According to the list of Malaysia mountains, Bukit Banang is one of the lower summits we can scale in the state of Johor at just 427 metres.
Although I only managed to find one article about trekking this hill, I was confident that if it made it to the list, it shouldn’t be too hard to find the place once we arrived in the town of Batu Pahat.
From JB, we took the North-South Highway towards exit 244 Ayer Hitam. The journey took about 40 minutes. What I didn’t expect was that from Ayer Hitam, which from the looks is home to several large craft and accessory shops, it was another 39 km or approximately 30 minutes drive to Batu Pahat. These roads were not highway material so we had to travel slowly, it being unfamiliar territory.
Batu Pahat greeted us with a huge megamall called Batu Pahat Mall and was probably the most developed place we saw on the way in. We saw quite a few rows of shophouses under construction and at least one residential development advertised as well. We travelled to the end of the road where there is a turnabout heading north into Pusat Bandar and south towards Pontian.
Based on the Google Map extract I printed out, I should head south and I could already make out quite a few hills in the distance. I was really excited looking out for brown coloured signs pointing the way to Bukit Banang. However after making a few U-turns, we came up with nothing. I stopped to check with the locals and they directed me to the Bukit Banang Golf and Country Club.
I checked with the information counter at the club and was disappointed to find out that no one knew anything about a Bukit Banang which I could trek. I felt really stupid at this point in time. I hope they didn’t realise that I am a Singaporean who drove all the way here to climb an imaginary hill. Must be pretty hard up. LOL.
The gym instructor whom I approached probably sensed my disappointment and suggested that I could try out a Bukit Soga (turn out at Kampung Istana) instead which can be found a few kilometres out of Batu Pahat. I gave it a miss.
The drive here was already tiring and I cannot imagine having to put Theo through the climbing part as well. I guess I’d just have to settle for a mountain closer to home even though it would be higher. That would then be Gunung Pulai which based on research has a lot more hits than Bukit Banang. Till next time, I guess.
By the way, there’s this famous spot in Batu Pahat in the kampung of Minyak Beku where you can still see the ruins of an ancient well. I googled this.