Day trip­ping

Pris­tine rice fields, colo­nial his­tory, fresh seafood, golden mon­keys and beau­ti­ful wa­ter­falls – all this and more right at your doorstep. TOM Kids goes off the grid for the best day trips from KL

Time Out Malaysia Kids - - Contents -

The best day trips within a man­age­able driv­ing dis­tance, from paddy fields and wa­ter­falls to fa­mous baos in Tan­jung Malim

Sek­in­chan, Se­lan­gor

A short and scenic road trip is all it takes to get to Sek­in­chan from KL. Cruise Fed­eral Route 5 for an hour and a half to reach this sleepy town sand­wiched between fer­tile paddy fields and the glis­ten­ing Straits of Malacca.

Shake the kids out of bed and dis­em­bark early in the morn­ing, when it’s cool enough to tour the rice pad­dies and watch lo­cal fish­er­men trans­port­ing their daily haul. A bird-watch­ing paradise, Sek­in­chan ( www.sek­in­chan.org) is fre­quented by mi­gra­tory birds that of­ten skirt busier ci­ties, so don’t for­get to search the skies for winged rar­i­ties. The Paddy Pro­cess­ing Gallery should be next on your itin­er­ary, so the kids can see where their rice is milled after be­ing har­vested.

If you only visit one at­trac­tion, make it the Sek­in­chan Wish­ing Tree. A won­drous sight to be­hold, the tree’s branches are weighed down with thou­sands of red rib­bons bear­ing wishes. Cap your visit with a stroll on Redang Beach (not to be con­fused with Redang Is­land) and din­ner at one of myr­iad seafood restau­rants in town. Sek­in­chan’s prox­im­ity to the sea makes it a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion to feast on fresh fish and shell­fish.

Kuala Kubu Baru (KKB), Se­lan­gor

The small town of Kuala Kubu Baru’s claim to fame is that it’s on the way to Fraser’s Hill. It has al­ways played sec­ond fid­dle to Fraser’s Hill, though it has its own sim­ple at­trac­tions for those who seek a break from mod­ern life.

The town is hardly what you call hec­tic but there are enough ac­tiv­i­ties to keep you oc­cu­pied. Get up early and head to the Farmer’s Mar­ket where you can buy fresh pro­duce and try lo­cal fare like soto and

lon­tong. Then, take a stroll to the charm­ing tra­di­tional shop­houses and his­tor­i­cal sites such as the old Kuala Kubu Baru Rail­way Sta­tion, St Paul Catholic Church, the Clock Tower and the old Fire Sta­tion. If you have some time left, go to one of the hid­den hot springs lo­cated be­hind Ta­man Arif’s rows of sin­gle storey ter­race houses. A well-kept se­cret among lo­cals, the springs have gained pop­u­lar­ity due to their warmth and clean­li­ness – the per­fect spot for fam­i­lies to ease aching mus­cles after a long day.

If you in­tend on stay­ing a lit­tle longer, try The Sticks ( www.the­sticks.my), an eco-glamp­ing re­treat tucked away in the rain­for­est of KKB of­fer­ing a unique stay and in­ter­est­ing out­door ac­tiv­i­ties that you can do with your kids like white­wa­ter raft­ing, jun­gle trekking and a guided tour to an Orang Asli vil­lage.

Chill­ing Wa­ter­falls, Se­lan­gor

This day trip is rec­om­mended for fam­i­lies with older chil­dren, al­though we have seen some in­trepid (and fit) par­ents haul­ing lit­tle ones along the path. The Chill­ing Wa­ter­falls are lo­cated within the Sun­gai Chill­ing Fish Sanc­tu­ary and are a pop­u­lar week­end des­ti­na­tion open to the pub­lic from Fri­day to Sun­day from 8am to 6pm. It’s best to have an early start as the drive will take ap­prox­i­mately 90 min­utes from the cen­tre of KL. The en­trance is on the road from Kuala Kubu Baru to Fraser’s Hill and park­ing is avail­able nearby.

