For me, hiking is about the journey rather than the destination, and the reward is in summiting or completing the journey. But that’s not true of every hiker. I’ve plenty of hiking buddies who won’t sweat it out for anything less than a peak with a view from the top. If that sounds like you, then set your Waze for PD and make towards Bukit Batu Putih.
For views alone, Bukit Batu Putih should top your list. Part of a 200 million year old quartz ridge, this promontory is surrounded by one of the country’s last remaining coastal rainforests, has near pristine blue bays to either side of it, and the straits in front of it stretching for miles until it fades out of sight.
The other reason to visit Bukit Batu Putih is its accessibility. Technically in Melaka it is located on the fringes of Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, and as hikes go it’s a short one regardless of which route you choose: beach or forest.
Although both start from within Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve, the forest route is the shortest and easiest, taking no more than 40 minutes, and starts further up the tarmac road, just under the lighthouse.
At one hour or so, the beach route is longer and harder though considerably more dramatic. Exiting the tarmac road earlier on, it takes you through the forest down towards the beautiful and deserted Monkey Bay, where you’ll get a flash of the hill’s stony white length peeking out from under the lush green of the scrub. You’ll then have to make your way toward its peak via a steep jungle trail which is passable only during low tide, so checking the tides in advance is a must. The currents here are known to be strong so swimming or wading it may not be an option.
After a steep but short 15 to 20 minute slog up the tarmac road that winds its way up from the entrance of Tanjung Tuan Recreational Forest, the trailhead is on the right, just about 30 or so meters short of the stairs leading to the historical Cape Rachado lighthouse. It’s signposted (see image) so you can’t miss it.
There’s another trail next to it heading down. I didn’t explore it but I presume takes you down to one of the beaches.
After a quick scramble up the embankment, the trail very briefly takes you up before flattening out. It’s wide and well trodden so you needn’t worry about getting lost.
Five minutes later the path will slope downwards, while tell tale white rocks will soon signal you’re close by. In fact less than 15 minutes from the trailhead, you’ll be at the foot of a rocky outcrop.
Despite what I’ve seen in YouTube videos, the final stretch to the peak, a climb up the very rocks from which Bukit Batu Putih gets its name, is neither long and treacherous (perhaps if you climbed up it’s craggy face from sea level up). From the forest route approach its 10 meters up this jagged crevasse. Coming down is a little trickier but there’s a rope you can use to rappel your way down.
Alternatively you can swing round the left of the rocky outcrop and take a hard right at the rope up one of two ways to the top. This too requires some rock climbing.
The laminated paper sign at the apex puts Bukit Batu Putih at 285 meters above sea level. I have my doubts, nevertheless it’s impossible not to be enthralled by the view.
If it weren’t for the crowd, which swells in size in the morning when its cooler and in the evening just before sunset, I could have easily sat there listening to the lazy drone of speedboats, drinking in the sea breeze and soaking up the last golden rays of the sun.
I do stay long enough to watch a stream of Oriental Honey Buzzards soar above me, circle, then make their way northwards in the direction of Port Dickson. Not everyone is in the right place at the right time to be able to.
Part of a twice annual migration of birds of prey whose flight pattern takes them down South to Australia for the winter and back up north to China and Russia to feed and nest during the summer, they arrive here during the months of March and April after a 38 kilometres journey across the straits of Melaka from Pulau Rupat on Sumatra. While Cape Rachado lighthouse is one of the best places to view this spectacle, it’s usually inundated with birdwatchers and photographers with lengthy camera lenses, making Bukit Batu Putih the next best vantage point from which to take in this amazing sight.
Tanjung Tuan Recreational Forest gate to trailhead 20 minutes.
Trailhead to rocky outcrop and peak 10 to 15 minutes.
Altitude 285 meters.
Time 35 minutes one way.
Rating Easy with a little rock climbing towards the end, not suitable for children under 6 years of age.
Facilities Toilets are located near the entrance to Tanjung Tuan Recreational Forest and parking is available next to PNB Ilham Resort. At the weekends ice cream vendors congregate at the park entrance, while drinks are sometimes sold at the lighthouse steps.
Admission RM1. Tanjung Tuan Recreational Forest is open daily from 7am to 6pm.
Coordinates 2.412603, 101.855564