Saturday, January 28, 2012

Canopy Walk at FRIM

Today we went to FRIM, the Forestry Research Institue of Malaysia. It wasn't very far away, maybe 30 minutes from Mont Kiara where we are staying. It's a large area of jungle wilderness that attempts to preserve the natural jungle surrounding KL and promote awareness of the trees and other plants that are indigenous to this area.

That all being said, this would be just a nice humid walk in the jungle if it was not for a unique feature called the canopy walk. A series of narrow boards suspended between ropes and cables high above the jungle floor, it provides literally a bird's eye view of the environment.

As my faithful friends and blog visitors know, sometimes I am afraid of heights, but not always. An ill-advised walk at night on a railroad trestle over a river long ago in my college years left me paralyzed with fear. A back-packing trip through the Olympic Penninsula that involved many crossings of a creek over logs exasperated Lee to no end, since rather than use the logs I removed my hiking boots and waded through the icy water, dried my feet and put my shoes back on, only to repeat this action again, and again, and again.

But the bridge walk in Sydney Harbor was easy, even though it was very high up, because there were protected guard rails that I could hold on to. I had seen pictures of the canopy walk, and it looked like something I could do, and I was right.

The first part of this walk involved a short but steep walk up the mountainside to the start of the canopy walk. Quite a shock to the system after Hong Kong. We started by 10 am and it was a cloudy day, so it wasn't too hot yet, maybe 80F, but of course it was very humid, and we were soon drenched.

Once we arrived at the canopy walk, it was only a short climb up a ladder and there we were. For once words really don't do this experience justice, so just take a look:

There were 4 walkways. We had to keep ourselves spaced out along them.

On the platforms between each walkway only 4 people were allowed, so periodically we needed to wait until the people ahead of us moved .

We could see the city in the distance.

We were surrounded by the sounds of birds and other small animals, although we couldn't see them.

It was kind of scary, but in an exhilarating, good way.

It was a unique experience and I'm glad we went!

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