In my last post I described our exploration of KL’s Muslim heritage. “Not very child-friendly,” you may have been thinking, and my kids agreed. So to make it up to them, we took them to the Bird Park.
Admission to the Bird Park cost us 67 ringgits each for adults, and 45 for the children (RMB 110/ RMB 72). We might have been happier paying this had we not been overcharged by the taxi – we should have insisted on paying the amount on the meter, but in the heat and confusion we got suckered.
However it turned out to be good value. The Bird Park advertises itself as “the world’s largest free-flight aviary”, and it certainly offers plenty to see on its 20 acres. We’d intended to also visit the nearby Butterfly Park and Deer Park, but in the end the birds took up almost an entire day.
Not all the birds are free to fly around, which is probably just as well, since the hawks and the pigeons have not yet learned to live together in sweet harmony. The park is divided into three main zones, with other sections for different types of bird, such as parrots and bulbuls. There are many birds wandering around though, and the peacocks are happy to display their tails for photographs, although this can make it difficult to get past them on the paths.
The park also misses no opportunity to get more money out of its customers. However I couldn’t resist spending a few ringgits on having my kids pose with parrots (see above), and we also indulged ourselves with a fish spa, letting the doctor fish nibble away at the dead skin on our feet.
The fish spa attendant finally chucked us out with the warning that we’d be late for the show. I’d sworn we wouldn’t go to the show, grumbling that I really didn’t need to see a parrot riding a bicycle, but in the end it proved irresistible. The parrots didn’t ride bikes, but they did play on a slide, and display impressive mathematical abilities, adding up numbers and ringing a bell to indicate the answer.
We spent so long at the park that we ended up eating lunch there. We usually avoid restaurants with captive audiences, but the Hornbill cafe offers decent food at reasonable prices (as elsewhere in Malaysia, local food is significantly cheaper than western dishes.)
I have written before about the moral queasiness I feel visiting places where animals are confined for the entertainment of humans. I refuse to go to any more aquariums, and I’m wary about zoos. However none of the birds seemed distressed, as I have seen other animals appear in Chinese parks, and if your kids love wildlife as mine do, then the KL Bird Park will send them away with happy memories.
Photos: Andrew Killeen