Johor Waterfalls Pelepah hiking with family

Pelepah Waterfalls is one of the cool Johor waterfalls. Situated in Kota Tinggi, I had visited  Pelepah Waterfalls in Sep 2018, read the fun review here.

Our hiking Fun is in this video (YouTube) 🙂

We make a slight detour to Kiang Kee Bak Ku Teh 强记肉骨茶 (GPS 1.827193, 103.958769).

A=Kiang Kee, B=Pelepah Waterfalls trailhead

This is a popular pitstop for those heading North East to Mersing.  And Kiang Kee is now officially our best Bak Ku Teh in Johor (replacing Hwa Mei 华美肉骨茶  )

Must top up our energy before exercise, many families were here early to enjoy the herbal goodness too.

Yummy! Our table dishes came up to 80 ringgit only.

After a 30 km drive, Pelepah Waterfalls trailhead is just in front of Kota Tinggi Waterfalls entrance.  The carpark is just 20m ahead, a side entrance on the right (no need fees).

After parking the car, we backtrack and went under the bridge.

Kids were a bit hesitant about getting their shoes wet so early, but there is no ESCAPE haha.

You will only walk 30m before turning left and climb up to the gravel road.

10 minutes from the bridge, you should see this pond on your Left (below photo).

Alas, the trail markers (aka ribbons) have all been removed! Otherwise, hikers could just follow the red/white ribbon to the waterfalls.

We would not recommend first timers to explore this trail yourself, you could accidentally end up at Gunung Panti (Our 2016 blog, many steep climbs)!

No permit or guide is officially needed for Pelepah Waterfalls trekking.
You should go with someone who knows the way, or follow a Meetup group.

We had a friendly guide dog. But do not pet the wild dogs as we noticed its eye was infected.

5 minutes from the Pond, you will cross this stream.

10 minutes from the stream, you will hit a Y-junction. Turn right and walk up a small slope.

We only had two day bags. Do pack whistle, head torch, first aid pouch, water (we had 2 x 1.5l) and snacks.

Turn left over the small gap, and turn left to go down the slope.

You will see this “bridge” after about 10 minutes.

Remember the Y-Junction earlier, we took the wrong left-turn and nearly hike up to Panti! (Do not follow the yellow tags and signboard unless you are going to Gunung Panti )

Yellow is pointing towards Gunung Panti, not Pelepah Waterfalls!

Back to our trail, my first pair of Kampong Adidas.  I should have worn a pair of socks, my toes felt uncomfortable when walking downhill (lesser grip). Flat road and uphill no problems.

Once you see this pond, the way ahead is straightforward. And Beautiful!

Just be careful with your steps. Rocks (green algae) can be slippery, you should “tap twice” to make sure the surface is not slippery.

Make sure the water is clear (not murky) before you step down, you could accidentally slip and twist your ankle.

Be vigilant, go slow and everyone should be safe.

The rock wall is the first Major obstacle. Grip the ropes and slowly pull yourselves up. The stronger one can station half way and give a supporting hand.

This would not be a challenge for the kids, but Mommy need some reassurance. The climb looks intimidating but can be overcome.

On the other hand, I keep reminding kids to grip tight. One slip and you can land badly.

After 5 minutes, you will see this mini waterfall. Take a short break here and dip in the cool water.

There are ropes to mark the “deeper pool” areas.

Picture below (left side with ropes), this is the 2nd rock face.

Go slow, step properly, get a firm footing and you should be ok.

This rock faces is tough for Mommy as she never participates in a lot of outdoor activities. But it is super easy for those who have attempted Gunung hiking before.

5 minutes from the 2nd rock wall, a corridor of cool water awaits.

REFRESHING! Water can be up to 1 metre at some sections.

Climb up this ladder at the end of the 80m corridor.

Another waterfall awaits. This is the 2nd waterfall and we had our “lunch” here. Kids had fun trying to trap the fishes too.

The fallen logs demonstrated the power of nature. The trunks might have fallen during a thunderstorm.

If there was a heavy rain beforehand, you might want to avoid Pelepah Waterfalls (or other Johor Waterfalls hike). Water might suddenly gushed down.

There is actually a third layered waterfall, but we decided two waterfalls for the day is enough. The Mrs had struggled after two rock faces hee hee.

We had taken 2 hours to reach the 2nd waterfall.  If you are relatively fit, you should be able to reach the 2nd waterfall in under 1 hr 30min (estimate).

You may visit the 3rd waterfall in my previous Pelepah Waterfall blog.

Heading back.

More water fun and chills.

By the end of our trek, kids would prefer water walk over sand trail anytime!

Scenic water bodies.

We scored A for Team effort!
We need to look out for each other.

