Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Gunung Bunga Buah, not a walk in the park

Never underestimate a mountain, no matter how easy you think it will be, until you have really conquered it.

Looking for something to do for the weekend, I rallied my brother to climb Gunung Bukit Buah, nearby Genting. From the route map, it should look pretty easy with a distance of 6.45km from start to top. Yup, that's what the map spells out, but it just ain't so.

First, I don't know where to start. So I called Tony, who has climbed most mountains in Malaysia, for the route. Eventually, we did find the route, although it's a bit hidden. They had closed the main gate for the road leading to the rock quarry, so we had to climb a steep slope up to the abandoned tar road.

And from there, it's a one hour walk to the main jungle path. Along the way, we had difficulties walking through bushes, undergrowth. That made us skeptical on which path to follow. Luckily, some paper trail left by someone else, helped. We also have to contend with invasion of the leeches. Once in awhile, we'll stop to do a body check, and get rid of them. They were notoriously hard to kill too.

Along the route, we noticed wild beautiful orchids, with a big purple splattered with white. There's also numerous small cute colorful flowers. If I were into gardening, I would have brought back some.

The jungle path is where the real climb starts. We took a good 1.5 hours down, and up the muddy trail, so many times, that I've lost count.

We finally reached a rocky outcrop, and also meeting with a group of climbers who had started yesterday night. They had camped at the peak. I asked how long is needed to reach the peak, and they answered around 1 hour to 45 minutes.

But those guys were carrying bags with equipments. We carry nothing except water and some bread.

There's a feeling of remoteness and eeriness hanging in the air. Maybe it's because of the mist, or because of the millitary helicopter incident, which crashed nearby here years ago. Or maybe it's Lim Goh Tong spirit overlooking his property.

We finally reached the top after 35 minutes. The surrounding was enshrouded in thick mist, but not cold. At this point, I was regretting bringing only bread and water. It would be nice if we could have nasi lemak.

Soon, we hurriedly left the peak to go back. The rain came, and made the muddy trail muddier. No amount of shoe technology can beat the muds. I slipped a few times, so we really have to slow down.

On the way, we met with the previous climbers, who was suprised we made it back so fast. They had actually started the climb from goh tong roundabout, which I reckoned is shorter.

When reaching Awana, we gladly feasted on some mamak rice, bananas, and chestnuts.

Gunung Bukit Buah route is certainly harder than Nuang, although it stands at 1430 meters only. I think the hard part is all the bushes growing above the old tar road, because we were wearing shorts. Besides the path snakes up and down. So, folks, it's a good idea to wear full length pants or those body hugging ones. It's a good protection against leeches as well.

Start: Awana Genting...no, that's not the peak. The start is a small farm, just behind Hotel Seri Malaysia.

Genting Highland...just climb another 700 meters

Notice we were walking on tar road...

It says....explosives...

And this is the hill they blew up....

My mum would have loved this...

It gets bushier...with roads crawling with leeches.

The start of the jungle path...

My brother checking out for leeches.

Proof that we reached the peak.

The view from the top is pretty misty.

Rocky garden..


cRAzYtoMatOmaN-D said...

next hike count me in ya.

zulhassan said...

lama dah tak naik gunung buah. last time rasanya 5 tahun dulu kot.mula pukul 10pm dan sampai pukul 2am(saja buat kerja giler)

yip, dari gate yg dah tutup tu ke jalan baru berapa jauh?teringin lak nak pergi bila free nanti.

Anonymous said...

YOu mind sharing where is the steep slope which you mentioned? As we use to enter the abandoned tar road from gotong round about or the main gate near, but both of these entrance is either closed or not safe to park the car there, so wondering where is the steep slop which you mentioned. Aappreciate if you can share with us..


Monkey Cup.

yipwt said...

hi monkey cup,

At the back of Hotel Seri Malaysia...you can see an open space. There's a road that leads to a few small huts or houses at the back. The main tar road is closed by the gate. So you'll need to ask the fellows there for the road.

It's pretty obscure. But it's basically a vertical climb up. The last time I went there was a few farms just beside it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks YIPWT! so kind of you ... we will check it out next weekend.

Monkey Cup..

Anonymous said...

Hmm .... Gunung Bunga Buah .... I've climbed it twice in 2002 and 2003. Amongst the few mountains that I have climbed I actually like Gunung Bunga Buah becoz the breeze is cool and there's no pacat. I have good memories of the mountain .... and what make me proud of myself is becoz I am a woman and have climbed it at the ripe old age of 50... 6 years ago. Not many mothers (Malays especially) would want to climb mountains at that age .... They would prefer go shopping overseas ... :)

Active Mum

Anonymous said...

hello, may i ask if there are any means of public transport to the entrance of the trail? Are there any rivers nearby? thank you

yipwt said...

hmm...try getting a bus to Genting highlands. Then stop at Gohtong Jaya.

From there...you'll need to go the back of the shop houses to find the trail up.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the useful information. I attempted the hike yesterday and reached the forest starting point. Unfortunately, at some point, I must have missed a turning as I came out on to a tar road! which was probably the other part of the old quarry road. At the forest starting point, I made a light ascent, reached a small clearing, and then descended to a lalang filled valley which lead to the tar road. Is there a turning to the right I missed at some point? Thanks.

yipwt said...

There's 2 ways up. One from Goh tong roudabout. Another is the one I taken from Gohtong jaya.

From some farm house below, climb up the slope to the tar road. Take the left...you'll end up in a valley with steep rock face on your right..just go across this flat part...and you'll end up on a tar road, which you'll need to go until descend. There's a part with lots of bushes and you can't even see the tar road, but keep on moving until you see the road back.

It's pretty tough to find the route using my way. Try asking the fellows who did from Gohtong roudabout.

Trekkingkaki said...

Hi YIPWT, I agree with you, impossible is null. Indeed Gunung Bunga Buah is an interesting trail. I would like to invite you and your friends to join www.trekkingkaki.com for trek discussion.

Amir Ridhwan said...

just came down from daypack yesterday. GBB is still one of my favourite mountains with nice trails and climate. not far from kl some more.

Takashi87 said...

"Gunung Bukit Buah route is certainly harder than Nuang, although it stands at 1430 meters only. "

the route was harder than nuang?? really ahh.. can you tell more specific about the trek. is it hard to climb or....

muhdnurasshabah said...

great.. thnks for the post and info.. will be hiking GBB on this 15th, thnks to your blog post of course

Anonymous said...

Hi Ywip,

My group want to trek GBB on 23rd June..any chance of you be our guide
if so please contact me 012 8292468 white dragon cheers

Anonymous said...


I am sorry, not really good at guiding. It's been years since I went up. Remember to wear long pants, cause lots of bushes.

Better find someone who is familliar. Try the route from gohtong roundabout, instead of the route I took.

All the best