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Reshaping public transit with DRT

What is demand-responsive transit (drt) .

Trek Rides is a Demand-Responsive Transit service created to redefine how public transport works. It is completely digital and responds to commuters through the use of an intelligent routing software that matches vehicles to commuters, thereby ensuring that they can experience multiple pickups and drop offs. Think of it as having the capacity and affordability of a public bus but with the convenience and rich features of an e-hailing app. In this way, Trek Rides responds to the demands of passengers, hence the term DRT.

trek rides malaysia

Enjoy the convenience and comfort of a spacious van/minibus with the ability to interact with Trek Rides Service on-demand anytime.

trek rides malaysia

Intelligent

Worry no more about being late. Our intelligent software provides a reasonably accurate estimated time of arrival (ETA) you can rely on.

trek rides malaysia

Digitalised

Whether you want to track your rides, make payments, or just communicate with the driver, you can do so as it is all digitalised.

“Trek Rides is a safer first-mile/last-mile solution for communities to move around without having to use their private cars or expensive ride hailing services.”

-Ramachandran Muniandy

CEO of Asia Mobiliti

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR DRT ZONES

trek rides malaysia

PUCHONG ZONE

Operational Hours: 7am – 9pm (Daily) Fare: RM2.00 Public Transport Coverage: LRT Bandar Puteri, LRT Taman Perindustrian, LRT IOI Puchong Jaya, LRT Bandar Kinrara 5

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UM – BANGSAR SOUTH ZONE

Operational Hours: 7am – 9pm (Daily) Fare: RM1.00 Public Transport Coverage: LRT University

trek rides malaysia

AMPANG ZONE

Operational Hours: 7am – 9pm (Daily) Fare: RM2.00 Public Transport Coverage: LRT Pandan Jaya, LRT Pandan Indah, LRT Cempaka, LRT Cahaya, MRT Cochrane

trek rides malaysia

HULU KELANG ZONE

Operational Hours: 7am – 9pm (Daily) Fare: RM2.00 Public Transport Coverage: LRT Setiawangsa, LRT Jelatek, LRT Ampang

trek rides malaysia

UPM – SERDANG  ZONE

Operational Hours: 7am – 9pm (Daily) Fare: RM2.00 Public Transport Coverage: MRT UPM, Bus Terminal IOI City Mall

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  • announcement community news popular selangor
  • December 8, 2023
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Trek Rides DRT in DUN Kinrara

Announcing the expansion of Trek Rides DRT in DUN Kinrara into a Selangor Mobility service – now covering Bandar Kinrara 5, Bandar Puchong Jaya and Taman Wawasan alongside the existing Bandar Puteri! This new public transport mode called DRT (Demand-Responsive Transit) which serves your first-mile/last-mile needs was launched on 20th November 2023. The Puchong Zone includes 72 stops. Key Stops includes; – LRT Taman Perindustrian – LRT Bandar Puteri – LRT Bandar Kinrara 5 – LRT IOI Puchong Jaya – IOI Boulevard – IPD Serdang – Setia Walk – SMK Seksyen 4 Bandar Kinrara Enjoy the Trek Rides Service at RM 2 per ride. Download the Trek Rides app at the link below Apple App Store https://apps.apple.com/my/app/trek-app/id1481314544 Google Play Store https://play.google.com/store/apps/details… For more information visit  www.trekrides.com

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Malaysia’s first on-demand transit service Trek Rides is being prepared for launch by homegrown mobility tech startup Asia Mobiliti following a successful pilot in Petaling Jaya in September.

Trek Rides merges the digital experience of ride-hailing with public transport, enabling demand responsive transit services for effective and viable first-mile/last-mile connectivity. Designed around zones, passengers book a ride on an app and are matched to a suitable vehicle which are typically larger capacity vehicles such as 10-seater vans. Multiple passengers are ferried on trips that are routed by software to optimize pick-up and travel time. This intelligence enables more efficient movement of passengers and replaces the traditional fixed-route, timetabled nature of public transport.

The fleet partnership service model was showcased in the pilot in Petaling Jaya with a fleet of vehicles operated by Trek Rides’ first fleet-partner, KR Travel & Tours. With a dedicated fleet and professional drivers servicing each on-demand transit zone, Trek Rides is geared to service many zones within a city. With average fare rates being 60-80% lower compared to conventional ride-hailing services and without surge pricing, it will cater to a large segment of the population by connecting people to traditional public transport services and enabling economical and convenient car-less travel within a neighborhood.

