The Rawang Bypass is a highway opened in 2017 to avoid the frequent traffic congestion in Rawang. It contains the highest roadway viaduct of Malaysia, with pillars up to 58 meter above ground level. It is possible to hike from Rawang to a viewpoint high above the viaduct. Deco Diver, a friend of mine, has written a blog about this hike with a clear description of the route to follow.
We started with breakfast in Rawang. Not easy to find a shop that was open, because of Ramadan, but after some driving around we managed to find a place where we had an acceptable mee goreng.
Looking for the trailhead we overlooked the one suggested by my friend, but found another one nearby. Apparently the location is popular with Rawang hikers, signs indicate the various trails. A nice, easy walk.
The trail passes a few shrines, an Indian Hindu shrine and next to it a Chinese Datok Kong one.
After a little more than 1 km we reached the highway, which is still at ground level here. You can cross to the other side by a drain, but we continued on a maintenance road next to the highway. Easy walking, although not very interesting.
After about about 600 meter, the viaduct starts and you can cross under the highway to the other side. Mind your head 😉 .
The view of the supporting pillars is quite spectacular, we met another group who was coming back from the viewpoint and also stopped here to take pictures.
After crossing a drain on a flimsy bridge, the climb to the viewpoint starts. There are steps and ropes to help you.
Halfway you have already a nice view of the viaduct.
The climb becomes more challenging because you have to follow the drains. and they are constructed to guide the water down, with slanting steps. Care is needed, fortunately there are ropes attached to give you support.
The steep stretch is only a few hundred meter long, you have to climb about 60 meter to reach the viewpoint. A big tree gives shade, it is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the view.
Of course we took pictures to prove that we have been there.
Aric had brought his drone.
In this drone picture you see how the highway has been cut into the rocks. Notice the yellow marker, top right. That’s the viewpoint. It is often called Bukit Matt (Matt hill), although it is not a Bukit at all.
The viaduct. The main reason to build an (expensive!) elevated viaduct was to save more forest.
After a coffee break we climbed down the same way. Going down you must be even more careful! Not suitable after rain. We saw some nice pitcher plants.
We walked back on the maintenance road until we reached the drain. Beware! Before you reach this wide drain, you will pass two very narrow ones.
There was not much water, it will be different after a downpour.
Swiftlets have built their nests inside the drain, Aric managed to take pictures of them.
Walking back to the car we noticed these markings . Physical distancing according to the SOP! A reminder that the Covid pandemic was still around. No idea if anyone would follow these rules in this natural environment.
Another Hindu shrine near were our car was parked.
The whole trip took about 3 hours. We were hungry and our friend Jennifer, who lives in the region, knew about a Hakka eatery in Rawang, where they serve Lei Cha as a specialty. We went there and it was a good choice.
They also prepare healthy juices and even Lei Cha pizza! The owner is very friendly. We will come back.
It was a nice excursion. Here is a Google Earth screenshot, where I have marked a few locations. The yellow line marks the shorter, but less interesting route.