2015 - Ranting Waterfall, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia

Ranting Waterfall Expedition, Maxwell Hill, Taiping on 17th May 2015

Team members (L-R): Koay Bee Lee, Ching Neng Bin, Yeoh Sam Heng, Ucon Liew, Choo Min Yee and Leong Siek Hing.

As a member of the Teluk Batik Hikers, Sitiawan, I was duly invited by the founder Mr Yeoh Sam Heng to join him in his 3rd expedition to the Ranting Waterfall in Taiping. Without hesitation I said yes, and on 17th May 2015, I drove from Ipoh to meet them at the Bukit Larut car-park at 8am. As I arrived early, I spent a moment at the Taiping War Cemetery along the road and also witnessed a car suddenly went into the drain. Two passed-by and myself helped to pull the car out. At the car-park I met the team members and as well as our Taiping guide Mr Chuah Chong Fu, a founder member of Taiping Road Runners (TRR). Mr Chuah, we would like to thank you so much.

It was my dream come true to have trekked up to see these beautiful waterfalls. When I was working in Kamunting, Taiping from 1983 to 2004, I used to see the waterfall from far and during that time nobody knew how to get there. I always tell myself that one day I would trek up to see the fall. It was just lately that the Hash House Harriers (HHH) found a route to the waterfall. Thank you and well done, HHH!

The Taiping War Cemetery is the final resting place for allied soldiers who died in battle during World War 2, comprising Australian, British, Scottish, Gurkha, Chinese and other local forces.

The picturesque Taiping War Cemetery. A cross being perched on a small stone altar, overlooks the War Cemetery at the eastern side. I had a Moment of Silence here remembering my late father, Ching Chee Ming, for he was also a soldier at the young age of 19 in 1944, he joined the Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA) for 2 years after a class mate of his was killed by the Japanese Forces.

A view of the northern side of the cemetery that evokes a sense of tranquility.

This Malay driver on the left and spouse were trying to do a reverse parking at the cemetery when its left front wheel went into the drain. Two passed-by and myself helped to pull the car out.

At 8.10am out trail started from here at the foothill of Bukit Larut walking on tarred road towards an Hindu temple.

The hill monkeys playing on the electric cable.

This particular male monkey followed us to the Hindu temple.

Crossing this bridge is the Hindu Temple.

The Hindu Temple.

The Hindu Temple.

The steep jungle trail started on the right side of the road beside a small stream after passing Hindu temple about 30 meters away.

The first part of the trek is very steep and on very steep slopes, ropes were tied by members of Hiker's Teluk Batik on their previous expeditions.

We arrived at this first T-junction - on the right is the track to the Reservoir Waterfall, and on the left is the track to Ranting Waterfall which is on a higher elevation. We took the left track which also leads us to a Water Treatment plant.

On approaching the water treatment plant we followed the wire fencing on the right side up the slope, and for about half an hour it was easy-going as we trekked along the water pipe.

We noticed a large hole on the trail caused by water erosion.

We took a water break here and also to catch those bloody leeches.

It was here that we did a 90-degree turn to the right which led us into thick virgin jungle and steep slopes. We experienced the harsh reality of this very difficult track to climb 60-80 degree gradient slippery slopes.

A couple of trees had fallen across the trail and a detour was needed. Soon we reached the edge of the ravine of Sungei Ranting. The sound of its rushing waters was comforting knowledge that we were on the right route. We trekked carefully along the side of the ravine, following the river upstream.

Guess what this is! It is a beehive that looks like a stick, sticking out from a tree trunk. This is the weirdest beehive I have ever seen. The hive proper is actually inside the hollow tree trunk and the thing sticking out is just the extended entrance tunnel for the bees to get into.

It was a 2 hour trek to arrive at the Ranting Waterfall at about 350 metres above sea level when the jungle suddenly opened up to reveal a spectacular waterfall of at least 12 storeys high.

A view of Ranting waterfall in the midst of the luxuriant greens of Bukit Larut taken from Taman LakeView in Taiping with a zoom lens camera.

I have just bought my 4th camera (Olympus OMD EM10 Four Thirds System M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens) for my traveling photography at RM2,500. It comes with a 150mm 1:5.6 zoom lens and is the most expensive I have bought since 2004. Normally I use the lower range of RM400 to RM699 compact DC.

