Friday, February 10, 2012

Lake Gardens

Huh? get up at 6.30am? on a Saturday? When I don't need to?
What kind of idiot does that?
An idiot who wants to be a little bit fitter, that's who!
Many of us begin a new year with a commitment to "get a bit fitter".
It seemed that the whole world and his wife was at Lake Gardens the other Saturday morning.
Some embrace fitness, other just nod at it from across the lake!
Partly to keep, or start getting fitter and partly because well, there isn't really anywhere else to go, the place gets really packed.
As a city, KL is almost devoid of any big green space for joggers or walkers.
Viewed from above, say from KL Tower, the city looks very green but at ground level, this illusion disappears and all you have beneath your feet is concrete.
I can think of only a few places where you can actually walk on grass (not counting the little strip outside Lot 10 when the security staff aren't looking!) and they would be KLCC Park, KL Tower and Lake Gardens.
KL Tower is a bit too strenuous and steep for me most, so the other two places get mobbed during weekend early mornings...
Lake Gardens is very friendly as people jog, run or walk around the lake wishing "Good Morning" to one-and-all-and the fitter people can tackle some of the steeper hills-but it gets packed.
Arriving at around 7am it was surprisingly cool-and doesn't feel like a city at all but at 7.45am all the car-parks are full and people start parking on the narrow,twisting roads.
Too bad if you're jogging on the road as now you have to navigate parked cars plus moving traffic.
The path around the lake is a pleasant 2.5km track and there are a few different species of birds and trees to look at to take your mind off the ungodly hour.
A few steep paths radiate from the lake going past a goat farm and a deer park.
You can also see a 1950's era motorboat! at the Tunku Abdul Rahman Museum at the top of the hill.
Lake Gardens is actually quite a well-landscaped, artificial-ish oasis in the heart of KL.
As usual, with most Malaysian sites, except for some toilets and a dodgy-looking cafe there are few facilities and so many people bring a picnic as a reward for making it around the lake...a great way to pile on the calories after shedding least I waited until we were on the way home before stopping for some curry noodles!
Best to get there before 7am as it starts to get light, take some water with you but some enterprising people set-up stalls selling bottled water.
And, it's probably best enjoyed without a hangover!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Elevated Walkways

 A fully air-conditioned RM100mil pedestrian walkway linking Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) and Bukit Bintang is now open.
It seems like it's been under construction for about 3 years at least...but at least it looks solid and  is so over-engineered that it's probably able to withstand a direct nuclear strike.
It's also very ugly.
Ugly in a "Soviet-style architecture" sort-of-way.
The walkway includes a 562m long and five-metre wide elevated walkway that traverses through the busy, traffic-choked areas of Jalan Pinang, Jalan Perak and Jalan Raja Chulan with escalator and staircase entry and exit points at strategic and convenient locations.It doesn't quite reach to Raja Chulan monorail station,which is a bit of a shame.
The elevated section links the KL Convention Centre to Pavilion shopping Centre
Another portion is made up of a pedestrian tunnel from the concourse level of the convention centre which now links to the existing tunnel to the Suria KLCC shopping complex.
So you can now walk in aircon comfort from one huge shopping mall to another big huge shopping mall.