Someone topo (navigate) infront.
We swap the load around.
Pull each other across obstacles.
I had to play the Chief Motivator Role.

Mommy’s smile says it all. Although she is not athletic, she is willing to try  everything with the family. Kudos!

She even brought back a leech souvenir to the car park.

Our trail was roughly 2 hours, super slow and easy pace.

Pelepah Waterfalls hiking distance
Pelepah Waterfalls hiking distance

AllTrails App recommendation

I would like to recommend another hiking app, AllTrails (Android and IOS)
-App allows us to Record our path and we can simply follow steps back , if we should be lost
-App offers trails recommendations from fellow hikers, with photos too. This would be good when I am traveling to a new place.

-Free version of App serves my purpose
-You only need mobile signal, 4G not needed
-GPS will drain faster, prepare extra power bank for phone

-Trails galore in Singapore, imagine the fun when I bring this app to Malaysia Gunungs

Johor Waterfalls mural at Kota Tinggi town.

Johor Waterfalls
Johor Waterfalls

We had wanted to enjoy famous Kota Tinggi Wanton noodle but shop was closed. Yap Fong Noodle House 叶芳面家 (GPS 1.727552, 103.899047)

Additional tips:

-More photos from a previous trip (blog)
-All our Hiking trips are listed here http://sengkangbabies.com/tag/hiking

-Do take note part of the track is on private property, if caught, please say sorry and do not argue

– Do not leave any rubbish behind, bring the rubbish out of the forest to bin

-Hikers can shower at the Kota Tinggi Resort (nominal fees). Small tap

-Permit and guide is not needed, but we strongly recommend you to follow someone up to Pelepah Waterfalls

– If you need reference for Malaysia Guide or permits, do drop me an email andy@sengkangBabies.com

-Although it is a day trip, I always pack emergency equipment like whistle, compass and night torch (just in case we are lost)

-Do take note of these emergency contacts:
a) 999 or 112-This will activate Police or Ambulance
b)994-Bomba (Emergency Rescue)

-If my Johor Waterfalls path suggestion is longer or wrong, please share the correct path with us. Thank you.

 

ps.. Follow our Instagram tag #SengkangBabiesJohor for more JB adventures

Fun hiking at Pelepah Waterfalls Gunung Pelepah

Some call it Pelepah Waterfalls. Some call it Gunung Pelepah or even 水晶山瀑布. It is different from Kota Tinggi Waterfalls which is more for tourists 🙂

Updated 20190809 – Take note the trail markers (ribbons red/white) had been removed. We spend quite some time trying to find the right path. Do not go alone if this is your first time, go with a guide or regular. The new post and direction is at this blog link. If in doubt, do drop me an email.

Pelepah Waterfalls was my first waterfall hiking too.  Unlike normal hiking, 30% to 40% of our journey is on water!

Best thing about Pelepah Waterfalls is there are so many ponds and waterfalls for you to jump into! Imagine trekking through the forest and seeing a waterfall in front of you!

 

As an estimate, it is about 2 hours up, and 2 hours down.

Me acting cool at the last Waterfall

I kept imaging how my kids would have enjoyed themselves at Pelepah Waterfalls, a pity they “were underage” (Hello organisers :p )

Checkout out our Waterfalls adventures at Chiang Mai (sticky waterfall) and Kota Tinggi (too touristy). I thought Pelepah Waterfalls was easier than Gunung Panti.

This trip was organised by Anchorvale Youth Club (Yes, I am not that old yet), and SGTrek (guides  Vijay and James). There were about 40 of us, including four local guides from Malaysia.

Pelepah Waterfalls trail head
Pelepah Waterfalls trail head

Pelepah Waterfalls trailhead (GPS 1.826111, 103.835556) is near the entrance of Kota Tinggi Waterfall entrance.

(Photo below) Gate is locked, hikers had to go under the bridge and wade one min behind the gate. This would be called trespassing in Singapore hee hee, but online references indicated this is ok 🙂

From the first min, our shoes and socks were never dry. Yeah!

Do wear socks, to minimise sand and pebbles bruising your toes. Seasoned hikers swear by Kampong Adidas.

 

Palm oil seed, shoes soaked

For first time hikers, permit and guides are strongly recommended. The tracks are well marked but you can still get lost or injured. I would recommend going with someone experienced.

Fyi, follow the red/white tape and keep to the track.  I noticed these white patches on the palm oil estate ground. Follow them on the way back (like Hansel and Gretel) and you will find civilisation again.

Malaysia Hiking trail markers
Malaysia Hiking trail markers

We can actually wade in the stream to our destination, but the meanderings will take up precious time. That is why we trekked through the estate.

If one is lost, just follow the stream.

This image is taken on the “return” trip

15 to 20 min easy trek through estate.

