The Movement Control Order (MCO) instituted by the Malaysia government to combat COVID-19 has resulted in many Malaysians being confined to their homes for the past nine months. Naturally, when these travel restrictions have been lifted, what better way to stretch those limbs than to go on a camping trip. The first place that comes to mind is the Forest Reserve Institute of Malaysia (FRIM). Unfortunately, it is still closed to the public. However, Taman Eko Rimba Komanwel is open to those wishing to escape from the concrete jungle and immerse themselves in the great outdoors. Both FRIM and Taman Eko Rimba Komanwel are reserve forests and research institutes under the Malaysian government that are popular for camping spots.
Brief History Of Taman Eko Rimba Komanwel
Inaugurated in 1993 to commemorate the 14th Commonwealth Forestry Conference, this site has been in operation for the past 27 years. The site has been upgraded a few times during its years of operation. Currently, it hosts a total of 35 camp sites with a capacity of 150 people. However, due to Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) restrictions it can only operate at half capacity. Campsites are built on elevated grounds for comfort and safety as well as to prevent the tents from being flooded during rainy seasons. Apart from that, a stream runs through the campsite creating a soothing sound as campers rest and escape the hustle and bustle of urban city living, like that of the nearby city of Kuala Lumpur.
Glamping Or Camping? Why Not Both?
For those who wish to glamp, this location is also an excellent choice as the campsite is a stone’s throw away from the carpark. No need to hike to the site, just a short stroll and you`re there. Therefore, there is no need to pack lightly with limited supplies for the trip, but a proper tent and camping gears available at Decathlon or Sports Direct are still a must. Some people may not be comfortable bathing in the stream, so you have the option to use the bathroom facility nearby to shower instead. This gives first-time campers and also glampers the choice to pick which is more suitable for them.
What Else Is There Besides Camping?
Enjoying the great outdoors is awesome without the hassle of hiking for hours and dusty trails. There is a waterfall just a short trek from the edge of the campsite. It takes approximately 15 minutes to 20 minutes to get there. It is a simple trek, crisscrossing the stream and walking on a beaten path. So simple that I could just wear a pair of slippers to walk there. Hence, getting there is no trouble for novice trekkers and a family with small children. There is a small pond at the edge of the waterfall that is shallow enough for children to play in without fear of drowning. For those who wish to meditate, the falls are safe enough to stand under and attune one’s senses with nature. However, precautions are still necessary as the rocks along the way are slippery and can cause one to slip and fall.
Relaxing In Nature’s Embrace
After expending all that energy, hiking, swimming and meditating, hunger will soon set in. The site allows a small camp fire for keeping warm and roasting marshmallows. Moreover, there are public amenities like barbeque pits available on a first-come-first-served basis. However, I would recommend to bring your own portable barbeque grill to avoid competition. These grills, also known in Malaysia as satay grill stove is available in our local sundry shops and supermarkets. Additionally, a quick search at Lazada also enables you to nab a good deal if you want to avoid crowded malls.
Once night falls, the sounds of crickets chirping, owls hooting and many more sounds can be heard. Campers would gather around the campfire for idle chatter, others just lay in their tents to rest their weary eyes. The campsite is quite near the highway to Rawang but the sound of cars passing by barely penetrate the forest. However, the sirens from an ambulance, fire engines or police car that passes by may disrupt the silence in the forest. After which, the silence of the night returns to the campsite and soon, it would be time to slide into that warm comfy sleeping bag.
Key Points To Remember When Camping
- Remember to dress warmly in sweater or long pants for the night as the temperature in the forest at night drops to around 16-18°C
- Leeches are a part of nature, you can either donate some blood or bring along a pack of salt (common table salt is a repellent for leeches)
- Pick the easiest food to cook or bring fruits (such as bananas which are full of energy)
- Bring mosquito repellent or you`ll be donating more blood to nature
- Take nothing from the campsite but pictures, leave nothing but footprints
- Last but not least, remember to pack and throw your rubbish in designated areas
If you`re interested to start your camping trip, this is a great place to begin. It is not free however as they do need money to maintain the place.
Below are the details for the fees :
Entrance Fee : MYR 2.00 / adult
Camping : MYR 10.00 / night
Toilet : MYR 0.20 / day
Carpark : MYR 3.00 / car
For years, many people flock to the site for family outings and short getaways. Be sure to call ahead and book a spot to camp before heading there at the Selangor Forestry site. Unfortunately at the moment, it is under first-come-first-served basis until the CMCO is rescinded. So better keep your expectations low until the COVID-19 crisis has blown over and we can move around without CMCO restrictions. Until then, happy camping!