After 2 years away from my home country due to restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, I was feeling ambitious. My plan was to enter via land transport (being the only option that didn’t require any testing or quarantine) and fly home to Borneo from there. As I was departing on a Friday, I thought it would be nice to check out Kuala Lumpur, the city where I received my higher education nearly a decade ago and hadn’t been back since.
For this weekend trip, my colleague decided to jump onboard and come along for the ride. She had an adventurous spirit, so I decided that we should do something of that nature. It’s always a lot easier when we have a companion to hike up each other’s courage and confidence on a first-time ride.
We soon chose to do the ATV ride with ATV Adventure Park. They are well-reputed with an active Instagram account, found just beyond the Kuala Lumpur city centre. I’m definitely glad that we did our first ride with them, and you’ll see this as you read on.
To be honest, the booking process wasn’t the smoothest. Since I was in Singapore, I chose to contact them via WhatsApp as it was the only option besides calling them. A deposit had to be paid via bank transfer, which I thankfully managed to do with Revolut. Even then, it took days to have our reservations confirmed, and that was after I had texted for a follow-up.
Fortunately, they are real, and we were soon on our way from our accommodation to the park by Grab. The park was far-flung, going further than the national zoo, so it might appear dodgy at first with the single-lane road. But the big rock art of the park near the end of the road would tell us that we had arrived at the right place.
There were seven of us in the earliest 9am slot at the time. After a getting briefed on how to ride the ATV, we got a couple of rounds in the compound to familiarize ourselves before we started hitting the slopes. I was terrified — the slope at the start of the path already had me hitting the brakes as hard as I could.
After struggling for five minutes, I finally figured out how to manoeuvre the vehicle. It’s just like a scooter, except with four wheels so it’s a guaranteed sturdiness. One by one, we then made our way higher and deeper into the woods.
The day was gladly cloudy, but the path was still fairly muddy from the rain just a day earlier. I was tilted 30 degrees sideways for most of the journey, which added to the thrill, but we were constantly reassured that we would not turn turtle. Nearly half hour later, we arrived at our destination of a small waterfall where we cooled off and calmed our thumping hearts.
It wasn’t over on the way back, as we had to make our way downhill this time. It was a constant thumb-and-foot on the brakes to ensure I wasn’t zooming down and crashing into my companion. We certainly did not expect an ATV ride to be this thrilling both ways!
Back at the headquarters, we washed down our muddy legs with some water and caught our breaths before heading out. Grab rides were barely available there, so we decided to walk down 30 minutes to BBQ Lamb KL Kemensah, where we experienced the novelty of dining in the middle of a rushing stream. Under the harsh noonday sun, we were given straw hats to barely protect ourselves.
Food portions here are only available for two and more, so unless you’re a big eater, always come with a company. There’s even one vegetarian set for my vegetarian companion. It’s certainly a dining experience to remember!
As a reminder, it’s really difficult to get a Grab ride from out here, but it’s also not impossible. Keep trying and you should eventually get a ride! If not, walking a little further towards the city would be a good idea to lessen the distance from available cars. Besides this, I don’t see any reason why anyone shouldn’t try riding an ATV. It’s definitely a bucket-list-worthy adventure that I have grown addicted to.
*All photos featured in this story are taken by the author and her companion.