PJKITA > A Jungle Within a City

A Jungle Within a City

For the residents of Petaling Jaya, there is no need to go far to be surrounded by greenery. Perfect for hiking, to walk the dog, or a little time out, Bukit Gasing is just the place to be.

Text and photos by Fila Magnus

If there is one thing that the majority of us don’t do enough, it’s exercising. Choosing to hang out in one of the very many malls in Petaling Jaya, to escape from heat – we’ve somewhat forgotten that there is more to life than air-conditioning. Mall hopping would often constitute as the perfect family hang out, with food and cinema options in abundance, and as great as those activities may be, we ignore the fact that there’s certainly more to do in this city.

Perfect for nature lovers, and those who wish to improve their stamina or lose a kilo or two — nestled right in between of Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya is an almost unbelievable lush greenery covering over a hundred hectares. Bukit Gasing Forest Park was once a rubber estate, but all thanks to the restorative powers of nature and MBPJ, just sixty-something years later, it has now become the go-to hiking place for people in PJ, and the surrounding areas. With it being conveniently located within a housing area, it is no surprise that this jungle within a concrete jungle is a favourite amongst the residents.

With various different routes to choose from, ranging from easy to moderate in terms of difficulty, it caters for just about everyone with different fitness levels. There’s no better place to go and sweat out all the food that the average Malaysian consumes — than Bukit Gasing!

Standing at it’s highest peak of 160 meters, it isn’t exactly known for it’s great views as let’s be fair, it is smack middle in the city, with nothing but buildings and housing areas surrounding it — what it lacks in view, it sure makes up for it in the amount of calories you burn. The forest park has two entrances, the one commonly known as the main entrance has an arch and is on the Petaling Jaya side, while the ‘back entrance’ is on the KL side.

You don’t need to pay for an entrance fee, but abiding the typical law of nature, one ought to take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints – which basically means that the empty energy bar packet can wait till you get home before you dispose of it. The trails in Bukit Gasing typically takes between one to two hours to complete, but of course the amount of time one takes is entirely dependent on how fit, and how often one gets lost between the green. With a long hanging bridge that has you imagining you’re hiking in the amazonian forest, to the beautiful manmade (albeit, mini) waterfall that you could cool yourself in after your hike – you don’t have to go very far to be one with nature.

Speaking to avid hiker, Samuel Tan, 30 — he basically sums up the entire experience of hiking in Bukit Gasing, “I try to come here every week. Between work and being constantly stuck in traffic, it’s nice to be able to breathe in some fresh cool air, spend time with the family, and get a little exercise in. There’s no better place to have my kids learning to love nature, than a place that’s a 15 minutes drive from home.”

In short, if you have yet to visit this little gem in Petaling Jaya, you certainly need to!