Malaysia is a country blessed with diverse natural landscapes, from the tropical rainforests of Borneo to the rugged mountains of the peninsula. Hiking is one of the best ways to experience the beauty and richness of Malaysia’s flora and fauna, as well as its cultural and historical heritage. Whether you are looking for a leisurely stroll, a challenging climb, or a multi-day adventure, there is a hiking in Malaysia that suits your preference and skill level. Here, I will introduce you to some of the most spectacular hiking trails in Malaysia, covering different regions, terrains, and difficulties. We will also provide you with some useful tips and information on how to prepare for your hiking in Malaysia, such as what to pack, what to wear, and what to expect.

Why Hiking in Malaysia?

Hiking in Malaysia offers many benefits and rewards for both locals and visitors. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider hiking in Malaysia:

  • Hiking is good for your health. Hiking is a form of aerobic exercise that can improve your cardiovascular fitness, lower your blood pressure, strengthen your muscles and bones, and boost your mood and mental well-being. Hiking can also help you burn calories and lose weight, as well as reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Hiking is fun and enjoyable. Hiking is a great way to have fun and enjoy nature with your friends, family, or solo. You can explore new places, discover hidden gems, admire scenic views, encounter wildlife, and experience different cultures and lifestyles along the way. Hiking can also challenge you physically and mentally, giving you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when you reach your destination.
  • Hiking is educational and inspirational. Hiking can teach you a lot about the natural environment, the history, and the culture of the places you visit. You can learn about the plants and animals that inhabit the forests, the geology and ecology of the mountains, the legends and stories of the local people, and the conservation efforts and issues that affect the land. Hiking can also inspire you to appreciate and respect nature more, as well as to take action to protect it for future generations.
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Where to Hike in Malaysia?

Malaysia has a wealth of hiking trails that cater to different levels of difficulty, duration, and scenery. You can find hiking trails in almost every state and region of the country, from urban parks to remote wilderness areas. Here are some of the most popular and recommended hiking destinations in Malaysia:

Klang Valley

Klang Valley is the metropolitan area that encompasses Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, and its surrounding suburbs. Despite being a densely populated urban center, Klang Valley has many green spaces and hills that offer hiking opportunities for city dwellers and visitors alike. Some of the best hiking trails in Klang Valley are:


Penang is a state in northwest Malaysia that consists of Penang Island and a portion of the mainland. Penang is known for its rich cultural heritage, diverse cuisine, and vibrant street art. It is also a great destination for hiking enthusiasts, as it offers many trails that showcase its natural beauty and scenic views. Some of the best hiking trails in Penang are:


Sabah is a state in northeast Malaysia that occupies the northern part of Borneo Island. Sabah is famous for its diverse wildlife, pristine rainforests, and majestic mountains. It is also a paradise for hikers, as it offers some of the most spectacular and challenging trails in Malaysia. Some of the best hiking trails in Sabah are:

