Bukit Tabur Hill: Malaysia’s Most Dangerous Dayhike
Climbing Bukit Tabur Malaysia - Mountain Stats
- #1 most dangerous peak in Malaysia
- Bukit Hangus
Climbing Bukit Tabur Malaysia - Natural Form and History
Natural Bukit Tabur Malaysia - Natural history
Bukit Tabur belongs to the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge which, at 14km long, is the largest (and probably oldest quartz) formation in the world. It is also rare in that it combines 4 types of quartz formations, and forms a natural dyke (and was later utilised to build a dam).
Natural Bukit Tabur Malaysia - Climbing history
Bukit Tabur’s history is one of tragedies. Here is a (probably incomplete) list of people who have died or were severely injured from falls on Bukit Tabur:
Deaths: Ng Pee Tat, 3 December 2013. Dr. Haliza Mohd Shafie, 53. 28 March 2009. Dr. Amin Tai Abdullah, 57. 28 March 2009 (same incident).
Injuries: Noor Asmahani Hashim, 28. 5 January 2014. Tan Tick Soon, 51, 28 September 2013. Chan Wing Sing, 27, 17 December 2012. Lim Kok Liong, 51, 23 September 2009. Unknown college student, 15 October 2008.
Natural Bukit Tabur Malaysia - Current status
Visible from various spots in Kuala Lumpur, just 20km or 30 minutes away, Bukit Tabur is a well-known hill that is climbed often . This is despite the Malaysian authorities having an on-again/off-again ban on climbing the peak, which doesn’t seem to be enforced.
Climbing Bukit Tabur Malaysia - Climbing Experience & Itinerary
Climbing Bukit Tabur Malaysia - Climbing Experience
The trails are easy to find and relatively easy to follow, albeit with some challenging terrain. There is a well-worn path over rocks, roots, and dirt that heads straight up from the trailhead.
The terrain of Bukit Tabur Hill can be split into 2 sections; tropical forests and rocky terrain.
The ascents and descents to and from the rocky peaks from the trailheads are dense tropical forests clinging to the hillside. The tracks are dirt, rocks, and tree roots, with a steep gradient.
The quartz ridge is a rough, coarse, and at times crumbling place to be climbing. There are vertical ascents and descents, most of which have permanent ropes, metal bars, or other handholds installed to help. Although, there will be times where you will need to deploy some of your rock climbing skills.
Climbing Bukit Tabur Malaysia - Trail options
There is essentially just one trail, which follows a ridge with 5 rocky peaks or crags, and then descends to loop around the base of the same crags back to the trailhead. You can choose to go East to West or West to East, with East-West being the most popular because it is more easy to be going up than down on certain parts. However, both ways are physically demanding, taking between 2 and 4 hours to complete, depending on your fitness and skills.
Note: From the Bukit Tabur trailhead, there is a lower peak to the East which also has a trail, but we don’t provide information about that here.
Climbing Bukit Tabur Malaysia - Support facilities
Guides and porters
Food & water
Climbing Bukit Tabur Malaysia - Safety & Accessibility
The weather is typical of tropical Southeast Asia: hot and humid, with a near constant possibility of rain on any given day. The monsoon will bring more rain, and more humidity.
Although there is always a temptation to see a sunrise or a sunset, this is not the peak for that. You want to climb during daylight hours when you can climb with good lighting.
Please don’t climb this solo, and reconsider your need to climb the full extent of this mountain if you or those you are travelling with are inexperienced, or not at full fitness. You will be treated to great views if you just reach the first peak (before it gets deadly).
Rain: Given that you will be scaling rocks, crags and even cliffs with the aid of ropes, you really shouldn’t be planning on going during the rain.
Wind: Although not a particularly windy part of the world, winds could be treacherous on such a mountain. Watch out particularly before rains arrive, as gust fronts of storms could come quite suddenly.
Be sure to tell some people where you’re going, when they can expect you to be back, and when they should call the authorities to go looking for you if they haven’t heard from you.
Bukit Tabur is in a relatively safe area with people around, so there needn’t be too much concern for your personal safety – concentrate more on your climbing safety.
Permits, Fees, and Regulations
At present, it’s unclear as to whether permits are required or not. It is a good idea to check in with the park office located in Cheras, Kajang to understand the latest status of the trail, but be prepared to be disappointed if they forbid you from climbing it (it is probably for good reason).
Getting there and away
Kuala Lumpur International Airport is the nearest airport.
From Kuala Lumpur International, the trailhead is about a one hour drive away. You will have to get to the other side of Kuala Lumpur. You could opt to take the train from the airport and head out by taxi from there.
Accommodation is limited out there, but there shouldn’t be reason to hang around out there as it is only a half-day hike.
Hiking Bukit Tabur should be free. But we do recommend hiring an experienced guide.
Climbing Bukit Tabur Malaysia - Special Tips
Tips for amateur climbers
This isn’t a good beginner’s climb. Although technical skills aren’t necessarily required for Bukit Tabur, they may come in handy.
Tips for advanced climbers
Advanced climbers should enjoy Bukit Tabur for its mild technical and physical challenges packaged in a day-trip. There are plenty of vertical surfaces around for rock-climbing, so best check out local rock climbing providers to show you where and how best to approach them.
Tips for women
There are not safety issues unique to women on Bukit Tabur.
Tips for responsible / safety-conscious climbers
Bukit Tabur is a pretty unique environmental area that is worth taking steps to protect and preserve the area. Avoid wandering off the trail, and don’t leave anything behind. Extra karma for those who take home a bag full of other people’s rubbish!
Tips for trail runners
This is definitely not a trail-running mountain. You need to be very careful on Bukit Tabur (although you could consider running back to the trailhead along the trail at the bottom of the mountain).
Tips for nature lovers
With the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge being such a unique geological zone, that is already in a biodiversity hotspot, it should be no surprise that the area has 265 species found nowhere else in the world. Keep an eye out for the Sumatran Serow – a rare type of goat-antelope.