Asia Mobiliti’s CEO & Co-founder, Ramachandran Muniandy adds, “We have demonstrated that on-demand transit or DRT (demand responsive transit) is a viable solution for first-mile/last-mile connectivity which has been a long-standing problem here in Malaysia. It’s been the toughest nut to crack in the passenger journey. Our service model involving fleet-partners coupled with the technology that runs off a mobility-as-a-service platform enables nationwide scale and integration with traditional public transit services.”

trek rides malaysia

According to Selangor State Exco for Local Government & Public Transportation, YB Ng Sze Han who participated in the pilot, “The state government will fully support this new initiative that can help Selangor to achieve the goal of 60% public transport modal share in Selangor by 2035”.

The other guests of the pilot included State Assemblyman for Bukit Gasing YB Rajiv Rishyakaran, CEO of MBI Pn. Hajah Norita Mohd Sidek, and CEO of Smart Selangor Delivery Unit (SSDU) Dr Fahmi Ngah. YB Rajiv adds, “People want a door-to-door service. With this one that can reduce ride-hailing costs by half is absolutely welcomed and necessary, and I hope it can take off immediately.”

With the first zones earmarked for launch next year, Trek Rides is designed to integrate with and boost public transport usage. On-demand shared rides in people movers such as vans and buses reduce traffic congestion and lower travel costs. Just as importantly, this contributes to reduction of carbon emissions as Malaysia moves toward net zero targets. Over the long term, dynamic first-mile/last-mile services allow urban spaces to sustainably reshape by replacing spaces traditionally reserved for parking, traffic and vehicles with healthier, more natural spaces for living.

This content is provided by Asia Mobiliti.

Interested in having your announcements on Malaysiakini? Contact the announcements team at [email protected] or whatsapp on +60 17-323 0707 for urgent matters.

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Asia Mobiliti’s Trek Rides Selected by Leading Cities as a Global Top 100 Resiliency Solution

KUALA LUMPUR, 28 JUNE 2023:   QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge , hosted by Leading Cities in partnership with QBE North America , officially released the selection of the Top 100 Resiliency Solutions and Asia Mobility Technologies Sdn Bhd (“Asia Mobiliti”) is the only Malaysian company that has been selected from a record 650 applicants from 80 countries for its Demand-Responsive Transit solution called Trek Rides .

DRT is a new form of software-powered public transit service that helps transport operators respond to multiple bookings within a predefined zone. The system optimises the dispatching of vehicles through the use of intelligent algorithms that factor in waiting and travel time, as well as traffic conditions. This solution promotes first-mile/last-mile shared-rides services without compromising on the estimated time of pick-up and drop-off, which encourages the public to commute via public transport rather than driving, thereby reducing traffic congestion while promoting sustainability.

The advanced dispatching and routing capabilities enables shared-rides services without compromising on estimated time of pick-up and drop-off, bringing unparalleled journey planning reliability for public transport users.

As ranked in the top 5 global GovTech Accelerators, Asia Mobiliti is thrilled to be a part of the Leading Cities family, and join a programme that brings startups from every corner of the world to participate in a comprehensive Smart City curriculum and provide great networking and collaborative opportunities.

For interviews and further inquiries please contact: Asia Mobiliti PR & Communications [email protected]

About Asia Mobiliti Founded in 2018 and based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Asia Mobiliti is a mobility tech startup with a mission to enable intelligent transit and mobility for the developing world. We adopt a technology platform approach with a core software-defined engine that is capable of spawning innovative mobility solutions that encompass Internet of Things (IoT) enabled advanced telematics, machine learning-based mobility-as-a-service technology, as well as a wide variety of transit technologies, such as demand-responsive transit, transport service analytics, condition monitoring for rail and road and account-based ticketing and payments.