After 20 to 25min, you will see this bridge. From here onwards, we will be trekking in the forest.

Checkpoint 1 at 30 minutes mark.

At around 40min point, you will see the first pond.

Our guides told me this is Japanese Garden or Rock Garden, I forgot the sequence, but both landscapes are enchanting.

If you are going to Pelepah, help me confirm with the local guides ok.

Climb over the small boulder and another landscape awaits 🙂

水晶山

Pardon me if there are too many selfies, I love Nature and Pelepah Waterfalls trekking had been amazing thus far!

Our guide told us nicer waterfalls is just ahead WOW!

This steep 80 degree wall is our first obstacle.

The view behind is worth the climb 🙂

Our FIRST WATERFALL, although a small one, is enough to keep us happy. Take note the water can be 2 to 3m deep at the other end.

We were more reserved and shy at the first pond, but everyone could not wait to jump into this pond! We spent almost 20 minutes here.

The cool water washed away our fatigue. Invigorating!!

Found another waterfall model :p

Everyone was soaked inside out, the next segment was the most beautiful along the entire trek.

We waded through a “narrow corridor”. Water is waist deep (90 to 100cm), and we were flanked by two walls.

The rocks can be uneven and slippery, be careful when you are taking photos. I saw many folks stopped for wefies 🙂

This path is dangerous during rainy days as flash flood can sweep us away. Look out for incremental weather.


Everywhere we hike, we heard the sound of water streaming, more water FUN beckons.

Around another corner (15 minutes from first waterfall), we spotted our SECOND WATERFALL!

If the water is emerald, you might believe I am in the Philippines :p

Personally, this is the best Waterfall for me. We spent another 20 minutes here, showering and taking more photos and jumping jacks too.

 

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Modeling at #PelepahWaterfalls 😆 Invigorating and refreshing trek 😍👍 #kotaTinggi #pelepah #gunungPelepah #sengkangbabies #skbHiking

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#PelepahWaterfalls I must bring the kids along next round, so much 🚿 FUN 😊 #kotaTinggi #pelepah #sengkangbabies

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Chilling and powerful cascades of water soothed our shoulder and joints. Shiok lah!

Pelepah Waterfalls
Pelepah Waterfalls

Be careful of the hidden logs and stones underwater, I can understand why many would like to dash under the cooling waterfall haha 🙂

This is the same reason why “cliff or log” jumping might not be recommended.

Google indicates some folks do abseiling here too 🙂

Our guides had a hard time peeling us away from FUN haha. The last waterfall is 10 mins away.

Video (YouTube link):  Water Fun, I would do Pelepah again 🙂

The THIRD WATERFALL looks majestic but less fun then the second one, and it is very slippery too.

Waterfalls are super cold but our adrenaline and body heat (from hiking) meant we got to enjoy the cool dips!

The waterfalls tiers might offer a good spot for group photo but keep body low and on all fours (if necessary) to navigate the rock face.

I slipped and fell on my bums at least twice. If someone at the top slips, Domino Effect!

We had our packed lunch here.

Pelepah Waterfalls photo
Pelepah Waterfalls photo

Do take note that return trek is along the forest path and minimum water crossings. We will not u-turn along the same path, so NO more ponds and waterfalls 🙁

We did spot a few campers at Checkpoint 1.

Hiking and Swimming at Pelepah Waterfalls was a good workout for my body, my muscle still felt a bit numb on the second day 🙂

If you love adventures, do checkout all our Gunong hikings in Malaysia (Belumut, Panti and Taman Nagara )

Our Waterfalls adventures are here (not all are hiking). Three images below credit YEC and SGTrek 🙂

More photos can be found on Facebook Anchorvale YEC and SGTrek .

Additional tips :

-REMEMBER to waterproof your belongings, especially passport

-Hikers can shower at the Kota Tinggi Resort (nominal fees). Small tap

-Malaysia Waterfalls listing – http://waterfallsofmalaysia.com/24pelapah.php

-Waterfalls can be dangerous, slippery rocks and careless photographers. Be vigilant and exercise caution. SAFETY First.

-Do take note of these emergency contacts:
a) 999 or  112-This will activate Police or Ambulance

b)994-Bomba (Emergency Rescue)

-Try not to ingest too much waterfall waters, especially if water is static. This helps city folks avoid stomach upset or even rat urine poisoning

-We did not encounter any leeches but I suspect I got some minor sandfly bites. For leeches, just spray saltwater to detach

ps.. Follow our Instagram tag #SengkangBabiesJohor for more JB adventures

 

ps 2019Aug, we did a family hike to Pelepah again! Blog – http://sengkangbabies.com/sports/johor-waterfalls-pelepah-hiking