THE MALAYSIA-CHINA FRIENDSHIP GARDEN, KUCHING, SARAWAK
Built to commemorate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2004, it is designed in the styles of Malaysia and China. It has a large man-made pond and landscaped gardens with good architectural features, which includes the landmarks of Malaysia's 14 states, a giant stature of Admiral Zheng Ho towering over the park, two wishing wells, a zigzag bridge across the pond and a Friendship Globe.
PULAU INDAH, SELANGOR
If city life becomes too fast paced for you, take a short drive to Pulau Indah, where Klang's West Port and the cruise terminal are located. The commanding view of the beautiful island, with pockets of traditional Malay kampongs and the unhurried way of life and lush green surrounding offers some tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
TAMPIN RECREATIONAL PARK, NEGRI SEMBILAN
The recreational park is home to many species of birds besides screeching long tailed monkeys, porcupines, swans, peacocks and ducks. Located at the centre of town, it sits in a valley, bordered by sloping hills. There is also a fishpond, lake, basketball court and a children's playground.
BOTANICAL GARDEN, PUTRAJAYA
Designed as an Arcadia, the botanical garden is located in the northern section of Precinct 1. It is planned over slightly more than 100ha and has been designed as a national sanctuary to host a living collection of Malaysian plants and serves as a centre for education and research. Open from 9am to 7pm. Admission is free and parking is only RM1 per entry.
D.R. SEENIVASAGAM PARK, IPOH, PERAK
Formerly known as Coronation Park, this park was set up in 1960 and later named after the prominent and well-natured politician, D R Seenivasagam. This is one of the popular spots for Ipoh residents to watch the sun set. The park has several recreational fields, a nursery for potted plants, beautiful arches, a roller-skating rink, a playground, a mini-train course, a children's traffic playground and the Ipoh tree, after which the town is named for. The latest attraction is a landscaped Japanese garden with a carp pond.
SHAH ALAM LAKE GARDENS, SELANGOR
Jogging tracks, a floating seafood restaurant, theme park, picnic area - the Shah Alam Lake Gardens has it all. Known as the green lung of the Selangor state capital, this place is popular with Klang Valley residents, especially during weekends and in the evenings. It is also the venue for the annual International Boat Show and the International Orchid Exhibition.
SEREMBAN LAKE GARDENS, NEGRI SEMBILAN
Words cannot do justice in describing the beauty of this picturesque park in the heart of Seremban, where most residents head for in the evenings. The well-planned and beautifully-landscaped gardens provide respite from daily stress and is a wonderful space for children to play in. It also has a jogging track for those seeking a workout.
MENGKUANG DAM, PENANG
Apart from providing water to Penang and its surrounding areas, the dam is also a beautiful recreational spot that features landscaped gardens and benches along its perimeter. Jogging tracks, walking trails and by arrangement, kayaking, are among the activities that can be enjoyed here. It is also one of the venues for the annual Penang International Dragon Boat Festival, where traditionally-built boats race in synch with drumbeats.
FOREST RESEARCH INSTITUTE MALAYSIA (FRIM), KUALA LUMPUR
On the outskirts of the city, lies a 1,528ha area composed of a regenerated and secondary forest, which collectively contains hundreds of plant l species. Geared for first-timers and the more adventurous, there are numerous opportunities for a nature retreat and even a visit to the remains of an Orang Asli settlement all within the forest. Check out the four jungle tracks: Keruing Trail, Rover Track, Engkabang Trail and Salleh Trail.
PASIR PANJANG RECREATIONAL PARK, PORT DICKSON, NEGRI SEMBILAN
Just 28km from Port Dickson town is the lush recreational park at Kampung Teluk, a coastal village. It is a popular physical training arena as the forest is home to two physical challenge camps, which have an obstacle course, platform for abseiling and equipment for kayaking and water sports. Many traditional herbs and plants can be found in the area. The park also has a bay where shrimp-netters harvest their daily catch. Try the great seafood at the many stalls that operate late into the night.