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Can you go hiking in KL? Yes, you can.
And if you are currently planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur, or maybe you are already in the city looking for some adventurous things to do in KL, then this is for you. The Bukit Tabur hiking trail is waiting for you. It’s challenging. You’ll get sweaty. But the views are well worth the effort. Right now, the trail is officially closed and is no longer maintained.
So, if you choose to go, you must understand that you are doing that at your own risk. People have died there.
1. Hiking In KL
I came to Kuala Lumpur for the first time in 2014.
That’s also when I first learned about the Bukit Tabur Hiking trail.
I had a lot of free time, so I started googling what to do in Kuala Lumpur. I wanted to go hiking in KL. I found some information online about the Dragon’s Back trek in Kuala Lumpur. As it turned out later, it was the same trail. Only back then I couldn’t find any reliable information about the starting point of the trail. I knew only approximately where it was.
As a result I just went through the jungle. I reached the peak of the Tabur hill, but it was tough.
Wouldn’t recommend to anyone.
Take the trail! It’s not that hard to find it.
2. Bukit Tabur Hiking Trail: Basics
STARTING POINT: Bukit Tabur (West), Bukit Tabur (East);
TIME: around 4 hours to go up and down;
TIPS: go early, bring a big bottle of water with you & don’t go alone. Don’t go after the rain. There are a lot of rocks and muddy paths. It’s all gonna be very slippery and dangerous.
There are 2 trails in the area – Bukit Tabur (West) and Bukit Tabur (East).
Both offer very similar views, as they are located right next to each other. Hiking conditions on both are almost identical. Both I would include among the top places to go in KL. The main difference is that the Bukit Tabur (East) is said to be more challenging.
I’ve done the Bukit Tabur (West) trail 3 times. This article is about it this trail.
3. Bukit Tabur Hiking Trail
The trail is circural.
The finish point is only a very short walk away from the starting point.
At first you are just walking through the bushes. It’s all up the hill. But apart from that it’s nothing difficult.
It’s a bid muddy trail with rocks here and there.
Very soon you start having views like the ones above.
The first views of the Klang Gates Dam. And soon afterwards – of Kuala Lumpur.
Not bad, huh, taking into account that you are now basically hiking in Kuala Lumpur? Only a short ride away from all the hustle and bustle, from all the skyscrapers and highways.
Don’t go after the rain. There are a lot of rocks and muddy paths. It’s all gonna be very slippery and dangerous.
This far it’s not dangerous. And it’s doable by most. You can fall, of course. But if you are careful, you should be fine.
And the trail also becomes more challenging.
There are a lot of rocks further on.
At some places it’s flat. But there is a lot of going up and down.
For the most part you also have where to hold on. Because there is either a regular rope or wire rope.
At some places you have to rely only on yourself.
You are climbing over the rocks.
If you are an experienced hiker, you will not call it too difficult or dangerous.
But this trail does require you to stay focused for most of the time.
At one point, very near the highest point, the trail started going down… So, this is it, I thought. It must be very hard to go any further and that’s why the trail finishes here and goes down now. The downhill looked vere steep. And only a few steps later I noticed, that it wasn’t the trail in fact.
I’ll repeat myself, be careful! If you decide to do this hike.
One of the trail posts, with wire rope attached to it, had fallen down and was now just hanging in the air. Luckily I was taking it slowly and was very focused on the trail.
The trail continued further.
Becoming a bit more challenging.
I’ll repeat myself, be careful! If you decide to do this hike.
The most difficult part of the trail was the highest part of it.
At one point the trail split into two. And at first we didn’t notice the wire rope through the bushes.
Apart from this and a couple more places, where it can be a bit confusing, following the trail is easy.
And then you start walking down.
Trail leading down for most part is a normal jungle trail.
You are going through bushes every now and then.
There aren’t almost any rocks. But it’s steap at places.
You finish the trail by walking out on a road to the Bukit Tabur Retreat.
You have finished the Bukit Tabur hike.
4. Getting to the Trail
Most convenient option: Grab or taxi (compare the price);
Nearest metro station: Wangsa Maju;
Cheap and good option: metro + Grab or taxi.
Metro station is some 3 miles / 5 kilometers away from the trail start. Which means that most probably you will have to take a taxi or Grab to go from the metro station to the starting point.
5. It’s Possible to Hike the Opposite Way
The same as it’s possible to go only until some point and turn around.
If you decide to do it the other way, go to the Bukit Tabur Retreat.
Trail starts next to the gate. When you see gate in front of you, go to the left. There is a trail that’s easy to follow. Note, that there are no any trail markers, though. Going this way is easier, as it’s mostly forest trail. But it’s also way less scenery. As you walk through the forest for most of the time. But you get to the top twice as fast.
Which way to go? It’s up to you to choose.
If you go the opposite way, you can also reach the top, take photos and turn around.
Or you can continue and go further, if you feel like that.
At one point you’ll start noticing ropes and wire ropes.
6. Where to Stay in KL
VALUE FOR MONEY – THE FACE Suites
See the pool in the photo above?
That’s the view you’ll be having from your pool and gym, if you stay at THE FACE Suites.
If a hotel room at THE FACE Suites is over your budget, take a look at what’s availabe on Airbnb.com. There are quite a few apartments being rented out in this exact apartment building. For example, here is one Airbnb I’ve stayed at. You can even take only a room in apartment for something like 60-80 ringgits, but you’ll still be able to enjoy this beautiful pool.
Use this link to get a discount on Airbnb (if you haven’t registerd yet).
Double room starts at 500 MYR. Check prices and availability.
CHEAP – Space Hotel Chinatown
A great space-themed capsule hotel in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
Have you ever wanted to stay in a capsule hotel? To feel like an astronaut? Here is your chance and it’s cheap.
I’ve spent a total of 3 weeks living in Space Hotel Chinatown, and I absolutely loved it.
Single “room” starts at 35 MYR. Check prices and availability.
Have you been in Kuala Lumpur? Have you been hiking in KL? What was your experience?
Book Your Trip Like a PRO
1. Book Your Flight. Find cheap flights using Kiwi.com, Momondo.com. Or subscribe to Dollar Flight Club, if you don’t want to be searching for the flights yourself. Kiwi currently is my first choice.
2. Book Your Accommodation. Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!
3. Buy Your Travel Insurance. Ekta and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. Ekta offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities (make sure to choose the right plan!), while SafetyWings is better for digital nomads. SafetyWings is also very affordable.
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Great blog post… I also did Bukit Tabur (West) in 2014, and Bukit East a few weeks ago. Although it’s been almost six years between the two hikes, I think Tabur West is the more challenging trail – a bit longer, greater total ascent and more sections where you have some pretty big drops to traverse. https://hikingtheworld.blog/2020/01/09/bukit-tabur-east-dragons-back/
Thank you! I actually haven’t done Bukit Tabur East, so it was my assumption after reading other people’s reviews. I really liked Bukit Tabur West.
If anyone is planning a hike there, kindly be informed that Bukit Tabur is official closed for hiking since 2017 unless you have a permit, all for your own safety.
Further safety info on links below.
Actually it’s not at your own risk. It’s closed and going there is illegal. If caught you will be fined or jailed. Please stop promoting this place. It’s irresponsible. A French tourist died of head injuries from a fall here in February and there have been 3 other missing hiker cases this year alone.
Thank you for information!