- Published on Monday, 01 December 2014 17:20
Ever thought of breaking out of the gym and try something outdoors?
Or perhaps feeling a little bit adventurous and seeking to escape the monotonous and dreary urban lifestyle? Hiking would be a great choice for you! For the uninitiated, here is a list of the top 5 hiking spots in Kuala Lumpur ranging in difficulty for beginners to the initiated.
1: FRIM (Forest Research Institute Malaysia)
Perfect for beginners and first dates, the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) is located in Kepong accessible via the Selayang-Kepong Highway. For those who wish to have a nice romantic ‘stroll’ without getting too gritty, FRIM is the ideal beginner’s hill. Best to hike early in the morning when there are less people and the air is cooler. Depending on your fitness level, the summit can be reached after a 30-minute hike. Be sure to stop by the river pool on the way down and give the canopy walkway a try!
2: Saga/Apeh Hill
Located between Ampang and Cheras, there are several entrances for Apeh/Saga Hill. If you are coming via Cheras Awana, they call it Apeh Hill and in my opinion the slopes here are more gradual in inclination. For those seeking a challenge (or training to climb Mount Kinabalu), it is best to head from the Ampang side (Taman Saga). The steep steps are reminiscent of Mount Kinabalu’s. Either of these entrances will lead you to the waterfall should you decide to head for the summit. Bear in mind there are many trails and a night hike is not recommended if you are unfamiliar with the route. Whichever entrance you choose to start with, make sure you end up where you started! This unfortunate hiker went alone for his first time and ended up hitching a ride from Cheras Awana back to Taman Saga.
3: Gasing Hill (Bukit Gasing)
For those living in PJ, Bukit Gasing (near Jalan Gasing) is a green treasure in the middle of a concrete jungle. Most people head there after work, starting around 8 in the evening when the jam is more tolerable. Gasing Hill will ensure all your leg muscles are used as it can go from gradual to steep incline in quick succession. Guaranteed to give you a sweat. A headlamp/flashlight is a must for evening activities.
4: Broga Hill (Bukit Broga)
At a height of 400 metres, ascend at 5 in the morning to make it for a view of the sunrise atop the summit. With views of both Selangor and Negeri Sembilan, the view is breathtaking and the air even more cooling. Best to hike on the weekdays as on the weekends the entire hill is crowded with people (making it look like an anthill) to a point where you have to line up to walk further towards the summit. A headlamp or flashlight is a MUST and make sure you wear stretchable fabric as there are a few boulders at the top in need of climbing. For the more adventurous, setting up camp atop Broga Hill is a wonderful opportunity to star gaze and cook camp food. Nothing can describe drinking hot mint tea while watching the 6 a.m. sunrise. (Please do clean up after yourself at the camp sites). Gunung Tok Wan is a hike further up Broga Hill’s summit if you wish to completely conquer these two ranges.
5. Tabur Hill (Bukit Tabur)
A terrifying 3 hours endurance circuit, located at Taman Melawati near Zoo Negara, this trail involves several rock climbs. There is Tabur East and Tabur West. As the world’s longest and oldest quartz ridge in the world, the stones are sharp and there are several treacherous climbs - the most extreme involving a ‘leap of faith’ down to the stone step below you - a step that is just out of your reach. Gloves and first aid kits are recommended, and only go during daylight hours as there has been several fatal accidents these past few years. In any case, the view atop is beautiful - one one side lies the great concrete jungle and the other, pure unadulterated jungle.
As with every activity in the great outdoors, always take safety precautions. The classic hiking rules always apply: always bring a whistle and headlamp/flashlight, go with a group, know your trail, wear proper shoes with grip, never leave a less able friend trailing behind, and let someone know that you will be climbing the hills and your estimated time of completion
Bukit Kiara is a great place to go jogging with tarmac roads, although its location make it hard to reach for those not living around the area.
Bukit Nanas is located in the heart of KL (just beneath KL Tower). An accessible hike.
Gunung Kutu, at Kuala Kubu Bharu are for fit and experienced hikers. 6 hours total going up and down, with a boulder climb that leaves you leaves you standing atop a windy summit.