Hiking in Malaysia: 10 Trails with the Most Picturesque Views

Hiking in Malaysia: 10 Trails with the Most Picturesque Views

We promise the views at the top are truly unforgettable!

Malaysia is home to mesmerising natural landscapes, punctuated by lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and especially majestic mountain ranges. Mountains (and hills!) in Malaysia have a reputation for housing some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the region. Today, let’s talk about some of the finest destinations for hiking in Malaysia, ranging from fairly easy hikes to strenuous mountain ascents. What is common among these trails is the magnificent views that the hikers will enjoy along the way. These trails are proof that hiking in Malaysia is an activity that is truly rewarding.

Also Read: 10 Mountains to Climb in Malaysia With the Most Incredible Views

1. Bukit Tabur

Bukit Tabur

Image credit: Chee.hong

Part of the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge (visible from Kuala Lumpur), Bukit Tabur is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the Klang Valley. It is split into two distinct trails, Bukit Tabur East, and Bukit Tabur West. Both trails offer breathtaking views along the way, although the west side is often slightly more popular, especially during the weekends.

While neither trail is particularly difficult, they are both laden with quarts and slippery, rocky slopes. Because of this, you should definitely come with the appropriate footwear. If you make it to the top, an incredible sight awaits you, one that perfectly captures the dualistic beauty of Kuala Lumpur. The east trail ends with a panoramic view of the verdant hills while the western summit shows you a stunning view of the cityscape!

2. Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)

FRIM Kepong

Image credit: MikeNorton

Out of all the places for hiking in Malaysia, FRIM is arguably one of the most frequented on the Peninsula. That’s because this forest reserve is located right on the outskirts of Kepong, just a short distance away from the Kuala Lumpur city centre. This pristine natural haven is perfect for cycling, hiking, and simply escaping the hustle and bustle of city life.

The hiking trails here are relatively easy. There are no steep ascents or battling with rocky terrain here, only leisurely strolls under the welcome shade of the verdant forest trees. The Rover Track is one of the most popular trails and if it’s your first time, this is where you want to start. However, take note that FRIM is more suited for locals so there is little signage to help you navigate.

3. Gunung Datuk

Gunung Datuk

Image credit: zariam74 via Canva Pro

Gunung Datuk is located in the foresty hills of Negeri Sembilan, about an hour and a half away from Kuala Lumpur. Compared to most other hiking trails on this list, Gunung Datuk is slightly more challenging. It is also more time-consuming with the average time needed to complete the hike being about seven hours (both ways).

The terrain features a mixture of inclines and rocky slopes along with verdant, forested ascents. The final ascent also required you to climb up a few ladders mounted on some massive rocks! While it is a challenging climb, reaching the top rewards you with a truly magnificent sight. A panoramic view of the ambient town of Rembau is on offer. If you time your visit right, you’ll even see plenty of rainbows, an effect of the morning dew in the area.

4. Gunung Kinabalu

Hiking in Malaysia at Mount Kinabalu

Image credit: Stéphane Enten

Gunung (or Mount) Kinabalu needs no introduction. It is the tallest mountain in Malaysia and the third highest peak in Southeast Asia. When you talk about hiking in Malaysia, you simply can’t leave this majestic mammoth of a mountain out of the picture! Located in Kinabalu National Park (itself an awesome jungle trekking experience), Mount Kinabalu is easily the most challenging hiking trail in Malaysia.

Ascending this UNESCO World Heritage Site is no mean feat and often takes about two full days to complete a round trip. You will also need to book a climb through a local tour/hiking company as the ascent can be a little precarious, especially for beginners. Along the way, you’ll get to experience the full beauty of Malaysia’s flora and fauna, before being absolutely blown away by the unparalleled views at the very top. At that moment, you’ll realise that all that hard work was more than worth it. Although, at this point, you may also want an ice pack for your sore limbs!

Also Read: Hiking in Asia: 10 Places With Stunning Trails

5. Broga Hill

Broga Hill

Image credit: Irwandy Mazwir

Broga Hill, located in the sleepy town of Semenyih, Selangor, is one of my personal favourite spots for hiking in Malaysia. It isn’t the toughest hike you’ll ever experience but it IS one of the best places to catch the sunrise in Malaysia. It takes about two hours to reach the summit and the best time to set out, from experience, is around 4:30 in the morning. This gives you ample time to catch the break of dawn.

