A young man of our acquaintance recently celebrated his fifth birthday. Like lots of little people his age, Zak loves bugs, so to celebrate, we offered to take him to the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park. To make it more fun, we decided to go by train, something else he enjoys.
The Plan – trip to KL Butterfly Park
As this was a ‘gift’, the grown-ups consulted with mum and dad to confirm the date and venue, so Zak wasn’t involved in the initial planning.
Planning the trip
We decided to go on a Saturday morning, after the morning rush hour and before the afternoon rain common at this time of year. We allowed about two hours for time spent at the park, plus travelling time.
Once the date was agreed, Zak received his ‘gift voucher’ and excitedly started talking about what ‘bugs’ he’d see.
- There is parking available at the butterfly park, both inside the main compound, and in a public lot just across the road.
- However, the train is more fun, so we parked at the nearest station and lined up to get our tickets.
- Lesson 1: The trains were running slow, so we just missed one. Fortunately, this station has an attached LRT station, so change of plan No 1.
- This necessitated a change at KL Sentral, which isn’t anywhere near the Butterfly Park.
- Choices – wait half an hour for the train we would have caught had we waited, to get to Kuala Lumpur Station. Or use a Ride Sharing App to get a car to take us straight to the Park.
- Lesson 2. Set up Apps before you need to use them! Lesson 2b. Stay calm!
We caught the train and despite it now being quite hot, the walk from Kuala Lumpur Station to the Butterfly Park was reasonably well shaded and Zak enjoyed looking at all the interesting buildings we passed. Despite looking carefully, we didn’t manage to see any monkeys though.
At the Park
The KL Butterfly Park opened in 1994 and is home to an impressive range of butterflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers and crickets. The range of butterflies is impressive and though we couldn’t induce any to stand on our hands (other people did), we had fun trying. The day we visited we managed to see both the male and female Rajah Brooke’s Birdwing – one of the most easily recognisable species. We even saved a hapless male from drowning in one of the ponds.
Zak learnt that:
- Insects don’t stay where they are if you try to tap them (whoever would have guessed?)
- There’s a butterfly graveyard (we decided) in the ‘back corner’. There were lots of old wings lying on the ground, probably because that area is undisturbed.
- You need to walk carefully because some butterflies liked to gather on the ground near puddles.
- It was very humid and warm in the butterfly enclosure.
- Different butterflies seemed to prefer different types of plants.
- Some butterflies are very colourful, some are quite drab and some even look like dead leaves.
We spent about forty-five minutes walking in the butterfly enclosure, which is a network of paths around lookouts and ponds with some impressive koi and catfish. After looking at a display of living pupa waiting to hatch, we headed for the Exit. In between the Exit sign and the inevitable gift shop, is arguably the best part of the Park – the bugs!
Allow plenty of time to browse round the living bugs and various mounted collections. There is a walk-around central display area with many living arthropods – insects, arachnids and myriapods and even one green snake.
Not all are named, but quite a few of the displays do have both the common and scientific names. The only suggestion would be that a ledge running around the display about 30cm high, would make it easier for younger children to see the ‘bugs’.
And what did Zak enjoy most? I would suggest it was the bug collection. He was able to recognise and name quite a few. We will have to ask him and report those findings here.
After the main event
There is a fairly comprehensive gift shop, with many butterfly inspired gift items – t-shirts, fridge magnets and stickers for a start. Prices were reasonable and Zak chose a butterfly fridge magnet with opening wings to take home.
We thought a snack would be a good idea before the trek back to the station, but the small snack bar only has drinks and ice-creams.
Had it been cooler, we would probably have walked back to Kuala Lumpur Station. However, we were getting hungry so we decided to use one of the taxis outside the entrance.
- These taxis only serve the Butterfly Park, so they offer a fixed rate.
- Be prepared to bargain, but not too much.
- You will probably be quoted between MYR 10 and MYR 20 for a trip to either KL station or KL Sentral.
We agreed to MYR 15 for the trip to KL Sentral as there are more options for both food and transport. *** Reminder – Make sure that Ride Sharing App works!