Bukit Kiara (North)

After I moved to Damansara Perdana in 2005 and got my own car in 2006, I started walking with friends in Bukit Kiara. At first following the tarmac roads but soon I discovered the maze of hiking and biking trails. I have written many blogs about  this green lung of Kuala Lumpur, click here

Often I took my GPS with me to record my hikes (and not get lost, haha)  Here is a compilation of my hikes from 2007 until now.

The yellow line marks the “prison” fence, erected by  the National Landscape Department (JLN) , marking the boundaries of a proposed Large Scale Public Park (TABB). Most of the time I walk in this part of Bukit Kiara where I have also hidden 5 geocaches

Here is the TABB part in more detail

The northern part has less trails and recently a lot of “development” is taking place

Last week I visited this northern part and explored a corner I had never visited. Trail not always clear, we lost it a few times. Marked in red.

We started from the Kiara Mas development, high-rise condominium complexes. The first part was quite shocking. Development or destruction? The trail seemed to end here.

Trespassing and crossing this desolate region we passed a few (uninhabited) huts.

We crossed a few bridges, some of them not looking very reliable..:-). Finally we reached unspoiled forest.

In this part of the hike, a lot of natural beauty still can be found.

Bukit Kiara is a former rubber plantation and here we still found a few trees that were being tapped. Although probably illegal, it always makes me happy to see it.

Further on we came across another small “kampung”, also uninhabited. Here we lost the trail and had to scramble up a steep slope to find it back.

The last part of the hike I had walked a few years before. It passes close to a residential area, there has been a landslide. Construction is still going on.

Towering high-rise buildings are visible everywhere. Finally you enter the forest again.

After entering the forest, the last part of the trail is nice, you walk beside a small stream.


Bukit Kiara again

My last post about Bukit Kiara, Bukit Kiara: Not All Is Well, was written end of December and reported that JLN had resumed the fence construction at the eastern border of the proposed Kiara park. It is the yellow line in the TRAKS map below.

Kiara Fence

Now they are constructing the fence at the western side, where the park borders TTDI. Indicated in the map by a light blue line. I went there with my friend Pola Singh to have a look.

Fence under construction

Fence under construction

A small unpaved road, leading to a water tank, separates here the hill from the Taman Tun area, and it is this road where they are constructing the fence. The pylons have been cemented, now the workers are applying the actual fence. Halfway a gate has been planned. Near the water tank, the “prison” fence will connect to an old “friendly” existing fence.

Location of the gate Old fence and new one

What will they do with this old fence? They will have to replace it, IMHO, otherwise the whole idea of making an unclimbable, high-security prison fence around Bukit Kiara becomes meaningless! Where the fence ends at the northwestern corner, it has  to turn 90 degrees (blue dashed line in the TRAKS map) and then go up a very steep slope to connect with the existing northern fence. That will be a very tough job!

On our way back we climbed to the ridge to have a look at another of JLN’s “achievements”, the slope rectification project (see my aforementioned post)

Slope rectification

This was a beautiful tree

When it became clear that the soil removed from the slope, was just dumped at the other side of the road, destroying more trees and one of the TRAKS trails, a public outcry followed, and they stopped. But the damage was already done, as so often happens in Malaysia…:-(  In the beginning they had left one majestic tree standing, but that one now has also been cut down.

Here is a Youtube clip, taken while walking this trail (the 4K trail), until blocked by the JLN-made landslide. Pathetic.

During our hike, I recorded the GPS coordinates and took quite a lot of pictures. It resulted in an EveryTrail report. In the map below you can see our hike, and when you click on it, a slideshow will start.

