Gunung Angsi via Ulu Bendul hike
Gunung Angsi is one of what you call easy mountains, perfect for beginners. There’s two routes to climb to the peak and I’ve climbed the easier one via Bukit Putus last year and it’s inevitable that I try the other route as well. This time around we arrived bright and early at the trail head/ranger’s office. We do need to start before the cut out time of 8:30-ish in the morning or they would tell us to hike through Bukit Putus again like last time.
After registering our names and paying the park entrance of 5 ringgit each, I stopped a while for breakfast. I don’t usually have breakfast so late before a hike but we were pressed for time and a late breakfast is definitely better than no breakfast at all. Just our luck though, our hike today was accompanied by a hundred or so members of the Royal Customs Academy members from Malacca. So our journey up the Ulu Bendul hike this time was a bit crowded with so many people coming along. But that didn’t affect our climbing experience in any way cause the custom boys and girls were quite sporting in making way for us and letting us pass first whenever our paths crossed.
The trail head starts right next to the ranger’s office near the Ulu Bendul recreational park stream. You just follow the stream on the left side (before the bridge) and just go straight until you find the pipes leading to Kem Tangga Batu. The pipes were used to carry fresh water from upstream to the recreational water park downstream (I presume). After the first campsite (Kem Tangga Batu) it’s all uphill from there on. The hike is similar to the one via Bukit Putus but unlike that one, the Ulu Bendul route requires some walking before the climbing. At Bukit Putus, you climb right from the start however the route is almost half as short and you reach the peak fairly quickly.
Since it’s almost 2 months since I did my last hiking (up Gunung Tahan), I almost forgot how it feels to hike up a mountain. Therefore it’s no surprise that my hike up Angsi was a bit slower this time around and I had to stop a few times to catch my breath. Still I managed to overtake all of the customs boys (and girls) and reach the peak right around midday. As expected, the summit was literally packed with people, hikers from both side of the trail converging at the top. There’s not much tree to sit under and cover from the hot sun. We hung around a bit, ate some food and then made our way down the same trail.
The journey back took another 3 hours, just as long as the way up. Which is quite strange considering the journey down is almost always faster. We followed the pipes again after Kem Tangga Batu but this time it lead us astray from the usual path. Instead of the same route where we started, we had to cross the stream and walk on the other side. We did found the trail head eventually so we didn’t actually got lost or anything, just went through an alternative route.
Overall the return trip took 6 hours plus half an hour at the top. The trail up to the summit was relatively easy. The path was clear, wide and well-trodden. There’s one part near the summit where you have to climb with the help of ropes but it’s not too difficult to attempt. I don’t usually climb the same mountain or hill twice but since this one is through a different route, I’ve just got to give it a try. It’s definitely much longer than the Bukit Putus route but not that long. As always, prepare yourself with ample water, 2 litres minimum cause the hike can be really hot during the day. You can even hike alone round here although I wouldn’t really recommend it if it’s your first hill. Besides, it’s much more fun hiking with your buddies.
Posted on Saturday, May 16, 2015