Bukit Berekeh bird's eye view while Hiking in Ipoh. Photo by Takumi Tan.

7 Exhilarating Trails To Experience Hiking in Ipoh

Forget Sea And City of Kuala Lumpur. Go Hiking In Ipoh To Create Epic Adventures You’ll Remember

Most know that Malaysia offers an experience unlike any other with its vibrant heritage and array of cultures, but few know of one particular sleepy state that is home to that and more.

Enter the state of Perak, home to one of Malaysia’s most charming sleepy towns, Ipoh. This little town is renowned for three things: culinary delights that almost rival that of Penang’s, its historical heritage, and natural wonders. Can you think of another town that boasts all three in Malaysia’s western continent?

And when it comes to natural wonders, we’re not just talking about the limestone cliffs, caverns, and hot springs. We’re talking about the local’s favourite hills, hiking trails, and waterfalls that are simply waiting to be explored by adventurers like you.

If you’ve been itching for an adventure in nature, you'll want to skip Kuala Lumpur because it’s time to embark on an epic hiking adventure through the hiking trails of Ipoh.

7 Exhilarating Hiking Trails To Explore In Ipoh, Perak

Bukit Kledang mini stream in bamboo thicket. Photo by n spgahetti.

1. Bukit Kledang (Kledang Hill)

Bukit Kledang, also known as Kledang Hill, is one of the top hiking spots for Ipoh’s local residents which is located in the suburbs of Menglembu, west of Ipoh’s town center. 

What makes Bukit Kledang a popular hiking spot is the fact that it has several trails that range from moderately challenging to highly challenging, which makes it suitable for all fitness levels to attempt. You’ll often find locals hiking, mountain biking, and trekking through the Bukit Kledang jungle, especially during the weekends. Some locals even walk their dogs on Kledang Hill!

If this is your first time hiking up Kledang Hill, check out these popular hiking trails which you can also locate via Google Maps if this is your first attempt:

RTM Trail

This trail takes up to 4 hours to complete and is mostly made up of a tarmac road that leads you directly to the Bukit Kledang summit where the telecommunication tower sits. This trail’s summit is surrounded by trees, so while it’s not the best one for those seeking a panoramic view, it’s a good one for those who want to train their physical fitness.

4-2 Trail

A fun, hour-long trail that takes you through the jungle to a gazebo at the trail’s end where the clearest panoramic viewpoint of Perak awaits you. You’ll recognise this trail the moment you spot a stretch made up of old tires that serve as steps.

Bukit Kledang mini waterfall on the 4-9 hiking trail. Photo by Muhammad Suhaidi Suhaimi.

4-9 Trail

The trail for waterfall chasers. A mini waterfall awaits you on this 2-hour long jungle route through Bukit Kledang, which also gets you access to the unobstructed viewpoint in the 4-2 trail.

Trails aside, Kledang Hill’s terrain is a mixture of narrow concrete stairs, jungle terrain, and dried dirt stretches. Clear indications that you’ll be in for a proper adventure there!

Because of the generally dynamic nature of Bukit Kledang, I’d recommend bringing more than enough water (say about 2L of water and no less, if you can pack it chilled it’d be best) as hikers have often reported the atmosphere of Bukit Kledang to be incredibly humid.

Those seeking to catch the sunrise or sunset will want to come prepared with torchlights or a headlamp because there are absolutely no lights on Bukit Kledang’s hiking trails. And lastly, do not come alone because there have been reported robberies and you can easily get lost in this trail if you’re not familiar with the routes. Don’t forget to let friends and family know when you’re hiking Bukit Kledang so they’re aware of your location!

Hiking Time: Up to 4 hours

Trail Distance: Up to 13km

Elevation Gain: 800m

Opening Hours: 24 hours, daily

Address: Jalan Kledang, 31450, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Bukit Berekeh hiking trail overview. Photo by Takumi Tan.

2. Bukit Berekeh

Just about an hour and a half’s drive from the heart of Ipoh lies Bukit Berekeh. It’s a hill that most experienced hikers deem an “easy climb”, but it isn’t as easy as they often make it sound because this hill quickly rises in difficulty as soon as you pass the first checkpoint.

Bukit Berekeh is known for its stunning 360° scenic view at the summit, its sunrise, and one of the rare spots to enjoy viewing the sea of clouds (makes you feel like you’re flying on a magic carpet!).

There are 4 false peaks out of the 5 that are just waiting to catch you off guard. So it’s certainly a ripe and funny moment to discover the negotiators amongst your hiking buddies who absolutely can’t wait to head off after thinking they've reached the summit, only to find out they aren’t done hiking!

But once you reach the peak, you’ll be glad to know that your efforts aren’t in vain. The view alone is enough to get most hikers to rate Bukit Berekeh more favourably than that of the popular Broga Hill and Sungai Lembing Trail.

Bukit Berekeh oil palm plantation starting point. Photo by Water Chew.

