Bukit Gasing:A Unique Urban Greenbelt
If you haven’t already, it’s time to discover Bukit Gasing in your very own backyard. This quaint green lung in the middle of the urban jungle has been a welcoming reprieve for many Klang Valley folks.
Bukit Gasing straddles the border of Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur. Covering an area of over 100 hectares, it offers the perfect setting to hike, walk or stroll. The grounds at the Petaling Jaya entrance are a popular playground for exercise buffs and tai-chi enthusiasts. The neighbourhood that embraces Bukit Gasing, in fact, allows for some pretty hiking warmups, as hilly roads snake and twist themselves to the entrance.
WWF-Malaysia has had a long involvement at Bukit Gasing, as we had carried out surveys and introduced environmental education in the area. There are no less than 10 different trails of varying difficulties in the forest today, giving anyone – from the beginner to the super-fit – a decent workout. It’s also a favourite with nature lovers who come here to view the leaf monkeys and do a bit of bird watching. Bukit Gasing’s highest point at 160 metres gives a panoramic view of both Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. Interestingly, the 36 hectares of green in the Petaling Jaya side were gazetted as a greenbelt in 1961 while the Kuala Lumpur side remains unprotected.
Recently, Friends of Bukit Gasing published the 34-page “Discover Bukit Gasing: A Guide to Common Trees & Plants” guidebook filled with gems found in this secondary forest. Packed with colourful photos of plants, flowers and fruits and a detailed map of each species location, it also has a map of the various trails. Plants highlighted in the guidebook have also been tagged.
Those interested in a free copy of the guidebook can send a selfaddressed envelope with a 50 sen stamp to Friends of Bukit Gasing, 2 Jalan 5/69, Gasing Indah, 46000 Petaling Jaya.
Getting There: From the Federal Highway, exit at the EPF building on Jalan Gasing. Follow the road before taking a left at Jalan Lembah 5/2. At the next junction, turn into Jalan Tanjung 5/4. A wooden arch opposite a children’s playground marks the Bukit Gasing entrance.
Facilities: No public amenities, but apart from the trails, there are the watchtower and suspension bridge, both of which are on the Petaling Jaya side.
To Bring: Since mosquitoes are common in the evenings, consider wearing long pants and long sleeves. Or protect your skin with insect repellent. Bring along drinking water. Binoculars and a pocket magnifier let you peer into the natural world. Don’t forget a lightweight but sturdy hiking stick.
Hiker’s Etiquette: Stay on the trail and help preserve the natural beauty for your next visit. Hiking off the
trail can also contribute to erosion. Don’t leave anything behind. Take any rubbish back with you. Don’t take anything with you, either. Native plants, flowers and small animals all have their roles in the natural cycle. By carrying them away, you not only break the cycle, but you break the law