  • Mount Kinabalu: Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, standing at 4,095 meters above sea level. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its exceptional biological diversity and geological features. Hiking to the summit of Mount Kinabalu is an unforgettable experience that requires physical fitness, mental endurance, and proper preparation. The hike usually takes two days and one night, with an overnight stay at one of the rest houses near the summit. The trail starts from Timpohon Gate (1,866 meters above sea level) and follows a well-maintained path that passes by various vegetation zones, such as montane forest, cloud forest, alpine meadow, and bare granite rock. The trail also offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and some unique attractions such as Carson’s Falls, Low’s Gully, Donkey’s Ears Peak, and South Peak. The final ascent to the summit begins before dawn on the second day, so that hikers can witness the sunrise from Low’s Peak (4,095 meters above sea level), the highest point on Mount Kinabalu.
  • Maliau Basin: Maliau Basin is a huge bowl-shaped valley that covers an area of about 390 square kilometers in central Sabah. It is one of the most remote and untouched areas in Malaysia, with only about 50% of its area explored by scientists. Maliau Basin is also known as Sabah’s Lost World or Heaven on Earth due to its incredible biodiversity and natural beauty. Hiking in Maliau Basin is not for the faint-hearted, as it involves trekking through dense jungle, crossing rivers, climbing steep slopes, and camping in basic facilities. The hike usually takes five days and four nights, with different routes available depending on your preference and skill level. The hike will take you to some of the most amazing sights in Maliau Basin, such as the Maliau Falls, the highest waterfall in Sabah, the Ginseng Camp, a natural jacuzzi with mineral-rich water, and the Camel Trophy Camp, a viewpoint that overlooks the basin.
  • Danum Valley: Danum Valley is a conservation area that spans an area of about 438 square kilometers in eastern Sabah. It is one of the oldest and most pristine rainforests in the world, with some trees estimated to be over 1,000 years old. Danum Valley is also home to a rich variety of wildlife, such as orangutans, pygmy elephants, clouded leopards, sun bears, and hornbills. Hiking in Danum Valley is a great way to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature and observe the wildlife in their natural habitats. The hike usually takes three days and two nights, with an overnight stay at either the Borneo Rainforest Lodge or the Danum Valley Field Centre. The trail starts from the field centre and follows a loop that passes by several points of interest, such as the Coffin Cliff, where ancient wooden coffins are found, the Viewpoint Trail, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the valley, and the Sungai Purut Waterfall, where you can swim and relax.
  • A first aid kit that contains basic supplies such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, antihistamines, and tweezers. You should also bring any personal medication or prescriptions that you may need.
    • A flashlight or a headlamp that can provide you with illumination in case of darkness or emergency. You should also bring some spare batteries or a power bank to recharge your devices.
    • A knife or a multi-tool that can help you with various tasks such as cutting, opening, or repairing things.
    • A whistle or a signal mirror that can help you attract attention or call for help in case of distress.
    • A fire starter or a lighter that can help you start a fire for warmth, cooking, or signaling.
    • A raincoat or a poncho that can protect you from rain or wind. You should also bring some plastic bags or ziplock bags to keep your items dry.
    • A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen that can protect you from the sun and prevent sunburns or heat strokes.
    • A jacket or a fleece that can keep you warm in cold or windy conditions. You should also bring some extra layers of clothing that are suitable for the weather and the trail.
    • A sleeping bag or a blanket that can provide you with comfort and insulation when you sleep. You should also bring a sleeping pad or a mat that can cushion you from the ground.
    • A tent or a hammock that can provide you with shelter and privacy when you camp. You should also bring some ropes or cords that can help you set up your tent or hammock.
    • A stove or a pot that can help you cook your food or boil your water. You should also bring some utensils and dishes that are lightweight and easy to clean.
    • Some food and snacks that can provide you with energy and nutrition for your hike. You should choose food that is non-perishable, lightweight, and easy to prepare. Some examples are dried fruits, nuts, granola bars, instant noodles, canned tuna, and chocolate.
  • Dress appropriately. You should wear clothing and footwear that are comfortable, breathable, and durable for your hike. You should avoid wearing cotton, denim, or leather, as they can absorb moisture and cause chafing or blisters. You should opt for synthetic or wool fabrics, such as polyester, nylon, or merino wool, as they can wick away sweat and dry quickly. You should also wear hiking shoes or boots that are sturdy, supportive, and waterproof. You should avoid wearing sandals, flip-flops, or sneakers, as they can cause injuries or infections. You should also wear socks that are thick, cushioned, and seamless to prevent friction and blisters. You should also bring some spare clothes and shoes in case your original ones get wet or dirty.
  • Follow the hiking etiquette and safety rules. You should respect the environment and the people you encounter on your hike. You should follow these basic hiking etiquette and safety rules:
    • Stay on the marked trail and do not wander off or take shortcuts. This will prevent you from getting lost, damaging the vegetation, or disturbing the wildlife.
    • Leave no trace and do not litter. This means you should pack out what you pack in and dispose of your waste properly. You should also avoid leaving any signs of your presence, such as graffiti, carvings, or fires.
    • Respect the wildlife and do not feed, touch, or harass them. This will prevent you from harming them or provoking them to attack you. You should also keep a safe distance from them and observe them quietly.
    • Respect the local culture and customs and do not offend them. This means you should dress modestly, ask for permission before taking photos, and follow their rules and regulations.
    • Yield to other hikers and let them pass if they are faster than you. This will prevent congestion and conflict on the trail. You should also greet them politely and exchange some information if possible.
    • Be prepared for emergencies and know what to do in case of one. This means you should have a contingency plan, carry an emergency kit, inform someone of your itinerary, and know how to contact the authorities if needed.


