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Published on Apr 7, 2012
The FRIM (Forest Research Institute Malaysia) Canopy Walk is well worth doing if you have the time and inclination during a visit to KL.
I got there by taking a train to Kepong station and then a taxi from the nearby taxi rank on the main road, just down the first street to the left after leaving the station.
The driver asks for 10 MYR to drop me off at FRIM and 15 MYR to come and pick me up at an agreed time. This is a quite reasonable fare given the distance and convenience.
There is an admission fee for foreigners of 5 MYR at the main entrance to FRIM, an enormous complex really. When the taxi driver drops me off he gives me his mobile number and tells me to call an hour before I'm ready to be picked up.
I'm dropped at the Kafeteria and have to walk back to the Souvenir Shop to by my Canopy Walkway ticket for 10 MYR (5 MYR for locals) and am given a map of the walk and some fairly abrupt and vague instructions as to how to get there.
I decide on some breakfast before starting but the local Kafeteria has no appealing options at all. I settle for roti telur with dahl and a teh tarrik which are nice enough and quite cheap at 3.50 MYR.
The way to the Canopy Walk is quite well marked though; turn right at the Masjid Jamek (Mosque) with the arrow pointing this way for Canopy Walk. The trail becomes a wide dirt track after a small toilet block (squat only) and then winds uphill for about 500 metres before a sign points to a steep and narrow walking trail up the side of the cliff, saying 300 metres to the Canopy Walk. The trail is manageable in the dry but would be very treacherous if it had recently rained.
I find myself becoming breathless and quite stretched during the walk up the larger trail from the Mosque but older locals are walking along this track and most say hullo or good morning. The steeper, narrow track is much more testing and quite tricky in spots. There are a couple of resting places along the way and after about 45 minutes of quite hard walking I am at the base of the canopy walk hut.
There is a man who checks tickets and lays down the basic rules of not swinging, staying 2 planks behind the person in front and generally behaving responsibly. The Canopy Walk is quite breathtaking with the view down causing a little bit of vertigo and requiring a lot of trust in what appears to be aluminium ladders covered with wooden planks and lashed to metal lines that are anchored to trees.
There is mesh netting the whole way along each section so it would be virtually impossible to fall off. There are 2 straight legs at the beginning and end of the walk and 3 sections that have a resting spot in a large tree with one having capacity for 4 people only, another for 8 and the final one, no specific capacity mentioned.
The walkway sways quite easily but being alone cuts down any risk of things getting out of control. Not long after I start there is a group of school kids who start the walk and by the time they catch up to me I'm at the final resting point before the last leg back to another hut with steep steps back to the ground. Some of the kids, probably in the 10 to 12 year old range, were terrified and could not wait to get off.