Having multiple mountain ranges streaking across Malaysia, hiking has become a popular weekend activity for the adventurous souls, and is steadily gaining traction among the youth, who would brave the trekking trails for some insta-worthy shots from the summit top (who knew social media could be such an effective fitness motivator?). Here are 10 great hikes in Malaysia with magnificent views!
1. Monkey Beach in Penang
Named after the local macaques inhabiting the land, instead of taking a boat to this beach, opt for a scenic 3.5-kilometer (2.1 mile) hike through Penang National Park (admission is free)! Wear proper shoes; expect to be climbing over some huge rocks, stepping over thick roots and ducking under foliage on this trail, while also encountering many wildlife animals such as lizards, monkeys and more on your journey to the beach! This trail would take approximately 2 hours to complete.
Monkey Beach Penang National Park (Teluk Duyung)
Website: Monkey Beach Penang National Park
2. Bukit Saga in Kuala Lumpur
A hike that takes you to one of the best views of KL, there are a few trails you can take up to the peak of Bukit Saga – Trail A, B or C. But whichever trail you take, you will be lead to the summit of Bukit Saga and its two waterfalls. As some trails are steeper than others, it is recommended you hike as a group, and not recommended to hike at night if you’re unfamiliar with the routes. The hike would take approximately 2-3 hours to complete, depending on your fitness level and which route you plan to take.
3. Hiking Trail 1 in Cameron Highlands
A 3 km (1.8 mi) hike to the peak of Brinchang, you’ll really be testing your stamina trekking this popular trail in Cameron Highlands. Expect to test your upper body strength as you’ll be using ropes to pull yourself up at times, and also, expect to get dirty, as these trails can get muddy at times (ankles deep). It would take you about 2-3 hours to complete this climb, and on the way down you’ll be passing through the tea plantation.
Cameron Highlands Trail 1
4. Hiking Trail 10 in Cameron Highlands
A half way hike, Trail 10 is another popular trail in Cameron highlands travelers like to go on, that will take you past some great views from the open hill.
Cameron Highlands Trail 10
5. Penang Hill Loop
Taking you through an 11 km (6.8 mi) jungle loop hike to the Summit of Penang Hill, this hike will take you about 5 hours to complete. The trails are known to be steep, but you’ll find the view from the summit to be worthwhile! But you’ll also be impressed by the sights of the jungle throughout your trek.
Penang Island Jungle Hikes
Website: Penang Island Jungle Hikes
6. Gunung Irau (Mossy Forest)
One of the most popular hiking trails in Malaysia, the winding forest trails in Gunung Irau often are said to remind people of scenes from Lord of The Rings. You’ll get a magnificent view of the border between Perak and Pahang when you reach the summit.
Gunung Irau Hike
7. Gunung Ledang in Johor
The tallest mountain peak in Johor, Gunung Ledang (Aka Mount Ophir) is one of the most popular mountains in Malaysia. It is also a challenging and long hike, where even the fittest of hikers will take six hours to reach the summit!
8. Bukit Tabur West in Kuala Lumpur
A popular hiking trail in KL, beginner hikers tend to hike up the West side of Bukit Tabur, while more advanced hikers would opt for the East side trails. Bukit Tabur is part of the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge, it is advisable to bring gloves to make your hike on this terrain safer. Also known as the Dragon’s Backbone or Quartz Ridge, travelers brave the heights and rough terrains of this trail to get the most beautiful view of Kuala Lumpur during sunrise and sunset!
9. Gunung Santubong in Sarawak
A moderate difficulty day hike up to the summit, this is one of the best hikes you can get in Sarawak! Requiring some level of fitness, this hike involves steep climbs and rope ladders, but promises breathtaking views from the top. Quieter on weekdays, you can admire the diverse rainforest surroundings, with a chance of meeting local wildlife!
Gunung Santubong Trek
Website: Gunung Santubong Trek
10. Lintang Trail, Bako National Park in Sarawak
This loop trail of moderate length and difficulty is a great introduction to Bako National Park’s wealth of animals and vegetation. A 5.2 km (3.2 mi) trek, you’ll pass through all major vegetation types in Sarawak and may see animals like proboscis monkeys, monitor lizards, and even blue kingfishers! You’ll use up approximately 3-4 hours to complete this trek.
Although a fun activity to satisfy your inner adrenaline junkie, you should always adhere to safety precautions when going on a hike! Here are some that I think everyone should abide by, just to be safe!
1) Never hike alone. No matter how experienced you are, on the trek, you’re at the mercy of the jungle, anything can happen! Best to go in groups of 3-4 in case of emergencies!
2) Inform your plans, itinerary, hiking partner(s) details and location to you loved ones.
3) Always check the weather forecast before you hike!
4) If you’re a beginner or are unfamiliar with the trail, hike with an experienced partner or a local guide.
5) No matter what, don’t stray away from the trail, and don’t go into closed areas!
6) Always bring essentials in your bag; which includes a map, first aid kit, Swiss army knife, whistle, compass, lighter/matches, headlight/torchlight, extra waters and snacks.
7) Wear proper hiking shoes and dress appropriately for a hike, wear sunscreen and bring sunglasses and a cap.
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