Friday August 3, 2012
The perfect park
By FOONG PEK YEE
firstname.lastname@example.org Photos by LAI HOCK YEE
Eco Park in Bandar Seri Botani an ideal place for families to exercise and unwind
WALKING your way to health is something so near yet so far for many Malaysians.
The Government has been at its wits end spending millions of ringgit just to get the people to start walking for their health.
Early this year, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai announced that the ministry would spend RM12mil to promote its “Walk With The People Campaign” which encouraged people to walk 10,000 steps a day.
An unhealthy lifestyle - lack of or no exercise, stress and bad eating habits - saw a whopping 43% of Malaysian adults being categorised as overweight or obese by the ministry in 2006.
Obesity is one of the causes of chronic illnesses like high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney and heart ailments.
While there is no excuse for not exercising; a place where one can exercise with peace of mind and amid tranquil surroundings is not easy to come by in Ipoh.
Many of the folk have to be contented with having their morning or evening walk in their neighbourhood, or practising tai chi or doing line dancing in their community hall.
To make exercise a routine is a challenge; and exercising in groups, especially as a family unit, has been found to be able to establish such a routine.
The Eco Park in Bandar Seri Botani, about 10km from the city centre, which offered something for every age group is a perfect place for a family to embark on such a routine.
The 32-acre (13ha) beautifully landscaped park with facilities like jogging tracks, open gym and children’s playground is indeed a hidden gem in Ipoh.
Opened to the public in 2006, people outside Bandar Seri Botani or its nearby residential areas knew about the park via word of mouth.
There is also a lake in the park where visitors could enjoy the scenic surrounding and feed the fish in the lake.
The first thing that attracted my attention during my visit to the park on Tuesday was its beautifully landscaped gardens and clean surrounding.
There are litter bins everywhere, not only for the visitors’ convenience, but also a reminder for them not to litter and help to keep the park clean.
Visitors, especially children and the elderly can walk without fear of being knocked down by vehicles because all vehicles, except bicycles, are not allowed in the park.
“The ruling on vehicles has not only kept away emission that pollutes the air, but also minimise incidence of vandalism,” said a visitor who came with his family for an evening walk after his friend told him about the park.
He said the well designed park was well-kept, adding that this was something hard to find in Ipoh.
Built and managed by Taiko Properties Sdn Bhd, the park, located off Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, is opened to the public daily from 7am to 10 pm.