In October 2005 we moved from USJ to Damansara Perdana, where we had bought a condo in Perdana View with a beautiful view of the forested slopes of the 335 high Bukit Lanjan.
In those days I walked often in Bukit Kiara, but I also explored Bukit Lanjan a few times. Here is one of my first hikes, January 2007. The GE imagery is from 2007. I have marked a few locations. MK Land had permission to develop the hill on condition that they would provide housing for the Temuan Orang Asli who were living on the hill. Bottom left you see the Desa Temuan, nice bungalows. The Armanee condo’s were under construction and a beginning had been made with the development of Rafflesia. On the top of the hill Mustapha Kamal had built his own residence.
Although the Temuan had moved to the new village, they still had huts and (durian) plantations on the hill, so the trails were well maintained.
A lot of development was going on, but our view of the hill was still unspoilt. Top left you can see the two Telecom towers.
Here is another hike, September 2009. It was durian season, we met a few friendly orang asli families and had durians.
We climbed up to the top, lost the trail, but managed to reach the Telecom towers, from where we had a nice view of the KL skyline.
Our hike ended in a funny way. We decided to walk back, following the tar road. That road has been declared private after the MK residence was built, with a guard house at the beginning. The guards at the house were shocked to see people approaching from the top of the hill. We explained that we had been jungle hiking. A guard on a motorbike escorted us down until the gate. From there we walked a trail back home
I walked a few more times in Bukit Lanjan in the period 2007-2010, in this GE screenshot I have collected my hikes. Notice de development of Rafflesia
In November 2010 we were shocked to discover that the forested hill slope was being logged. MK Land had sold part of the hill to another developer, Mammoth Empire.
We could watch the subsequent development from our balcony.
I don’t understand how a developer could get permission to build on such steep slopes. At one time even a minor landslide occurred where they had been drilling.
This is the present situation of what is called the Empire Residences, as seen from our balcony. A small part of the project has been completed, the rest has come to a standstill for several years already. The Low Yat forum has 46 pages about the Empire Residences, mostly negative. It’s a failed project, IMHO.
In the period 2010-2020 I still have been walking occasionally in Bukit Lanjan, but it became less interesting, because the Temuan no longer maintained their gardens and trails. Here and there fencing appeared, blocking access. Here is a collection of my walks in that period.
More than one year ago the COVID-19 pandemic started, causing a lockdown in Malaysia and limiting me in my freedom to walk and hike. I wrote a blog about it: Lockdown! .
Parks were closed, but I still could walk from my condo, following the tar road. During one of my walks I noticed a trail to the right, with a red-white marker ribbon. I followed it for some distance, it looked like a regular trail.
When I came back to the road, I met another hiker, Encik Wan, who told me that recently several trails had been developed by a group of active hikers, living in Damansara Perdana. They had erected a signboard about the Bukit Lanjan Community trails near my condo. A nice surprise, I became a member of their chat group.
On 16 January Wan took me to my first Bukit Lanjan trail, just starting from my front door, so to speak 😉 . A nice hike, views of the surroundings, some steep parts, where ropes were provided.
More hikes followed. Unfortunately it became clear very soon that MK Land was unhappy with this community initiative. They started to block trail heads , removed marker ribbons and supporting ropes.
I do not understand their attitude, no harm is done and the trails add value to Damansara Perdana and MK Land’s residential projects.
Most trails are still accessible and during the past three months I have been able to explore many of them. Compared with Bukit Kiara, the trails are more rough, after rain they can be slippery. Ropes are helpful.
Bukit Lanjan is still a green enclave, but surrounded by concrete jungle and highways.
This is my favourite tree on the hill. One friend calls it Jan’s tree because I like to take pictures of the tree with my friends,
The trig marks the highest pint of Bukit Lanjan at an elevation of 335 m above sea-level. Access is not easy. On one of my hikes I met friendly people who were surveying. I hope it is not a sign for more development of the hill.
For me hiking is not just for exercise. Enjoying nature is even more important.
And not to forget: relaxing during a hike with coffee and cake ;-)!
Here is a Google Earth screenshot of the trails I have been hiking in Bukit Lanjan the last few months. I really hope they will remain accessible in the future.