Taman Botani Negara, or the National Botanical Park, is a sprawling green enclave in the Selangor state capital, Shah Alam with plenty of appeal. As let on by the name, it’s a place to enrich your knowledge of plants and ecosystems in general via the wealth of resources on site – lush foliage, various thematic gardens, lakes, and even a ‘four-season house’ that features spring, summer, autumn and winter flora in recreated environments.
It’s also more than the sum of its name however, as Taman Botani Negara offers on its grounds several attractions that open the floodgates of adrenaline! These are just some of the more vigorous activities you can indulge in at the park.
Beat The Hurdles
If you fancy taking on a challenging obstacle course in the jungle, chart a beeline to Skytrex Adventure Park, which boasts a series of devilishly tricky impediments to get past. There are three discrete circuits to choose from; Little Adventure (beginner), Big Thrill (intermediate) and Extreme Challenge (advanced).
As the difficulty level climbs, so does the course’s intent to poke holes in your resolve. Opt for the most trying route and be prepared for a proper trial, navigating challenges possessing simple names like ‘cable walk’ and ‘hanging pipe’ which belie their difficulty. Your dexterity and endurance will be tested repeatedly as you progress, but the heady rush of proving yourself keeps you going.
Rise above the fatigue, turn your back on the many ‘chicken exits’ along the way, and endeavour to emerge at the finish line in one piece. It’s definitely an achievement to relish!
Take The Wheel
While there are bicycles you could rent to whizz up and down the dedicated tracks in the park, there’s another type of vehicle with handlebars you can take for a spin here. ATV Adventure is where you can secure an all-terrain vehicle for a thrilling hour or two.
Don’t worry if you haven’t piloted an ATV before, for you’ll receive a quick lesson to get accustomed to your motorised mount. Once you’re ready, the park is your playground. Following the off-road trails and other paths, ride right into the verdant wilderness, over undulating terrain, across grassy hillocks and through shallow water, taking in all the sights and sounds that pop up along the journey.
The ingredients for a memorable experience are all here for you to take advantage of. For an interesting twist, there are night-time rides on ATV Adventure’s brochure too!
Walk The Earth
Should you feel like exploring between the trees on foot, embark on an enjoyable bit of jungle trekking. The Sungai Air Kuning and Bukit Sapu Tangan Trails are two routes snaking into the forest, and for a fee, a guide can lead the way. The former is the shorter trip at 3km long, while the latter is almost twice as lengthy at 5km, and encompasses the Sapu Tangan Hill.
Before starting the trip, pack liquid refreshments and light snacks to keep the energy levels up, and ready a camera for the many photo and video opportunities you’re bound to encounter – there is plenty to appreciate along the expedition; unique trees, local wildlife, streams, dams, and indigenous dwellings are nestled among the highlights.
As you burn calories and break a sweat hiking in a mesmerising tropical realm, you’d be hard-pressed not to harbour love for Mother Nature and all that she has to provide in this verdant yet accessible park.
Taman Botani Negara
Where: Bukit Cahaya Seri Alam, Shah Alam, Selangor
When: 7.30am-5pm (closed Mon)
Admission: RM3 (adult), RM1 (child aged 6-11/senior over 55)
Tel: 03 5510 7048
Skytrex Adventure Park
When: 9am-1.30pm departure (Tues-Fri), 8.30am-3pm departure (Sat, Sun and PH)
Tel: 013 276 9841
When: 10am-4pm, 5pm-6pm
Tel: 019 666 4905