A jungle hike to multiple cascades and swimming holes in Kuala Kubu Bharu (KKB), less than two hours drive from Kuala Lumpur.
I’ve convinced my local marketing team that a jungle hike would be a good team activity – a few of them still bore mental scars from a trip the previous year to Bukit Tabur, which turned out to be a little more strenuous than planned… This time I’ve found local guide Eddie Yap to take us, and promised it would be less arduous and more fun. Trust me, I promised…
Eddie suggested Medang Falls in Kuala Kubu Bharu (Selangor) about 90min drive from Kualu Lumpur. The hike begins near an an Orang Asli (meaning “original” or “natural” people) village, after Kuala Kubu Bharu, with the final few kilometres on a gravel road. The track continues along an old gravel road for about 500m, before crossing the Pertak river on a sturdy suspension bridge. Note that (so far) everyone is smiling and looking cheerful!
The walk continues on a well-graded dirt trail for a while, and after about one kilometre a second river (Sungai Luit) is crossed on a far less sturdy steel bridge that requires some careful footwork!
A few hundred metres further on there’s a fork where we go left: the right-hand track leads up to the 1,050m Bukit Kutu summit. While the track is well-defined, there’s no signage so you need good track notes or someone who knows the way! From here the trail follows the Luit river for a while.
Eddie points out a number of different tropical plants and flowers: below left is a wild ginger flower, which is also cultivated as an ornamental flower.
A little further, by slashing through one of the many hanging vines in the jungle, Eddie demonstrates how water can be obtained. It’s surprising how much water drips out of a relatively short piece of cut vine!
The trail climbs up the ridge between the Luit river valley and Rinting valley; it’s well maintained except for some sections with deep ruts caused by local motorbike riders.
Some more flowering plants and mushrooms are spotted – there seems to be a lot of plants in bloom at this time of year.
We finally reach Lubuk Mecu at about 12:30pm after two hours of walking, the first set of small cascades which drop a few metres into a deep pool.
Just below these cascades is another small waterfall, with a rough path heading steeply down through a bamboo grove.
The star attraction, Medang Falls, requires another short scramble through the jungle before reaching the tallest waterfall. It’s a lovely spot for lunch and a swim, with the water cascading down the rocks providing a nice back massage!
Unfortunately it’s started to rain just after we arrived, so after a quick swim and lunch, it’s time to head back. Everyone’s getting a bit tired, and we take it easy down some of the steeper sections that are slippery in the heavy rain.
Just before we reach the car, the second last river crossing – the one with the dodgy “bridge” – provides a bit of a challenge with the rapidly rising water now spilling over it. If we’d arrived there much later we might have been stuck, but we managed to make it across safely by forming a human chain. (Even the dog, which had been following us for most of the walk, also made it across!)
We make it back, wet and a bit worse for wear, at 3:30pm. It’s been about four hours of hiking with the journey taking about two hours each way. The team is smiling a lot less than when we started. I am thinking next year, perhaps I need a different team activity…
|Location||Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor, Malaysia (90min drive from KL)
(Starting co-ordinates: 3.572510N, 101.738128E)
|Distance||12km return, with total ascent of about 150m|
|Season/s||All year, but best to avoid monsoon months (Nov-Feb)|
|Resources||Track notes – Waterfalls of Malaysia|