About Leading Cities Leading Cities is a Boston-based global non-profit founded by Dublin, Boston, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, Lyon, Hamburg, Lisbon, Zapopan, Vancouver, and Haifa. It was built on the philosophy that cities, which for the first time represent most of the world’s population, are essential to overcome our great challenges—climate change, human equity, and technology development. Originally established in 2008 at Northeastern University, it later spun off as an independent organization expanding beyond research to advance government sustainability and resiliency. Since then, Leading Cities has evolved to provide a wider range of services for governments, start-ups, and corporations. To connect its global networks, LaunchPad 11 was launched as the first metaverse ecosystem for Smart & Resilient City innovators by clustering entrepreneurs, investors, and decision-makers. Its signature program, the QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge , is considered one of the Top 5 GovTech accelerators in the world.

Additional information can be found at www.LeadingCities.org or by following Leading Cities on Twitter , Instagram , LinkedIn , and Facebook .

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Trek App 4+

Malaysia's urban mobility app, asia mobiliti, designed for iphone.

  • #13 in Navigation
  • 3.3 • 29 Ratings

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Description.

Trek is a first of it's kind Mobility-as-a-Service application, redefining your travel experience for cities in Southeast Asia, starting with Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! --- Trek Journey - Bridge the first-last mile transit gap with multimodal journey planning - travel through a combination of train, bus, DRT, micro-mobility, e-Hailing, park n' ride and more in a single journey. - Know where your buses are or find out parking availability, all in real-time! - Ditch the hassle of cash and top-ups. Pay seamlessly for all your travel with a variety of cashless payment options. - Purchase transit tickets all within the same app, starting with KL's airport rail service, KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit! --- Trek Rides - Book a Trek Rides service for that first-mile/last-mile ride to the transit station. - Trek Rides is the first Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) service in Malaysia and is powering the Selangor Mobility program. Trek is currently available for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Download Trek today and experience the future of seamless mobility!

Version 2.6.3

What's new in 2.4: - Introducing the Journey module to supercharge your travel experience! Plan your journey and travel with multiple transport options - Discover park & ride sites in the Klang Valley for easy transfers between driving and public transport. - Support for real-time updates for bus routes. - View parking availability in real-time for supported sites. - Purchase KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit tickets directly from Trek App!

Ratings and Reviews

Lack of basic feature.

Used this app for the first time today & I can spot two (2) missing features - I am unable to communicate with driver given the app has no text or call driver button. Also, since this app will direct driver to pick up anyone as long as it hasn’t reach 5 passengers, would be nice to have a feature to tell the passenger on either the number of passengers that are already inside the car or how many more passengers the car needs to pick up within the area. This gives more time clarity to the passengers & help to plan their time to reach their real destinations (not the drop off point) properly. Yes, this concept is way better than had to wait for bus, but it defeat the purpose of being more efficient & faster to get to the drop off location since getting to pick up more than 1 passenger will take at least around 20 mins.

Confirm Ride

The app is quite easy to use. However on the screen the CONFIRM ride selection is blocked by the Heading ACCOUNT, so needs to improve the screen. Extremely difficult to click on the CONFIRM option.

Needs improvement

Sometimes the wait can exceed 30 mins without prior notice. According to the map the driver is stopped somewhere not moving. Tengah makan ke apa? Why would you accept the order if you cannot pick up?? And sometimes there is a problem with the transaction and the order does not go through. No way to contact the driver either. Worst part is I do not refunded for any of these issues despite their customer service promising to refund. And no apologies for the bad experiences either.

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The developer, Asia Mobiliti , indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy .

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The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

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Rapid KL Teams Up With Trek Rides to Provide RM2 Rides To & From LRT & MRT Stations

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Follow us on Facebook , Youtube , Twitter , and Instagram for the latest stories and updates daily.

Most Malaysians tend to look for places to stay that are near LRT and MRT stations so that they can take public transportation to work rather than driving and getting stuck in traffic on a daily basis.

But even then, finding a place that’s super near a train station is hard and many would still need to either drive and park their cars at the stations or take a e-hailing ride to and from the station during their commutes.

Well, you might not need to do that for much longer! Rapid KL has just announced a collaboration with Trek Rides, where for just RM2, you can take one of their vans to and from LRT and MRT stations.

Trek 1

Ask Rapid KL wrote, “Amazing news for our passengers! We are teaming up with Trek Rides to offer more convenient transportation options to and from our stations!”

“Enjoy the convenience of On-Demand Responsive Transit (DRT), reaching destinations from and to LRT, MRT and bus terminals! Trek Rides is now available at 15 stations around the Klang Valley.”

