Picking up something that I took a hiatus for 20 years wasn’t easy. I may have lost touch in my skills, I may not have the stamina I used to have, my knees may not be able to take the downhill impact, etc, etc …. Such thoughts raced through my mind as I prepared for the hike to Broga Hill (Bukit Broga), also known as "Bukit Lalang", located in a small town, Semenyih in the state of Selangor, in Malaysia.
At 400m high, it is famed for its incredible panoramic views, especially at dawn. It is easily accessible by foot and also a popular attraction among locals and tourists. It can be done as a day trip (within 20 hours) from Singapore. And on this trip, I dragged Mabel along who is embarking on her first trekking trip.
We were supposed to make this a sunrise trek but a delay at the Singapore-Malaysia border clearance made this impossible. It was a Friday evening and the beginning of school holidays in Singapore. Hence the border was very crowded. We took longer than usual to clear the immigration. The sun had already risen by the time we reached the base of the hill and many other groups had already finished their hike and making their descent while we only starting it. :))
The route is pathed so it is unlikely you will lose your way. Along the way, trekkers get a sweeping view of the plains, rainforests, oil palm plantations, villages & towns, and along with distant mountains in the horizon. The best view can be seen on the way up to 2nd botak (bald) hill.
You will have to pass 2 botak hills before reaching the summit. It gets a little bit challenging on the last stretch to the summit. There are 2 routes that trekkers can take to pass the intersection on the way up to the summit. We decided to take the more challenging one. Despite some of us just gotten to know each other few hours ago and trekked together for the first time, it was great teamwork that we came together to help one another clearing one obstacle after another. There were no who is superior or weaker than the other. Everyone contributed their worth and helped everyone reached the next scale of height.
We successfully reached the summit and had our breakfast heartily. Everyone brought some food along. We then laid them out so that everyone can share and have a buffet of snacks to choose from.
We didn’t stay too long at the summit because the sun became too hot and we made our descent soon after. The downhill was definitely faster. However we still took each step slowly, one step at a time due to the steep slopes and impact on our knees.
We reached the base in less than 2 hours and celebrated with coconut juices before we head off to one of the nearby villages for a nice nasi padang lunch. All of us were famished by then and we topped our plates with simple but delicious items of food. Honesty counts here. You do not pay for your food first but rather at the end of the meal. So whatever you said you had put on your plate, the shop owner will believe you and charge you based on what you claimed you had eaten. A few of us were quite amused. In fact, this way of payment-after-meal was practiced in Singapore some time back. But it has changed over the years and I wonder if some old hawkers still practice this.
As we made our journey back to Singapore, we made an early dinner stop in a seafood restaurant facing the Straits of Malacca in Melaka. We enjoyed the great view while waiting for our food.
No food pictures …. We were too hungry to let our cameras eat first! LOL!
Our thanks to Shah & Shikin who put this trip together and made it possible. And special thanks to Huivon, Mona & Shah for your picture contribution. We hope you enjoyed our story just like we do.