When I think of Kemensah in Ampang I imagine Bukit Tabur. The Kemensah trail is different. Rather than hike up and along the country’s longest quartz ridge, it wanders its foothills through forests, small fruit orchards and an orang asli village, providing a different vantage point of this enigmatic landmark.
As a kid, my brother had an aquarium, and when it needed fish or sand we would head towards the zoo, into the Kemensah hills to the very source of the Klang river. It’s what I remember of Kemensah, a sleepy hollow on the edge of the bright lights and big city of KL.
In the last 30 years, Kemensah has changed. It still feels like rural Malaysia, but parts of its forest have been cleared for million dollar homes and apartments, scenic spots by its river have been claimed by entrepreneurs to build budget chalets for rent, and patches of land have been annexed by small holders to plant fruit trees. For a very long time I didn’t even know there was an orang asli settlement. Relocated here in 1963, when the site of their original home was cleared for development, sadly their land still remains in dispute and the chance of history repeating itself doesn’t seem outside of the realms of possibility.
It was here that the KL Hiking crew met, at the bottom of the tarmac road that leads up to the Temuan settlement. Our route would loop up around the hills and valleys that surround it, through the village back to our starting point.
We would navigate a variety of terrain, each underlining the competing commercial interests of Kemensah’s residents and Selangor Government.
Occasionally sharing the trail with mountain bikers, we’d walk an undulating circuit up and downhill through forest and farms, under canopy, through tall grasses and out in the open, with brief views of Bukit Tabur and the Klang Gates Dam, and the beautiful green of Taman Negeri Selangor as it rushed towards the Pahang border.
Leafy trail, sandy path, wide red earth road, well furrowed ATV route, we trod them all. They would crisscross confusingly, junctions splitting off into multiple directions. This was reason enough to bring a GPS device. Sadly I forgot to change the batteries on mine so all I carried was dead weight. These pictures and descriptions are the best I can do to retrace my steps.
Time and distance 3 hours and approximately 10km.
Facilities Parking is available at RM5/car. You can wash up in the river.
Getting there Turn off the MRR2 at the zoo into Jalan Taman Zooview. Keep on it. You’ll pass Kampung Kemensah, which consists of small clusters of homes and stalls. At a fishing pool the road splits onto two. Take the left, passing Chalet Rimba Jinbara. Just beyond a left turn up towards the Temuan village is a designated parking area. Park here.
To learn more about the Temuan village in Kampung Kemensah, the indigenous Temuan that live there, and the challenges they face, click Hati.my.