You’ll want to bring torchlights and water for the trip. Though the hiking trail is relatively smooth (with some rocky paths along the way), you’ll still want to lace up comfortable shoes.

6. Gunung Tok Wan

Sticking to hiking trails in Semenyih, Gunung Tok Wan is a steep mountain that lies just beyond the trail of Broga Hill. Trust me, this is arguably one of the toughest hiking trails in Malaysia, mainly because it STARTS at the peak of Broga Hill! So after enjoying your lovely sunrise, instead of heading back down for breakfast, you can simply continue your ascent to new heights!

Thankfully, the distance between the peak of Broga Hill to Gunung Tok Wan is only about 200 metres and you should be able to get there within an hour. At the top, you’ll be able to admire the spawling expanse of Broga Hill and the town of Semenyih in a spectacular panorama.

7. Penang Hill

Hiking in Malaysia at Penang Hill

Image credit: Schristia

Here’s one of the places for hiking in Malaysia that is slightly underrated. Penang Hill is one of the most famous destinations in the country. However, most visitors will opt to ride the Penang Hill funicular to the top (which, I admit, is a fun experience). What most tourists DON’T know is that you can also hike around the hill by trekking through the Penang Hill Loop trail.

The loop hike trail is about 11 kilometres long and takes about five hours to complete. The trail is often rather steep and not always well marked, but there is a fine view from the summit. Be prepared to traverse through dense jungle trails though, which I suppose is one of the unique features of this particular hike.

8. Gunung Angsi

It’s said that Gunung Angsi is one of the easiest hiking trails in Malaysia. The mountain is no taller than 825 meters and it doesn’t take longer than an hour and a half to get to the summit. There are two hiking trails at Gunung Angsi, accessible via the Ulu Bendul entrance and the Bukit Putus entrance. The Ulu Bendul trail is slightly tougher as it is longer and features some steep inclines.

Regardless of which trail you choose, they both converge at the same peak. The top is a lovely clearing where you can simply lay on the ground and let the sweet sounds of Mother Nature serenade you. While the view isn’t as breathtaking as other hiking trails in Malaysia, it still makes for a relaxing hike to put your mind at ease.

9. Bukit Chenuang

Bukit Chenuang is located near Hulu Langat, Selangor, and is one of the many places for hiking in Malaysia that take you through forested paths filled with rivers and verdant greenery. There are several trails that lead to the summit, but one of the most interesting ones starts conveniently at Sungai Congkak Recreational Forest. It takes about four hours to get to the summit, and a little less to get back down.

Also Read: Top 10 Hiking Getaways From Singapore 

10. Gunung Ledang

Gunung Ledang

Image credit: Katangais

Finally, the tallest mountain peak in Johor, Gunung Ledang, also known as Mount Ophir in English, is one of the most popular hiking trails in Malaysia. It lies a short drive from Kuala Lumpur and features breathtaking natural scenery and excellent views. Fit hikers can make it to the summit in less than six hours.

And there you have it: 10 of the most popular hiking trails in Malaysia, filled with the natural charms of the country’s natural landscape. Which one’s your favourite and which one are you most eager to try? Let us know!

About Authors

Darren Yeoh
Darren Yeoh

Darren enjoys the finer things in life and loves exploring unfamiliar places on foot, guided with nothing but instinct and a good-old fashioned map. He enjoys cultural experiences and exciting adventures and is not a stranger to travelling alone. When he's not putting his travel experiences into words, he's probably sitting behind his laptop, planning his upcoming adventure.

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Bram Reusen

Bram is a freelance writer, translator and travel photographer. He was born and grew up in a small town in Belgium and currently lives in a small town in Vermont, USA. He likes to try different travel styles and he has backpacked across Australia, cycled from Belgium to the North Cape and back, spent three months immersing himself in the Irish culture, hiked across England, climbed numerous mountains in New England, and visited many a handful of European cities. Besides writing and traveling, Bram spends his days reading, working out and trying to live a healthy life.

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