EveryTrail map

Bukit Kiara: Not All Is Well

One year after the infamous Bukit KIara fencing project was brought to a halt by then Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung, the Friends of Bukit Kiara (FoBK) received a letter from Jabatan Landskap Negara (JLN) that the fence would be completed, instead of removed…:-(

Again a protest march was organised, the third one, on 28 September 2013. I could not attend as I was traveling in Europe. According to a STAR report more than 2000 people took part in this peaceful demonstration

Protest walk

Did the walk have any positive effect? Not at all. Soon the bulldozers started again, trees were felled, access roads created, forest destroyed. This part of the fence is separating Bukit Kiara from the Sprint highway. Only bikers come here, they noticed that several of their trails were blocked and/or destroyed.


access road

Here is a map of Kiara with the fence. Thanks to TRAKS. The yellow part has been recently constructed. As you see, there is a tiny part of the park fenced in between the highway and the plot leased by Berjaya.

Kiara Map

In an earlier blog, called Birdbrains? , I had already explored this location, after the work was stopped. Here is a picture from that blog, showing that they were really planning to build the fence in this moronic way.


Now that this part of the fence has been completed, I was of course curious to see if JLN had really continued this folly. They did, this is what I found

Kiara fence


Here are a few more pictures, taken recently during a hike with Dr Pola Singh.

I recorded our GPS track with EveryTrail:


Click on the link Kiara Fence to follow our hike on EveryTrail.

Each red dot represents a picture

We started at the Sri Hartamas school

On our way back we went through the small gate and walked along the highway back to our car.


Personally I think that the fencing issue is a lost cause. JLN is not interested in any form of cooperation with the people who are using and loving Bukit Kiara.

More is happening these days. Bukit KIara is hilly, with some steep slopes along the access roads. Sometimes (minor) landslides happen. Like for example this one, last year, a relatively big one.


A few weeks ago JLN decided to solve this problem in a shocking, “maximal impact” way. Here are two pictures of the present situation. They call it slope reduction. Sarcastic comments galore: “If there is no landslide, JLN will create one” , “the rape of Bukit Kiara“, etc.

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slope reduction

The location where this “rape” is taking place, is indicated on the TRAKS map above in a brown color. This is the left one in the map. JLN must have been so happy with the result, that they have created a second one, along the tar road leading from the crossroads to the Equestrian club.

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There are many similar slopes in Bukit Kiara, so the rape may go on. Felling the trees at this second “landslide creation”, one of the trees damaged the fence at the other side of the tar road. Divine justice?

Fence damage


This may give some hope for the future. I have seen more locations where fallen trees have damaged the fence.

As usual in Malaysia there is money available to build something, but no money is reserved for maintenance. If that is the case here, slowly the fence may disappear (maybe sometimes helped by volunteers, haha).


If you want to get regular updates about the Bukit Kiara situation, you should go to the TRAKS FB page and “like” it. Or visit their website.

You may have recognised the “Not All Is Well” in the blog title as a quote from Hamlet. In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet continues: I doubt some foul play

Destruction Bukit Kiara – update

End of April I have published a post about the Destruction of Bukit Kiara in which my friend Pola and I explored a part of Bukit Kiara, north of the Penchala tunnel. We saw a bulldozer at work and understood from the contractor that a plot of 3 acres would be cleared to build 3 VIP bungalows. Yesterday we went again to see if any “progress” had been made. This is what we saw.

Bukit Kiara

The bulldozer had gone, the work was done. A large stretch of forest had been cleared, it may well be three acres. Here is a GE screenshot of our hike, with a rough indication (in red) of the cleared plot of forest. To the right are the Kiaramas condo’s

Map Northern Kiara

I have indicated the location from which I have taken the video below

After our first recce, Pola received by email a picture, taken from one of the Kiaramas condo’s, where a wide new “road” was visible.

View from condo

In the GE screenshot I have marked this “road” with a red line. We managed to climb up, not easy, really very steep, no way even a 4WD can go up here. Why was this clearing done? To make a ski slope later for the bungalow inhabitants ..haha?

Here are more pictures taken during the hike

It was actually a depressing hike. How is it possible that a nice forest can be destroyed for the pleasure of a few rich people..:-(.  I felt a bit better after noticing  this  beautiful inflorescence in the midst of all the destruction.


