In the heart of Kuala Lumpur, spitting distance from the city centre, lies Titiwangsa. Known for its idyllic atmosphere and abundance of flora, this area is home to a diverse community that includes sprawling mansions, local food stalls, a well-known lake park, top-notch healthcare facilities, and much more.
Popular lake attraction
Mention Titiwangsa, and the most iconic landmark recognised by all is definitely Taman Tasik Titiwangsa (Titiwangsa Lake Gardens). Covering 114 acres of lush greenery, its proximity to downtown KL makes it a favourite for families and health-conscious individuals alike.
Originally a by-product of tin mining during British colonial rule, the lake was redeveloped as a public park, and officiated on 1st February 1980 by the third Malaysian Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn, in conjunction with Federal Territories Day.
Previously known as Taman Jalan Kuantan, after the road that encircles it, the new name of ‘Titiwangsa’ was said to come from Tun Hussein Onn himself, who renamed the park during the launch. He felt that ‘Titiwangsa’, the name of Peninsular Malaysia’s legendary mountain range, described the lake gardens well, with its stunning views and expansive landscape.
A firm favourite ever since, Taman Tasik Titiwangsa got a facelift in 2019; reopening after a yearlong hiatus with a fresh new look and upgraded facilities, such as a water park, butterfly-themed maze and a 2.5km cycling track, complete with bicycles available to rent.
Low-rise, close-knit community
If you take a leisurely jog or drive around the lake gardens, you will be welcomed by the majestic sight of many huge bungalows dotting the area. Many of these dates back to Malaysia’s early days, where plots of land were reserved for senior government officials as a token of appreciation for their service to the country.
Buildings around the Titiwangsa neighbourhood are primarily low-rise, contributing to a relaxed environment that has since become its selling point. Wan Sean Shariff, real estate agent from Avid Estates, explains: “In certain parts of Titiwangsa, you’re only allowed to build up to four or five storeys, so there aren’t huge skyscrapers towering over your property. Titiwangsa has also managed to maintain a lot of its greenery, which is rare for a community that is so close to the city centre.
Interestingly, while most of these large houses have remained residences, a few have been converted into unique event spaces or F&B establishments, like The Seavoy House, Doplohtiga Space, and Ruma Puteh.
Heritage and culture
Adding to the allure of the area are institutional buildings with unique architectural features which lie at the southwest border of Titiwangsa, such as Istana Budaya which boasts an elaborate post-modern architecture inspired by traditional forms, and the National Library, with a roof crafted like an abstracted tengkolok, a traditional Malay headgear.
If you’re looking for authentic Malaysian food, Titiwangsa offers a variety of casual, no-frills dining options like SANY Char Koay Teow, Kedai Makan Along and Adam Corner, where one can enjoy an ice-cold drink and local fare in an open-air setting. During weekends, plenty of food trucks surround the perimeter of the lake garden, selling anything from tropical fruits to deep-fried banana fritters. For a leisurely evening, don’t forget to bring along your picnic mat, so you can relax by the water and feast to your heart’s content.
H. Hussain, a resident of Titiwangsa for over 35 years, enjoys the low-key living: “What I like most about Titiwangsa is that, although it’s located in the middle of Kuala Lumpur, it’s quiet and peaceful. When you look up, you still get an unobstructed view of the sky.
“And whenever I feel like having a quick meal, I can easily find my favourite foods without leaving the area and getting caught in a traffic jam.”
In and around Titiwangsa
While commercial facilities in Titiwangsa are slightly limited, its proximity to established neighbourhoods like Setapak, Jalan Ipoh, Kampong Bahru and Ampang provides easy access, whether for food, groceries or utilities. There are a few primary and secondary schools nearby, as well as a university campus. Major healthcare facilities like Kuala Lumpur Hospital, the National Heart Institute, the National Blood Centre and KPJ Sentosa Specialist Hospital offer top-notch facilities.
Titiwangsa is served by major highways such as DUKE, MRR1 and MRR2 as well as KARAK, to name a few, conveniently connecting the area to the wider Klang Valley and beyond. Public transport options, like buses and trains, are also easily available.
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