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Hiking Bukit Batu Putih, Tanjung Tuan

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih, Tanjung Tuan

Not to be confused with another hill with the same name in Gopeng Perak, this Bukit Batu Putih is located in Tanjung Tuan. It is technically in the state of Malacca, but due to its proximity to Port Dickson (a popular beach destination in a neighboring state), many people also like to refer to it as Bukit Batu Putih Port Dickson.

One of the best things about this hill is its accessibility. Only 20 kilometres from Port Dickson, it also has an easy trail that is perfect for beginners.

But for many people, its main draw is the spectacular view you’ll get from the top. This 200-million-year-old quartz ridge rises above the country’s last remaining coastal rainforests and is flanked by the blue waters of the Straits of Malacca.

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih Tanjung Tuan
The view from the top of Bukit Batu Putih Tanjung Tuan.

I have hiked Bukit Batu Putih three times. The photos in this article are taken from all three trips.

Originally named Cape Rachado (meaning Broken Cape) by the Portuguese during their occupation in the 16th century, Tanjung Tuan is an exclave surrounded by Malacca and Negeri Sembilan.

Its coastal area is famous for being the naval battle site between the Dutch VOC and Portuguese fleets in 1606. The battle was the first of a series of conflicts that ultimately led to the surrender of the Portuguese to the Dutch in 1641.

Tanjung Tuan is also home to the Cape Rachado Lighthouse, which was built in the same era and is said to be the oldest lighthouse in the country. The lighthouse has been reconstructed twice and now houses an active MEASAT radar.

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih Tanjung Tuan
Cape Rachado Lighthouse. Credit: Matthew Laird Acred / Wikimedia Commons

On top of that, the cape is also a popular spot for bird-watching. Every year, it hosts a Raptor Watch event for nature enthusiasts to gather and see migratory birds that come from as far as Northern China and Russia on their way to Australia.

How to Go to Bukit Batu Putih, Tanjung Tuan

The trail to Bukit Batu Putih can be accessed from the Tanjung Tuan Recreational Forest entrance gate, which is very easy to find on Google Maps or Waze. The park entrance is just across the road from PNB Ilham Resort. Parking is available at the designated car park and along the street.

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih Tanjung Tuan
Tanjung Tuan Recreational Forest entrance gate. Source: NST

Unfortunately, going by car is the only option — there’s no public transport that goes to this area. If you don’t have your own transport, you can try hiring a taxi from Port Dickson (20 kilometres away). Make sure you agree on the fare beforehand. Your hotel might also be able to arrange something for you.

Best Time to Hike Bukit Batu Putih, Tanjung Tuan

The Tanjung Tuan Recreational Forest opens from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day.

Unfortunately, this means that you can’t climb for sunrise, which is usually hikers’ favorite time to climb any hill or mountain. It’s also not possible to stay at the peak for sunset if you want to make it back before the gate closes.

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih Port Dickson
It was so hot at 11 a.m., we could barely keep our eyes open for pictures.

Most visitors go in the morning to avoid the midday heat. The trail is mostly covered by trees but it can still get hot and humid especially at the peak. If you choose to go around this time, make sure you stock up on enough water and sunscreen.

Weekends and public holidays can get very busy with locals and visitors from other states, so plan accordingly if you don’t like big crowds.

What to Expect When Hiking Bukit Batu Putih

Just past the gate, there is a small building where visitors have to pay an entrance fee of RM1 per person. A nearby stall sells drinks and snacks, although it might not be open very early in the morning. This is also your last chance to use the toilet, as there aren’t any other on the trail.

From the entrance, you will have to walk uphill on a winding tarmac road that leads all the way up to the Cape Rachado Lighthouse. There are sheds with benches along the way if you need to take a break.

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih, Tanjung Tuan
On the tarmac road.

Although the road is sheltered by the trees, it is quite steep and is probably the most taxing part of the hike.

To get to the peak of Bukit Batu Putih, you have two choices of routes: the beach or forest trail. If you choose the beach trail, you will exit the tarmac road earlier on. This route is longer (taking about an hour or so) and harder.

It first takes you through the forest down towards the Monkey Bay (yes, there might be monkeys). After that, you’ll have to make your way up to the peak via a steep jungle trail that is only passable during low tide. At high tide, the current can be strong and dangerous, so make sure you check before going.

The forest route, on the other hand, is shorter and easier. For all the three times I hiked Bukit Batu Putih, I chose the forest route because my main goal when hiking is to reach the summit, and I’d rather get there sooner than later.

The start of the forest trail is further up the tarmac road (about 20 minutes from the gate), just before the lighthouse. It’s signposted, so you can’t miss it.

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih, Tanjung Tuan
The photo makes it look as though we are entering another (more sinister) dimension, but it doesn’t actually look that scary in real life.

Here, it’s a bit steep and may require you to scramble on all fours if you’re not much of an athlete. But don’t let that intimidate you — the trail is not going to be like that all the way. Soon after, it levels out into a wide and well-trodden path.

