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Larry Lam's Guide Note
KUALA LUMPUR

KUALA LUMPUR LAKE GARDENS

The Lake Gardens started in 1888, when Alfred R Venning (the State Treasurer - he was a planter in Ceylon prior to his arrival here) proposed to turn the swampy valley of Sungai Bras-Bras into a botanic garden. The project received the support of the British Resident (Frank Swettenham) and attracted public interest. Local Chinese community leader, Towkay Chow Ah Yeok contributed 100 white chempaka and orange trees. A European construction contractor Gordon, undertook to dam up the river to make an ornamental lake. The lake was named 'Sydney Lake' after Mrs Swettenham's Christian name. Over a period of nearly 10 years, Venning cleared and laid out a garden of almost 70 hectares (173 acres).

Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens (Taman Tasik Perdana) is located off Jalan Parlimen. It is the greenbelt of KL, the city's most popular and scenic park, and a green sanctuary nestled deep in the city center with a host of attractions, many of them unique to the region. It encompasses 91.6 hectares (230 acres) of undulating greenery interspersed with flowering shrubs, shady trees, exceptional botanical gardens, flowers, lakes and other notable features. There is a children's playground, jogging tracks, exercise stations, and rowing boats. The popular gardens offer plenty of recreational opportunities and attractions. The Panggung Anniversary, set in a secluded valley, is the venue for regular musical and cultural performances.
Among the notable gardens and places of interest in the Gardens are the following:


MEMORIAL TUN ABDUL RAZAK

The memorial was formerly known as Seri Taman. It was the official residence of Malaysia's 2nd Prime Minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak until his death in 1976. The residence was later occupied by the succeeding PM, Tun Hussein Onn, until 1981. Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir, our present Prime Minister, proposed the idea to turn Sri Taman into a memorial for the late Tun Abdul Razak in memory of his dedication and service to the country. It was officially opened on 6th May, 1982. On display at this memorial are photographs, materials, film shows on the life and achievements of Malaysia's 'Father of Development'.


DEER PARK

Deer Park is a 2 hectare enclosure, located in the undulating slopes and sprawling valley of the Lake Gardens. Close to the bubbling stream at the edge of the valley are several mousedeers. The mousedeer is the world's smallest hoofed animal and a popular figure in local folklore due to its legendary wit. It is also home to several other deer species from Europe and our jungle.


ORCHID GARDEN

The Orchid Garden showcases thousands of international varieties of the most beautiful flower in the world. The garden of 1 hectare in area is planted with over 800 varieties of orchids. Cut flowers and plants are sold on weekends. Orchids growers at the garden do provide practical tips and advice on the art of orchid growing.


HIBISCUS GARDEN

The Hibiscus Garden is a small terraced garden which provides a strikingly colorful panorama of countless varieties of hibiscus - the 'Queen of Tropical Flowers'. Over 500 varieties are grown here. Among them is the Hibiscus rosa sinensis, Malaysia's national flower. The garden features beautiful pergolas, man-made fountains, meandering brooks and a lovely art gallery (Gallery Tropika).


BUTTERFLY PARK

The Butterfly Park houses some 6,000 butterflies of over 120 species. The park is an imitation of the butterfly's natural habitat. More than 15,000 plants from 100 species that have been used to recreate a Malaysian rainforest atmosphere.


KL BIRD PARK

Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is the world's largest covered bird park. It holds thousands of tropical and exotic birds representing nearly every major species of this part of the world. It houses over 3,000 birds. The park spans 2.8 hectares of enclosure, 3.2 hectares of free flight aviary and 0.5 hectare devoted to the hornbills.


NATIONAL PLANETARIUM

This blue domed structure is situated atop a hill in Lake Gardens. The construction of the National Planetarium complex began in 1990 and was completed in 1993. A soft launch to the public began in May 1993 and it was officially opened by the Prime Minister, YAB Dato' Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, on 7th February 1994.

Its attractions include the space theater which screens space shows and movies. In the main hall are permanent exhibits related to space science. Among them is an Arianne IV space engine. The Observatory houses a 35 cm telescope. Outdoor ancient observatory replicas are displayed in a space theme park in the garden of the Planetarium.

The 'Merdeka Sun Clock' is on permanent display here. It is a sundail that is bowl-like and crescent shaped. It served a dual function of telling time quite accurately and the children used it as a slide. This item was previously located between the Merdeka Stadium and Stadium Negara, at an eatery nicknamed 'mushroom' because of its shape. SE Jewkes (he also designed Stadium Negara) and his colleague in the Public Works Department built it. It was named to commemorate our independence in 1957.


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Last updated: 4th June, 2009.
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