Hiking Perlis: 7 Scenic Hills & Mountains To Conquer

Hiking Perlis: 7 Scenic Hills & Mountains To Conquer

Hiking Perlis 101: Mountains & Hills For Those With A Thirst For Adventure

The northernmost state of Perlis may be Malaysia’s smallest state, but did you know that this border state hides plenty of exciting adventures for those with a thirst for exploration?

There are various caves with historical carvings and unique formations dating back hundreds of years ago that stand strongly til this date, great twin mountains that make one think of mighty sentries guarding a border (how apt!), and scenic hills that even those living a mostly sedentary lifestyle can attempt without fear.

With Perlis also being home to a resident hiking group that most know of (Hikers of Perlis), this state is definitely one that local and international hikers should not miss out on during the hunt for new mountains and hills to conquer in Malaysia.

So rally your hiking buddies, pack your hiking essentials, and plan out your travel route, because we’re going to explore the hiking trails of Perlis!

7 Hiking Spots To Explore In Perlis For A Scenic Adventure

Bukit Chabang panoramic view of Perlis. Photo by Hyaidhar Ali.

1. Bukit Chabang

Most would associate Bukit Chabang with the private sheep farm at its foothill, giving rise to the area’s moniker as the New Zealand of Malaysia. You also have Perak locals widening their eyes at the sight of the word “Chabang”, but that’s because Perak also has its own Gunung “Chabang” that isn’t at all connected to the one in Perlis.

Bukit Chabang is home to one of Peninsular Malaysia’s most challenging hiking trails that is only recommended for veteran hikers. Think steep climbs up sharp rock formations with an incline of almost 80-degrees, scaling through steep rope assisted climbs, a wild trek through overgrown branches and roots, careful trod through slippery clay dirt paths, and an equally, if not more challenging descent!

Bukit Chabang steep rock climb. Photo by Hyaidhar Ali.

While this hill poses an incredible challenge, it undeniably delivers one of the best panoramic views of Perlis as a whole with stunning sights of the Timah Tasoh Lake. If you’re lucky, you may even get to watch the sea of clouds forming.

Hikers who have conquered the peak advise bringing along padded cotton gloves to help with the climb across sharp rock formations, a jacket for the windy peak, at least 1.5L of water (bring your favourite cooler in the Montigo Ace Massive to stay refreshed!), no less than 3 energy bars, and a fruit or two. This is one hill where your hiking stick may be more of a hindrance as your hands will be full with the climb in between the hike.

Hiking Time: Up to 5 hours

Trail Distance: Approximately 3km

Elevation Gain: 390m

Opening Hours: 24 hours, daily

Address: Google coordinates 6°35'50.8"N 100°15'14.0"E for the trailhead.

Pintu Wang Gunung panoramic view at the peak. Photo by Xiang En Huang.

2. Pintu Wang Gunung

Pintu Wang Gunung is famous amongst hikers and mountain climbers for being one of the top challenging hikes in Perlis, but that’s not all. This mountain is connected to the Nakawan Mountain Range which serves as a natural border between Malaysia and Thailand, of which some cheeky hikers have likened it to Malaysia’s very own “Great Wall Of China”. Only that this is fully immersed in nature unlike the actual stony nature of the Great Wall.

You’ll need to engage a guide from the Malaysian Forestry Department along with a permit before you can embark on the hike due to its lengthy and challenging nature. Because of all that, this hiking spot is recommended only for veteran hikers with great stamina.

Pintu Wang Gunung’s terrain typically involves steep rope assisted climbs, thrilling rock climbs on sharp rock formations (similar to Bukit Chabang), fallen log crossings, forest trekking through overgrown tree roots and sharp branches, and hikes through reddish dirt paths which tend to get slippery during the wet season.

Pintu Wang Gunung thicket at Checkpoint #10. Photo by Hikayat Releh.

It’s best to attempt this hiking trail before sunrise as the view is truly phenomenal, and to avoid getting sunburnt. At the peak, you’ll get to enjoy panoramic views of both Perlis and Thailand’s lush rolling hills, paddy fields, and little islands on a clear day.

Since it tends to get pretty chilly at the peak due to strong winds, it’s best to bring a windbreaker and a flask of hot coffee in the Montigo Ace Bottle to enjoy a brief respite at the peak as your reward after the challenging hike. Aside from coffee, do bring at least 1.5L water and some snacks or a lunch pack like a sandwich and an onigiri or two to keep your energy levels up for the descent.

