If you were to ask me to describe hiking Bukit Guling Ayam in five words I’d say: Maximum view in minimum time.
But why would you ask me to describe it in five words when I know so many more words? I have all the best words. So strap yourself in and let me take you on a word journey up a mini hill with a mighty view much like Sungai Long.
Oh, and spoiler. No monkeys on this one. Sorry, monkey fans. But there are Black Soldier Flies. So stay tuned for that.
Listen up. You will need a car to get here. The trailhead for Bukit Guling Ayam is basically a petrol station forecourt (with drive-thru Starbucks and McDonalds) on the edge of a busy highway.
To be more precise it’s the Petronas Station Lingkaran Karak on the MRR2, just before the turnoff to the Karak Highway. So public transport is kinda out. You will need your own car or hail a taxi/Grab to get here, which is exactly what I did.
It worked well on arrival as I was coming from downtown Kuala Lumpur which is swamped with Grabs. Hailing a ride on the way back proved a little more tricky.
I had to a good wait before I finally got picked up long enough that I started to worry and formulate a Plan B. Which would have been carjacking someone stopping at the Mcdonalds’ Drive-Thru.
I had a little chuckle imagining a local going to ask for some McChicken goodness and ending up with a giant sweaty foreigner in their passenger seat shouting “Step on it, or I eat your nugs!”! Lols!
Anyway, either come by private car if you can or organise for your taxi driver to return for you at a set time.
View from the start
One of the best parts about exploring Kuala Lumpur’s mini jungle hiking trails these last few weeks has been how quickly you can go from full-blown city to full-on nature.
Bukit Guling Ayam is a great example of this, the hike literally starts in the parking lot of a drive-thru McDonalds. You can’t get much more peak late-stage capitalism than that, can you?!
But in minutes you will be surrounded by dense bamboo groves and being chased by prehistoric-sized mosquitos. What a contrast. I loved it!
When I initially planned this hike I fully intended on doing the Bukit Guling Ayam Loop as in general I always prefer a circular walk to a-there-and-back. Who likes coming back the same way they’ve been? Not me.
But it became quite obvious almost as soon as I began to follow the looped route that it was very overgrown and didn’t seem like there was any path through.
Don’t get me wrong I’m an adventurer, I still tried to make my own path through the overgrown undergrowth. But almost as soon as I began bushwhacking a friendly chap popped his head out of the building to the right of the photo below and enthusiastically pointed me in the other direction.
Not wanting to appear rude (or crazy) I followed his advice and headed back to the main trail, a concrete-poured path. As I turned a window sprung open so a kid could frantically wave at me. Maybe the son of the friendly chap.
I can only imagine what this family was thinking of some random white guy traipsing through the bushes behind their house in the heat of midday. Probably “foreigners are weird”
Back on the main path, I wandered upward and quickly reached the Ecolife Hilltop Cafe. I didn’t go in as, to be honest, I’d only been walking for ten minutes and didn’t feel I could justify a food stop yet.
I also couldn’t see anyone working there when I went by. So maybe they’re only open in the mornings?
Shortly after this, you’ll reach the top of the concrete path and then take a right into the rocky limestone karst area of the hike.
As you get closer to the peak you’ll be able to scramble over a few of these jaggy rocks which is always something I enjoyed doing. There are ropes to support you should need them but I think most would be fine without them.
And then you’re there. The peak. From the trailhead to the top in about 20 minutes (including the few minutes of bushwhacking at the start). Not exactly the most challenging hike in the world but still a really rewarding one.
Maybe it was the craggy limestone karst section at the top with the 360-degree views but the top of this little hill really felt like a mountain’s peak.
The view was sweet. Especially to the west where the knobbly peak of the neighbouring hill Bukit Tabur stands proud. That would be a fun one to climb. Although I’ve read elsewhere it might be a bit dangerous/closed by the authorities.
Does anyone know about Bukit Tabur? If so let me know in the comments below.
Back to the view. To the east in the distance you can see the Batu Caves. To the north the mountains of Selangor and to the south the dramatic Kuala Lumpur skyline. Quite the panorama indeed.
My only regret is that I wasn’t here at sunrise or sunset when I just know that the scenery would’ve been even more dramatic.
But, true to form. Like the mental foreigner I am, I was of course here in the absolute middle of the day when the sun is only inches from my face! Doh!
That’s not lens distortion, may head really is shaped like that. Makes hat shopping complicated.
After soaking in the views for 15mins the sun began to melt my face so I set off back to base.
On the wander back down I passed through the Urban Ecolife Agrofarm again and saw a big sign advertising Black Soldier Flies.
Maybe it’s time we all invest in some BSFL before the opportunity flies!
Weird I said to no one in particular. Why would you farm flies? Usually flies are something you try to discourage.
Well, let me tell you hiker hero fans. If I hadn’t walked past this sign I wouldn’t have fallen down a BSFL hole (That’s Black Soldier Flies Larvae btw).
Now I know these giant flies, or more precisely their giant larva are used for all sorts of fascinating things from waste removal to fish food. If you’re interested at all, read this awesome article which describes them as the future of farming. Warning, it contains maggots.
Isn’t the world fascinating?! Yes. Yes, it is.
Finally, I’ve taken a photo that does the view justice. Pretty right?
At only 1km in length, 160 metres high and taking less than an hour to complete, Bukit Guling Ayam is the shortest of all my Kuala Lumpur hikes in terms of length, height and time.
But don’t let those stats get you down. I loved this pocket rocket of a hike. It was short, sharp and had absolute killer views. Just look at the pic above. Legit pretty right?
Admittedly the trailhead is located in a bit of an awkward spot but with a little bit of planning (such as pre-booking a return taxi) it’s kinda fun to set off from a motorway service station car park. And bonus, you’re not short on post-hike eating options there.
Next time I will come out super early, get jacked up on coffee at the drive-thru Starbucks and hit that craggy peak for sunrise.
If you’re looking for a lotta view and you don’t have much time to kill. Then Bukit Guling Ayam is a great option.
Until next time happy hikers, rub a dog, pat a cat, tickle a trout, and be good to yourselves and each other.
Over and Mike
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