Berkelah waterfalls is located in the state of Pahang, between Kuantan and Maran town in Penisular Malaysia. The waterfall consist of 7 tiers, with the last tier highest of around 50 meters high.
The trailhead of Berkelah waterfalls is approximately 32km west of Kuantan, on route 2 towards Maran town. Travelling on route 2 towards Maran, the trailhead will be on the right with the signboard1 “Selamat Datang Welcome Hutan Lipur Berkelah.” The GPS coordinates of the trail head is at approximately 3.698124, 102.982621.
By Public Transport
Kuantan is connected to other cities within Malaysia by Bus. As on August 2013, the inter-city express bus terminal of Kuantan has been shifted to Terminal Sentral Kuantan (TSK) which is now located at GPS: 3.830055, 103.284439. TSK bus terminal is 7km away from Kuantan city centre and is service by RapidKuantan bus 303 (RM2)
The last stop of Bus 303 is the RapidKuantan Bus Terminal (GPS: 3.812311, 103.322769) which is a stone throw away from the old inter-city express bus terminal (Terminal Makmur bus station) now known as UTC Building. Alternatively, a taxi from TSK to UTC Building is estimated to cost around RM25.
Traditionally, hikers used to be able to take a public bus service departing Kuantan towards Maran to get to the trailhead. However, it is not known if this public bus service between Kuantan and Maran is still operational. This Kuantan – Maran bus service is not by RapidKuantan, but by those private local bus operators. Hikers used to walk to the old Kuantan bus terminal previously located at Jalan Besar (GPS: 3.803697, 103.326815) but it now seems to be a construction site (2015). You can however try to enquire for such a bus service at the RapidKuantan Bus Terminal as it now seems to be the bus terminal for buses serving the local area.
Alight at GPS 3.698124, 102.982621 which is the trailhead and walk straight ahead for around 1 hour to Berkelah Park Entrance2 (estimated 4-6km walk). The entrance is a sheltered bridge with the sign “Selamat Datang Ke Hutan Lipur Berkelah”.
Coming from Kuantan, the most important thing is to get on route 2 heading west towards Maran. Drive for approximately 32km passing by plantations and kampungs before turning right at GPS: 3.698124, 102.982621. There is a signboard1 “Selamat Datang Welcome Hutan Lipur Berkelah” to mark the trailhead entrance.
The section between the trailhead entrance to Berkelah Park Entrance2 can be completed by driving on the tar/gravel road. The road conditions are okay for sedan cars to pass. Keep driving straight ahead till you see the sheltered bridge (no passable by car) with the sign “Selamat Datang Ke Hutan Lipur Berkelah”.
The first part after the Berkelah park entrance2 is an easy 20 minutes hike to the twin waterfalls5. The twin falls is also the first campsite which is a popular spot and gets crowded with the local coming in to picnic and camp overnight.
After the twin waterfalls5, the climb gets a little tougher for 5 minutes going into the forest6 and eventually out to reach the second campsite.
Subsequently, after passing the second campsite, the hike begins on the rock surface which can be slippery even in dry weather. Please be careful. Hike for about 20 minutes until you have reach campsite 3 which is a small open area on soil ground8 which can fit about 2-3 tents. Across the river is a bigger campsite9 which can fit about 4-5 tents.
The last part from campsite 3 to the main waterfall is the most challenging as they are many slippery and certain sections which requires you to hike a few meters from the cliff edge. A rule of thumb is to attempt to find an accessible route “more on the left” instead. While hiking up, the river will always be on your right till the very last part nearing the main falls where you will need to river cross. The last part takes about 45 mins to complete.
In general, rocks which are in a lighter shade in colour contrasting from darker rocks surrounding will be a route consider taking. Use common sense to evaluate the route safety.
|START||Berkelah Park Entrance2.At the shelter bridge with signboard “Selamat Datang Welcome Hutan Lipur Berkelah” Follow the pavement route.|
|15 mins||Cross River3. Water level depending on rainfall. When you are at the other side of river bank, turn right. Terrain changes to hiking on rocks4, hopping and climbing over some.|
|5 mins||Twin Waterfall5 and Campsite 1 straight ahead. To continue hiking further, when you are at the twin waterfall, back trek a little to look for an upslope6 climb into the forest.|
|5 mins||Hiking inside the forest and out. After exiting the forest7, you are nearing campsite 2 area. Take the route on the left going up and over the rocks to cross. Continue hiking on the rocks.|
|20 mins||Campsite 38. Bigger campsite9 across the river bank. To continue hiking further10, make sure the river is on your right side.|
|13 mins||Short detour into forest11.|
|2 mins||Exit forest. Continue hiking on rocks with river on your right side12.|
|28 mins||Cross river to reach campsite 4.|
|2 mins||Main Waterfall13|
No permits or guides are required for hiking in Berkelah waterfalls.
Possible contacts for transport (TSK to Berkelah park entrance etc)
Mr. Lao Lin – 012-983-6932
Mr. Jeffri – 0139976368
Ai Ling – 0122280110