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Monday, 13-Feb-2006 12:00 Email | Share | Bookmark

Kuala Kubu Baru Adventures

Just a short drive away from Kuala Lumpur lays one of the most easily accessible hikes in Selangor. But it is not just the hike that makes the trip to Chiling Falls interesting. It is the serene surroundings, the relatively flat terrain, the water and the final beauty of the falls that will make Chiling a place one would be enthralled to return.

The Chiling Water Falls is in Kuala Kubu Bahru, located due north of Kuala Lumpur. Most would know Kuala Kubu Baru, or KKB, as a scene of numerous protests, and today site of Malaysia’s newest hydroelectric dam. The waterfalls lie upstream from the actual dam site, and it is one of the many water sources that feed KKB River, which was once a favorite site for weekend white water rafters.

The road direction to the Chiling Falls trail head is actually quite easy, and it takes about an hour and the half out of Kuala Lumpur with decent traffic on the trunk roads leading to the area.

The fastest way is to get to the North-South Expressway (NSE). The way I always take is to get onto the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) through Jalan Duta toll entry. From there, keep on the lookout for the signage and head towards Ipoh (North). About 13km from the Sungai Buloh rest stop, exit at the Rawang toll. The current toll rate from Jalan Duta to Rawang is RM$3.60.

About 2km through the Rawang toll is an intersection with traffic lights. Turn right toward Rawang. About 3km later, you should see LaFarge Malayan Cement on your right, wit a series of schools on your left. Head straight through the traffic lights that lay ahead of you toward Rawang.

1.5km from the lights is a right turn towards Rawang town. It is very easy to miss this turn, so slow down when you see a highway bridge. After the right turn, you are now in the center of Rawang town. Turn right at the end of the first block of shops, and left at Pasaraya Besar Bintang. Keep to the road you are currently on and head right out of town.

3.3km out of Rawang, you will see another set of traffic lights. Keep going straight and about 3km later, you will be in the town of Serendah. Another 7km will take you past the new housing estate of Antara Gapi on your right.

5km will be the T-section and traffic lights of the Genting/Ulu Yam turn-off. Keep heading straight.

4km from this intersection, take the right turn towards Kuala Kubu Baru (KKB). An easy landmark to spot before this turn is the Advance Synergy Furniture warehouse on your left.

Keep on the road and head towards KKB. 8km from the intersection is another intersection with traffic lights. Make a right at the lights (making a left will take you into KKB town). A little over 4km later, you should have sight of the Selangor Dam. Keep heading straight. You should see Kg. Pertak 6km later.

Keep driving for another 2km or so, you will come upon a steel bridge. Soon after the bridge, you will see open spaces on your left that you could park. I prefer to park about 500m later, also on your left. You will see the trail head on your right also as you head towards the second parking spot.

A word of advice, we have been told that cars have been broken into here. So, hide all your valuables. In fact, try not to bring any with you and if you do, take them on the hike with you. For those of you who decide to camp in the Chiling area overnight, it is best if you could park in Kg. Pertak, ask for a favor from the Orang Asli to take care of your vehicles, and hike 2km to the trail head.

Another warning. There is a sign put up by the Selangor Forestry Department along the trail that warns that incursion into the jungle is not allowed, and a hefty fine would ensue. However, upon further confirmation from the department, day hikes is allowed in the area but they strongly suggest that you seek permission before camping overnight in the area. The area is not exceptionally dangerous, but because the area does look so beautiful and harmless, there have been some deaths by drowning around the waterfall areas. Naturally, the forestry officials are concerned.

The trail is quit easy to follow. There are only some forks, but you want to keep the stream close by. All in, there are about 6 stream crossings. So be prepared to be wet! During dry seasons, most of the water crossings do not involve anyone being wet past their thighs (depend on how tall you are, midgets excluded). However, this is after all a rain forest, and when it does rain, crossing at some points become extremely technical. This is a hike that guarantees you wil be sloshing, I assure you.

I advise most picnickers to stay away during times of rain, as it is easy to be swept away, particularly for those having young children along. For those who want total adventure, some of us have been past the final falls into the rainforest. There is no trail, and for those who are not use to being in the jungle, this form of adventure is ill-advised. But those who are willing to take the jungle on, you will get calm brooks, gentle mini falls, and all the tranquility you would want.

Equipment we recommend for mini picnics. Bring ample water, sandwiches, snacks, but ensure that this all goes into a backpack or sling bag. Try to keep all your hands free! Balance is essential when crossing slippery streams. Walking sticks are very crucial too, for those who have no balance, a stick is mandatory.

Please make sure everything is tied securely in a plastic bag before you dump it into your main carry. I have seen people slip and fall even in the most shallow and harmless of spots, and the last thing you want is soggy sandwiches.

Now with the mere mention of water proofing one's food, you should know what to do about your valuables. Please put your keys, wallets and cell phones in a water proof bag. My solution has always been to put them into a zip lock bag, and then to stuff them all into a Tupperware. That way, not only can it be waterproof, it will also take knocks and spills!

In the years that we have brought friends to Chiling, we were always asked what to wear! We always preferred to wear light t-shirts for tops. The best are the Nike Dri-Fits or other similar designs that wick away sweat and keep you dry. We also prefer to wear long pants, quick dry and convertible. I know it’s the tropics but believe me, the long pants are not to keep you warm but to protect your legs against scrapes from twigs and bruises from potential falls. Footwear, our favorite continues to be Techamphibians from Salomon. Please remember to wear socks in all your outdoor footwear. Trust us. The socks cushion your feet against the pebbles and grit that get into your shoe during river crossings and all the puddles you slosh through on the way to the falls. We never advise wearing open toe sandals like the many made by Teva, or even slippers. One, slippers will be lost, and two, with an open toe and heel, your will be exposing your feet to cuts and bruises.

For those going beyond the falls, and camping overnight, I assume you know what to bring to a camp. But a word from the wise, there are very few flat locations to put up modern tents with the built-in foot prints. Hence, other than a tied tarp to shield you from rain and sleeping on the dirt, there is not much other choice unless you plan to do some severe landscaping works. We found that the use of light-weight camping hammocks is best suited for this terrain, and there are plenty of trees to tie round to.

Other than that, we hope you enjoy this little slice of nature as we did. Remember to be careful, and to take all safety precautions with everything you do whilst outdoors.

actually nie previous entry.. pic xtvt sume ade kat SRKG2


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