613m | 6 km | 3:12 hours
If you have ever travelled between Kuala Lumpur and Seremban than you would not have missed Bukit Galla. Bukit Galla is the prominent hill on the left side of the Seremban highway just as one approaches Seremban from Kuala Lumpur. It's located right behind the Seremban rest area. The hill can also be seen from the LEKAS highway or the old north-south trunk road, but on the right side if one is southbound.
It is supposedly 613m in height, and provided there is a clearing at the top, should offer good views of Sepang airport to the west, Kuala Lumpur to the north and Bukit Broga to the northeast. We weren't sure though if there were any marked tracks leading to the peak, but we took a chance and made the attempt.
If you're southbound on the Seremban highway, exit at the Seremban turn-off (the exit immediately after the Seremban rest area). After the toll plaza, turn left at the traffic lights, and then immediately turn left again into Jalan Labu at the next traffic lights. Drive for about 13km towards Labu village. There are two entrances into Labu, skip the first one. After crossing the train lines, there will be the second entrance on the right. Take that turning. Continue on past the police station (on the left), and the train station (on the right). Immediately after the train station is a small road on the left that leads into the oil palm plantation. Take that road.
But after leaving the stream bed, it seemed like we were now really on a jungle track. With some difficultly we tried to find a track through the trees. We continued for some while and was encouraged to see 2 more old tape markers tied around trees. But they were few and really far in between. We had ascended quite a bit but we could still see the stream bed below on the right. Soon though, our path seemed to go down and cross the stream bed and then continue up the hill on the other side. By now, the flora was very different from earlier. The trees were sparser but much larger. And there was less undergrowth as well. In contrast, the jungle earlier was thick with undergrowth and had many similar looking trees (in fact they looked like wild rubber trees).
We continued further up hill but soon lostt all signs of anyone having gone past this way before. We had been walking for 2 hours and only reached 280m in height. We still had 350m to climb and the going was very slow as we were still trying to find where the "correct" track was, if there ever was a track there. Upon hearing distant thunder, we decided to quit this time and turned around.
We headed back to the dry stream bed and descended down that path until we came to the point that we joined the stream bed. Since the stream bed path still continued downhill, we decided to go further down to see where it heads to. Again we saw many disused paths on the left and right but we headed straight down.
Somewhat disappointing that we were so far short of the peak, but it was a good effort, and at least we now know which roads don't lead anywhere. The path we ended up taking still holds promise and we should return someday to progress it further. We were somewhat led astray by the changing nature of the paths and terrain. Initially, the path was wide, straight and clear, and that set our expectation on how the path should look like. But that path only led to the fenced up water intake. Obviously this was a commercially maintained path but unfortunately doesn't lead us to the peak. The next set of paths were disused tracks which criss-crossed the lower parts of the hill. I am guessing that in earlier days the lower slopes of the hill were rubber plantations and the old tracks were the rubber-tapper paths. I have seen the paths in old rubber estates before (e.g. Kiara hill), and it's just a maze of walkways. Once we adjusted to the many-paths terrain, we were again left with the wrong expectations when we crossed into primary forest. Here there were no plantation tracks, only faint traces of past hiker trails. I spent quite some time looking for the wider tracks when I should have just concentrated on keeping to the faint jungle path.
Trail Map and Data
- Bukit Broga