These 60-hectare (148-acre) gardens, established in 1888, form the green belt of Kuala Lumpur, and the lakeside beauty with a backdrop of skyscrapers is reminiscent of New York's Central Park. The lush vegetation surrounds a vast lake, with a number of romantic bridges and plenty of space to relax, read a book, go for a walk or jog, or socialise. Visitors can take a leisurely boat cruise to enjoy views of the gardens from the water (RM4 per hour: Saturdays, 2pm to 5.30pm and Sundays 8am to 5.30pm). There are numerous attractions within the gardens, which incorporate the National Monument, Butterfly House, Bird Park, Orchid and Hibiscus gardens, and Malaysia's Parliament House situated at the northern end. There are wonderful playgrounds for little ones and if you are travelling in Malaysia with children a jaunt to the gardens is the perfect way to let them blow off some steam. The water and shade makes the Lake Gardens a cool refuge from the humidity and crowds of the city, and for those interested in the indigenous plant life there is plenty to explore. There are numerous restaurants fringing the gardens but the best option is to pack a picnic and spend a few hours in some green nook.
Address: Jalan Perdana
Telephone: +60 (0)3 2691 6011
Transport: Bus 30 from Jalan Sultan Mohamed, or 22 or 38 from Lebuh Pasar Besar
Opening times: Butterfly House: daily 9am to 6pm; Bird Park: daily 9am to 6.30pm; Orchid and Hibiscus Gardens: daily 9am to 6pm
Admission: There's a small admission fee for the Butterfly House, Bird Park, and Orchid and Hibiscus Gardens on weekends, free on weekdays.