Malaysia has plenty of interesting culture, natural environments and foods to discover and enjoy.

 Selamat Datang (Welcome) to the heart of southeast Asia, to Kuala Lumpur and the Petronas Twin Towers, a signature of the KL skyline and a symbol of the prosperity, growth, culture and shopping found in this cosmopolitan city of 1.5 million.

The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur
The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur

The tallest twin buildings in the world, the Petronas Towers were designed by Argentinian-American Cesar Pelli and completed in 1998. The 88-floor towers are constructed of concrete with a steel and glass front. The “stainless steel” look gives the building a shiny new appearance, even 10 years or more after it was built.  Petronas, the national petroleum corporation have their corporate headquarters in Tower One. A skybridge, the highest 2-story bridge in the world, which was shown in the movie “Entrapment” with Sean Connery and Catherine Zita-Jones joins the two towers on floors 41 and 42. Free ticketed public access is available on the skybridge for a limited number of visitors each day. Get there early to pick up tickets and avoid my disappointment of not getting one of the 1700 tickets available per day.

 

The gardens of Merdeka Square (Dakaran Merdeka)

The gardens of Merdeka Square (Dakaran Merdeka)

Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur is the site where the Malayan flag was raised at midnight on August 31, 1957 atop a 100 metre high flagpole to signify the country’s independence from Great Britain. 


The view through Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka) to the Sultan Abdul Samad Building beyond

The view through Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka) to the Sultan Abdul Samad Building beyond

Immaculate gardens and an expansive cricket pitch and are a frame for the historic buildings that surround it.


 The Kuala Lumpur Tower, completed in 1994 houses communication equipment and features an antenna 431 metres tall making it the fifth tallest freestanding tower in the world. A public observation deck offers an impressive panoramic view of the city. Having been atop the CN tower in Toronto, the height of the KL Tower wasn’t what was impressive, it was the view of the city that radiated out in all directions that I liked the most.

A birds-eye view from the KL Tower of Kuala Lumpur

A birds-eye view from the KL Tower of Kuala Lumpur

The view from the Kuala Lumpur Tower of the capital city below.



Kuala Lumpur features plenty of gardens to fill several days of touring. A good area to visit is the KL Lake Garden Park which has a Hibiscus Garden, Orchid Garden and Bird Park.

Hibiscus flowering in the Hibiscus Garden in Kuala LumpurHibiscus flowering in the Hibiscus Garden in Kuala Lumpur
Hibiscus schizopetalus in the Kuala Lumpur Hibiscus GardenHibiscus schizopetalus in the Kuala Lumpur Hibiscus Garden

The Kuala Lumpur Hibiscus Garden "Hibiscus Fountain"

The Kuala Lumpur Hibiscus Garden "Hibiscus Fountain"




 Malaysia’s national flower (Bunga Raya), the hibiscus has a garden dedicated just to it. With over 2,200 varieties from singles to doubles in all colors.

Orchids blooming outdoors in the Kuala Lumpur Orchid GardenOrchids blooming outdoors in the Kuala Lumpur Orchid Garden

Orchids in the Orchid Garden

Outdoor Orchids in the Orchid Garden in KL




Right next door from the Hibiscus Garden is the KL Orchid garden and next to that is the KL Bird Park. Plan a half a day and visit them all.

The gardens of the King's Palace (Istana Negara)The gardens of the King’s Palace (Istana Negara)
The King's Palace gate in Kuala LumpurThe King’s Palace gate in Kuala Lumpur
Istana Negara, the Royal Palace public gardens

Istana Negara, the Royal Palace public gardens



KL is also home to one of the King’s Palaces (Istana Negara) with its massive expanse of park-like lawn, formal gates and considerate garden areas in the public parking area. Even though the gate and much photographed Royal Guard on his horse are the only close-up attractions, a corner of the palace can be viewed with a long driveway from the gate and some nice gardens can be admired in the public parking lot area.

Garden sculpture in the Thean Ho Buddhist TempleGarden sculpture in the Thean Ho Buddhist Temple



Many temples are available for worship or visiting in Kuala Lumpur. One, the Thean Hou Buddhist Temple is a six-tiered Chinese temple nestled on a hillside and having impressive architecture. It is thought to be one of the most picturesque in KL. Visit early in the day before the sun gets too hot.

Many gardens throughout Malaysia featured a highly showy vine with brilliant orangey-red blooms.

The showy Red-Trailing Bauhinia vineThe showy Red-Trailing Bauhinia vine

Red Trailing Bauhinia is a dramatic native, woody vine in Malaysia that is grown as an ornamental on arbors and posts.  Botanically known as Bauhinia coccinea (B. kockiana), with vine blooms year round. The blooms change from red to orange to yellow as they age.


Heliconia in Kuala Lumpur

Heliconia in Kuala LumpurThe Sealing Wax Palm in KLA silver palm in KL

Silver Palm in KL

Silver Palm in KL

The Sealing Wax Palm growing in KL

The Sealing Wax Palm growing in KL


 


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