Jalan Alor + Kuala Lumpur Bird Park

October 29, 2014
Seeing Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur's food street, through the eyes of a tourist.
Yesterday we ruffled some feathers at the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, quite literally, like when a peacock shook his magnificent tail at us (either mistaking us for foe or a peahen) and a glorious red macaw parrot flapped his wings to show off his brilliant plumage. 

A point of attractions of Lake Gardens (and adjacent to the outstanding Islamic Arts Museum), KL Bird Park is well known to be the 'World's Largest Free-Flight Walk-In Aviary', with 3,000 birds from 200 species both local and foreign spread out across 20.9 acres of verdant valley terrain under a fine mesh canopy. All of the birds in the park (bar the parrots, flightless birds, and oriental birds in separate aviaries) are let free in the park, built to closely resemble their natural habitat. This free-flight concept encourages the birds to breed naturally and really does give one a sense of being a visitor privileged enough to walk among and observe the birds in their homes. And such birds! Hornbills (the Malaysian national bird), peacocks, cassowaries from Papau New Guinea, flamingos, parrots; macaws, loris, African Greys...you could even feed the ostriches and watch ducklings hatch from eggs in an incubator, all of which we did and thoroughly enjoyed. But first, lunch at Jalan Alor, that famous stretch of hawker food behind glitzy Jalan Bukit Bintang (Starhill). The contrast couldn't be more apparent (as it is with Kuala Lumpur, the city of juxtaposition): Bukit Bintang district is lined with upscale brands, malls and hotels with the likes of Hermes and Louis Vuitton, whereas both sides of the road in Jalan Alor are lined with plastic tables and chairs where tourists and locals alike eat on the street as trucks bearing tongs of gas rumble dangerously close by. Ah, Kuala Lumpur. 

We had a feast of tom yam seafood noodles for Henry, wantan mee (wonton noodles) for me, and cockles and kangkung belacan (water spinach fried in shrimp paste) to share, and air tebu (sugar cane water) to drink.

Yes, I am parked embarrassingly far off from the curb, you can laugh now. I can't parallel park to save my life especially on hills, and no I am not that tiny, it's my car that's huge. Eventually we, my irrationally large vehicle, and my unsuitably poor parking skills (but excellent driving) made it to K.L Bird Park in one piece but not before getting lost in the city, as per usual. 

Most birds would just walk right up to you or let you approach them with your camera (but slowly, gently).

Mr Peacock showing off for his intended.

Henry and I don't know much about bird handling so we just winged it. *waits for applause. gets none* I  have always wanted an aviary in my dream home. I love birds, and I love them enough to not put them in small cages so having pet birds right now is out of the question. Even having an African Grey roam free around my apartment is a hamster-eating mishap waiting to happen as Coolio lives in an open-air tank, so in the meantime the friendly feathered friends at the K.L Bird Park is as close as I'll get to walking around with a bird on my shoulder and pretending to be a pirate. x


  1. You and your boyfriend are so cute together, I love reading about your adventures together!