The 15 stations mentioned above are: 

  • LRT Bandar Puteri
  • LRT Taman Perindustrian Puchong
  • LRT IOI Puchong Jaya
  • LRT Bandar Kinrara 5
  • LRT Universiti
  • LRT Kerinchi
  • LRT Pandan Jaya
  • LRT Pandan Indah
  • LRT Cempaka
  • LRT Setiawangsa
  • LRT Jelatak
  • MRT Cochrane

While the Trek Rides will be RM2, Universiti Malaya students at Bangsar South will get half off! 

“Download the Trek App today and enjoy a guaranteed ride for only RM2 per ride in 4 zones (Puchong, Ampang, Hulu Kelang and UPM Serdang), as well as a special discount of RM1 for students at UM Bangsar South!” they added.

You can check out their post here : 

Berita hebat untuk penumpang kami! Kami berganding bahu dengan Trek Rides untuk menawarkan lebih banyak pilihan pengangkutan yang mudah ke dan dari stesen kami! pic.twitter.com/DL4EQ6aHN0 — Ask Rapid KL (@askrapidkl) April 4, 2024

What do you think about this? Do feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.

Also read: “OKU Smile is now available” – M’sian OKU Communities Can Finally Utilise Public Transport for FREE

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Trek Rides Launches Third DRT Zone in Gombak

Trek Rides Launches Third DRT Zone in Gombak

Known as the Selayang Baru zone, the Demand-Responsive Transit service is free to use for three months, aimed at improving first-and-last-mile connectivity

Malaysia’s leading mobility-as-a-service company, Asia Mobility Technologies Sdn Bhd (“Asia Mobiliti”), today launches its newest Trek Rides zone in Gombak, Selangor.

Known as Demand-Responsive Transit (DRT), the service called Trek Rides will cover key residential, commercial and public service areas. This includes Kg Laksamana, Kg Nakhoda, Wira Damai, Kg Sungai Tua, two public transit stations – KTM Batu Caves and Dataran Bandar Baru Selayang – with a total of 71 pick-up and drop-off locations. Trek Rides is being offered for free beginning 12 June 2023 for three months with the support of the office of the Member of Parliament for Gombak.

“DRT is a reliable, affordable, efficient, and dynamic service that can benefit commuters on a sustainable basis,” said Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari, the Chief Minister of Selangor and Member of Parliament for Gombak.

“We are excited to partner with Asia Mobiliti for first-and-last-mile connectivity as the state government’s mission has always been to promote public transportation usage amongst its residents, and we are planning to introduce more zones across Selangor in the near future.”

Ramachandran Muniandy, CEO and Co-founder of Asia Mobiliti said, “We are pleased to work with the state government of Selangor to introduce the concept of DRT with Trek Rides to commuters and residents in Bandar Baru Selayang, a bustling residential and commercial area that is underserved by public transit.

“Following the successful launches in Bandar Puteri, Puchong and the Universiti Malaya-Bangsar South zones, we are expanding the coverage areas across Klang Valley, one zone at a time.

Trek Rides Launches Third DRT Zone in Gombak

“Our goal is to provide a digital, reliable, cost-effective and convenient service that meets commuters’ first- and-last-mile needs, which has been a perennial challenge in Malaysia. We believe that solving the first-and-last-mile journey with DRT will effect behavioural change that will result in increased modal share for public transport in our cities,” Ram said.

The service will be available daily from 8:00am to 8:00pm with two 15-seater transit vans during the free rides period.

DRT is a new form of public transit service powered by software, providing a digital experience for passengers and drivers. The system responds to multiple bookings within a predefined zone or route and optimises the dispatching of vehicles through the use of intelligent algorithms that factors in waiting time, travel time and traffic conditions.

The advanced dispatching and routing capabilities enables shared-rides services without compromising on estimated time of pick-up and drop-off, bringing unparalleled journey planning reliability for public transport users.

Download ‘Trek app’ from the Google Play or Apple App store. Visit www.trekrides.com for more information.

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Top 10 hikes in Malaysia

Marco Ferrarese

Feb 25, 2022 • 12 min read

Hiker at the top of Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, East Malaysia. The climb to the summit of Mount Kinabalu is one of Sabah's most popular tourist attractions.

