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Highlights in Bukit Kiara

Updated: Jun 18


It can be challenging to seek escapism when you live in a concrete jungle and especially so in times of the pandemic. Bukit Kiara has always been the playground for city dwellers in Petaling Jaya or Kuala Lumpur. Venture off to the rugged path and you can be lost in dense jungle, but may find serenity!

Starting point: Park along Jalan Desa Kiara (make sure you avoid parking along the white lines)

Hike Duration: the hike is easy to medium depending on which routes you take.

End Hike: Loop/Backtrack

Hike Difficulty: 3/5 I think it is suitable for children above 5 too.

Scenery Rewards: 2/5 no vantage points


Tip: As hiking is becoming increasingly popular these days, parking ticket issuers are increasingly active too. #bukitkiaratrails


Temple Rock in Bukit Kiara

What to bring


1. Good pair of hiking shoes

2. Gloves

3. Some snacks

4. 2 litres of water.

5. Walking stick is necessary especially when it rains the trail can be slippery!

6. Cap and sunscreen!

7. A GOOD ADVENTURE SPIRIT


8 Tourist Spot + 2 more additions


It's really hard to explain the exact direction to any of these sites simply because of the many forks, junctions and entrances, prohibition zones. My best guide would be a map that can roughly tell the highlights of the hike. Or else, the next best thing is to find a knowledgeable guide who knows this hill like his own backyard. We had the privilege with the latter, big shout out to Alex Goh.



1. Grand Canyon/Great Wall


If you are starting your hike from Mt Kiara, getting here is really easy. From Jalan Kiara 7 walk down the slope and head inside the dirt road. Follow the trail for about 40m, and make a sharp left, and head up to the hill. In just over 5 minutes, you will reach the Grand Canyon.

This landscape seem to be a marked location for future developement

2. Serenity Tree


There are few routes to come to this point, one through Grand Canyon by the squatter houses and the durian tree, or through Boner route, or a sub-trail from the Boner.

This area is a perfect place to simply rest and relax, wade by the narrow stream with a succession of cascades, or even catch one's breathe.

This point is really close to the Penchala highway. If you are unsure whether or not you are on the right trail, just listen out to the sound of traffic. If it becomes more distinct, you know that you are on the right path.

When the tree meets the stream

There is a trail on the left from the tree that leads all the way to a lookout point of the Penchala Tunnel. If you are early, you might be able to catch the sunrise from this point too!


*Many interesting varieties of mushrooms have been spotted here such as the elf cups and the stinkhorn mushroom.

** recently a new member of the tortoise family was spotted around the stream area around here!



Adult Spiny Turtle spotted usually around Starbuck/serenity area

3. Starbucks Corner


If you are hiking up from Mt Kiara, take Boner/ Jane's Addiction trail, veer left and you will reach this rest point. The Kiara regular hikes have made some benches, a swing and a pretty chillax point where you would wish to get your cuppa fix. And sometimes if you are lucky enough you might just get your coffee specially brewed! (not joking)


Starbucks Corner and Sourdough Cafe Point

4. TEMPLE ROCK/ Angkor Wat


If you head towards the peak of Kiara, Temple rock would be on the lower elevation.

I love this area best of all. There is a majestic (banyan tree) strangler fig that hugs the edge of a series of flat boulders that resembles a structure from an ancient time.


Angkor Wat in Bukit Kiara

You can walk up the rocky slope to the top of this flat boulder but be careful as the surfaces of the rocks can be slippery!

* The impact of hikers during the Movement Control Order, has lead to the rapid destruction of popular hiking spots and sadly the tree of Angkor Wat has fallen victim. This prompted friends of Bukit Kiara to cordon off the trails leading to the area to allow for rehabilitation of the fauna and flora! As of January 2023, the trail remains closed!...... It will probably need more than half a year for the tree to be revive back!

For now, if you have not been to this enchanting area of Bukit Kiara, let the anticipation stir and hope the tree will strive again!




Here, you can have a close up look at this banyan tree. It has every shade of brown on the truck, so healthy and mighty. I hope it stays this way!


The Strangle Fig from the top of the flat boulder
So wild and roughed yet so close to the urban city

5. YELLOW ROCK


If you come after Temple rock, you have to ascend and made a left. Keep on that trail (beware as this trail shares with the mountain bikers). Take the path that veers left down towards this rock.

Yellow rock, Bukit Kiara best view in the rays of morning sun

The colour of the rock changes in wet and dry seasons. This huge boulder is carpeted with a thick layer of moss. It sits toward the east and when the sun shines in the mornings, the rock turns into a bright yellow! Its patches of moss flower mature and dry according to its micro seasons.


From Kiara tarmac loop, take snake and ladder trail, take right at the fork & the fluorescent rock is on top!
The carpet of moss in different stages of life

6. Bamboo Eye


The proximity of Bamboo eye, Temple rock and the yellow rock are rather close can you can explore them easily in the vicinity. The arch bamboo groove created a tunnel that seems to resemble an almond shape eye of a dragon.


Bamboo Eye of a dragon


7. Bukit Kiara Peak


Although only 258m in height it is always a feeling of achievement to arrive at the top! An easy hike up from the TNT trial, this summit is a steal!

However, if you are looking for a glorious summit view, you will be greatly disappointed.


Bukit Kiara 258m

8. WATERFALLS


The best and quickest way to get here is from the tarmac road from the Taman Tun Park loop. The dirt way would be to keep on Lower short trail or Bar-a-Kuda.

It is most impressive after rain when water tumbles into the cascade with a gushing effect. It is a great place to freshen up or even take a dip in the plunge pool!

Waterfall in Bukit Kiara

DINOSAUR EGG


This huge oval shape rock can be seen at the Taman Tun Bukit Kiara loop at the water catchment area. I have been walking the Taman Tun loop for more than 15 years but have never noticed the rock, perhaps it was cover by bushes before!


Dinosaur Rock

Secret Lake


Not exactly a pretty spot but it's rather rare to find a rather large lake tuck-up in Kiara hills. It can be easily accessible from the back of the Sri Hartamas school. The trial is rather self-explanatory and will lead you back out to the "Simpang Lima" crossroads.


The Kiara Lake in the morning hues after a heavy downpour! Simply stunning


Flora & Fauna


As this place use to be a former rubber plantation, you can see many mature rubber trees. Toward the Taman Tun park, an arboretum, there are a variety of species of trees there, and toward the village direction, there are many mature fruit trees, namely durian. There are also many Coffea Arabica plants around. When ripe the fruit is a bright red! #elephantyamflower

Photo credits: Elysee Yang


Recently after very heavy rainfalls, which was rather unusual for March/April months, the voodoo lily started popping up at various locations around the park! It is such a rare find! #voodoolily

life-cycle of the Voodoo lily


Reflections


For our own benefit, small selfless decisions are needed every day in these trying times even when we are hiking in the wilderness (5 to a group). Bear in mind that our continued enjoyment of Bukit Kiara depends on rules being respected, and I am not exactly sure if it will continue this way when we keep prying their gates and fences open! (check on the link for any updates on entrance closure or prohibition zone, although I understand there are none at the moment??)

As some of these trails actually criss-cross private ownership land and it will be their prerogative to prosecute trespassers if caught! #bukitkiaratrails


Don't let this sign dissuade you from hiking! Proceed at your own risk and good hiking shoes!



** Disclaimer: The actual names of trails and tree species may vary.



Date visited: 2020/2021/2023








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