Exploring Kuala Kubu Bharu in Selangor

Kuala Kubu Bharu – or KKB as it’s usually called – is a small town in the northern part of Selangor. We had driven past this town en route Fraser Hill last year, it looked interesting but we had never managed to stop by. This month we spent 2 days in and around KKB to explore this area of Selangor. 

Getting there

Just an hour’s drive north from KL, KKB town is nestled at the foothills of Fraser Hill. Even with moderate traffic heading out of KL, we managed to reach KKB in just over an hour.  

Things to see and do in Kuala Kubu Bharu (KKB)

Selangor Dam 

Selangor dam which stretches across nearly 600 acres, provides most of the water to Kuala Lumpur. The dam is about 10 mins away from KKB town. There is a bridge on the dam that you can walk across for a view of the water body. There’s also a second bridge (it’s actually referred to as the ‘second bridge’) – which gives panoramic views. This second bridge was our favourite view point. 

Stargazing Point at Selangor Dam

The second bridge is supposed to be a great point for stargazing over the open night sky. We went there during the day, so no stargazing for us but a brilliant view of the dam & the hill panorama from this bridge. 

River Rafting

KKB has some neat river rafting on Sungai (River) Selangor, with Grade 4 rapids – thrilling enough for grown ups and doable enough for older children (8 and above). The roughly 2 hour activity includes rafting on the rapids, body surfing in the river, a stop at a waterfall and some swim time at a quieter section of the river. It was the first rafting experience for our little girl – she was excited & nervous to begin with, but in the end, thoroughly enjoyed both the rapids & the body surfing experience! 

Rafting can be done through various companies, we stayed at The Sticks KKB so we booked rafting through them (with RaftAsia team).  

Jungle Trails

KKB has several jungle trails, of varied levels. The most popular ones are the Bukit Kutu Trail and Lata Medang trail. We have done neither of these yet (we hope to come back to KKB to do these the next time). We did a jungle trail starting from the Sticks Jungle retreat and that was a short 30 min trail through the rainforest and by the river. There are very few wildlife sightings but some interesting flora en route and the whole experience of the sights & sounds of the tropical jungle. 

Walk around KKB town

KKB is a quaint little town – with characteristic Malaysian shophouses, kopitiams and little bakeries, small stores selling hardware or kitchen stuff or the quintessential kedai gunting rambut (hair cutting salons) that one finds in most Malaysian towns 🙂
The town centre has its own murals & street-art in narrow by-lanes that you can find walking around – simple & almost-miss-able if you don’t cross those specific lanes. Murals of KKB are not the scale of a Penang or Ipoh, they’re simple but endearing. All-in-all it makes for a nice post-kopi walk around the town.

Explore local food in KKB town

KKB town centre has a few local eateries that are worth a pit stop. Being a small town, the eateries are small and serve local residents or visitors who make a pit stop en route the waterfalls or the dam.

Some local eateries that we liked:

– Restoran Wong Ng Kee is a humble but popular Kopitiam in town. We loved their dumpling soup and pork chops. 

– Uncle Mark’s Wanton Mee, another local eatery that serves up simple wanton mee noodles.

Dig into some of the best Kaya Puffs in the region

KKB is home to the Teng Wun Bakery known for their Kaya Puffs. The queue of people waiting outside the bakery is testimony enough for how good their treats are! We tried some straight-out-of-the-oven Kaya Puffs, and they were hands down the best we’ve ever had! (We also packed some for back home). 

Kafe Ilmio: Look at antiques while you ‘Kopi & Kaya Toast’

This little family-run cafe is a sight in itself! You enter the cafe to find antiques all over the walls and around – antique wall clocks, a gramophone, antique brass fans, weighing scales, typewriters and walls full of retro posters. All of them are collected/ owned by the family that runs the place. The cafe serves some neat food – Nasi Lemak, Roti Prata, Kopi & Kaya Toast but their chicken chop seemed to be the most popular.

We had the good old Kopi-O-kosong with Kaya Toast while talking to the ‘Uncle’ (the owner) about his antiques. 

Picnic by the river 

There are several points in and around KKB where you can stop by the river for a little picnic. On our drive back to KL, we stopped by this point in Ampang Pecah to dip our feet into the water and have a snack by the river (this was 5 mins outside of KKB town, just before the fire station). Drive around and out of KKB and you will find several such spots. 

We stopped by to dip our feet in the river and have a snack sitting on the banks.

Chilling Waterfall

Chilling Waterfall is one of the most popular waterfalls in Selangor. You enter through the main gate – just a few meters ahead of the second bridge on Selangor dam. To get to the waterfall, one has to cross little stretches of the river (which looked as exciting as the waterfall). We had just 24 hours in KKB so we decided to not do Chilling Waterfall and come back for it another time.  

Our Stay at KKB

On our trip to KKB, we stayed at The Sticks – a jungle retreat 5 mins ahead of the Selangor Dam. It has clean, well maintained cosy cottages (almost luxurious for a jungle retreat) tucked in the jungle, some of them by the river. One can walk around by the river, walk across the rope bridge across the river, go on jungle trails and if waters are calmer, swimming & tubing in the river is a great idea too. 

Kuala Kubu Bharu, as such, can be done on a day trip too. 

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