Not many people know this but there’s a beautiful waterfall flowing down the slopes of Gunung Behrang in Tanjung Malim. On 1st March 2020, I got the chance to explore Strata Falls, also known as Gerehang Waterfall among the locals.

How to Get to Gerehang Waterfall

I went on this waterfall hike with a group of friends from Roots & Shoots Malaysia. I was a volunteer with the organisation the previous year under the Roots & Shoots Malaysia Award program. So this was pretty much an alumni bonding session. The 10 of us met up at a meeting point in Kuala Lumpur and a van took us to Tanjung Malim.

It was a nearly 1.5 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur to Behrang Ulu where we stopped at a building that hosts the Delta Outdoors office.

There we met our hiking guide named Arif and he drove us up a hill on a 4-wheel drive. One of us rode shotgun while the rest of us got into the uncovered back part of the vehicle. The wind blew at our faces. We entered a logging road after a few minutes; it was a bumpy ride. Finally, we stopped at a clearing, as close to the entrance to the forest as possible.

There was no “Welcome to Gerehang Waterfall” sign anywhere as it’s a pretty secluded place.

Roots & Shoots Malaysia gang

The trek on foot was about 30-45 minutes towards the waterfall. It was a pretty easy hike. There were no steep inclines. I didn’t feel out of breath as much as hiking up Bukit Gasing.

I’m guessing if you take a different route, a bit further downhill perhaps, it would be a slightly more difficult hike. I’m glad we got a hiking guide who knew how to get us there in the shortest time.

The forest floor was dry as there was little to no rain the past few days leading up to the hike. It felt good to be in the forest with fresh oxygen and soothing sounds of not only the insects and rustling leaves but also running water.

The waterfall greeted us in splashing wonderment.

I put my bag down, stepped on a steady rock and stared at the majesty in front of me for a good 2 minutes. I was home.

Of Food, Leisurely Swim and Good Company

We spread out our food on the uneven and rocky surface as best we could and stuffed our faces.

I didn’t bother to take pictures of the food because I didn’t want to touch my phone and I didn’t bring my camera. All of the photos were either from my friends’ cameras.

We brought tortilla chips, hummus, bread, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, raisins and papaya.

Honestly, you don’t really need as much food as you’d think when on a hike. Snacks like chips and hummus are great and hydrating fruits like papaya would suffice. If you need the extra carbs then sandwiches will do, but more than that I think wouldn’t be necessary.

In between eating, we also swam in the pool and let the rush of the fall hit our heads and backs. That was therapy in itself.

I even took the liberty of sitting in the water between two sets of waterfalls and meditated for at least a good 5 minutes! I couldn’t hear a thing besides the continuous splashes of water.

There was another set of waterfalls a few feet below and also about 100 meters above. We hiked up a bit more to the one above. We spent half an hour there in the super cold waters and tried to slide off the slippery rocks to no avail — they weren’t as slippery as we initially thought.

We then went back to our main spot to finish our food and take a last dip before heading back down.

10/10 Would Recommend If You Want to Get Away From the City

If you live in Kuala Lumpur and would like to spend time in nature and waterfalls, you could easily go to Kanching Waterfall. It’s still within KL and it can get a bit crowded unless you hike further up, which can be a bit difficult.

But if you’d like some peace and isolation that’s not too far away from KL then Gerehang Waterfall (or Strata Falls on Google Maps) could be an option.

I recommend that you hire an experienced guide if you’re not familiar with the area.

In terms of leeches, I did see a few in Gerehang and I think there could be more if it was raining the night before. So just put on leech socks or long socks for the bare minimum protection if you’re allergic or feel yucky towards them.

And as always when in a forest, be sure to:

  1. respect the area by not littering and making too much noise.
  2. expect insects like ants, spiders, flies, mosquitoes, stingless bees (there were many in Gerehang!).
  3. assume that there are leeches in any forest so protect yourself if you’re allergic or geli (wear tights and long socks).
  4. be in the moment and appreciate the beauty around you!
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