Bukit Gasing trail

Before Bukit Tabur, Bukit Gasing was my first ever hiking trail that I tried. Situated on the border of Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Gasing is the perfect setting to hike, walk or stroll. The trail is quite easy to follow although there's about a dozen path you can choose from. This forest reserve is great for first timers or beginners to try hiking or some basic climbing.

Getting to Bukit Gasing forest reserve is pretty straight forward. Just head on to Jalan Gasing in Petaling Jaya and enter the affluent housing area and look for this little archway which marks the entrance to the trail and forest reserve.

The place gets quite crowded during weekends and parking space is very limited so it would be a good idea to come early during those times.

The first 100 meters of the trail is well kept and on one part paved with a short path of reflexology stones. There's also a small hut near the entrance where you can rest your tired legs or just hang around in the park.

After that, the trail basically turned into dirt and in some parts mud. If this is you first time here, you could easily get disoriented or confused where to go. It would be good if you can get somebody familiar with the trail to lead the way. If not, don't worry because the place is literally overrun with people on weekends so you can just follow somebody or ask around for directions.

The best route you can take is by hiking to the watch tower and then proceed to the hanging bridge. From the hanging bridge you can walk a little bit further up the hill before making your way back to where you came from.

To get to the watch tower, walk about 300 meters from the entrance and look out for these signboards. Turn left over a little bridge and go up the stairs.

This little watch tower is the feature landmark of Bukit Gasing. From up there you'll see a scenic view of the surrounding jungle and some buildings and transmission tower on top of the hill. Excuse the excessive graffiti  inside the watch tower though.

The hanging bridge built over a little stream there is another landmark that you might want to visit. The bridge can only hold a limited number of people at one time so make sure there's a safe gap with you and the person in front of you.

If you are the adventurous type, you can stray off the beaten path and find your way to the little stream running through the forest reserve. The water looks crystal clear and fresh enough but not knowing where it came from, I'd advise against drinking it (LOL as if anyone would).

During my visit, it was on a weekday and there's hardly any other people around. Therefore I simply boldly go wherever my feet took me. In the end my feet took me over 8 kilometers of walking and hiking, covering almost every part of the forest reserve including a water plant at the far end of the park. I literally let myself get lost in that little jungle.

Bukit Gasing was formerly a rubber plantation that was abandoned for 50 years. During that period, nature has overtaken the hillsides to produce a lush secondary forest brimming with woody herbs and large tropical trees.

Apart from insects (and a lot of mosquitoes) there's not much animals to see or find in Bukit Gasing. I was (lucky?) to chance upon a black snake on my hike there which I hope is not poisonous or anything. The snake was all to eager to avoid any contact with humans it seems because it clearly ran away upon my arrival.

Surrounded by the nation's capital and the bustling urban center of Petaling Jaya, Bukit Gasing is slowly encroached by development. On the Kuala Lumpur side of the forest reserve, I found the hill being actively cleared for some residency of commercial development. I'm sure they are probably private land but still, one has to ponder how long this invaluable forest reserve would last.

In scale of difficulty, I would rate Bukit Gasing 5 out of 10. The forest reserve clearly lacks adequate signage or some form of direction communications. Getting lost in the forest reserve is although distinct, is still a real possibility because there's so many paths to choose from. The hike itself is not that hard or really challenging unless you're not so active or led a healthy lifestyle. It does tests your stamina going up, down and around the forest reserve.

I saw people from all ages came to visit Bukit Gasing and it should be a good place for beginners who's about to embark on the world of hiking and the outdoors in general. My advice is to come early, bring sufficient water supply (one 1.5 liter water minimum) and always be on the move to avoid being bitten by the merciless mosquitoes. Seriously, if you stand still for more then 5 seconds, you'll be swarmed with mosquitoes.

Compared to other hiking trails that I've been, there's not so much panoramic views or scenery to enjoy at Bukit Gasing unless you really like trees. Still since it's conveniently located in the urban area and easily accessible, the place is really quite popular with city folks. After the hike, I would recommend you freshen up at Raju's just round the corner from the main street of Jalan Gasing. I heard the roti canai is marvelous there.