Chiling Waterfall

Chiling Waterfall is one of the most spectacular and impressive waterfalls in Selangor. To get there you need to walk for about an hour and wade across the Chiling River five times so you need to have a sense of adventure and not mind getting wet. When you finally reach the waterfall (actually three falls) it is well worth the effort.

Chiling Waterfall is located in a reserve called the Sungai Chiling Fish Sanctuary, a fisheries research project run by the Selangor State Fisheries Department.

The entrance is on the road from Kuala Kubu Baharu to The Gap/Fraser's Hill. Shortly after passing the Selangor Dam and reservoir you will cross a small steel bridge over the Chiling River. There is a parking area just after the bridge and the entrance is on the right side of the road. This location is marked on the map on my Top Selangor Attractions page.

After a short walk you reach the rangers' office where you need to register and pay the entrance fee of RM1 per person. A notice there warns visitors that they must also sign out in the register on their return which should be before 5.30pm. If it starts raining during your visit you must return immediately as the river and waterfalls are dangerous in rainy weather.

There are toilets and a campsite here and a map giving an idea of what is in store. Warning: the map is not to scale and is misleading.

In total you have to cross the river 6 times to reach Chiling Waterfall. The first crossing is easy - it is by suspension bridge. Then there is a 40 minute walk before reaching the second crossing. Thereafter the remaining crossings are just a few minutes apart from each other.

About 10 metres after crossing the suspension bridge (Crossing 1) you reach a sort of crossroads. Here you turn left along a narrow path bordered by ferns. 

This path runs more or less parallel to the river which should be in earshot the whole time. 

If by mistake you go straight at the 'crossroads' instead of turning left, the path takes you uphill and away from the river. After 15 minutes or so sweaty climbing you emerge at a clearing with a good view of some jagged hills. Quite interesting but this is the wrong way. Turn back!

If you are on the right path, you will probably encounter large puddles covering the whole track and you will get your first taste of wet feet. (See Recommended Footwear below).

Keep your eyes out for interesting flora and fauna. When I went (August 2013) there were lots of Raja Brooke Birdwing butterflies congregating on the river bank sipping the mineral rich water. This is Malaysia's national butterfly but I have never seen them in such numbers outside of a butterfly farm. 

I also spotted this growth of pitcher plants (nepenthes ampullaria) with gaping mouths which reminded me of chicks in a birds' nest. This type of pitcher plant digests falling leaf litter and is not purely carnivorous like some other pitcher species.

The crystal clear waters of the river are teeming with fish. I visited on a Friday during Ramadhan. There were hardly any visitors and almost no litter anywhere. The whole place looked pristine.

Well done to the Fisheries Department!

Each of the river crossings is marked with a blue sign. Take care when crossing as the rocks are slippery and do not cross if the current is too strong or the water too deep.

There had not been much rain prior to my visit but the water at one of the river crossings still reached up to hip level.

Crossing 2.

Crossing 5.

Crossing 6.

Finally, after Crossing 6, your first glimpse of Chiling Waterfall comes into view. There is a large pool at the foot of waterfall which is suitable for swimming (with caution).

I thought the rock face next to the fall resembled a gorilla.

Talking of apes, you might encounter monkeys here who will relieve you of your food if you leave it unattended.

There are two more waterfalls here. If, instead of taking Crossing 6, you stay on the same side of the river you will soon arrive at a steep slope with a path covered in tree roots. If you scramble up this slope you can reach the upper falls. 

This is the middle level fall which is inaccessible.

The upper level fall where there is room for a picnic.

Opening Hours and Admission Fee

Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. Closed from Monday to Thursday.

Open from 8am to 6pm.

Admission RM1 per person.

Fishing is prohibited.

Recommended Footwear

To enjoy this hike you need to have suitable footwear.

Since you will be wading in water up as high as your waist, there is no question of keeping your feet dry. 

I suggest either Kampung Adidas (cheap Malaysian made rubber shoes which you can buy at Chow Kit market) or a pair of old trainers with reasonable grips (the rocks in the river are slippery).

Crocs are also not bad as the holes let the water flow out.

I saw one young couple wearing flip flops and they seemed to manage OK. Personally I wouldn't wear them as they are slippery and the thongs are easily broken.

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