Susan Ng loves travelling and she wants you guys to appreciate nature that we have in Malaysia. Let’s hear what she has to say about Bukit Tabur East
Hiking Tabur East has always been on my to-do list since my instagram was spammed by so many awesome photos taken at the peak. If you do not believe me, try looking at this picture:
Right? Honestly I am not a hiking enthusiast or a seasoned hiker that hiked frequently so I was unaware that such a beautiful place existed in Malaysia. Furthermore, it is just located in my neighbourhood, Taman Melawati! I immediately agreed to join when my friends suggested to go for the hike.
The decision came a day before the actual hike on Saturday, so you could imagine that I was totally unprepared before the hike. I was rather afraid of the thought of hiking at Bukit Tabur at first because of the negative reviews on how difficult the hiking trail is, but because of the chance to witness such a beautiful view at the peak, I brace myself to take up the challenge even though I was not prepared. I woke up at 7am the next morning, ready for the hike ( or so I thought).
We arrived at Bukit Tabur at around 8am and we started our hikes along the big water pipes after we saw a signboard pointing to Bukit Tabur. We had difficulties in finding the entrance of the hiking trail but we managed to locate it when we saw the ‘Dilarang Masuk’ signboard and our instinct told us that this was the entrance.
We started our hike immediately and the journey wasn’t that hard at first with a rather flat terrain but with the steps getting steeper as we ascended, I started to gasp for air and found myself panting heavily. At that point of time, I immediately regretted that I have not been exercising for a while now. The trail was getting difficult for me after half an hour because the trail was not very well maintained. Most of the steps were built on the hard roots of the plants which extended throughout the terrain with some steps being built on hard quartzite rocks (sorry, geology much haha). My friend and I examined the rocks along the way and confidently convinced ourselves that those are the metamorphic quartzite rocks due to dyke intrusion (nerd). Oh well, there you have it in your conversation when you have a bunch of geoscientists hiking together =P
Finally we were there at our first checkpoint and the view has made me forget my tiredness for a moment. The views that Bukit Tabur offered were very distinctive as one side you will be amazed by the man-made lake with Genting at a far distance (if you spot hard enough, you can actually see the buildings) but the other side, it was the city view that Kuala Lumpur pride itself in and this time you could spot both Twin Tower and KL Tower. Here, I enjoyed the blue sky which was greatly missed during the past few weeks of haze.
After conquering the first checkpoint, I was anxious to go down as I asked my companion, ‘ dah nak turun ke?’. To my surprise, I learn that there was another checkpoint before reaching the peak at Bukit Tabur East. I turned to Farhana upon hearing the news and I can understand her anguish too from her expression haha. However, both of us have this never-give-up attitude and we were determined to at least reaching the peak.
Right now, both of us were lagging behind the boys since we were tired. We soon arrived at the second checkpoint as it was a short distance away from the first. But both of us have no phones with us to capture the moment since the phones are with the boys. So, what can we do now?
We looked around and saw this rather friendly guy by himself who was at the second checkpoint snapping some pictures. So, being Susan as usual, I mustered my courage and approached him to ask for his permission to take some pictures for both of us using his phone and sent to me later. And he agreed!! (Must be due to our friendly and kind and seemingly harmless faces haha)
If you can notice in the picture, the peak was behind us and you can see the ants of people climbing up there. Fear quickly took the toll on me as I was actually afraid of going up to the peak seeing that people were using only a single rope to support themselves. From far, it looked almost impossible. Farhana shared the same sentiment as me as we both agreed we would probably climb up halfway and come down immediately.
The queue was long when we approached the peak as the hikers have to wait for their turns to climb up. We were slowly queuing for our turns when we encountered another group of hikers who queued behind us and we chatted along.
There was this girl who was sitting on the rock beside the queuing line insisted that she will not climb up the peak so she was there waiting for her friends. The other hikers who were queuing behind me tried their very best to persuade her to go up to the peak but towards the ends, their efforts were totally in vain and I laughed so much listening to their conversations. Here are some of the best parts of the conversation:
- Attempt no.1
- ‘ Pergi la amoi, atas ade wifi’ – the hikers
- ‘tak ape, i can use my phone here’ – replied the girl
- Attempt no.2
- ‘ u dah sampai sini, nanti rugi tak pergi peak’ – the hikers
- ‘ is ok, I tak nak untung’ – replied the girl while eating her biscuits and offered us some
HAHAHAHA. In my opinion, I am totally fine with anyone who is not going up the peak because if you felt that it is unsafe for you to do so, you can always take a break there. We make choices in life and these are some of the decisions that we have to be responsible for – do not adjust yourself to suit the environment and the people around you because ultimately, you will be the one taking consequences of every actions that you take.
In all honesty, the peak is quite difficult and does require a certain level of confidence to climb up. For a newbie hiker, this peak was almost vertical and you could rely on the rope to find your own landing place for your foot. But do not be afraid, you can always take your time to figure out where to land your foot and your friends will be your best guiding point here.
Finally, it was my turn and I grabbed the rope with one hand, with another hand grabbing the rocks for some security and safety. I climbed up slowly taking my time to figure out where to land my foot.
For seasoned hikers, I believe you can manage it just well. And after conquering the fear, here I am at the peak of Bukit Tabur (like finally!!)
We spent a good time at the peak while snapping some instagram-worthy pictures. I was so amazed by such view that I stood there for a moment to appreciate what Mother Nature has in store for us – the lakeview scene that reflected the beautiful mountains and the different hues of green that decorated this perfect piece of drawing. There was this cliff that you can only access once you were at the peak and we took some pictures when we were there. We were also informed that there was this Bukit Tabur Extreme opposite the cliff that we were in. Trust me, Farhana and I immediately surrendered upon hearing the Bukit Tabur Extreme. Is ok boys, you guys can go ahead. =P
We descended using the same rocky vertical trail. Coming down was harder in my opinion as I struggled sometimes to find my landing spots for my foot and I will start to panic if I cannot find any within my reach. I remembered that my legs were shaking during the descend as I was afraid to fall. Finally, I felt so relieved when I landed on a flat terrain – feeling safe and secure on a solid ground. The return journey was so much more bearable as we happily descending down the trail.
All in all, we spent around 5 hours at Bukit Tabur with an approximately 3 hours going up the peak (due to the long waiting time to ascend the peak) and another 2 hours coming down. I believe you can manage it just nice within 4 hours return. It was an amazing hike as I felt I have achieved something so great and meaningful not only because of the view that the peak had to offer but also the challenges that I managed to conquer despite my fear to fall. Finally, here are some useful tips before you hike Bukit Tabur (especially if you are a ‘newbie’ hiker like me):
- Gloves might be useful for those who do not have a good grip. Thanks to Ikhwan for offering his gloves to me as it does make the hike easier =)
- Drink lots of water as you will feel quite dehydrated at times. Better to bring a backpack so you can bring more water.
- If you want, you can even do a picnic along the trail at the peak! We saw a few hikers doing the picnic there and it felt so good to have a piece of bread with kaya when you were so starved after your hike.
- Do your own risk assessment. Remember, you have to make your own choices and if you feel that it is unsafe for you to climb, feel no obligation to climb. However, this is totally do-able for even a newbie hiker so be ready and conquer the peak!
- Last but not least, HAVE FUN! The hike was much more meaningful when you are doing it with friends so have fun and do it with smiles and laughs. You will encounter amazing hikers who are so happy to share their experiences with you too =)
~ with loves, Susan