Bukit Berekeh’s starting point begins at the nearby oil palm plantation. You’ll know you’re near when you spot the local public school, SMK Bawong, and the local Bawong Mosque from the main road.

Trail markers are found throughout the trail, but you do have to keep a careful lookout for them while walking because they aren’t as prominent as other popular trails. It’ll look like pieces of cloth tied to trees. There are also wild dogs that prowl the area since it is rather remote, so hike in groups to be safe.

Hiking Time: Up to 3 hours

Trail Distance: 5.3km

Elevation Gain: 454m

Opening Hours: 24 hours, daily

Address: Bukit Berekeh, 31100, Sungai Siput, Perak, Malaysia

Bukit Bangkong trailhead with iconic dragon. Photo by WS Chong.

3. Bukit Bangkong

If there’s a hill in Ipoh that’s famous for its majestic view, you can bet it’s Bukit Bangkong. This particular hill is popular for its relatively easy difficulty while offering hikers stunning views of Mount Korbu which stands at a proud 2181m above sea level, and Mount Yong Yap, the 6th highest mountain in West Malaysia. It’s also famous for the iconic dragon sculpture found at its trailhead.

You’ll find three hiking trails on Bukit Bangkong; the main trail and the Mount Korbu trail which diverges into two trails that form a loop, reconnecting just before the peak.

The different levels of Bukit Bangkong include a tarmac trail and pebbled dirt track. Photo by WS Chong.

The terrain starts off with a tarmac trail which gradually morphs into a pebbled dirt track before reintroducing a cycle of tarred road, concrete stairs, and dirt path. It’s an overall steady incline which makes it a fantastic hike to train your leg muscles and endurance. That said, the incline gets steeper towards the peak so come prepared with a hiking stick because it will help heaps during the occasional drops as you descend.

What awaits you at the peak is a majestic view of Mount Korbu, Mount Yong Yap, unnamed distant hills, Ipoh’s famed limestone quarries, and the local housing estates. Trust me when I say it’d definitely be a shame if you didn’t bring snacks and at least 1L of ice cold water to enjoy a mini picnic there before heading back down!

Montigo Ace Mega in the great outdoors.

Hiking Time: Up to 2 hours

Trail Distance: 3.2km

Elevation Gain: 228m

Opening Hours: 7am - 6pm, daily

Address: Tanah Hitam, 31200, Chemor, Perak, Malaysia

Bukit Liman Kati panoramic view. Photo by Peter Hun.

4. Bukit Liman Kati

Bukit Liman Kati is a hill found approximately 50 minutes away from Ipoh where hikers go to enjoy viewing the sea of clouds and catch the sunrise.

It’s home to a moderately challenging hiking trail that beginners can attempt to train up their stamina. Bukit Liman Kati isn’t as popular as the rest of Ipoh’s hiking trails, so I’d recommend coming in a group or with an experienced hiking buddy if you want to fully immerse yourself in the hill’s peaceful solitude.

Be prepared for a terrain that alternates between steep and flat dirt paths that may get slippery and muddy on a rainy day. A hiking stick will keep you balanced and help you traverse the worst of it. 

Bukit Liman Kati tarmac and dirt path. Photo by KH Wan.

You’ll also experience a balance of shaded pathways and totally exposed stretches, so come prepared with a hat packed in your backpack, ample water, and a breathable jacket to steer clear of harmful UV rays. Don’t forget insect repellant to keep the mosquitoes away!

Being prepared for this journey makes a world of difference because you’ll get to enjoy sights of the local fruit-bearing orchards and rubber plantations that line the way. You may even get to say hi to some resident rubber tappers on their bike en-route to work, which is something you don’t often see especially if you live in the city.

Hiking Time: Up to 3 hours

Trail Distance: 6.1km

Elevation Gain: 417m

Opening Hours: 24 hours, daily

Address: Bukit Liman Hiking Track, Kuala Kangsar, Perak, Malaysia

Bukit Larut trailhead and sign. Photo by Muhd Arsyadshah.

5. Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill)

Enter Bukit Larut, said to be Malaysia’s first and oldest hill resort founded in 1870 by George Maxwell during the British Occupation. What was formerly a British Hill Station located approximately 2 hours away from Ipoh’s town center, is now a known hiking spot with scenic views that overlook the Peninsular Coastline and Straits of Malacca.

Hiking Bukit Larut is a full day affair that takes up to 7 hours if you opt for the full hike. That said, what makes it worth the effort and challenge is the sight of wildlife like dusky-leaf monkeys, the cool and clean fresh air, and scenery that awaits you at its peak.

One of Bukit Larut's hiking trails. Photo by C.Normin Bakri.

You can either scale the tarmac road all the way up or hike through Bukit Larut’s jungle trail. The incline of the tarmac road is not too extreme because it was built for vehicles to access the telecommunication tower at its peak, but do keep in mind that it is still a worthy challenge with no flat paths in between. You’ll also spot a mini waterfall mid-way through the hike, which appears more like a downward stream than a waterfall - still an interesting sight to experience.