The majestic Ranting Waterfall featuring an impressive series of water cascading. When you are coming in to town from Simpang and look towards the hills, this waterfall is very visible.

The Ranting Waterfall is formed by Sungei Ranting running over a 60-80 degree granite rock face.

It was a lovely place to take our lunch here with the waterfall as the backdrop.

“Mou Mou” or thousand-layer peanut pau for lunch with complement from Mr Yeoh Sam Heng. This Foochow pau can only be bought in Sitiawan and it is my favourite. So next time when you are in Sitiawan, try to look for it.

For a long time the Ranting Waterfall was not explored due to the difficult terrain. Only recently members of the Hash House Harriers (HHH) found a route to this place.

Our Taiping guide Mr Chuah Chong Fu, a founder member of Taiping Road Runners (TRR).

The volume of the waterfalls was small as it had not rained for a few days. However, the cascading falls created a cloud of fine cooling spray that encircled us as we rested and had our lunch at the base of the waterfall.

The Ranting Waterfall is very clean as there is no garbage around. The water was cold and crystal clear. Members of the expedition were barred from bathing or washing here as the water flows further down into another intake pipe of the water treatment plant and the Taiping Reservoir.

Look at my bloody feet bitten by a voracious blood sucking leech still sucking. In total I had about 16 bites, however, it was nothing compared to more than 100 bites during my trek from Gopeng to Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands in 2010.

On our way back at a lower elevation, we arrived at the T-junction where turning right is another majestic waterfall known as the Reservoir Waterfall. Getting there we had to cross a long narrow metal bridge over a deep hidden ravine below.

On the bridge we had a panoramic view of Taiping town.

The 6-storey high Reservoir Waterfall on Maxwell Hill.

Water cascading down the Reservoir Waterfall on Maxwell Hill.

The water of the fall is collected in a small reservoir, from where pipes lead to the treatment plant below.

A sign warns that visitors should not bathe or swim here, because it is part of the Taiping water supply.

Water cascading down this six-storey high Reservoir Waterfall makes an impressive sight especially after a heavy downpour.

Waterfalls are beautiful places but they can also be dangerous! Every year accidents happen, because visitors neglect to take care about their safety. Rocks near the waterfall can be slippery. It might be inviting to dive in the pool below, but there might be strong currents. Flash flooding can result from a downpour upstream. When this stream is temporarily blocked by logs for example, this flooding can occur amazingly fast. Avoid the water when there is a thunderstorm. Even when the lightning strikes far upstream, surface currents can be dangerous.

This was indeed a refreshing weekend trip for the mind and the body. And to have really reached at the Ranting Waterfall, was a wonderful discovery and achievement for me.



  1. Neng Bin,
    Just reading your travelogue is as good as going there myself. Absolutely fantastic writeup. Wish to join you one day. Keep travelling far and near. We cannot have enough of your fascinating accounts. Unique and refreshing.

  2. Hi strong guy, if plan camping trip / hiking call me on 0179481512 Ali.

  3. Gee Boon Kee20 May, 2015

    Many thanks. I enjoy reading your reports.

  4. Christine Lee20 May, 2015

    Mr Ching,
    Thanks for sharing. Very informative write-up and awesome pics. The posts of the leeches made me squirm...OMG !

  5. Hank Nga20 May, 2015

    Great clear pics. Take more people on this walk in the future. Pity you cant swim in the waterfall pond!

  6. Francis Nga20 May, 2015

    TQ for sharing your many interesting and exciting adventures. I can only admire, but can't join you guys as I sustained a spinal injury some 18 months ago. Do enjoy yourselves while you are still fit and able. God bless you & your dear ones.

  7. Francis Liew Shun Teck20 May, 2015

    Hi Ching,
    Thanks heaps for the interesting write-up on your recent trekking trip to the waterfalls in Maxwell Hill. Needless to say, I also enjoyed viewing the beautiful photographs of the hike. I have always enjoyed reading your articles.

  8. James Teoh20 May, 2015

    Dear Neng Bin
    Thanks a lot for the write up which is very informative. Hope to hear more of your travels/hiking & adventures. By the way Mr.Gunn is still having his dialysis done at Island hospital. He is my classmate & friend for 40 years or more. Keep on hiking. Regards. James

  9. Anonymous20 May, 2015

    Hi Mr. Ching,
    Thanks for sharing. Your reports are very informative and interesting. Keep it up and we look forward to more....