Regulars here typically advise going during the dry season because of two reasons; the dirt path gets slippery when it is wet and leeches prowl the trails when it is damp. Some hikers have also reported seeing scorpions and lizards in abundance here, so do be aware of your hand placements during the hike!

Hiking Time: Up to 6 hours

Trail Distance: Approximately 6km

Elevation Gain: Up to 500m

Opening Hours: 24 hours, daily

Address: Sungai Batu Pahat, 01000, Kangar, Perlis, Malaysia

Bukit Lagi's scenic view at the peak. Photo by razli rahim.

3. Bukit Lagi (a.k.a. Bukit Gua Cenderawasih)

If you’ve been looking for easier hiking trails in Perlis, look no further than Bukit Lagi’s hiking trail. This particular one is a nice hiking trail loop that is accessible via the Taman Bukit Lagi Recreational Park within the town of Kangar, Perlis. It’s great for semi-beginners to regular hikers to get their workout in thanks to its overall easier terrain.

What awaits you here are rows and rows of stairs with a small number of steep sections that give you a slight bump in challenge. That said, the trail is mostly covered by cemented stairs so semi-beginner hikers can train up their physique here. But do not underestimate the climb!

The staircase hike of Bukit Lagi. Photo by Mohd Arif Ibrahim.

It’s best to go slow and take your time with the steps here as some of them can get a little slippery due to the moss found on some steps. Which is why I’d recommend wearing hiking shoes with a firm grip to keep a steady footing.

Once you reach the top, you can take a photo with the iconic “Bukit Lagi” signboard as a memento that you’ve conquered the peak (even if a few letters are missing) before taking in views of Kangar’s township and the faraway green plains of Perlis.

There’s little to no space to have a picnic at the top because of its narrow platform, so be prepared for an almost immediate descent after you take in the view and capture your share of the photographs. You’ll want to keep this in mind especially during weekends where it tends to get crowded!

Hiking Time: Up to 1 hour 30 minutes

Trail Distance: 1km

Elevation Gain: 170m

Opening Hours: 24 hours, daily

Address: Taman Bukit Lagi, 01000, Kangar, Perlis, Malaysia

The iconic Rainbow Steps of Gunung Medan's starting area. Photo by 7 eleven on AllTrails

4. Gunung Medan

Here’s another easy hike for the beginners or those seeking a leisurely weekend hike - Gunung Medan! Gunung Medan is a tourist attraction in Perlis that allows visitors to enjoy a breathtaking 360-degree panorama of the sugarcane plantations and paddy fields of Perlis, and if you’re lucky, Langkawi Island on clear days!

The hike up to Gunung Medan’s peak is relatively easy and it takes up to 30 minutes even at a leisurely pace. It’s a popular hiking trail for both morning and evening hikers because of its spectacular sunrise and sunset views. Expect heaps of stairs that make up its hiking trail so just wear your most comfortable walking shoes and brace yourself for a StairMaster experience.

A glamping cafe can be found at its peak for hikers to enjoy a nice cuppa after the climb. This is one of the things that make Gunung Medan a pleasant experience for beginner hikers, especially those who aren’t used to physical activities.

Fun Fact: There’s a pick-up van that brings you directly to the peak at a small fee if you’re not keen on walking and you only intend to get to the peak for the view. 

Hiking Time: 1 hour

Trail Distance: 1km

Elevation Gain: Approximately 300m

Opening Hours: 24 hours, daily

Address: Taman Medan Sepakat, 01000, Kangar, Perlis, Malaysia

Bukit Kubu Recreational Forest hiking trail stairway. Photo by Kim Peng Lim.

5. Bukit Kubu Recreational Forest Hiking Trail

Here’s another easy trail for the leisure hikers! Bukit Kubu Recreational Forest in Kuala Perlis is home to jogging tracks, a recreational park, and of course, a mini hiking trail that leads to a gazebo that serves as a lookout point.

This entire recreational forest is essentially a forested limestone hill that is known amongst locals as the cave park of Perlis because it houses an entire cave system within its hill that’s still standing to this date.

What makes the Bukit Kubu Recreational Forest hiking trail an easy one is the fact that it is not your typical mountainous trail. It is actually a series of steps that lead to a gazebo built on a hill which overlooks Kuala Perlis, Langkawi Island, the Straits of Malacca, Sungai Perlis, and the border of Southern Thailand.