The ascent of rugged Mt Kinabalu is Malaysia's most famous hike © R. M. Nunes/Shutterstock

Hiking in Malaysia is the perfect way to get away from the country’s teeming cities and get close to the sights, sounds and sensations of Southeast Asia’s oldest tropical rainforest. Malaysia's quintessentially tropical sea-meets-jungle terrain is best appreciated from the top of its forest-clad mountains.

The Malaysian peninsula is split in two by the 2183m (7162ft) Titiwangsa Range – the last refuge for the country's elusive population of wild tigers and Asian elephants. This hilly backbone fractures into dozens of lesser hills and peaks spilling all the way to the jungle-backed coastline, where more foliage-clad islands await.

Across the South China Sea in the Malaysian part of Borneo, more mountain ranges and limestone massifs soar above the verdant rainforests of Sabah and Sarawak , offering still more chances to get off the beaten track and test your limits.

Ready for some sweaty tropical workouts? Then lace up your hiking boots, bring plenty of water, and don’t forget to pack a pair of leech socks... Here are the 10 best hikes in Malaysia.  

Mt Kinabalu, Sabah

Best high-altitude multi-day hike.

8.5km (5.25 miles), 2 days, easy to moderate

Rising like a pointy fang from the jungles of northern Borneo, Mt Kinabalu is Malaysia’s highest peak, and it's a sacred site for the indigenous Kadazan-Dusun people of Sabah. The clouds that seem to perennially shroud its 4095m (13,435ft) summit – known since colonial times as Low's Peak – are believed to be formed from the resting souls of their ancestors.

Getting to the top of Low’s Peak is a physically challenging but relatively straightforward climb starting from the Timphoon Gate, beyond the flower-studded park that covers the lower slopes of the mountain. The trail winds up through mossy forests draped with orchids and clumps of pitcher plants and colorful stands of rhododendrons up to 3000m (9843ft), where hikers spend the night at one of several rest houses. 

The final push for the summit involves a 2am start, timed to deliver hikers to Mt Kinabalu’s barren, wave-like tip as the sunrise explodes in myriad shades of purple above a quintessentially Malaysian awan karpet (carpet of clouds). 

Penang Hill, George Town

Best urban hike.

5.8km (3.6 miles) round trip, 4–6 hours, moderate

Mention Penang , and most will think of the street art, hip cafes and colonial architecture of its capital George Town , not the forested hills stretching from the town limits to the northwestern corner of the island. This natural wonderland covers 12,481 hectares of marine and terrestrial ecosystems, but most visitors see just the small section around Penang Hill – colonial Malaya’s first hill station, famed for its views over the Straits Sea and the Malaysian mainland.

Since 2021, this expanse of forest has been protected as Malaysia's third Unesco Biosphere Reserve. The most popular way to reach the 830m (2723ft) summit is on one of the world’s steepest funicular railways, but we recommend taking the scenic route via the tangle of interconnected jungle trails that snake their way up the hill from Penang Botanical Gardens . You can also start the hike from Penang City Park (aka Youth Park), or from Moongate, a circular Chinese gateway that was once the gateway to a millionaire’s estate.

The most straightforward route is the Heritage Trail, a knee-grinding staircase ascent that follows the steep tracks of the funicular railway, but it's more rewarding to take more circuitous jungle trails. There's a good chance of encounters with endangered and endemic flying lemurs, dusky leaf monkeys, hooting macaques and a staggering 144 different types of orchids.

If you have the time and stamina, after reaching the top of Penang Hill, you can continue for a further five hours through dense dipterocarp forest to the top of 725m (2378ft) Laksamana Hill, Penang’s second-highest peak. Wind up by descending to the beaches at Teluk Bahang for a well-deserved rest, before taking the Rapid Penang bus back to George Town.   

Staircase leading toward George Town city from Penang Hill at dawn

Bukit Beruang, Melaka

Best easy day hike.

5km (3.1 miles) round trip, 2–3 hours, easy to moderate Rising above the Portuguese churches, Chinese shrines and river-facing guesthouses of former Dutch enclave, Melaka , Bukit Beruang (Bear Hill) doesn't seem like a tough hike. The summit is just 116m (381ft) above sea level. But it all depends on which of the three trails to the summit you take. For the easy option, walk up via the 2.5km (1.5 mile) paved road to the telecommunications tower that dominates the hilltop.