Head to the ranger’s of­fice to reg­is­ter and pay the RM1 en­trance fee. It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber to exit by 5.30pm and sign out for safety rea­sons. To reach the falls, you have to cross the river six times, start­ing with a small sus­pen­sion bridge and lead­ing to the sec­ond cross­ing which is ap­prox­i­mately 45 min­utes away. En­su­ing cross­ings are rel­a­tively near each other and there is sig­nage for guid­ance.

You’ll get wet (part of the fun) so wear ap­pro­pri­ate footwear like old sneak­ers or sports san­dals. Don’t for­get to ob­serve the flora and fauna while you’re busy stum­bling around and herd­ing the kids as there are many types of but­ter­flies, jun­gle plants and fish in the river. A word of warn­ing: if it rains while you’re on your way to the falls, turn back as the river can rise and the wa­ter­falls be­come quite danger­ous.

Sabak Ber­nam, Se­lan­gor

For­get about his­tor­i­cal sites and fa­mous at­trac­tions and opt for an au­then­tic kam­pung day trip to Sabak Ber­nam. A two-hour drive from the city, Sabak Ber­nam is lo­cated in Kuala Se­lan­gor and famed for its agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties and slow pace of life.

Be­gin your day early and drive along the wind­ing Sabak Ber­nam trunk road – noth­ing but abun­dant green paddy fields as far as the eye can see. Get in touch with na­ture by rent­ing a bi­cy­cle and cy­cle around the paddy fields with your kids and revel in the breath­tak­ing view of lush green­ery. Cruise along the man­grove river and learn about the river ecosys­tem be­fore head­ing out to the jun­gle for a spot of horn­bill watch­ing at Sun­gai Karang For­est Re­serve Horn­bill Ob­ser­va­tory Cen­tre.

Once the sun sets, sur­prise your kids with one of the area’s spe­cial­ties, fire­flies. Make your way to Kam­pung Kuan­tan or Fire­fly Park Re­sort in Kuala Se­lan­gor and hop on a boat to get the best view of fire­flies and marvel at the nat­u­ral fairy lights dis­play along the banks of the river.

Kuala Se­lan­gor, Se­lan­gor

Kuala Se­lan­gor is a small town about 70km away from KL more famed for its fire­flies and seafood restau­rants than any­thing else. But it’s ac­tu­ally quite a his­toric town with a few in­ter­est­ing places to visit and is ideal for a day trip. The Tan­jong Kera­mat Fort was built by the sec­ond Sul­tan of Se­lan­gor but cap­tured by the Dutch in 1784. The Kuala Se­lan­gor Light­house is an­other in­ter­est­ing colo­nial build­ing to check out, al­though it’s not open to the pub­lic. One of the most sur­pris­ing at­trac­tions in the town are the Silver Leaf mon­keys who roam about town. Their ba­bies are a unique golden colour and will keep the kids oc­cu­pied for at least an hour.

After check­ing out the town’s high­lights head to Pasir Pe­nam­bang, which is the main fish­ing vil­lage sup­ply­ing seafood to many towns in­clud­ing KL. There are sev­eral Chi­nese restau­rants here built on stilts over the river mouth and a slap-up meal here will cost you a frac­tion of what you’d pay in the city. It’s not a pretty place but worth a visit to see how a typ­i­cal Malaysian fish­ing vil­lage looks like.

Tan­jung Malim, Perak

Lo­cated on the bor­der of Perak and Se­lan­gor, Tan­jung Malim is a rather sleepy town. Most Malaysians would only know this town as a stopover rest area dur­ing long dis­tance trav­els between Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. But, Tan­jung Malim of­fers some hid­den jew­els for fam­i­lies to en­joy in a tran­quil set­ting of lush trees and green moun­tains.