Since it houses a gazebo, I’d recommend bringing some snacks and a cool beverage or two in the Montigo Ace Bottle to indulge in while enjoying the beautiful panoramic view of the area. Because you may need that extra bit of energy for the descent as well! ;)

Hiking Time: Up to 30 minutes

Trail Distance: 1km

Elevation Gain: Approximately 200m

Opening Hours: 7am - 6pm, daily

Address: Bukit Kubu Recreational Forest, 02000, Kuala Perlis, Perlis, Malaysia

Bukit Tok Dun's dirt trail on a cloudy day. Photo by Haziq Raimy.

6. Bukit Tok Dun

Bukit Tok Dun is home to an interesting hiking trail that lies at the fringes between Perlis and Kedah. Locals around the area typically venture through Bukit Tok Dun during weekends to maintain their physical fitness levels, so they may take on more challenging hikes. It’s also a popular spot for hikers to catch the beautiful sunrise and sea of clouds from its peak.

The terrain of Bukit Tok Dun is mostly made up of an exposed dirt path with the occasional mix of pebbled pathways and paved steps, so grippy shoes are an absolute must especially if it rained the night before.

Do bring a hat or a cap and wear long sleeved clothing to prevent the risk of getting sunburned even with sunblock since the trail is mostly exposed.

The hiking trail starts at the Tok Dun Water Tower, where you’ll then walk through a local oil palm plantation and rubber tree plantation before the actual ascend. You’ll know you’re arriving at the peak when you can spot the peak’s gazebo from a distance, which is also why you’ll want to bring some snacks and cool beverages to enjoy for a brief stop before you head back down.

Bukit Tok Dun gazebo at the peak. Photo by Haziq Raimy.

If you’re lucky enough to be there on a clear day, you’ll get to enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of both Perlis and Kedah’s rolling hills and green pastures. And if extra luck is on your side, you may even see the cloud carpet! Do keep in mind that Bukit Tok Dun’s peak is known to get misty occasionally, so stay close to your group if that makes you uncomfortable.

Another important thing to note about Bukit Tok Dun is that the hiking trail goes through private property, so please be mindful of your surroundings, do not litter, and do not damage the palm trees and rubber trees that line the path.

Hiking Time: Up to 4 hours

Trail Distance: 4km

Elevation Gain: 325m

Opening Hours: 24 hours, daily

Address: Bukit Kubu Recreational Forest, 02000, Kuala Perlis, Perlis, Malaysia

7. Gunung Pelarit

Now that we’ve completed most of the easy and known hiking trails, this one is a special bonus for the daredevils and true hiking veterans - Gunung Pelarit. Standing tall at 553m above sea level, Gunung Pelarit serves as one of the tallest peaks in Perlis, while also being a well-kept secret hiking spot that is recommended only to groups of veteran hikers due to its highly challenging nature.

Gunung Pelarit is not completely marked, so it’s strongly advisable to only go with a large hiking group of veterans as you may be in for some curveballs along the way. The trailhead begins at a little waterfall along with a bridge that extends across a flowing river to the actual start of the hike. But before you even attempt to hike Gunung Pelarit, you’ll need a permit and a guide to scale this mountain thanks to its overall difficulty, which can get dangerous.

The terrain of Gunung Pelarit is an incredibly challenging one as there are absolutely no paved tracks, only dirt paths and leaf-filled trails that tend to be slippery during the wet season. 

Expect to scale through steep rock climbs and assisted rope climbs so gloves are a must, along with a perilous trek through overgrown branches and brushes. Veteran hikers who have ventured through have reported needing to bring their own machetes to cut through paths that are incredibly dense with foliage.

Once you reach the peak, what greets you is a stunning green sight of misty rolling hills, the untouched nature of Peninsular Malaysia, and a breathtaking sight of the cloud carpet if you’re lucky.

Because of the hike’s challenging nature, it’s best to bring at least 2L of water for the trek, 2-3 energy bars, or an onigiri or two along with a bit of fruit to keep your energy levels up for the duration of the hike.

I strongly recommend wearing long sleeved tops and bottoms as you will be walking through sharp branches and dense foliage which are known to leave undesired cuts and scrapes to unsuspecting hikers. Like we mentioned earlier, bring grippy gloves for the climb, and wear appropriate hiking shoes with a firm and solid grip as you will be climbing uphill quite often during the hike!

Hiking Time: Up to 4 hours

Elevation Gain: 553m

Opening Hours: 24 hours, daily

Address: Bukit Pelarit, 02200, Kaki Bukit, Perlis, Malaysia