Gunung Bunga Buah hike

Gunung Bunga Buah hike Gunung Bunga Buah (GBB) is one of the mountain that is just nearby and not too hard to climb and yet I don’t have the chance to climb because there’s nobody to guide me up there. Actually I could probably climb it all by myself (or along with my wife) but I’d rather follow another group you know, the more the merrier.

My chance came when MK Rahman (who else?) organized an impromptu trip to GBB one weekend. So that Saturday morning, my wife and I along with more than a dozen other hikers met up in Gohtong Jaya near the Seri Malaysia hotel for the hike up the mountain. Gohtong Jaya, if you haven’t already know is right on the way to the resort mountain Genting Highlands. It was named after the founder of Genting Highlands resort.

There is a row of shoplots next to the hotel so there were plenty of parking space for everybody. From the shoplot, we walked up a bit past the two hotels towards a private garden at the foot of the mountain. There’s two way to get to the trail head — one a shortcut next to a garden and the other via a trunk road near Lim Goh Tong’s mansion. I was appointed as an impromptu sweeper by MK which is quite a vote of confidence from him. But actually I would rather not be a sweeper or a lead that day. I just wanna enjoy my hike, enjoy the view and not worry about waiting and taking care of other people. That said, I did my sweeping as much as I could. Waiting patiently for the slowest of the bunch to keep up with the rest.

In the beginning we took the shortcut first and used the trunk road on the way back. Both trail heads combines about 800 meters later and we walked down the old tarred road until it gradually disappear near the foot of the hill. We passed this big (limestone?) rock wall (or is it an old quarry?)which begs for someone to scale it. But since rock-climbing is not a major sporting activity (yet) in Malaysia, I guess we won’t be seeing such activities anytime soon over there. From the foot of the hill, the real climb begins. Since it rained quite heavily the night before, the trail was very muddy at many parts. Some of us were ankle deep in mud halfway up the mountain not to mention the slippery path that we had to traverse. But then muddy and dry hiking is a lot better than muddy and raining hiking I suppose. It stayed dry the whole day so we get to enjoy much of the hike in the fine weather.

About 1,000 meters up the mountain, we encountered a patch of rocks which everybody called Rock Garden. There were some trees and a small clearing there where people sometimes camp and you get a nice 360 view of the surrounding. In fact we found a group of campers camping near the area. From what I heard they planned to camp there for the next 3 days or so. Now camping for that long near a peak with no water source is a bit suspicious or foolish to say the least. If I’d known better I’d say they’re up to no good. That said, it’s none of my business what they’re doing up there whether it’s legal or not.

We reached the peak around midday without much difficulties. The summit was scorching hot naturally in the afternoon sun with not much tree shade to sit under. There’s a little clearing at the top but you won’t see the beirut immediately because it’s situated a few meters away from the clearing. We unpacked and ate our lunch. I brought my Brahim nasi lemak pack which was unlike their briyani was not so good. Remind me not to buy Brahim nasi lemak again. The view from the peak is all right if not spectacular. No 360 view though, just one side of the mountain. There were some pretty little flowers at around the trail head though. That's the bunga (flower) part of the mountain. Can't say I see any buah (fruit) anywhere up and down the mountain though. Maybe I didn't look hard enough.

The way down took just about the same amount of time as the climb. We reached the trail head just before 2:00 PM. GBB is a great mountain to climb for slightly advanced beginner hikers who wanted to move on to slightly more challenging mountain but not too difficult one. It’s close nearby and pretty straightforward to climb. While it’s not too complicated to attempt alone, I would highly recommend you bring someone experienced or have climbed this mountain before just for your safety.

Bukit Batu Chondong hike

After what felt like months of not hiking (although we’ve just climbed gunung Angsi again a few weeks ago), my feet is itching to hike again. My opportunity came when one of the organizer of my Tahan trip invited me (along with dozens others) for a quick hike up Bukit Batu Chondong near Ulu Klang. Never heard of it? Neither do I until he organized it on Facebook.

We agreed to meet up right in front of the National Zoo early that Saturday morning (7:30 am). As always everybody finally show up half an hour later. From the zoo entrance we took the trunk road on the right side towards Kemensah which is well known for its stream and ATV riding arena. We finally got to the trailhead after a short 15 minutes drive. The starting point is an obscure logging path situated by the roadside, without any signboard, marking or whatever. You’d never find the place without the help of somebody with prior knowledge.

There were at least 17 people who joined us that day include two from the organizing committee. After a short briefing we wasted no time hiking up the trail. Just like the starting point, the trail was completely alien to me. Unless you’ve climbed the hill before, you’d be hard-pressed looking for the path because there were almost none. Eddy (the lead) had to literally clear the bushes with his parang to make way for us.

Fortunately, the hike was rather a short one and we reached the peak in less than 30 minutes (it’s that short). Near the peak though we had to climb some rocks ala bukit Tabur with the help of ropes which Eddy purposely brought for the hike. If you’ve been up bukit Tabur, this one should be a piece of cake. It’s half as difficult as the former. The peak of bukit Batu Chondong is marked by a beirut, surprising for an obscure hill with very little visitor. There were a few peaks along the ridge and we took the chance to explore every one of them until the last one where we can see the Tabur Far East peak in the distance. Yes the two hills is pretty much side by side.

As always we took a lot of pictures among ourselves, selfies and what not. After a quick snack we took the same route back to the starting point. Before we part, Eddy started to collect 10 ringgit each from everybody as the fee for his services. Now I don’t mind paying that token amount for his service but I wish he’d informed us earlier on Facebook or something. I understand he’s a professional guide and this is how he makes a living but informing us in advance would be more appropriate you know, no surprises. Perhaps I’m used to joining hiking trips which costs next to nothing to participate so having to pay one for a local hike nearby come as a surprise to me.

Anyway, it was a good trip to say the least. We would have not made it without Eddy’s guide. He says he’d brought people there a couple of time only a couple of times before. Maybe he doesn’t want the place to be as crowded as bukit Tabur next door. If you wanna try this hill for yourself, make sure you hire or bring along a proper guide and equipment like ropes and stuff. Sure you can climb the rocks with your bare hand but only if you’re confident with yourself. If bukit Tabur is too mainstream for you, you might want to try bukit Batu Chondong for change.