Bukit Larut waterfall. Photo by Anthony Johnson.

With everything in mind, if Bukit Larut is too great of a trail to attempt for now, you can always opt for the shortcut. This involves hiking the first leg of Bukit Larut’s tarmac trail, then arranging for a pick up at the hill’s “Third Station” to reach the summit's drop off point. But you must arrange for it with the ticketing officers at their post by the foothill before even climbing Bukit Larut.

Should you attempt the hike, remember to pack no less than 2L of water (more is better) because it will be a long and challenging uphill trek. Pack ample energy bars and a light lunch like sandwiches or onigiri to keep hunger pangs at bay. You’ll need all the energy you can.

It will also get chilly on the higher levels of the hill, so keep a jacket stashed in your backpack handy and an umbrella just in case it rains. The climate is similar to that of Cameron Highlands and Genting Highlands, so you’ll roughly know what to expect. Not forgetting insect repellant as mosquitoes also frequent the area.

Hiking Time: Up to 7 hours

Trail Distance: 13.7km

Elevation Gain: 1250m

Opening Hours: 7am - 8pm, daily

Address: Hutan Lipur Kaki Bukit Larut, 34000 Taiping, Perak, Malaysia

Bukit Batu Suloh thicket. Photo by Syed Mohamad Sofa.

6. Bukit Batu Suloh

If you’ve got Mount Kinabalu on your bucket list, then you won’t want to miss out on Bukit Batu Suloh. It’s closely similar to Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia’s tallest peak, where you’ll find natural rock formations, tall ancient trees blanketed by green moss, crisp fresh air, and a breathtaking scenic view that includes the Sultan Azlan Shah Dam, the peak of Mount Korbu, and the town of Ipoh on a clear day. Did we also mention it’s popular for its stunning sunset?

This hill is found in Ulu Kinta, just under 40 minutes away from Ipoh and it is a protected hill under Perak’s Eco Tourism efforts - which means that permits are mandatory before any hiking activity can even be attempted. While some hikers have reported that you don’t need a permit to hike, it’s always safer to get a permit (at only RM10 per person) over paying a fine of RM10,000 if you’re caught hiking without one.

Bukit Batu Suloh offers hikers a moderately challenging hike with a terrain that consists of both uphill and downhill stretches, traversing through fallen branches, dense thickets, overgrown roots, and the occasional rope-assisted climbs. It's definitely no walk in the park!

Expect to trek through a muddy and occasionally slippery jungle trail during the wet seasons, so come prepared with shoes that guarantee a strong and firm grip on slippery terrain.

If you’re there to catch the sunset, come prepared with a headlamp or torchlights for your descent because it will get dark there with no lights in sight! And as usual, pack no less than 1.5L of water and a light lunch box of sandwiches, energy bars, and a fruit or two because you will expend significant energy and effort to reach the peak.

Hiking Time: Up to 2 hours 30 minutes

Trail Distance: 5.6km

Elevation Gain: 286m

Opening Hours: 7am - 6pm, daily

Address: Bukit Batu Suloh, Ulu Kinta, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Gunung Relau leftover ammunition cases from WW2. Photo by Anis yong Kee leong.

7. Gunung Relau

Looking to train yourself up before scaling Mount Kinabalu? Then you’ve got to check out Gunung Relau. Hikers and history buffs will love this location for what it offers. Yes, you read that right, history buffs. Gunung Relau is home to a bulk of leftover ammunition boxes said to be from the time of World War 2. Which is part of the reason why it’s protected by Perak’s Eco Tourism Board.

Gunung Relau is known for its highly challenging journey which is only recommended for experienced hikers. The hike begins with a walk on a relatively flat paved trail for the first 100m which ends at a split road. The first 100m is said to be the most enjoyable one as you’ll spot wild fruit trees like durian and rambutan trees, spot the entrance of the nearby waterfall, and encounter some friendly dogs from the nearby village.

Going back to the split path, the left route takes you to Gunung Bujang Melaka, while the right track takes you to Gunung Relau. Stay on the right and keep walking until you arrive at the river - this confirms you’re on the right path.

You will encounter leeches here due to the damp environment and presence of wild boars deep within the mountain. So come equipped with leech socks and apply eucalyptus ointment or spray on your legs to keep those pesky buggers away.

All in all, you’ll be hiking through a mix of rocky climbs, river treks, rope assisted inclines, and pathways that are littered with fallen trees and overgrown roots. It’s truly the hallmark of a wild outdoor adventure!

Hiking Time: Up to 5 hours

Trail Distance: 8km

Elevation Gain: 845m

Opening Hours: 24 hours, daily

Address: Kampung Batu Berangkai, 31900, Kampar, Perak, Malaysia