Ipoh's Mirror Lake and Bukit Batu Putih, Gopeng

Updated: Jan 22

Being in lockdown within a 10km radius of your house certainly seems like house arrest. It is 2021, and mankind has yet to find a cure to the pandemic. We are still reverting to age-old ways to jail up oneself and isolate from the rest of the world until the vaccine kicks in.

Never has it been more apparent to make hay when there is sunshine.


In this case, once upon a time, when daily Covid-19 infections were clocking only 2 digits, Trailblazer hiking group did a sunset trip to Ipoh, to seek the mirror lake and Gopeng, Bukit Batu Putih.


Mirror Lake


A stunning hidden lake surrounded by limestone karst towers through a tunnel.

Lush and emerald green

Starting point: Google or Waze, Mirror Lake, Ipoh. You will park in an open space by the abandoned house. There will be a car park attendant who will collect RM5 per car.

Hike Duration: It is a short 10-minute walk-in through a tunnel in the limestone hill.

End Hike: It is a backtrack

Hike Difficulty: Easy

Scenery Rewards: the lake is breath-taking


Bring your children, they will enjoy walking through the dark, tunnel! You can see the light at the end of this tunnel, it is not so dark!


walk around the back of the abandoned house to enter the bush area


The lake, located right next to a quarry site.


Nature, history and destruction


Since the beginning of time, the Kinta Valley has been draped by a magnificent backdrop of limestone hills that resemble the landscape in Guilin China or Phong Nha-Ke Bang, Vietnam. But that was a thing of the past. If you drive through Kinta Valley today, you'll see dozens of mining and quarry site all actively participating in the flattening of the natural environment while the authorities turn a blind eye to such massive destruction!

At the rate, the bulldozing of these magnificent hills are going, it would turn the Kinta Valley into planet Mars in 5 years.

Why can't we preserve these gems and draw tourism to adore and admire while creating jobs instead of empowering destructive means for revenue to the state?



Start


Walk around the abandoned house and you will come to a clearing that is surrounded by hills. (if they are still there)

Walk on for about 3 minutes and you will see the hole in the hill.


Walk through the cave, let your eyes adjust to the darkness
About 50m long tunnel with a surprise awaiting you
Entrance of the cave

The is always a sense of insecurity in the dark. It makes this little march through the tunnel suspense. If it is your first time you will be astonished at what awaits on the other side........ CROWDS!


Tip: Try your best to reach early! Mornings might have less breeze and you may see a mirror effect and definitely fewer crowds.


Saturday crowd

Bukit Batu Putih, Gopeng


If you are traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh or returning from Ipoh to Kuala Lumpur, and if you are seeking for a short and sweet adventure, Bukit Batu Putih would be it.

It is short with rewarding views over the Gua Tempurung and Sungai Kampar.

Bukit Batu Putih is also a popular destination for white water rafting on the tributaries of the Kampar River.


Short hike with an epic lookout to the rolling limestones hills


Starting point: Google or Waze, Bukit Batu Putih Trailhead (Gopeng). The entry is very close to the access point to the Gaharu Tea Valley. You can park your car in the village car park, RM2

Hike Duration: It is a short 40minute to and fro.

End Hike: It is a backtrack

Hike Difficulty: Easy

Scenery Rewards: 4/5


Tips: Depending on which part of the day you come, bring a cap or hat along. The ridge can be really hot on a sunny day!

Not too long ago in April 2019, an Ultrarun participant was lost and never to be found in this forest. It is hard to imagine getting lost in this secondary forest but somethings are sometimes unexplainable.

Sometimes there is a caretaker at the entrance- RM3 conservation fee and RM2 for car park

Start hike


The hike up to this 310m hill is well-marked and self-explanatory. We were unlucky with the weather for this planned sunset hike. The heavens opened and it poured!


310m wil sweeping views of rolling hills of Gua Tempurung

The first 20 minutes, you will hike through secondary forest with partial canopy.


Before arriving at the peak, there are 2 spectacular viewings points.

You'll have to climb over the rocks to continue on the path. I think the trail used to be a loop but from the peak, the alternative way down is heavily overgrown, so the best is to backtrack.

Begining hike start in Zone 1
Dramatic scenery of the limestone hills
Just follow the path all the way up to the peak
The limestones were really slippery in the rain

From the peak, you can hear the sound of gushing water in a distance. The route to the river is accessible through the village even by car.

Our short hike was cut short as the rain pattered on. We made a brisk downhill walk to the carpark. There is a bathroom and changing area at the entrance of the hike that was really convenient for drenched hikers to change to dry clothes.


And when in Gopeng, make sure you stop for their famed limestone washed noodles!



Reflections


The landscape in Kinta valley is second to none in Peninsular Malaysia. It is a pity that most times when we make our way north to Penang, Kinta Valley is always by-passed. There are many gems in Kinta Valley waiting to be uncovered before they the land turns into Mars.




Date visited: July 2020













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