  10. Anonymous21 May, 2015

    NB Ching had been keen to try out his newly acquired Olympus OMD EM10 Camera. So when he was offered a chance to visit the Ranting Waterfall through a steep climb, certainly he would jump at the challenge.The ascent was a bit tough as it went along a rough terrain through Malaysia's tropical rain forest, and from NB's report, a tracking route had been established by the HHH team earlier, by which made their effort much smoother. Surprised to learn that there's a War Cemetary to remember the war dead. Fancy NB and his hiking crew could get themselves close to the water treatment plant, though it's being wire fenced. The dreadful, ubiquitous Leeches, Oh My! I had the similar experience at Taman Negara, Kuala Tahan. Just one of the blood sucker found its way through my sock and shoe-would have upset me. least few of them had good time feasted on NB Ching's copious blood; 16 bites, Oh My! Mou Mou paus eaten at the outing by the waterfall must be fun, consumed with coffee down the throat would have been a great reward. Both the Ranting waterfall and the towering 6-storey high Reservoir are majestic, spectacular(Ching's apt description) and intimidating. Too bad the hikers couldn't soak themselves wet in the small reservoir. The granite rocky edges pose a certain, grave danger should any dared-devil attempt a deadly climb, as warned by NB Ching the old hand of nature escapades. Thank NB Ching for sharing with us his valuable experience in this outing through our country's not so friendly forest. On three visits I made to Taman Negara, I fell three times on my back onto the muddy trail. I have decided that I have enough of the jungle at my advanced age. Xie xie!

  11. David Foo Khar Ching21 May, 2015

    I went to the Reservoir Waterfall in the late evening on the bone dry day of 16 September 2014. The track shown no evidence of having been trespassed recently or regularly. Taiping is very lucky to have a water source so close to town and yet in all the glory of splendour of untouched nature. Lets preserve this jewel by limiting the number of visitors. Cheers.

  12. Cynthia Yap23 May, 2015

    Many thanks for your postings. Not being a hiker myself, I get to feel and see the wonderful experiences of your hiking trips, minus the leech bites.

  13. Sherina Balaratnam23 May, 2015

    Very nice. Keep on adventuring...

  14. Sim Meng Hong23 May, 2015

    Dear Mr Ching,
    My name is Sim Meng Hong. I am Tee Sze Peng's schoolmate in KGV. Many thanks for including me in your distribution list for your backpacking adventures. I enjoy reading them very much. Please keep them coming. Keep healthy, safe and of course your travelling. Cheers, Sim.

  15. Neng Bin.
    Thanks for sharing.
    The bee Hive is of the stingless bee type, the malays called it kelulut. These bees bites instead of sting to defence themselves. The honey is more valuable than even manukan honey. check it out on internet. Mardi is researching more on this stingless bee.

  16. Dear Chan Nam Hong,
    Thanks for the information on this Stingless Bee. We were wondering for many days for its name and have been checking in the web, but, could not get anything. Thanks again and I will check it out.

  17. Felicia Tai26 May, 2015

    Hi, good to hear from you. You are really enjoying life. Keep it up. With best regards.

  18. John Pc Cheah26 May, 2015

    Well done, Ching. You have my admiration. - PC

  19. Guoy Lee Le26 May, 2015

    Hi Ching, thank you very much for sharing and your write-up, let us rejoice in your adventure.

  20. Tan Chee Hun26 May, 2015

    Dear Mr. Ching, thank you for the very beautiful photos. Even though I had gone to Maxwell hill before, I find the photos very refreshing. Very professional photography. bye

  21. Jeremy Kong26 May, 2015

    Thanks Neng Bin, for the posting of your adventurous outdoor backpacking tour of RANTING WATERFALL in TAIPING. Although I have not been there, your pictures shown in your website link are very informative & I am glad for you and your adventurous group.

    Incidentally I will also forward your outdoor adventure to my circle of friends to show that Taiping is just not a peaceful quiet town, but also has outdoor adventurous tracks to explore.

    Thanks again & may God bless you, Jeremy Kong

  22. Jackson Au25 June, 2015

    You're simply enjoying life to the fullest.