On our way back, we followed a few of the existing trails and came across two squatter settlements. Complete villages, with running water, electricity, toilets. Nice friendly people, Indonesians according to Pola. Here are a few pictures


Destruction of Bukit Kiara

Time for another post about Bukit Kiara. Here is a GE screenshot of this Green Lung of KL. The tar roads are in white, the maze of trails, created and maintained by TRAKS are in green. The infamous fence in red. The southern part of the hill should be gazetted already years ago as a park. FoBK (Friends of Bukit KIara) is at the moment mainly concerned with the claim of Berjaya on a part of this park.

Kiara trails

The part of Bukit Kiara north of the Penchala Tunnel is less visited and more remote. Apparently it is a so-called Malay reserve, which means that only Malay can own/develop it. Recently bikers and hikers noticed  that development in this part has started. With my walking kaki Pola Singh we have done a recce. In the GE screenshot the (northern) fence and a few of the trails have been indicated. The white road is a new road, that has been bulldozed, starting from Kiaramas.

Bukit Kiara North

Talking with the contractor, the purpose of this road became clear. On the ridge a plot of land of 3 acres (~12.000 square meter!) will be cleared for the construction of 3 (!) bungalows. To get an idea of the size I have roughly indicated in orange what a plot of 3 acres would amount to.Later we heard from TRAKS that the plan is to clear a total of 12 acres. Unbelievable and sad. You wonder who the builders are and who has given them permission for this destruction…:-(

Here are some pictures, no need for much comment..:-(

What a relief to walk back on the forest trails after having seen this destruction

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I have recorded our recce as an EveryTrail trip.

Various faces of Bukit Kiara

Bukit Kiara has many faces. Here I show a few.

First of all, for those readers not familiar with Bukit Kiara, it is one of the remaining green lungs of Kuala Lumpur, enclosed by residential areas. In the past it was a rubber plantation, later some tar roads were built for easier access, the grey lines in the map.

Most of the regular walkers limit themselves to these tar roads. That is the first, slightly boring, road face of Bukit Kiara

Related to this road face of KIara is the maintenance face. A landslide occurs, trees fall down during a storm, a drain has to be repaired.

Much more interesting is the maze of trails, created and maintained by TRAKS . They are doing a wonderful job. During weekends it can be busy with mountain bikers, but on weekdays you will hardly meet a living soul. Here is the trail face

Then there is the river face of Bukit Kiara. A river? Yes, the Sg Penchala has its source here. Along this budding stream runs one of the most attractive trails.

Then there are the birds, the flowers, the fungi. An occasional snake, squirrel,  tortoise. No deer or wild boar, so no leeches! The nature face

Is it therefore the garden of Eden? No, there are less pleasant faces. During the last year the authorities haven constructed a fence around the part of Bukit Kiara that has been designated to become a park. Ugly, expensive and useless. After protests of many people, the construction has been stopped, a discussion is now going on about the removal of this fence.  Personally I am not optimistic if that will happen. Here is the fence face

And unfortunately there is also pollution. Where not in Malaysia…:-( The (illegal) rubber tappers leave behind, plastics, empty cans, etc. So there is a rubbish face too

All the pictures were taken during a 1.5 hour walk, a few days ago. You can follow the walk with a slideshow of the pictures on EveryTrail .

Here is one more face, personally I think it is a negative one. I had noticed in the center of the tar loop big sheets of plastic, and I was wondering what it might be, so during my walk I went down the slope and discovered a BMX playground! Must have been constructed recently and I understand that TRAKS is not involved.So here is the BMX face. At least the covering sheets should be given a camouflage colour!



In two earlier posts I have written about my favourite walking ground, Bukit Kiara. About the ugly and useless fence that has been erected by DBKL/JLN this year. About the protests, organised by the Friends of Bukit Kiara and other groups, resulting in a stop-work order by the Ministry. Probably too late as much damage has been done already.

My album The Great Wall of Kiara gives a detailed report.

