Need a break from the city and want to enjoy some of the natural beauty of Malaysia? Just outside the Klang Valley and near Kuala Lumpur you will find yourself in some dense forest and mountainous area.
I love to hike, but I love to hike even more when there is something at the end of the hike like a waterfall or an incredible view. There are a number of waterfalls near Kuala Lumpur to visit.
If you are short on time and want to take in a number of waterfalls, the one waterfall you need to visit is the Kanching Falls. There are actually 7 different waterfalls on this hike.
It is a leisurely hike for most of it but exhilarating climb to the top falls. The trail covers a distance of 2.8km with beautiful waterfall views at regular intervals. The first 4 are within the first kilometer and easily accessible.
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Kanching Waterfalls near Kuala Lumpur
Kanching Forest Reserve lies to the north of Kuala Lumpur, in Rawang, and is a short drive from Templer’s Park. The road to get to Kanching is well paved and not very curvy. Even if you are prone to car sickness, you would be ok on this drive.
It is a popular spot for swimming, picnics, camping, and jungle hiking. From Kuala Lumpur city center it will take about 30-40 minutes by car to get to the base of the park and the hiking trail.
If you don’t have a car you will either have to use Grab, rent a car, or just hire someone for half-a-day. We have hired drivers here on occasion as the cost is better than renting a car and then we don’t have to worry about driving, but renting a car might be what you want to do.
If you are going to rent a car and drive while you are in Malaysia, make sure to look at getting an international driving license so you are protected in case of an accident.
The drive is easy and as it takes you past the famous Batu Caves and then into the forest.
Where to park your car
When you arrive there is a small parking lot on the left to enter the park. It was full when we arrived at 10:30 in the morning. So we parked on the side of the street in front of the lot.
But just past the main parking lot and entrance, there is another big parking lot. We didn’t see it until after we were leaving.
My advice would be to drive past the first little lot and go park in the bigger lot down the street, it’s much easier to get in and out.
Kanching Park – Cafe/Restaurant – Shop
As soon as you enter the park you will immediately see a clean stream where kids were splashing and playing. There are tables and small gazebos for lunch or a picnic.
Adjacent to the park there is a small cafe serving local food and a small souvenir shop. The shop has some fun water toys if you forgot to bring your own for the kids. Be prepared your kids will ask for some inflatables, you may want to pack your own.
We didn’t try the cafe/restaurant. We packed our own snacks. There were also a couple of ice cream vendors throughout the park to serve a nice cool treat on a hot day.
One thing to note is that there are toilets, changing rooms, and a Suru (Muslum prayer room) at the park. You might want to change before you head up the trail for the hike or use the toilet before hiking.
Monkeys at the Kanching Park base
As we made our way to the hiking trail entrance through the park there are a number of macaque monkies around. If you do stop at the park to play or set your stuff down, guard your belongings, especially food, from these creatures.
These monkeys are always looking for food. They will take anything from you that they think they can eat. This type of monkey is not generally friendly so be cautious around them. Do not let your kids try to touch the monkeys.
We didn’t spend much time at the park as we wanted to start the hike while the kids still had energy.
Well maintained trail and walkway
We were pleasantly surprised that the trail was cemented and even had steps and a safety rail. Making the hike easy for kids and older adults or those that might not normally hike.
If you want more of a traditional path you can venture off to the side that leads along the stream, but we were happy with the cement trail so our 2-year-old could walk without tripping on anything.
The first waterfall that you will come to is just off the concrete path. It is somewhat secluded in surrounded by trees.
The falls are not large but smaller. If you are looking to get some sun and play in the water this probably not the best spot, but great for a short break.
The next fall, the Kapor Fall, or The Kanching Fall. This has also been turned in to a swimming pool area. This is probably the busiest area as it is a short distance and easy to get to from the park.
There are dressing rooms here, toilets and shelters if needed, but they are in poor shape and needed cleaning and updates. I would suggest just wearing your swimming suit under your clothes. We did not venture into the bathrooms.
This area will fill up with locals on the weekend around lunchtime. We stopped for a short break but quickly continued on the hike.
This is where you really start to feel like you are in the rainforest and the waterfalls become even more spectacular. Even to this point, the hike has been fairly easy, a little steep but still on the concrete steps.
It took us about 10 minutes to get here from the entrance. This was while hiking with a 10-year-old and a 7-year-old and while carrying a two-year-old.
My kids had not complained at all about the hike or the heat so you know it was not a hard hike! If you feel tired, it might be from the heat. Take a break and cool off for a minute. But try to make it to the fourth waterfall, it is worth it!
This is where we ended our hike and spent most of our time playing. The last little bit to falls #4 will be steep but you still have the concrete steps up and then the path turns to dirt.
If you are not used to hiking especially in the heat this might be a challenge. Just take it slow and take breaks along the way.
These falls are beautiful as they have 3 cascading sections that are quite high. I am guessing these falls are about 50-70 meters (150 feet). There is a nice shallow pool at the bottom of the falls. The water then runs under a bridge in and down to the third falls below.
As you sit back and you won’t believe that just a few miles out of the city you can find such beautiful waterfalls near Kuala Lumpur.
