KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — Those who have been to the newly-upgraded Taman Tasik Titiwangsa have nothing but praise for it… with some comparing it to New York’s Central Park, London’s Hyde Park or even the Carlton Gardens in Melbourne, Australia.
It doesn’t matter if you have never been to those other parks but chances are you will enjoy the facelifted Taman Tasik Titiwangsa which was once pretty run down.
The city park spans across 46.14 hectares of greenery and boasts a lake. It is part of the River of Life beautification project as the lake is connected to Sungai Bunus which surrounds the outer ring of the park.
The park has a few added features, including the Maze Garden, the Banjaran Canopy Walkway, Children’s Waterplay Park and two playgrounds catering to toddlers and children aged six to 12.
Recent news reports highlighted the canopy walkway which boasts a man-made river beneath. This river has several boulders taken from two rivers — Sungai Gombak and Sungai Batu.
While Taman Tasik Titiwangsa serves those who live in the vicinity, quite a few people come from afar to enjoy its facilities.
“Kuala Lumpur needs more recreational spaces like this,” said a couple, Harpeet Bhal and Satvinder Dhillon, who were there for the third time since the park reopened last December.
Where they live, in Kota Damansara, Harpreet said there are no parks in the vicinity which are conducive for joggers, leisure cycling and those who just want to take a stroll.
“There (Kota Damansara Community Forest)… it isn’t really conducive for cycling, unless you have a mountain bike. You can only go there if the cyclists aren’t there.
“Even if you want to jog, the trails are for trail runners,” she told Malay Mail.
Kota Damansara Community Forest (KDCF) is a popular spot for hiking, downhill-cycling and a trail-running training ground.
Most joggers do not frequent KDCF as they would usually end up running into the cyclists, literally.
What Harpreet liked most about Taman Tasik Titiwangsa is how safe it feels even after sundown.
“We were here once in the evening close to 8pm… I felt really safe as the park is well-lit.
“It used to be very dark and we heard that it was dangerous then to come at night. It’s really different now,” she said referring to how every part of the park today is equipped with streetlights.
One of the attractions which has not changed are the lake residents — tortoises.
A good place to spot them would be from the two iconic bridges, which now have meta beams to support them instead of wood.
Within a few seconds of standing there, Putri Aziahanim Megat and her children spotted about five tortoises.
“We used to come here, prior to the upgrade, but we didn’t know there were tortoises here.
“It’s quite impressive, what they have done to this park,” she said, comparing it to parks she has seen abroad.
Strolling by the lake at noon, one of Alias Hamdi’s children suddenly exclaimed, “It’s like Australia!” (It was a pretty gloomy day and not as hot as it normally would have been!)
His son was referring to the scenery which greeted the family of eight as they enjoyed the fresh breeze.
It was Alias’ first time at the park with his family. Before this, they would visit a park in Puncak Alam as it was nearest to Sungai Buloh where they live.
“There are no parks in Sungai Buloh. The nearest to us would be Puncak Alam. But even that is quite a distance to travel.
“This park is quite impressive. I haven’t seen anything like this in Kuala Lumpur,” he said.
When approached, Alias’ children said they really loved the park and that they were excited that they could go cycling, although they were exhausted from exploring the park all morning.
Another feature of the upgraded park is the High Fountain Jet, which can now shoot water up to 100 metres in the air.
Another boon is the newly-paved jogging paths are baby-stroller friendly.
That was a huge relief for Hilwa Muhamad who was seen exploring the park with her toddler.
“We have yet to complete exploring the entire park but what I have seen so far, I like it very much.
“But I do hope that the park management adds more benches.
“Towards the evening, it gets very packed, and I have encountered several parents including myself having difficulty locating a vacant bench just to take a break,” said Hilwa.
Apart from the new features, Taman Tasik Titiwangsa is now home to a variety of plants and trees.
Plant enthusiasts can now head over to the park to admire their favourite tropical forest plants and trees.
And for those who love nothing more than eating in the great outdoors, Taman Tasik Titiwangsa has regained its “most visited picnic spot” status.
Visitors to the park can either roll out a mat and have their picnic lunch, or utilise the outdoor furniture and several new gazebos which have replaced the old huts.
For those who used to frequent Taman Tasik Titiwangsa in the 80s and are familiar with the park, look closely to discover several original features of the park including stone benches, (treasure-hunting for) saga seeds hidden in the soil (yes, the trees are still healthy and bearing fruits) and the lovely 10-metre tall trees.
River cleaning will be managed by the Drainage and Irrigation Department while the project will be monitored by the Federal Territories Ministry.
As previously reported, the Malaysian Nature Society has reminded the public about the importance of lake water quality as it serves as a water source during drought seasons.