Monday, April 30, 2007

Hiking / Canopy walk - Visit to FRIM

Perpared by Engr. Low Kok Chang
Blogged by Lee Mei Ping

G&S Fellowship: Canopy Walk At Forest Research Institute, Malaysia (FRIM)
Date : 22nd April 07 (Sunday)
Time : 9am to 2 pm
Venue: FRIM, Kepong

9 am - Gather at FRIM Visitor Information Centre
9.30am - Briefing by Natire Guide and start Hiking up to canopy
10.30 am - Briefing at Entrance Hut - start canopy walkway
11.30 am - Gather at Exit Hut, start decending
12.30pm - Arrived at Terengganu House for lunch, sharing session
2pm - End of Activity

On the beautiful Sunday of 22nd April, the Social & Community Portfolio of IEM G&S organized a fellowship to Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, or better known as FRIM. The fellowship was well attended by both committee members and some new friends from professinal bodies.FRIM officially became a statutory body governed by the Malaysian Forestry Research And Development Board in the year 1985. It covered an area of 1528 hectare - - not a small area, considering Kuala Lumpur city center are just 16km away!Our journey start with a quick lecturer in the museum by Mr. Ang, our nature guide for the day. After that we head straight to the trails, only to find ourself surrounded by tall dipterocarp trees, giant bamboos, precious plant like Tongkat Ali and buzzing sounds of cicadas. Being an experienced guide and long time staff or FRIM, Mr. Ang gave a meaningful and interesting guided tour, easy enough for layman like us to understand.

One of the highlight in the trails was the "WOW" spot - - No one would expecte the phenomena known as crown shyness display by the Kapur tree, or Dryobanalops Aromatica. Looking up from the understorey the canopy of the tress seems to shy away from the surrounding one, leaving a gap among themselves. When crushed the leaves offers an aromatic camphor refreshing! Now we are ready for longer walk.Getting off the muddy trails infested with mosquitoes, everyone will be happy to walk on rover tracks paved with crushing stones. This road is wide enough for a jeep to cross, but only officers vehicle are allowed. Instead, visitors can bring in their mountain bike, cycle on this hilly tracks can be challenging. Else, like what we all did that day, we walk the walk.

The lighlihght of the whole trip is certainly the canoply walk - - a bridge suspended 30m above ground level, spaning 220m in the mid-air, here we walk on the tree tops, from one tree to another getting a glimpse of the city view from the altitude of 1000 feet a.s.l. Originally constructed as observation platforms for fellow researcher, canopy bridge opens to public now come here to with few strick rule like keeping a distance of 3 meters away from the person in front of you. The idea is, you stop when the person in front of you stop. But when he/she jumps, please don't do so!

Hiking down hill was equally challenging as the trails are slippery and at some part rather steep. The bonus was we are actually descending parallel to a river. It brought us to FRIM's popular waterfall picnic area where our adventure is close to an end. Members were served delicious chicken rice (everything is good when you are hungry) before our Chairman finally call it a day.
Thank you everyone for participating in this fellowship and hopefully we can meet again soon!