Friday, 1 January 2021

Hiking Bukit Kutu

How on eath is this a bukit (hill)? Standing at 1053 meters, this "bukit" is a lie - it should be called GUNUNG (Mountain) Kutu.

The picturesque view at the peak 

I have always been resistant to hike Bukit Kutu, as Bukit Kutu is infamous for 1. the long arduous hike and 2. LEECHES, and also it's kinda far away from where I live :p 

BUT ANYHOW, after months of being idle at home, not hiking much, when a friend invited me to hike Bukit Kutu...I decided to try it out myself for once and I have to say, no regrets hiking Bukit Kutu - it was a fun and rewarding hike BUT I don't think I'd want to hike it again. :p 

This is that kind of hike where it's satisfying, it has got a really nice view, BUT hiking it once is enough, like Rinjani. :p Simply because, gosh it takes a lot of effort to hike this place :p 

This hill/mountain has got quite a bit of historical background to it too, which I will cover briefly at the very end of this post.

What to Bring

- Ample amount of water (it'll be a long hike)
- Snacks
- Better still, lunch (FYI we started hiking at 8am, and go down at 4pm...drove back to PJ to have DUNCH [Dinner+Lunch] at 6pm so...)
- Mosquito repellent 
- Shoes with good grip 
- Salt, to fend off those leeches

Getting There

Bukit Kutu is located at Kuala Kubu Baru (Have you tried the famous Hainanese chicken chop there? Love it!) It takes about 1.5 hours for me to get there from Subang. Waze/Google Bukit Kutu Parking to get to the trailhead of Bukit Kutu. The drive was pleasant and scenic though, as you'll drive past the picturesque Selangor Dam.

One thing I appreciate about Bukit Kutu is there are ample parking spaces! And it is a plot of empty land not just roadside parking! I get angsty whenever I park by the roadside so I appreciate having a plot of empty land to park my car. 

From the parking lot, you'll see a booth manned by the Orang Asli who will ask you for a RM1/person payment

The little booth, manned by Orang Asli

You may proceed to drive inwards from Bukit Kutu Parking, there is another empty plot of land closer to the trailhead, but because the road leading in was narrow-ish & there were many cars were parked at the side of the road, I decided to just stay put at Bukit Kutu Parking. It is a short 5-10 minutes walk to the trailhead 

The road leading in from Bukit Kutu Parking

TIPS: Your legs might thank you for parking inside when you descend :p 

The parking lot inside


The Hike

Time we took: 

Ascend: 3 hours

Descend: 3 hours

Usually, the descend would be much shorter than the ascend, but for this hike in particular, the terrain was awfully slippery at some point so we took our time descending. 

I'm splitting this into two parts - part 1 (the first 1.5km) and part 2 (the rest of the hike).

Part 1: The first 1.5km (approx)

The first 1.5km was more of a trek - it was a leisure trek, and you are required to cross four rivers/brooks. The first two rivers are connected by a bridge. The second bridge has collapsed and you've got to perform a wee balancing act to cross over.

From the second parking lot, just follow the gravel road and it will eventually lead you to the trail head.


Bridge #1

Bridge #2


Closer up of Bridge #2

After crossing bridge #2, you'll see a fork. KEEP RIGHT to go to the peak of Kutu. If I am not mistaken, the path to the left will lead you to a waterfall. 


Trail along the relatively flat (but slippery) path...and you'll eventually come to river #3. And this is where the fun begins. Getting a little wet is inevitable to cross this river.


The water may rise up above your waistline, depending on your height and the water level on that day

See that little opening there? That's where you need to get to! 
From the third river, it is about 5-10 minutes trek to get to the last tiver/brook, which has stones to help you navigate across easily
Part 2 begins after you crossed the fourth river/brook.

Part 2 


This is where the real hike begins. The hike gets painfully steep steep steep from the fourth brook. GOOD LUCK. 




The trails are more bearable after you see a rock on the left. You're about, say, 40% up when you see the first rock formation. 
And once you reach the area with the GIANT ROCK. You're halfway there! We took about 1-1.5 hours to reach here from the trailhead. 


Just to give you a sense of how big the rock is....us to scale. 


You'll also see this two-colour rock.

From the rock, you've got to keep hustling to the peak. I find that the trails from the rock to the peak isn't as steep as the trail from the river to the peak, but it was awfully muddy and mushy. 

Thank you Goretex and Cradle soles for keeping me dry & balanced. Keep soldering on, and admire the plants around you... 

And after god knows how long. We ARE FINALLY THERE. 
YOU'RE TWO MINUTES AWAY FROM THE PEAK WHEN YOU SEE THIS LONE CHIMNEY RUIN THINGY. (Will explain more about these at the end of the post). 

THE PEAK

We arrived at the peak at about 11am~ which was an okay timing, as we didn't see many hikers around. 
You'll see MORE ROCKS. and some ladders strapped to the rocks...
And the ladders will lead you to the view point. BE VERY CAREFUL when heading up there. The ladders were rather wobbly. 
And tadaaa! I dare not venture further where I sat. The rock isn't very big and I'd say that it fits about 3-5 pax at most. Maybe just 1-2 pax if you take into account social distancing. Please take care and do not overcrowd the peak.
The view was extremely rewarding. Though extremely life-threatening too. One fall and you're gone. Serious. 
It was rather cold and breezy up there. I wish I could spend more time at the peak but a huge group of people were lining up to head up the peak so we descended from the rock shortly. Thank goodness we were one step ahead from the hikers or we'd have to line up to get to the peak! 

The Ruins

WAIT THERE'S MORE. Before you descend, you'll notice there are two paths from the peak. Both paths are relatively flat-ish and after about 10 minutes trek, you'll reach the ruins! 

Yes I know, you're drained from the hike to the peak. And maybe like me, you just want to get down ASAP for lunch. But please, do yourself a favour and visit this ruin. It's worth it! 








My photos do no justice to the beauty of that place. I honestly felt as though I am in an Indiana Jones movie. 

I'll be covering what these ruins were in the next section! 

A LITTLE HISTORY OF BUKIT KUTU

Bukit Kutu is also known as Treacher's Hill. It is named after one of the former British Resident of Selangor, William Hood Treacher.

Bukit Kutu was a hill station and two bungalows were built on the peak of Bukit Kutu. Yes, the ruins were the bungalow. The first bungalow was erected back in 1895, and the second one at 1904. The same hiking trail hikers throng nowadays was used back then to get to the bungalows! 

The bungalows eventually got abandoned after various changes in owners, and it was bombed apparently during Word War II (Note: I probably need more citations and research for this statement)

Museum Volunteers Malaysia has got a really good article, explaining the history of Bukit Kutu in detail if you're interested to understand more about the history of Bukit Kutu :D 


Last Words

Will I hike Bukit Kutu again? 95% no. 
Was it a fun hike? YES.
Should you hike Bukit Kutu? YES
Did I get any leech bites? Surprisingly, no :O But one of my friend has got multiple bites, so it depends on your luck I guess!

Bukit Kutu
Difficulty: Moderately Hard
Duration of Hike: 6-9 hours. 

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