Updated: Jan 22
The wave rock in Kuala Pilah, Negri Sembilan, discovered in 2018, was most photographed and share on social media. The trailhead of Bukit Baginda/wave rock is a whopping 2 half hours from Kuala Lumpur. However, the car journey was a pleasant surprise.
Passing through hamlets, houses on stilts, 'minangkarbau' roof, rolling hills and mysterious megalithic boulder cluster scattered all around Kuala Pilah district was enchanting.
You will see clusters of rocks mysteriously placed on empty farm land believed to be a symbol of fertility of Adat Perpatih community around the 14th century. interestly, the minangkarbau community practices a matrilineal descent system.
Starting point: If you are coming from KL, just google or waze Bukit Baginda Trailhead. There is a signboard indicating Right to the wave rock on the main Seremban-Kuala Pilah road
Hike Duration: Allow around 2-2 half hours up and another 1 half-hour down
End Hike: It is a backtrack.
Hike Difficulty: 3/5 with a cave section, and many ropes.
Scenery Rewards: 1/5 the star of the hike has to be the rock!
Note: This hike is relatively moderate but highly dependent on the weather. The first part of the hike is on a river bed through rock-forming caves. I can imagine the water level can be dangerously high as it is at the narrow and enclosed part of the stream.
What to bring
1. Basic first aid utilities
2. Walking stick is a live saver especially when the trail turns into hot creamy chocolate!
3. Raincoat and Pancho ( you will be able to find them at any convenience store or Daiso shops for about RM6.00) it would certainly rain, so make sure you have one!
4. Torch. The cave section although short but can be dark! It is advisable to have a torch or headlamp.
5. At least 2l of water, pack lunch, snack
6. Change of clothes, especially if you want to refresh yourself by the waterfalls at the end of the hike.
7. Good pair of hiking shoes is absolutely necessary
8. Gloves as there is quite many rope sections
9. Check the weather forecast
10. A small bottle of spray with Listerine or Dettol in case of leech attack. There are leeches here!
11. MOSQUITO REPELLANT
There is a make-shift counter at the trailhead. A permit is needed for RM 5 by the Negeri Sembilan forestry department and RM3 for miscellaneous. Make sure you have RM8 in hand.
The whole trail is well marked with signs except for one part after the cave. If taken a wrong trail here, you will end up hiking through more rubber plantation before hitting the actual ascend!
*** 2nd route, I realized there are 2 or 3 trails leading to the wave rock. If you take the left path at the fork at the rubber estate trail (10 minutes in, enter the NO ENTRY sign), you will hit a massive boulder and beneath that boulder, there are ancient grave there believed to be the grave of Bagido.
We took the more adventurous way through the rock cave.
Part 1 - Rubber Plantation, Cave
The walk through the rubber estate is picturesque and easy but annoyingly disturbing with the swarms of mosquitos try to feast on you.
The collection cups of the latex milk collect water too. The trapped water makes a perfect breeding ground for mosquito larva! Quickly brisk through the estate and head to the riverbed.
After scrambling through the cave it is very important to take the right trail and not the straight or the left trail. Straight or left will lead you to the rubber plantation area although it intersects further up on the trail.
From here is an uphill climb for about 15 minutes and then a little downhill towards a rocky bed with a towering boulder rising into the sky on the right flank of the trail.
Pass the rickety wooden bridge and ascend up until you reach a sign stating SEMPADAN HUTAN. (forest border)
Part 2 UP UP UP CP2-CP8
From here, it is a steep incline to the peak. You will come across your first mini wave rock formation.
The trail flattens a little at the majestic tree. And then, it cuts straight up the switchbacks of former logging tracks now overgrown. There are a few steep, slippery sections supported by ropes.
Depending on your fitness, you will reach the baby wave rock in about 15 minutes. It is a teaser to what you will find at the top.
The trail eases before the last final ascend after the huge skeletal tree trunk of what is said to be Pokok Cengal (hardwood dipterocarp or Malaysian teak, highly sort after)
photo credits: Nancy & Kyrie
Bukit Baginda Peak 450m & The Wave Rock
From tree trunk, it is a final push to the summit. No vantage points, just a sign indicating the discovery by Negri Sembilan Hikers on 25th October 2018! That's not too long ago!
It took us almost 2hour and 30 minutes to the summit! Even if we removed photography time, it would take 2 1/4 hour! This trail is not as easy as one may think! We meet a few hikers who took the wrong turn up, and they looked really exhausted and tired out.
We continued on the trail behind the summit and the Yamtuan rock is not far away. Next to its perch on a cliff, is famed wave rock! There is a magnetic appeal from the rock!
I am not sure if the rope up to the rock is still intact but if you go around the smooth surface of the rock, there use to be a rope to the top. The rope generally in good condition but never fully trust a rope with all your weight!
We frolicked and explored the area while trying to figure out if it was the moving of plates of the earth or water element that caused the jagged wave columns on the granite rock. The rock is a sight to behold and the photos do not justify it enough!
On the other side of the wave rock, there is an area full of hard mushrooms.
The trail is a back-track. Despite it being downhill all the way, we still took about 1 and half hour. The muddy red clay soil and humus made the descend ever more slippery and we, more cautious. #bukitbagindabatukikir
Flora and Fauna
The area seems to have been logged or mined judging from the many skeletal trunks remains. Most of the hardwood trees seem to have been logged. There were traces of wild boar along the trail. We could hear calls of the monkey, and also encountered a black giant squirrel or civet cat. Whatever it was, it was huge!
Waterfalls Jeram Tengkek
About 6km from the trailhead, further down the main road, you could refresh yourself at the Taman Eko Rimba Jeram Tengkek waterfalls.
There, they have toilet and bath facilities there. It is a beautiful place to chillax and reflect on the wonders of nature!
We were famished and exhausted after the expedition of a 2 hour half car ride, 3 hour and a half hiking trip and some added steps to the waterfall!
All we could think of was food. We picked a stall by the road-side, managed by the strong women of the village and tried our best to resist not ordering everything they had in the kitchen! The food was tasty, cooked with care, very local and nostalgic!
The wave rock is a true marvel and the journey, a scenic and enchanting experience. A loud shout out to Koon Seng who volunteered to drive the long mile and the girls who came up with the ad-hoc plan.