If you want something more fun, two sweatier and more inspiring trails climb through thick walls of forest on the other side of the hill. Pick up these well-marked paths in either Taman Bunga Raya or Taman Muzzaffar Height. However you reach the top, proceed from the tower to the nearby lookout point known as "Eye on Melaka," where the historic streets loom into view.  

Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill)

Best hill station hike.

20km (12 miles) round trip, 10 hours, moderate

Malaysia’s second-oldest hill station opened in 1884 at the top of 1250m (4101ft) Bukit Larut, also known as Maxwell Hill. This steep range of viridian hills stands like a protective fan above the exquisite lake town of Taiping . The route to the top of Bukit Larut wasn’t a very attractive affair until the end of 2021, when the organizing committee responsible for the yearly Malaysia Mountain Trail Festival opened three new summit paths through the jungle, as an alternative to the paved road used by jeeps.

These trails snake from the base of the mountain to the Box, one of the old colonial bungalows that pepper the atmospheric mist-covered summit of the hill, and the skeletal Telecom Tower that dominates the far side of the ridge. To make the climb, you'll need a RM10 (US$2.40) permit and a mandatory guide (RM15/US$3.60).

At 350m (1148ft), take a stop at the sloshing Ranting Waterfall before making a steep ascent through ancient dipterocarp forests that thicken as the trail climbs into the clouds. Beware of the leeches, and don’t forget to carry a raincoat, as bouts of heavy rain are almost daily occurrences in Taiping. The bungalows on the top are open for group stays, or you can camp (RM20/US$4.80) near the waterfall or at the bottom of the hill.

A hiker pauses to photograph buttress roots in Taman Negara National Park

Gunung Tahan, Taman Negara National Park

Best multi-day jungle trek.

55km (34 miles) round trip, 6 to 7 days, hard

The best – and toughest – way to explore the rainforest wonderland that is Taman Negara is to cross it on foot, via the 2187m (7175ft) summit of Gunung Tahan , the highest point in Peninsular Malaysia. Ringed by the world’s most ancient rainforest, this is serious wildlife-spotting country, and you'll need a guide to escort you (RM1200/US$287 for up to seven days), plus camping equipment and enough food supplies to last for a week.

The best way to tackle this adventure through elephant, tiger and tapir territory is to enter and exit from Kuala Tahan, Taman Negara’s main entry point. Alternatively, you can come in and out via Sungai Relau, the national park’s northwestern entrance near the town of Merapoh. Shorter and easier four-day, three-night treks that combine a jeep ride and a hike to Gunung Tahan’s summit also start and end here.

Broga Hill, Kuala Lumpur

Best hike near kuala lumpur.

3.4km (2.11 miles) round trip, 90 minutes, easy

The quaint village of Broga, near Semenyih, has a 400m (1312ft) hill that attracts a steady stream of enthusiastic hikers from Kuala Lumpur . It only takes 30 to 45 minutes to reach the treeless hilltop with its undulating sea of lalang grass, but the climb is steep in places and the walk will get your heart pumping.

There are stunning views over the Kuala Lumpur skyline and the surrounding Klang valley from the grassy plateau, but the place can get packed, especially on weekends. It’s best to climb on a weekday and at sunrise to beat the crowds. Aim to start by 6:30am to catch the sunrise at around 7:15am. If you have any energy left, a path leads from the summit to 675m (2215ft) Gunung Tok Wan, a more challenging hike through jungle scenery (but without the valley views).

A hiker looks over the Pinnacles at Gunung Mulu National Park

The Pinnacles, Gunung Mulu National Park

Best adventure hike.

4.8 km (2.9 miles) round trip, 4–5 hours, hard

Tucked into the densely-forested interior of northern Sarawak, the giant caves and turbid streams of Gunung Mulu National Park thoroughly deserve their status as a Unesco World Heritage Site . One of the highlights of a visit to this stunning reserve is the tough hike up 1750m (5740ft) Gunung Api to marvel at the Pinnacles – a series of razor-sharp limestone outcrops that look like petrified flames, some rising 50m (164ft) from the jungle floor.

