Balakong or also known as Cheras South is a township within the district of Hulu Langat, Selangor state, Malaysia. It is located exactly between the sub-districts or “mukim” of Kajang and Cheras, being a modern township filled with residential condominiums, office complexes and factories. Before being developed as the township it is currently, the whole area was a small village known as the Balakong Village which were opened due to the finding of the tin ore in the area around the 1930s. The village prospered during the peak of the tin mining era, bringing basic facilities to the area and later spawning the rubber plantations around.
Later during the execution of Brigg’s Plan, another new village known as Balakong Chinese New Village was opened as part of the British’s countermeasure against providing supplies to the Communist Party of Malaya back then. The Balakong name is said to be originated from the nearby Sungai Balak or literally translated as Log River. The development work later begun in the 1980s with the mining plants and rubber plantations being reclaimed for building newer residential areas, shopping complexes and modern industrial areas.
People driving from Kuala Lumpur may drive via the Kuala Lumpur – Seremban/E37 highway and Sungai Besi/E9 highway for immediate access to Balakong. The journey could take up around 20 minutes depending on the current traffic situation.
The train lines providing access to Balakong are the KTM southern coach line which stops at Tampin / Pulau Sebang station. From the centralized KL Sentral station, take a southbound train and drop at the Serdang KTM station before opting for bus, taxi or alternative transport services to go around the area.
Formerly known as Mines Resort City, it initially started off as the world’s largest open cast tin mine which covered 530 hectares of land, including the lakes. The government later isolated this land around 1988 to Country Heights Holdings Bhd (CHHB) for recreational and tourism purposes. In present, the health and wellness resort development consists of Palace of the Golden Horses luxury hotel, Golden Horses Health Sanctuary, Mines Wellness Hotel, Mines Shopping Mall, Mines Waterfront Business Park, Mines Resort & Golf Club, Mines Convention Center and The Heritage Residences and Retail inspired by the Kampung Kling Mosque of Melaka. The city is expected to have further expansion as part of the government’s Economic Transformation Plan (ETP) spearheaded by Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU), under the Prime Minister’s Department in a 2011 announcement by the Prime Minister.
Kolam Air Panas Sungai Serai or literally translated as Lemongrass River Hot Springs is a hot spring retreat located in Kampung Sungai Serai, Hulu Langat. The major landmark is a mosque with the name of Masjid Ehsan. It is among the well-maintained hot spring retreat in the area, with basic facilities such as plastic chairs, changing rooms as well as the calming atmosphere. It is located a bit deeper into the woods but not very far from the hustles and bustles of the city, which causes the location to be pretty secluded yet being less noisy. Charges are imposed at one ringgit per head.
Another interesting place to visit when visitors are in Balakong is the Alam Damai Recreational Park, a good spot for joggers and runners alike, where a proper 3.17 kilometers jogging track is built around the area with a peaceful setting of greenly trees. Being a well-developed park for recreation with friends and family, one can find a multitude of facilities being prepared to grace the visitors such as small ponds, playgrounds, pull up bars and others which are spread out through the area.