As you walk on, you will hear and catch glimpses of the sea, which tells you that you’re near.

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih, Tanjung Tuan
You’ll see this fallen tree.

Just before you reach the final stretch, the path will slope downwards, and in less than 15 minutes from the trailhead, you should reach the foot of a white rocky outcrop that will take you to the summit. This is what gives Bukit Batu Putih (White Rock Hill) its name.

Some rock climbing skills would be beneficial here, but it’s not particularly hard for someone of average fitness level. Although there’s a rope tethered to the top to help you climb up and down, I’m not sure how long it has been there or how often it’s replaced, so use it at your own risk.

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih, Tanjung Tuan
On the rocky outcrop.

Once you reach the peak at 285 metres above sea level, you’ll be glad you woke up early for this. The view overlooking the Straits of Malacca is possibly one of the most impressive summit views in Malaysia.

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih Tanjung Tuan

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih Tanjung Tuan

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih Tanjung Tuan

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih Tanjung Tuan

If you go on a weekend, this area can be pretty crowded as hikers stay on to take in the views and pose for pictures — you might have to wait for your turn to get on the best spots. Keep in mind that there is no shade on the peak, so it can get very hot at midday.

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih Tanjung Tuan
It doesn’t look very high in this picture, but it actually is.

Once you’re done taking pictures, you will go down the same way you came. You can either head straight down to the entrance or explore the area around the lighthouse (the lighthouse itself isn’t open to the public).

As we were taking a break under some trees near the lighthouse, I suddenly felt raindrops on my head, which I found a bit peculiar since the day was hot and there was no sign of rain.

Upon looking up, we saw a troop of monkeys on the tree branches. It seemed like the monkeys of Cape Rachado had decided to shower us with ‘blessings’ as a send-off. I hope it was saliva.

How Difficult is Hiking Bukit Batu Putih?

The Bukit Batu Putih trail is a considerably easy one, except for the very last part, which requires you to clamber up some rocks.

If all you’re after is a good hike without much concern about making it all the way to the peak, you can skip this part, but I’d highly recommend climbing it, as it is the best place to get a 360-degree panoramic view of Cape Rachado and the Straits of Malacca.

The rest of the trail is easy — nothing too steep or treacherous — making it suitable even for beginners or casual hikers. It should take you around 30 – 40 minutes to get from the forest gate to the peak.

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih
On the trail.

Is It Possible to Hike Bukit Batu Putih Without A Guide?

Most of the hikers at Bukit Batu Putih are locals who go independently, with a group of friends or family members. All of these people go without official guides.

The trail is fairly easy and well-marked, it’s impossible to get lost if you stick to the path.

If you’re nervous about hiking alone, go on a weekend or public holiday, where you will see many other hikers. Sometimes, you might also encounter groups of school students on a field trip or office workers having a team-building activity in the area.

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih Port Dickson
On the tarmac road leading to the trailhead.

What to Bring on a Bukit Batu Putih Hike

  • As always, the most important thing to bring on a hike is enough drinking water. This is especially true in Malaysia’s hot and humid climate, where you will be sweating buckets. There is a stall selling drinks and snacks near the forest gate, but don’t count on it being open very early in the morning.
  • I would also recommend bringing some high-energy snacks to refuel yourself, especially if you start hiking in the morning, before breakfast.
  • Wear comfortable quick-dry sportswear if you tend to sweat a lot.
  • Proper hiking shoes would be helpful, but normal sport shoes would also be fine. Make sure they have good traction.
  • Sunscreen is a must in Southeast Asia. Although most of the trail is covered by trees, the peak is exposed to the sun and can be quite hot at midday.
  • Sunglasses or hat to block out the harsh sunlight at the peak.
Hiking Bukit Batu Putih Tanjung Tuan
Sunglasses for the pictures!
  • A pair of binoculars if you’re visiting during the raptor migration.
  • A camera to capture the beautiful panorama at the top.
  • A basic first-aid kit. Although the trail at Bukit Batu Putih is short and easy, it’s always good to be prepared.

Final Thoughts on Hiking Bukit Batu Putih

My favorite kind of hikes are easy ones with great views at the peak. And Bukit Batu Putih ticks the box on both counts. For only a 40-minute workout, the reward is more than worth it. Plus, you don’t have to start at ungodly hours as most hikes usually need you to.

Bukit Batu Putih is easily my favorite hill to climb in Malaysia. I’ve climbed it three times and I don’t even like hiking.

Hiking Bukit Batu Putih, Tanjung Tuan

Posted in Malaysia

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40 Comments

  1. Chloe Beaver

    The Bukit Batu Putih looks like a great trail for a lovely weekend hike. Although you mention the hike is relatively easy, the views from the top make it look like you hiked extensively up some tough terrain! Would love to check out this trail sometime in my future.

  2. Amrita

    The Bukit Batu Putih trail looks like a beautiful trail and not much difficult. It would be great to explore the region and the views are quite beautiful. I had hiked Mt Kinabalu when we visited Malaysia. I am sure this one is much easier. Thanks for sharing the tips on hiking the trail.