A two-hour drive up the North-South Ex­press­way from KL will lead you Ter­atak Ber­nam Riverview – a haven for off-road trips into the jun­gle. Or­gan­ise a four-wheel drive ve­hi­cle (there are sev­eral com­pa­nies who of­fer pack­ages so shop around) and be pre­pared for a bumpy ride. Note that this is a good ac­tiv­ity for fam­i­lies with older kids and teens. If you’re after a gen­tle day of hik­ing, head up to a beau­ti­ful wa­ter­fall called Lubuh Kawah. An ac­ces­si­ble trail will take you around less than one hour to the sum­mit, where you’ll find hid­den swim­ming holes. Then de­scend for a well-de­served dip in the stream of cold and have a pic­nic.

As dusk ap­proaches, make a trip to Yik Mun, leg­endary home of what was once the best bao in the coun­try and try the dif­fer­ent flavours in­clud­ing the pop­u­lar chicken curry, red bean and kaya with a hot cup of lo­cal cof­fee – a fit­ting end to an ad­ven­tur­ous day.

Janda Baik, Pa­hang

A 45-minute drive from KL, the tran­quil vil­lage of Janda Baik is as far re­moved from the city as you can get in a day trip. A per­fect es­cape from the hazy tu­mult of Kuala Lumpur, Janda Baik is nes­tled in green rain for­est where you can un­wind and en­joy the fresh air whilst en­joy­ing a lazy, clear-wa­ter cruise.

Go to A Lit­tle Farm on the Hill ( www.alit­tle­far­mon­the­hill.com) to show your lit­tle ones how their food is grown – this seven-acre farm is filled with beds of or­ganic herbs and veg­eta­bles. The kids will love run­ning around the farm and if they’re older, sign up for cook­ing or gar­den­ing classes to give them a feel of green liv­ing. Fa­mous for its healthy lunches, book a slot for a feast where you’ll be served with lot of greens and de­lec­ta­ble smoked meats.

If you’re plan­ning a week­end trip, stay at En­derong Re­sort – Janda Baik’s very own Shangri-La ( en­derong.wixsite.com/en­deron­gre­sort). The re­sort is a na­ture re­treat sur­rounded by streams, hills and grassy ar­eas – an oa­sis for the city kids. Wake up early and hike a na­ture trail near the re­sort where you may stum­ble upon a small wa­ter­fall or even do an archery class.

Kuala Gan­dah Ele­phant Con­ser­va­tion Cen­tre, Pa­hang

Penin­su­lar Malaysia is home to the crit­i­cally en­dan­gered Asian ele­phant and it’s dis­tress­ing to know that with de­for­esta­tion and land cleared for agri­cul­ture, th­ese magnificent animals are di­min­ish­ing in num­ber. In 1974, the Ele­phant Man­age­ment Unit was cre­ated by the Depart­ment of Wildlife and Na­tional Parks ( www.wildlife.gov.my) to re­lo­cate them to avoid hu­man-ele­phant con­flict. The unit started the Kuala Gan­dah Ele­phant Con­ser­va­tion Cen­tre in 1989 lo­cated 110km away from KL in Pa­hang, which is home to or­phaned animals and trained ele­phants used to help in the translo­ca­tion of their wild com­pa­tri­ots.

Ar­rive early and par­tic­i­pate in the in­ter­est­ing ac­tiv­i­ties like walk­ing an in­ter­pre­tive trail where you can watch the young ele­phants roam around, video pre­sen­ta­tions of how the translo­ca­tion process works, and the ma­houts bathing their charges. If you’re ex­pect­ing rides and shows where the animals are ex­pected to per­form, this isn’t for you. The kids will love feed­ing the ele­phants and there’s food (sugar cane or nuts) on sale; and every­one en­joys see­ing them bathe in the river. There’s no en­try fee per se, but a do­na­tion is ex­pected and wel­come and obviously goes back into the run­ning of the cen­tre. The cen­tre is open daily from 8am to 4.45pm.

Fe­bru­ary - April 2017

The KTM Tan­jung Malim rail­way sta­tion marks the bor­der between Perak and Se­lan­gor.

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