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.
I kept imaging how my kids would have enjoyed themselves at Pelepah Waterfalls, a pity they “were underage” (Hello organisers :p )
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 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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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!!
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.
View this post on Instagram
Chilling and powerful cascades of water soothed our shoulder and joints. Shiok lah!
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.
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 🙂
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 – https://sengkangbabies.com/sports/johor-waterfalls-pelepah-hiking