Kanching falls is a perfect place to hike near Kuala Lumpur. If you’re short on time in Malaysia but still want an adventure, it is only a 25-minute drive from the city centre, but it is perfectly secluded – a place to be surrounded by nature. If you’re staying in Kuala Lumpur and need a quick escape, Kanching falls is a great option.
Hiking time: 2-3 hours (can be less if you decide to stop at one of the lower waterfalls)
The trail is basically a steep upward slope as you climb to the top of the waterfall. This is a 7-tier waterfall, which means that the higher you climb, the more waterfalls you will see. If it has recently been raining it can get quite muddy and slippery so be prepared for that. This is a straight up-and-down track, so you have to go back down the same way you came up.
One thing that a lot of people do (and that we did) is take some food and drinks with you and eat it at the top of one of the waterfalls. Most of the falls on the way up have rocks where you can sit and relax, sunbathe or dip your feet in the water. You can bring a picnic and make a whole day event out of it. There are no shops or food stalls at Kanching falls so make sure you bring some food along if you are planning to stay a while.
NB: Make sure you take your rubbish away with you. Bonus points if you bring a bag and pick up rubbish that you see along the way! I didn’t see much but I’ve heard it can get a bit messy there at times.
There were a few groups of people here and there when I went on a Monday morning, but I’ve heard that it can get quite busy at Kanching Falls, particularly on the weekend or public holidays. Try to go on a week day if you can. If that’s not possible for you, try to get there as early as possible (i.e when the sun rises) to beat the crowds.
The water is fresh so unfortunately there are leeches and mosquitos to watch out for if you are going to be spending time relaxing near the water. Wear long pants or repellent, or just keep an eye out for them to avoid being bitten.
Monkeys at kanching falls
For me the best part about this place was that the lower part is absolutely overrun with monkeys. As a New Zealander, seeing monkeys in the wild is really a novelty so to see so many monkeys just doing their own thing was amazing. In saying that, these little monkeys are aggressive so be careful. In the short time I was there I saw one jump out of nowhere to steal someone’s drink bottle and a group of them intimidating a small kid and stealing, then fighting over, his ice cream.
Tips: keep your distance from the monkeys. Taking pictures is fine, but don’t feed them or try to touch them. When walking up the steps at the start of the track, walk in the centre of the steps because you don’t want a monkey jumping out and taking you by surprise.
How to get to kanching falls
I was lucky to have made a local friend who told me about the waterfalls and invited me along to hike with him and his friends. We went there in his car, which was a short and easy drive. If you don’t have a car and don’t know anyone who will drive you there, you can:
- take the bus: this will take a bit longer than it takes to get there by car (between 1 ½ to 2 hours). You can find your route with Moovit.
- use Carpool World ride share app: this won’t cost you too much and should get you there fairly quickly as well. The bonus is that you will meet friends who you can share the experience with.
- use Uber or Grab: most expensive option but will get you there faster. I know Uber is currently testing a ridesharing service (Uber Pool), so hopefully that will be available soon.
- tips for finding local friends when you travel
what to bring to kanching falls
- food (picnic or snacks)
- water bottle
- swimming gear
- hiking shoes
- long pants or insect repellent
Going to Kanching falls was honestly one of the best experiences I had in Malaysia and I would recommend it to anyone who has the chance to check it out.
Looking for more things to do in Malaysia? Here’s what you can’t miss.
-> Have you been to Kanching falls or are you planning a trip there? Let me know how your experience was or if you have any more questions about this waterfall.
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