Let me start by saying that Kuala Lumpur, by and large, is a lovely city. Despite the massive traffic jams, crowded spaces, and sometimes unbearable noise pollution, Malaysia’s capital is a vibrant, exciting city which continues to draw in tourists from around the world.
However, if you’re living in K.L., or if you’ve lived in the city before, you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say that the city can sometimes be a little bit suffocating. The countless skyscrapers, the ridiculous crowds, and the hectic city life can really disorientate a person.
Thankfully, you don’t have to hike up Mount Kinabalu or venture into the rainforests of Taman Negara for some peace and quiet! If you’re looking for some fresh air that’s near K.L., then look no further because here are 8 scenic hiking trails you could take to escape the bustling city confines of Kuala Lumpur!
1. Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) – Kepong, Kuala Lumpur
I bet some of you didn’t even know this place existed! The Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) is a verdant public area located on the outskirts of Kepong. It is a pristine location for trekking, cycling, having a picnic and simply to just fall into the embrace of Mother Nature.
There are several easy hiking trails in the area, with the Rover Track being the most popular. However, do take note that the famous canopy walk is no longer accessible, having closed permanently last year. A new one is expected to be built soon though, so keep an eye out for that.
FRIM is a leisurely hike more than anything with generally flat surfaces that you can hike through within an hour or two.
Approximate height: 220 metres
Entrance Fee: RM1 (Malaysian)/ RM5 (Non-Malaysian); parking fees may apply (about RM5)
2. Gunung Datuk – Rembau, Negeri Sembilan
Even though Gunung Datuk is located in Negeri Sembilan, you only need about an hour and a half to get to the foot of this mountain by car. The hike here might not be the best for amateurs as there is a mixture of steep inclines and rocks that you’ll need to maneuver as you ascend through the verdant forest greens.
It’s a rather long hike (it could take up to seven hours) but once you see a bunch of huge rocks ahead of you, then you’re almost at the end of it. Towards the end, you’ll have to make your way up a few large rocks using ladders (don’t worry, they’re anchored to the rocks). How exciting! At the top, you’ll be able to enjoy a breathtaking view of Rembau and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a few rainbows due to the climate there!
Approximate height: 890 metres
Entrance Fee: RM5
3. Bukit Tabur (West) – Taman Melawati, Selangor
Located next to the Klang Gates Dam, Bukit Tabur is one of the harder hiking trails on this list. While it’s not exactly Mount Kinabalu, the terrain at Bukit Tabur, consisting mainly of quartz and slippery rocks, make it a rather challenging climb. There’s also some ropework involved so make sure to bring along your hiking gloves!
For all the precarious toil to the summit, your reward is one of the loveliest sights you’ll ever see in K.L. The breathtaking scenery at the top spans the entire dam and if the weather is good, you might even be able to see Genting Highlands! You can also see the entire city of K.L. including the K.L. Tower and KLCC.
For those who dare brave this arduous three and a half hour journey, an unforgettable sight awaits.
Approximate height: 275 metres
Entrance Fee: RM5 permit
4. Bukit Tabur (East) – Taman Melawati, Selangor
The difference between the East and West sides of Bukit Tabur lies mainly in the endpoint. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If anything, Bukit Tabur East is even more challenging. Not only is the ascent longer, there are also fewer hikers on this trail. But as they say, the greater the risk, the greater the reward.
While there’s not much of a difference between the view at the top, the hike at Bukit Tabur East ends with a cliff sticking out of the ground. If you’re not afraid of heights, you can climb to the edge of this cliff for a picture that you will probably proudly show off for a long, long time.
Unlike Bukit Tabur West, you don’t need a permit to hike here. Although I do suggest going with a group of friends or with more experienced hikers.
Approximate height: 450 metres
Entrance Fee: None
5. Bukit Kutu – Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor
I’ll just go ahead and say it: Bukit Kutu is the toughest hike on this list. Located 90 minutes away from K.L., this “hill” is actually taller than some mountains. The entire hike could easily take up to seven hours!
However, if that sounds daunting, rest assured that the hike along the way will be quite a pleasant experience as you trek through various different terrain including river crossings, bamboo forest trails, and root climbs. Being the site of a former colonial-era station, you will also encounter some ruins of old structures as you make your way up.
As you ascend the final steep slopes to the top, give yourself a pat on the back and take in the spectacular scenery before your eyes.
Approximate height: 1050 metres
Entrance Fee: None
6. Gunung Angsi – Ulu Bendul/Bukit Putus, Negeri Sembilan
There are two accessible trails at Gunung Angsi: the Ulu Bendul entrance and the Bukit Putus entrance. Of the two, Ulu Bendul is the more challenging trail, featuring a longer route and steeper inclines that will keep you huffing and puffing along the way.
Both trails converge at the same peak, a chilly open clearing that is perfect to just laze about. Although the view isn’t as spectacular as the other hikes on this list, it certainly provides a great opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and breathe in the fresh mountain air!
Approximate height: 825 metres
Entrance Fee: RM5
7. Broga Hill – Semenyih, Selangor
Broga Hill is one of the best places in Malaysia to catch the sunrise. It is extremely popular with students from the nearby University of Nottingham Malaysia campus and they’ll probably fight you if you disagree with what I’ve just written.
I’ve been up this hill a few times during my own time as a student (ayyy!) and I recommend that you start at around 4.30a.m. if you want to catch the break of dawn. You’ll need a torchlight at the very least and make sure you wear shoes which are suitable for hiking as the path can get slippery sometimes.
The hike itself isn’t all too difficult and it’s possible to complete it within two hours. The scenery at the peak is absolutely alluring, especially with the sunrise in the backdrop. From personal experience, it’s one of the most awe-inspiring sights you’ll ever see in a lifetime.
Approximate height: 400 metres
Entrance Fee: None; parking fees may apply (it was RM2 when I was there back in 2015)
8. Gunung Tok Wan – Semenyih, Selangor
For those who are seeking to truly test their grit, Gunung Tok Wan is an often unheard of hiking trail that lies just beyond Broga Hill. How is it a test of grit? Well, the starting point on the hike to Gunung Tok Wan starts at the peak of Broga Hill!
That’s right, after enjoying the lovely sunrise, you have the choice of heading back down to the sleepy town of Broga for a delicious pan mee breakfast (yasss!) or seek out this hidden path that takes you up another 200 or so metres! This moderately easy hiking trail will take you through yet more verdant surroundings and requires about two hours to complete.
At the top, you’ll be rewarded with a splendid aerial view of Broga Hill and the Town below. Just…try not to think about having to hike back down!
Approximate height: 675 metres
Entrance Fee: None; parking fees may apply (refer to Broga Hill)
Make your escape today
And there you have it, 8 scenic hiking trails to help you leave the bustling city of K.L. behind! So, if you’re feeling burdened, trapped, and suffocated by city life in K.L, make your escape to one of these pristine locations today to clear your head and revitalise your mind and body.