Although we didn’t continue up to see the other 3 falls here is what I know about them. After the 4th falls there isn’t any more concrete path and the path is quite steep and when wet is very slippery.
It had rained the night before and with the kids, we didn’t want to risk it. From other people that we talk to the 5th falls are worth the extra effort.
Falls #6 & 7
After the fifth falls the trail becomes increasingly steep, with uneven rock steps and very slippery. You will need to use your hands to climb. The trail also becomes narrow and covered in a dense forest.
Remember you are still in the jungle and snakes and scorpions are common in this area. From what we were told, it takes about 1 hour to reach falls 6 & 7 from the entrance.
Our review and recommendation of Kanching Waterfalls near Kuala Lumpur
This is a great half-day activity to get out of the city. This is a perfect way to get some exercise while traveling and see some nature and wildlife. Since these waterfalls are near Kuala Lumpur and there are 7 waterfalls in one spot it makes it a great place to visit.
I recommend going early. If you can arrive before 10:00 AM that is ideal as it will begin to get crowded in the afternoon. Leaving the city by 8:00 AM would be ideal.
By noon we had a group of local teenage boys blasting music and drinking. We were definitely ready to head out at that time.
Earlier in the day when we arrived there were some families with young kids playing and enjoying the water. You won’t need more than 2 hours to visit all of the falls and enjoy playing in the water. Even if you make it to the top falls 2 hours will be plenty of time.
Kanching Waterfall Difficulty
As I have mentioned above, the Kanching waterfall difficulty varies. You can easily make it to the first 4 waterfalls. These waterfalls are along a paved trail and it is not too steep.
After the 4th waterfall, the Kanching waterfall difficulty gets worse. We did not go above the 4th waterfall since we have young children, but I have heard it gets a lot steeper as you go up.
If you are looking for a leisurely hike, just plan to see the first 4 waterfalls, which are stunning! If you’d like a challenge, you can go higher up. But please be careful as it is often wet and muddy the higher you go.
What you will need to take along with you
Bug spray/Protection – you are in the rainforest and there are bugs. There were not too many that we noticed but we always use bug protection.
No one wants to deal with mosquito bites and there is still a chance in Malaysia to contract Dengue or Malaria through a mosquito bite. For the kids, we use a spray and we use bug repellant stickers that are non-toxic to the kids and they stick to their clothes.
Water bottle – You will need to pack in your own water bottle. The store at the bottom does sell water bottles but we recommend taking your own and one that you can make sure you are drinking safe water. There are only trash bins at the base. So whatever you pack in you need to pack out. Please do your part to keep nature clean.
Swimming suit – don’t forget to pack a swimming suit. You can even hike in it as the falls are not far and easy to get to.
Snacks – I would recommend packing a lunch or at least a few snacks. Beef Jerkey is an easy one to pack.
If you are in Southeast Asia or are planning a trip. Here are some essentials we have found that we need when traveling in this region.
Other things to know when visiting Malaysia
There is a small fee to enter the park. I paid 10RM ($2.50USD) for all 2 adults and 3 kids. There isn’t anything posted that we saw, but upon further research, other people reported that Adults are RM3.00 and kids are free.
- Toilets will cost you RM0.50 to use.
- Parking in the parking lot will cost you RM2.00
- Open: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Advisory – Watch your belongings:
It’s not just the monkeys that you have to worry about. Anytime you are in Malaysia, you need to keep a close eye on your belongings. Malaysians are known for pickpocketing when you least expect it.
I know this to be true from my own experiences but also I have read on multiple other websites to make sure to watch your stuff. Especially at falls 5, 6, & 7. There are thieves hiding in the bushes waiting for you to get in the water and leave your stuff behind on the edge.
I know it sounds like overkill, but trust me, these people know where to wait so your stuff is left unattended. They will grab your wallet or phone but leave your bag so you won’t suspect a thing if you glance over.
Unfortunately, this is a common theme in Malaysia when it comes to petty crime in stealing things. Since the waterfalls near Kuala Lumpur (a huge city), there are people who not just those looking to enjoy the outdoors.
How we protect our belongings
How we protect our belongings is that we pack along a waterproof bag to put money, camera and other things that we wanted to keep from getting wet and safe.
They are great to take to the beach here in Malaysia or other places or throw in your backpack and then just take it out when you need it. You will be surprised at how much you use these handy bags!
Other Destinations around Malaysia:
Langkawi – Best resort in Malaysia
Redang Island – Best Beach in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur – The KL Tower – Mini Zoo – Eco Park
Kuala Lumpur – Free Things to do
Kuala Lumpur – Everything you need to know about Batu Caves
Wrap up on waterfalls near Kuala Lumpur
If you are looking for a quick hike in the jungle to beautiful waterfalls, this destination needs to be on your list. I would highly recommend this spot while you’re in Malaysia.
If you are looking for something to do with kids for a morning outing, this is a great option. The hiking trails are easy for kids to manage and the water is calm and shallow in most places so they can play in the water.
Kuala Lumpur has so much to offer but I would highly recommend taking a few hours to see these beautiful waterfalls. You will not be disappointed!