Spending a day at FRIM, Malaysia

It's been surprisingly "nice" coming back to a place we've already visited as the first stop on our trip. There's no pressure to "do" sight seeing or touristy things every single day of our time in Kuala Lumpur as we ticked most of those boxes last year and so NewMan and I have spent a lot of time catching up on sleep and dare I admit it, work emails and tasks as the run up to us leaving was chaotic and predominantly offline. I've not really clarified this, but we are both going to be working while we are away. I will be doing whatever writing work I can get my hands on, as well as remote freelancing in the "day job" as and when I am needed (which already has been more than I expected; it's "nice" to be wanted).

As we enjoy this catch up time and a luxurious period of adjustment before we hit the road again (this weekend we will visit three countries in four days) I have been reminded of the time we spent in Malaysia last year, where we went out and about and saw so much. It was a key trip really, insofar as it was my first time in Asia and opened up my eyes to a continent I'd previously been mostly uninterested in, mainly due to ignorance and lack of awareness or insight. I am happy to say that last year's trip afforded me some precious insight and when discussing a long term trip with NewMan it was a given that it would incorporate more of south east Asia. Some of our photos can be found in this "Start of Something" post and below are some more photos of one of the trip's highlights, a day trip to FRIM which included an exciting canopy walk.FRIM stands for Forest Research Institute Malaysia and is a vast tropical forest and research establishment based in Kepong, which is around a 20 minute drive from central Kuala Lumpur. Originally established and effectively planted by the British Colonials in the 1920s, FRIM's aims and purpose have changed very little since then as a research site dedicated to scientific understanding and research of tropical forestry.We drove up there early(ish) one morning via the Batu Caves (which is overrated in my opinion, and not for anyone with a dislike of hot weather, tourists or monkeys) and were lucky that we managed to get a ticket for the canopy walk in time as it closes around 1pm and they only have a set amount of tickets for walkers each day. You will need to be dressed appropriately as it is likely to be hot and humid and you will need to walk around 2km up hill to where the canopy walk begins on steep and not at all smooth terrain, though part of it is tarmac and suitable for runners, a number of which we disbelievingly did see. The canopy walk itself consists of 200 metres of walkways, made up of 4 "bridges" joined by tree house life platforms, all positioned 30 metres above the ground of the forest floor, however it feels much higher as you are on a hill side looking down at the distance you have climbed. It may not be one for vertigo sufferers and indeed don't look too closely at how the bridges are made, though it should be said that the canopy walk has been going successfully since 1992 and though a little wobbly, I felt safe enough to enjoy the views out across Kuala Lumpur and marvel in more shades of green than I have ever seen. The perfect day trip if you find yourself in KL with a day to spare, kill or go jungle trekking.

P.S. This is how the walkways are made. Gulp.

Frances M. Thompson

Londoner turned wanderer, Frankie is an author, freelance writer and blogger. Currently based in Amsterdam, Frankie was nomadic for two years before starting a family with her Australian partner. Frankie is the author of three short story collections, and is a freelance writer for travel and creative brands. In 2017, she launched WriteNOW Cards, affirmation cards for writers that help build a productive and positive writing practice. When not writing contemporary fiction, Frankie shops for vintage clothes, dances to 70s disco music and chases her two young sons around Amsterdam.
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