Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)
FRIM, short for Forest Research Institute Malaysia. It is located in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur. Surrounded by Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve, it is one of the famous spots for recreational activities and nature lovers around Klang Valley. As the name represents, it is one of the oldest research centers for Malaysian rainforests and biodiversity. It is also a world reputed center for tropical forestry research, has more than 100 years of experience in forestry and forest products research. So there is a lot of things you can learn here. Besides the natural attractions, they also conduct events for forest education for all groups of people. Aside from that, they also offered space for a garden wedding.
So how to get HERE?
The nearest highway is MRR2 and Selayang-Kepong Highway. From here take the exit to Jalan FRIM and you will see the institute. The best tile to visit is at early morning around 7.30AM to avoid the crowd. There are two parking sites, the one located outside the guard house is free , from there you can jog or walk inside. The inside parking is provided with a fee. The parking on the inside varies according to location. They are located near the Kepong Botanic Garden, Visitor Information Center and near the major bus parking area. The entrance fee is RM1 for Malaysian and RM5 for non-Malaysian with additional RM3 for own bicycles.
As FRIM is quite big with various attractions, there are several trails that you can choose to hike. Some of it is rather flat and not as steep as Bukit Tabur or even Bukit Gasing. From the entrance, you will first saw a few official FRIM buildings and paved road. It will then lead to Kepong Botanic garden and several trails icluding waterfalls and Canopy Walkway. It is useful to take a picture of the map itself, provided near the entrance.
The 400M Razak Walk is located near the Kepong Botanic Graden and the first disabled-friendly trail in Malaysia developed by FRIM. The paved trails from the entrance towards the waterfall is also a cycling track. You can rent bicycles at Ecocana or come in with your own bicycles. The cycling track passing by the Botanic and Ethnobotanic garden, traditional wooden Malay houses and other attractions along Foxworthy Road provide you the best view of the forest itself and lead to FRIM camping area. Before reaching this far, you will first see the entrance point for Keruing Trail and Salleh Nature trail.
The first trail starts from the bamboo clumps next to the fish pond. It is the oldest trail in FRIM which is opened to the public and named after a timber tree that you can see among this trail. The trail itself is the institute’s oldest timber plantations. The trail ends near the FRIM’s library, which is also near the entry point for the Salleh Nature trail, on the other side of the pond. Salleh is the name of the FRIM’s first director general and the trail itself reflects the history of the institute. The 710M track is a combination of a natural forest and 1928’s forest plantation site.
The waterfall trails is a spot for a picnic as well. The hiking goes all the way up to the waterfall, but the trail to the picnic area is easy, with mostly wide stairs. The river is beautiful and the water is cold and refreshing. The dirt road trail from here is known as the Rover Track continue up the hill into the forest which follows the slopes towards the summits of Bukit Beruang and Bukit Nolang. However, it has been closed for a while due to vandalism. Thus, if you do wish to do the trekking here, keep youself updated with FRIM website and facebook page before coming and it will be better to send an email to them to see which trails is open to the public.
Along the way on Foxworthy Road, you will bump into peat swamp forest species. Peat lands is widely used for palm oil plantations. Consisting of at least 30% (dry mass) of dead organic material, it creates a lot of smokes if it is burned. The nearest trail to this area is Denai Engkabang. The trail is named after the Engkabang trees which which were planted at the area in 1935 and 1937. This trail is around 550M passing by a secondary forest of tall trees, grassland, rotten trees as part of the natural biodegradation process and small streams of Sungai Kroh. The Perah camp site is located up in Jalan Symington. To camp here, you need to apply for permission from the FRIM authority, contact can be found in their website.
Further up towards Jalan Kapur will lead you towards Sebasah trail in the wetland area. Located near SK FRIM, it specially developed for wetland ecosystem, thus the trekking can be quite uneven and homes for the leeches. This unique trail is 610M long. Although it can be quite muddy during the rainy season, it is also the land for some of the most diverse ecosystems and famous for its migratory birds sightings, especially in the lakes nearby.
The infamous Canopy Walkway is now closed due to safety reason and to let the trees heal. It is located at Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve at about 300 meter above sea level. It is around 150 meter long and suspended between trees at approximately 30 meter above ground level.
Important things to NOTE
Bringing in DSLR Camera will be charged RM5, registration is needed. Should you want to spend time for a picnic, do come early or avoid the weekend as it can be very crowded. The migratory birds visit the lakes here due to the conducive environment and plentiful source of fish. Hence, visitors are not allowed to fish here. Also to never catch any bird or take home the fruits or plants. The Keruing and Salleh Nature trail especially will require a guide for a fee of RM120 per group not per pax. Do note to bring mosquito repellants, leech repellants or salt water to treat yourself should you have been bitten.
For more information, please contact:
Visitor Information Centre (VIC)
Tel : 03-6279 7592 / 03-6279 7649
Fax : 03-6280 4619
E-mail : frim_enquiry[at]frim.gov.my