This article is also published on Virtual Malaysia, #1 Malaysia Social Travel Channel.
During my unemployed days back in 2011, when I decided to rest when in fact I can start my pupillage, I watched 127 hours at GSC Tropicana City Mall. Although there were not so many people who watched the movie, I found it to be an amazing and interesting movie. An inspirational movie that kept me glued on the cinema’s seat. It was based on true story. After I’ve done with the movie, suddenly I think I wanna be like Aaron Ralston, who explore the nature through outdoor activities. I did not stop there, because I really did that :)
So, one day, after a very short discussion with my friends, we decided to hike up Gunung Angsi, situated in the district of Kuala Pilah in the state of Negeri Sembilan.
Gunung Angsi, or Angsi Mountain in English is a mountain with an elevation of 825 metres above sea level. In strict terms, it cannot be considered as a mountain but as the name is as such, so we just call it as such then.
We left Shah Alam early in the morning and the drive to Kuala Pilah is around 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours maximum. Thanks to the new road with the second highest bridge in Malaysia, going to the place is easier now as the old road passing by Bukit Putus is dangerous with a lot of sharp corners. It is an easy drive now.
Gunung Angsi is located in the Ulu Bendul Recreational Forest’s compound. The recreational forest itself is a good place to have a weekend with family. They have camping grounds, bbq spot, river and also a large swimming pool filled with river water. I’ve never tried the pool but it must be cool considering the fact that it uses natural water.
After we reached the compound of the forest, we went to the park ranger’s office to register our name and pay the RM 5 hiking fee.
The hike up to the peak can be divided into two stages. The first stage is the hike up to the waterfall area. The hike for the first stage was relatively easy and all of us had no problem during the hike. The trail was also well-marked and the sound and smell of nature made me smiled though I was tired.
The second stage starts right after the waterfall area i.e. after the river crossing. There were at least 2 river crossing that we need to do in order to reach the peak but the first river crossing was the best. The stream flowed fast and the river was quite deep, we had to open up our shoes to ensure that it wouldn’t get wet. Gladly, there were a lot of big rocks for us to step on.
From this river crossing upwards, I lost my smile. The trail was very steep and my foot cramped a lot of times. It slowed me down. The forest also got darker and more humid as we entered deeper.
One of the best features of climbing Gunung Angsi is there is a part where you have to climb using a rope as there is no trees to hang on. The moment felt exactly like when Aaron Ralston was walking along the canyon.
Another best thing about hiking Gunung Angsi is that there are a lot of signage telling the hikers the timing to summit. Although it is not accurate [considering the fact that every people has different pace], at least it helps to give general view on how far the summit is from where you stand.
The trail also provides several ‘lazy log’, so that if any hiker feels tired, can rest by sitting on the lazy log.
Finally, after 5 hours of climbing, we reached the summit. The feeling was beyond words. I was injured with so many cramps but the pain just disappeared when I reached the summit.
The summit is a flat-almost round area with several trees there. It provides the view of the Seremban city and beyond. Some people do overnight camping here but it must be remembered that there is no water source here, closest is one of the river crossings before reaching the summit.
I have also heard and read that some people saw tiger’s footprints around. We did not see any but it is not impossible if there are because the forest is very thick, so just be careful.
All in all, it was a very nice experience hiking Gunung Angsi. We spent a few minutes on the peak, resting and enjoying the moment, before descending and took a dip in the river for a fresh shower before heading home.
To go to Gunung Angsi, drive on the North South Expressway and exit at EXIT 220 [Senawang/Kuala Pilah]. Drive straight heading towards Kuala Pilah passing all the traffic light junctions. Turn right at the end of the road [going straight will enter the LEKAS Highway, so please turn right]. From here, it is a half hour drive to the Ulu Bendul Recreational Forest.
By public transport, from the Terminal One bus station in Seremban city, take the bus going to Kuala Pilah and tell the bus driver that you are going to Ulu Bendul. Please be reminded that the return bus from Ulu Bendul to the city is scarce.
**Photos Copyright: My friend’s collections.**