For my first hill climb of 2012 I thought I would take my sons to Gunung Tok Wan. This mountain is 675m high (just a hill really) and is basically a continuation of Bukit Broga which I had already hiked and written about on this blog (filed under ‘Broga’ in the index on the right).
Bukit Broga is a 400m climb, very steep in parts, but enjoyable because of the excellent views from the top. We started our hike in the baking midday heat (my boys are not early risers) by which time every sensible Malaysian hiker had already descended and gone home. It took us about 40 minutes to reach the top of Bukit Broga, a distance of 1.7km.
This place can get packed at weekends, especially at sunrise, but we only saw one other hiker. It was disappointing to see rubbish left behind. Come on guys, you’ve done the hard part in lugging heavy drinks to the top, how difficult is it to carry home a few empty plastic bottles?
From the summit of Bukit Broga there is a sign pointing the direction to Gunung Tok Wan which is a further 3.1km in distance but only another 275m in altitude. I had read that it should take about 2 hours to reach Tok Wan from this starting point.
The path changed immediately to dense forest and from this point onwards there were no more views. The trail was covered in undergrowth and fallen leaves and it would have been difficult to find our way without the red markers which were tied to trees at frequent intervals.
We had to watch out for spiky thorn bushes and creepers.
At one point we noticed a very strong animal smell. Since it was not me or my sons we reckoned it could be wild boar which are known to frequent these parts. We hoped we were making enough noise to deter these shy but potentially dangerous creatures.
After more than two hours of traipsing up and down slopes through rather monotonous jungle the path made a demoralizing steep descent and we gave up much of the altitude which we had climbed. Then, after crossing a dry river bed strewn with giant boulders, there was an equally steep uphill section. Eventually on reaching the top of this new hill, the path started to go downhill again. At this point, we wondered whether we had actually gone past Gunung Tok Wan without noticing it. I had read that all there is at the top is a sign and a bench but no view- possibly we had missed it but this seemed doubtful as the red markers were still heading off downhill. My sons were willing to continue but I decided we should turn around and head back. I was feeling fatigued and my old knee trouble was playing up again. So it seems we didn’t make it to the top of Tok Wan but never mind.
If you are thinking of going there I would summarize as follows:
- Well marked path
- Quite a good breeze blowing through the trees
- Easy access and parking via Bukit Broga
- Close to KL
- No leeches and not too many spiders.
- Never ending hike
- No views (after Broga)
- Thorns and creepers
I recommend climbing Bukit Broga but I wouldn’t bother with Tok Wan unless you just want some strenuous jungle exercise.