Here are some frequently asked questions about hiking in Malaysia:

  • Q: Do I need a guide to hike in Malaysia?
  • A: It depends on the trail you choose and your level of experience. Some trails are easy to follow and well-maintained by authorities or volunteers, while others are more remote and rugged and require more navigation skills. Some trails also require permits or registration from the authorities before accessing them. If you are unsure about the trail conditions, regulations, or safety issues, it is advisable to hire a guide who can assist you with planning, preparation, guidance, and emergency response.
  • Q: What is the best time to hike in Malaysia?
  • A: Malaysia has a tropical climate that is hot and humid throughout the year, with an average temperature of 27°C and an average humidity of 80%. However, Malaysia also has two monsoon seasons that bring heavy rainfall and thunderstorms to different parts of the country. The northeast monsoon affects the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah from November to March, while the southwest monsoon affects the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak from May to September. Therefore, the best time to hike in Malaysia depends on the region and the trail you choose. Generally, the dry season (April to October) is more favorable for hiking, as it has less rain and more sunshine. However, you should also be aware of the peak tourist season (June to August) and the public holidays (such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, and Merdeka Day), as they can cause more crowds and higher prices.
  • Q: What are some of the challenges or risks of hiking in Malaysia?
  • A: Hiking in Malaysia can be a rewarding and enjoyable activity, but it also comes with some challenges or risks that you should be aware of and prepared for. Some of the common challenges or risks are:
    • Heat and humidity: The high temperature and humidity in Malaysia can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or sunburns. You should drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen, wear a hat, and avoid hiking during the hottest hours of the day.
    • Rain and thunderstorms: The frequent rainfall and thunderstorms in Malaysia can cause flooding, landslides, mudslides, or lightning strikes. You should check the weather forecast before your hike, bring a raincoat or a poncho, avoid crossing rivers or streams, and seek shelter if you hear thunder or see lightning.
    • Insects and animals: The rich wildlife in Malaysia can also pose some threats or nuisances to hikers. You should be aware of the potential dangers or diseases that some insects and animals can cause, such as mosquitoes (malaria, dengue fever, zika virus), leeches (blood loss, infection), snakes (venomous bites), bees (allergic reactions), monkeys (rabies, aggression), bears (attacks), elephants (trampling), etc. You should wear insect repellent, cover your skin, avoid provoking or feeding the animals, and seek medical attention if you are bitten or stung.
    • Plants and fungi: The diverse vegetation in Malaysia can also cause some problems or discomforts to hikers. You should be aware of the potential effects or reactions that some plants and fungi can cause, such as poison ivy (rash, itching), nettles (stinging), mushrooms (poisoning), durian (smell), etc. You should avoid touching or eating any unfamiliar plants or fungi, and wash your hands or clothes if you come into contact with them.


Hiking in Malaysia is a wonderful way to explore the country’s natural beauty and cultural diversity. Malaysia has a wealth of hiking trails that cater to different levels of difficulty, duration, and scenery. You can find hiking trails in almost every state and region of the country, from urban parks to remote wilderness areas. However, hiking in Malaysia also requires careful planning and preparation. You should choose a suitable trail, pack wisely, dress appropriately, and follow the hiking etiquette and safety rules. You should also be aware of the challenges or risks that hiking in Malaysia can entail, such as heat and humidity, rain and thunderstorms, insects and animals, plants and fungi. By following these tips and information, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience in Malaysia.

We hope this guide has helped you learn more about hiking in Malaysia and inspired you to plan your next hiking adventure in this amazing country. Happy hiking! 😊