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By Lian Cheng
IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN to the Sarawak Botanical Garden (SBC) and Wisma Bapa Malaysia Recreation Park (WBM Recreation Park), perhaps you may want to pay a visit to these hidden gems of Kuching.
With its entrance located right beside the car park of Wisma Bapa Malaysia, the SBC is underrated and under-visited by both locals and foreign visitors alike. This applies to WBM Recreation Park, which is just right behind Sarawak’s most prominent administrative centre of Wisma Bapa Malaysia.
As the two recreational parks adjoin each other and the lack of demarcation to denote the two areas, visitors have no way to tell which part belongs to SBC and which other parts fall into the boundary of WBM Recreation Park.
That, however, does not cause any inconvenience for visitors if their purpose is to spend some leisure time near nature, as both recreation parks make up one spacious area for visitors to roam, exercise, have picnics, or just take a breather from the business of life by taking a morning stroll or a brisk afternoon walk.
The SBC basically consists of specialised gardens and a natural arboretum, which has a comprehensive collection of Sarawak’s important plant species, including Engkabang and Berlian trees. There are different designated areas such as Bamboo Avenue, Heath Forest, Herb Garden, and Gramineae (of the grass family) Collection.
Apart from tree gardens, there is also a hanging garden with flowering creepers and vines as well as arched pavements, which provide a scenic background for memorable pictures and special occasions such as weddings, graduations, and family reunions, or simply just a place for visitors to take nice shots to keep an account of the growing years of their sons and daughters.
A certain portion has also been set aside as Limestone Forest with man-made rocks dotting the landscape, providing a different scenery.
The Wetland and Ecolake, which is just right behind the Wisma Bapa Malaysia complex, are another two must-visit areas, especially during the late afternoon hours when the sun is setting.
One may enjoy the breeze amid the whispers of trees from different directions while admiring the wetland and marsh vegetation like lilies, hyacinths, and water lettuce.
Though there is no clear demarcation between the SBG and the WBM Recreation Park, one can slightly make a distinction between the two, with the SBG being the section on the hilly side near Astana Road while WBM Recreation Park is on the flat area between Wisma Bapa Malaysia building and Kampung Gersik.
As WBM Recreation Park is flat and its pavement well maintained, it is also a haven for joggers.
Apart from the SBG, visitors may also reach Fort Margherita and the Sarawak Flagpole site, which are in the vicinity. — DayakDaily