Here is a Google Earth map from this report. The existing (tar) roads in white, the fence in red, and in blue the recently constructed or widened roads.

The red lines are a bit wiggly, because they are the result of my attempts to follow the fence as closely as possible.

Not always easy, but fun.

Compare this with an (official?) map where I have marked the same parts of the fence in red, and the missing/unfinished parts in orange. The red and yellow lines basically enclose the future Bukit Kiara Park.

The shaded area is the bone of contention, claimed by Berjaya for development.

Note the two red arrows.

The left arrow points to a gap in the fence, not more than 30 meter wide. Why? Here is a possible explanation.

The image below shows an enlarged region of the map above, with my GPS-tracks next to it. The thin straight lines mark the location of the proposed fence. As you see, by mistake or planned, those lines intersect at the other side of the tar road!

Imaginary conversation by the construction workers and their supervisor:

“Boss, we have been building the fence along the lines on the map, but now we have a problem. We have to build the fence across the road, twice even, and that will block the tar road. What to do now, sir?”
“Hmm, I will have to discuss that with my superiors! Leave it for the time being.

One day, on my usual Kiara walk, I came across a group of VIP’s at this exact spot, in apparently serious conversation. Could they be discussing this problem?  LOL

The second arrow points to a part of the fence which I had not yet explored. Would they really have built the fence this way, first going south, then turning almost 180 degrees and going north again? Enclosing a part of Kiara, at the end less than one meter wide?  Hard to believe.

Last week I went to explore this part. Difficult going, steep stretches, even swampy as it crosses a small stream. As I expected the last part is still unfinished, they worked on it when the stop-work order came. In the picture you see where the fence ends. Also you can see the road divider of the Sprint highway at the top of the picture

I could not believe my eyes, when I saw that, YES, they were planning to follow the lines on the map! The poles are already there. I was laughing out loud, all alone in the jungle!

Here is where the two parts of the fences are supposed to meet.To guide the eye, I have connected the poles with red lines.

When they would have continued the job, would  they have been able to fix the actual fencing to the poles, near the end? I have serious doubts.

Where I was standing to take the picture, there is still some space between the two sides. But near the end, there is none.


Birdbrains at work?

Or could Polonius (Hamlet, Act 2) be right:

“Though this be madness, there is method in it”

Kiara again

Another walk in Kiara with Pola Singh, this time joined by Chow, another avid hiker. We started as usual from the Lembah Kiara park.

This time I recorded our hike with EveryTrail, an interesting smartphone app, where you combine the GPS data with the pictures taken, add captions and a story and then publish the result on the Internet.


Here is a screenshot of the hike. Each red dot represents a picture.

When you start the slideshow you will be able to follow our hike.

Try it out: Kiara again


Climbing up from near the Penchala highway to the top of the hill was a steep climb, as you can see in the altitude map below …:-)!

I walked along the Northern fence to the viewpoint, interested how the fence was doing after the work had stopped. Several openings have been created, legally or otherwise. I found a cute small gate for the little critters, because only monkeys are able to climb the fence, even taking a relaxed rest on top of it!

Plants start covering parts of the fence, a tree has fallen down, hopefully nature will fight back.


Another Kiara Walk

During the last few years I have become a regular walker in Bukit Kiara, one of the few remaining green lungs in Kuala Lumpur. Often on the tar roads with my walking buddies of the Kiara Bunch. But also exploring the numerous trails, well maintained by the mountain bikers.
At the moment, the hill is under siege. A lot of destruction is going on and an atrocious fence has been constructed. Fortunately a few (illegal?) openings have been made in this fence, so it is still possible to access the remote northern parts of the hill.






A few days ago I went for another walk with Dr Pola Singh, who is active in the Friends of Bukit Kiara group. We almost got lost, and walked for about 10 km. Nice trails but also you could see in several places that “civilisation” is encroaching.

We discovered a complete kampung in the forest!

There are many more trails to be explored, so this will not be the last time that we will walk here!