The first stage involves a 9km (5.6 mile) slog through a dense, flat area of dipterocarp forest to reach Camp 5. From this basic riverside shelter, the hike proper will start the next day at the crack of dawn. Hikers who fail to reach the upper slopes quickly enough may be turned back by guides, as they're not considered fit enough to carry on with the extreme final climb to the Pinnacles viewpoint at 1200m (3937ft). The vertigo-inducing final stretch, via a series of impossibly-perched metallic staircases, will test your calves and your nerves.

Panorama Hill, Pahang

Best hike for sunrise views.

4.8km (3 miles) round trip, 1–2 hours, easy

The Sungai Lembing river is a well-known destination for eco-tourism in southeastern Pahang state , and Panorama Hill is its main drawcard. One of the main reasons people flock to this 271m (889ft) viewpoint is its perfect location – the summit is only 150m (492ft) away from the main road, via a well-manned flight of stairs that can be climbed in just half an hour.

To beat the crowds, start hiking as early as 6am to reach the ridge summit by 7am, as the sunrise paints the clouds in tones of purple before the mists dissolve to reveal the Sungai Lembing valley and the karst outcrop containing the Buddhist Charas cave .

Hikers at the Jalan Ranau lookout at Mt Kinabalu

Batu Punggol

Best offbeat hike.

244m (800ft) round trip, 2 hours, hard

Sacred to the Murut people of southwestern Sabah, this rocky outcrop is not for acrophobics. Batu Punggol is only accessible by a canoe ride along a jungle river, followed by a strenuous hike through untamed rainforest to reach the base of the crag. The reason for coming here is to attempt the scary, two-hour ascent of this lonesome limestone pinnacle, which sticks up like a rocky thumb above a carpet of hooting jungle.

Batu Punggol is best reached from the Orou Sapulot ecotourism project with the help of local guides, who can steer you up the tricky last stretch of this almost vertical ascent over bare, sharp rocks. It’s certainly a testing workout, but the views from the top stretch as far as Kalimantan in Indonesia and are well worth the adrenaline and sweat it takes to reach the top.

Tawau Hills Park

Best hike for wildlife-spotting.

26km (16 miles) round trip, two days and one night, easy to moderate

Offbeat Tawau , Sabah's southern frontier city, has grown in status as a hub for natural adventures and wildlife-spotting in recent years. The climb to the volcanic summit of 1240m (4068ft) Mt Lucia starts right from the headquarters of Tawau Hills Park , and you'll see rare hornbills, supersized jungle insects and Bornean frogs along the trails.

Reaching the top of Mt Lucia involves a day-long slog up a well-marked trail, following a forested mountain ridge strewn with large trees. At the summit, hikers can stay overnight with local park rangers in a rustic but comfortable chalet that's a great base for night hikes. Look out for Malay civets, Sambar deer and other night critters.

You may be stirred from your slumbers by the whoop of a gibbon, or the echoing coo of the rare helmeted hornbill, before you make a call on whether to return to the park headquarters or stay longer and continue hiking for another 4km (2.5 miles) to reach 1310m (4298ft) Mt Magdalena.

Tips for hiking in Malaysia

When it comes to the rainforest, you don’t play play (mess around), as they say in these parts. Never set out on a hike without letting someone know where you are going – you really don't want to get lost with nobody looking for you. Even better, hire a guide - they're recommended for a reason, especially in Borneo.

Here are some more essential tips.

  • Always carry plenty of drinking water (or a water filter to purify water as you go). More popular trails may have rest stops for hikers where you can find water, but carry plenty of your own just in case.
  • Trails are generally maintained by locals rather than by the authorities, so don’t expect clear signage and comprehensive facilities. Make sure you are clear on the route before you set off, or take a local guide.
  • Always carry a fully charged smartphone (and ideally a backup power bank) and load it with offline GPS applications such as Maps.me , Gaia GPS or Relive , which all have excellent mapping covering the most popular trails in Malaysia.
  • Never set off on your own. At ground level, the jungle looks like a wall of continuous green and it's very easy to miss a turn and get lost. Plenty of local hikers head out to the trails on any given day, and there are several Facebook hiking groups where you can find friendly trail mates.

You may also like: The 15 best things to do in Malaysia: Mountains, marine life, and amazing apes 12 best things you have to do in Singapore 'Ghosts are a big part of life in Malaysia': healing one year after losing my parents to COVID

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