    • ummi

      Oh wow, you have climbed Kinabalu? That’s pretty impressive, Amrita! I can assure you — Bukit Batu Putih is nothing compared to Kinabalu. Not even 1% of the effort/difficulty level. Haha. But it’s really pretty, and like you said, the surrounding region is worth exploring too. 😀

  3. Clarice

    We have been to Malacca a couple of times but had no idea that there are easy trails near Port Dickson. We would love to go hiking next time. The view looks amazing. Thank you for sharing this.

  4. Raksha

    The views from Bukit Batu Putih peak are extremely pretty. I would love to hike this trail and it is good to know that it just takes only 30 to 40 minutes to hike to the peak. I will definitely make sure that I will go in the mornings to avoid the heat.

  5. Umiko

    Wow! The view from the peak is amazing! I’ll keep this in mind since I’m planning a quick trip to KL and Malacca next time I go to Indonesia. My son will like experiencing hiking in a rainforest. I would like to do both trails, or at least go half way of the Beach Trail.

    • ummi

      Sounds like a great plan, Umiko. Be sure to check the tide before you go on the beach trail.

      The coastal rainforest is not like the ones in Borneo or Taman Negara. This one is very small and might not have the typical flora and fauna you might find in a dense forest. But it’s a good introduction if your son has never been in one before. 🙂

  6. Agnes

    Bukit Batu Putih seems a perfect idea for a hike. It’s great to know that trail is a considerably easy one, except for the very last part, which requires you to clamber up some rocks. I’m impressed by the scenery. It looks so beautiful. Also, the history of this region is so exciting. It’s a great, detailed guide.

    • ummi

      Thank you, Agnes. Yes, it has an interesting history. For those who are visiting Malacca to see the historic sites, Bukit Batu Putih would make the perfect pit stop to complete your trip. 🙂

  7. Jennifer Prince

    Being in the US it’s sometimes hard to imagine things that are so old, but I find it really interesting that there was a battle there in the early 1600s. It’s a lovely spot for exploring nature for a hike. I’m glad that the weather is warming up where I am so that I can finally explore outside again!

  8. Manjulika Pramod

    I have visited Malacca twice but haven’t had a chance to check out this trail, maybe because its closer to Port Dickson. Looks so inspiring and fresh. Loved your photographs. You sure had fun with your gang. I like the fact that its easy and only gets moderate with the rocks at the end. I like those hikes too which are not very difficult and they reward you with great views. Thank for telling us all about the White Rock Hill.

    • ummi

      My pleasure, Manjulika. You’re right — although technically in Malacca, this place is in fact closer to Port Dickson than it is to Malacca city center. It’s one of those ‘hidden gems’ that not many foreign visitors are aware of. You might want to check it out the next time you head to Malacca/Port Dickson again. 😉

    • ummi

      Yes, Rawlins. At least, to me, it is. Some people hike because of the journey and because they simply love being around nature. But to me, the view at the end is my only motivation! Haha.

    • ummi

      Ya, Ezna. Dan yang bestnya, mendaki Bukit Batu Putih ni sebenarnya tak penat mana pun. Tapi view kat atas tu sangat berbaloi, lebih cantik dari view gunung2 yang lebih tinggi. 😀

  9. Khai Artzfar

    wow menariknya! went there before i think if not mistaken during MH370 crash incident. at that time, they said this place got something mystery okay! but anyway its good place to do the outdoor activity

    • ummi

      Yes, Irene. Our country has a rich history. So, this trip to the Bukit Batu Putih can be beneficial on so many levels — we get to enjoy the views, appreciate the history, and reap the health benefits of hiking! 😀

    • ummi

      Betul tu, Kak Bell, rasa macam tak hiking pun. Jalan santai2 je, kecuali part mula2 masa nak sampai trailhead dengan yang last, masa kena panjat batu tu. Tapi view memang lawa la nampak Selat Melaka.

  10. Kitkat Nelfei

    I been to this lighthouse but not thru hiking… Hehehe.. But the second time we plan to hike but ended up we go to the beach area.. Hike downhill… 🤣🤣🤣Can repeat again when we are allow to travel to PD…

    • ummi

      Hahaha, yes, Kitkat, you should definitely repeat it when we can travel to PD again. And this time, maybe try the forest trail to get to the peak 😉

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  12. Sis Lin

    Sini ada kawan ajak masa tu nak pi Hiking, kalau tak Sis dah sampai dah cuma masa tu tiba-tiba ada kecemasan.. then lps tu kesihatan x mengizinkan.. sampailaa ni tak pernah pi hiking.. best je nengok orang pi huhuhu

    • ummi

      Oo, kalau ada masalah kesihatan memang tak digalakkan buat aktiviti macam ni, sis. Kalau nak pun, cuba yang mudah2 dulu, warm up cukup2 dan make sure pergi dengan orang yang lebih berpengalaman. 🙂

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