Just fifteen minutes from the Golden Triangle area, Taman Melawati is part of the Gombak district of Selangor, and is fast becoming the next desirable neighbourhood in Greater Kuala Lumpur.
The area was once a rubber plantation, mostly occupied by the Hawthornton Estate owned by Loke Yew, a business tycoon of British Malaya in the early 1900s. It was only in the 1970s, that Taman Melawati was born, initially a quiet housing project for the middle-income group.
When Taman Melawati was first launched, it was differentiated as a serene neighbourhood set against beautiful greenery and limestone hills on the fringe of the city. The commercial business developed later in the 1980s, bringing with it all the conveniences and amenities of life within an urban township. The quiet residential area thus matured into a well-established housing development.
Today, the area is beginning to attract upper middle-income homeowners as well as many ultra-high-net-worth individuals and expatriates due to its many advantages.
Living amidst nature
The main draw remains the scenic surroundings of hills and forests. The natural setting and freshness in the air is an irresistible pull factor.
Several vantage points offer magnificent views of the Ampang Forest Reserve, Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve and Genting Highlands, as well as the dramatic backdrop of the Klang Gates Dam, surrounded by what is said to be the longest and oldest quartz ridge in the world.
“I grew up in Melawati and I loved the cool air in the morning,” enthuses Sofia Yahya, a training consultant who now lives and works in Puchong. “As a kid, I used to think it was so cold!”
During weekends, visitors escape the smog-filled air of the city to explore hiking trails and hidden waterfalls within Melawati’s forest reserves. For experienced hikers, there’s the thrill of Bukit Tabur (also known as the Dragon’s Backbone) that culminates along the Klang Gates Dam for spectacular, panoramic views of KL. Hikers should be advised that the hike is precarious due to the challenging terrain of rocks and quartz, and the trail involves some rope work and rock-climbing. They must also obtain a permit from the Selangor Forestry Office prior to attempting the hike.
For those who prefer recreational activities that don’t involve dizzying heights, Zoo Negara (National Zoo) is just a stone’s throw away from Melawati. Zoo Negara is home to a diverse range of over 400 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes. One of the newest residents are a pair of giant pandas from China, who have already produced two ‘local’ babies thus far.
Crucially, Taman Melawati is a transportation hub. Major highways connect the areas of Melawati and Wangsa Maju to the KL city centre via Jalan Ampang, Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2), Ampang Hulu Klang Elevated Highway (AKLEH) and the Genting Klang-Pahang Highway; to Damansara via Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway (DUKE); and further afield to major industrial areas within Klang Valley via the Shah Alam Expressway (KESAS). Additionally, there are three Light Rail Transit (LRT) stations nearby: Gombak, Taman Melati and Wangsa Maju.
Those living in Taman Melawati can also enjoy shopping centres in the township such as the upscale Melawati Mall, Wangsa Walk and KL Festival Mall. Alternatively, city centre malls like KLCC and Pavilion are easily accessible, and the Genting Premium Outlets are just forty-five minutes away via the Genting Klang-Pahang Highway.
The Melawati area is also known for education, as many academic institutions and international schools are located in close proximity, including Tuanku Abdul Rahman University College (TARUC), Malaysia Institute of Art (MIA), International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), Islamic International University Malaysia (IIUM) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).
“It was easy to get around in and out of college,” says Darren Tan, a fresh graduate of TARUC. “There are a lot of cafes and malls in Melawati. As students, we were not bored on campus.”
As a thriving township, Melawati offers plenty of conveniences and amenities from eateries and banks to houses of worship and medical facilities. Nearby hospitals include Damai Service Hospital, Hospital Angkatan Tentera Tuanku Mizan, Columbia Asia Hospital, KPJ Ampang Putri Specialist Hospital and Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur.
With easy accessibility, a variety of conveniences and the benefits and joys of abundant greenery, it is no wonder that Taman Melawati has become a magnet for homeowners and, of late, property developers and real estate investors. As urban development in KL expands northwards, the Melawati area is set to offer more high-end residential developments offering panoramic views and a refreshing change of urban lifestyle.