Back in January 2017 I stayed at The Sticks in Kuala Kubu Bharu for the first time; it wasn’t my last. But time doesn’t always allow for the luxury of a weekend getaway, and when the heart wants what the heart wants – like a day trip away by the river, owners Michelle and Rubin happily welcome day trippers.
There are plenty of reasons to head to Kuala Kubu Baru. The picturesque park of Taman Millennium and rushing waters of Sungai Selangor are just two of them. Whether the nearby Bukit Batu Pahat, which I climbed with the KL Hiking crew, is another remains debatable.
Never judge a book by its cover, or a hill by its height. At a mere 120 meters above sea level, Bukit Jugra isn’t immediately obvious as a hiking destination. Yet, rising out of the monotony of monoculture, this virgin forest covered hill surprises for its dramatic views and short but sweaty challenge.
Located in Hulu Langat not far from the turn off to Gabai Waterfall, the hike up Gunung Hitam is akin to a condensed version of a hike up Nuang. Shorter by 5km, it must be steeper too, because what it lacks in distance it makes up for in calf-shredding inclines.
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, to provide a different vantage point of this landmark.
My family lived in the Ampang area of Selangor in the 90s, yet this was the first time I had hiked up to its old reservoir at Bukit Kembara. Taking under 2 hours roundtrip, it makes for a rewarding urban hike.
Around the same time every year I get this desperate need to escape. 2017 was no different, and since my nephew and niece didn’t get their perfect Christmas holiday to Legoland Johor, I arranged a last minute getaway to The Sticks.