If you are in Jasin, there is a lovely hiking spot 20 minutes drive away from the city. You get to experience rainforest wilderness, huge rocks, caves and rich biodiverdity at Bukit Batu Lebah, Melaka. You would drive through beautiful kampung sites decorated with durian, rambutan and fruit trees by the roads.
Once you arrive, you need to register with the rangers at the Eko-Rimba Park. There are a few chalets and huts for rent and you can plan to stay for a night if you want to check out the area more. When I arrive at the park, there is no guide at the office and I presume they are out with a group hiking. I plan to take my 14 and 17 year old teenagers for an hour hike or a walk around the area. So we walk around.
There are three trails at Bukit Batu Lebah. However, there are no trail maps and detail information about hiking trails around the area. We just walk pass a gate that we see from afar, presuming it is the start point of the trail. We hear a few motorbikes passing by a couple of times not far from us and we just walk towards the sound. As we walk along the trail, we have to decide to either take a left or right turn. We take two left steeper turns, hoping they would lead us to the peak. The pathway is about 2 meters wide and as we hike, it gets smaller and smaller. More butterflies fly around us until we reach a transmission tower.
We walk pass the tower towards a flight of steps going uphill. The climb after that is quite difficult. The hiking path is not clearly defined and covered by dead leaves. It is a hot and dry day and the dirt is powdery and dry. It is important to wear hiking boots when you hike here as the trail is quite slippery. We keep climbing up until we see two big rocks, called the Ikan Paus (Whale Rocks). At this point, we are showered by gliding javan cucumber seeds. Many are already covering the ground and they look like papery version of bulls eye eggs.
From there, we hear sounds of a group cheering and laughing. So, the three of us continue climbing to get closer to the group. The passage is not clear, so you really need a guide if you want to be safe. We take our chances and keep climbing and luckily a few minutes later, we reach a huge rock hosting dozens of climbers, taking pictures of the view.
A few of them are shockrd to see us. There are six ranger accompanying the group, and one of them volunteers to descend with us. Ranger Nik is knowledgeable and kind. He takes us to a big rock resembling an elephant and Gua Kelambu that resembles a bed covered with a mosquito net. We descend pretty quick and completed the hike of about 2km within 1 hour and 15 mins.
The area has rich wilderness. Unlike the other hiking trails that I have been to, the Bukit Batu Lebah gives a more adventurous experience – there are many interesting rocks and caves to explore. There are no directional signs on the trail and you can easily get lost. Be warned – you are not supposed to hike at Batu Lebah without a guide. The trail is not straight forward and many have lost their way.
If you plan to explore Bukit Batu Lebah, allocate at least 6 hours to go through a full trail. They have a 6 hours open hiking trips scheduled end of this month and on the weekend of Merdeka Day.