Tawau :Hiking Bukit Gemuk (Gemuk Hill)

Assalamualaikum and hi everyone,

In 2015, we went to hike Bukit Gemuk located in Tawau, Sabah. Tawau is the third largest city in Sabah, after Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu. Tawau has many hidden places that are yet to explore.


A few days after we finished our 3 month practicum, we off to explore another gem of Tawau, the Bukit Gemuk (Gemuk Hill or Fat Hill if directly translated). We did not have a sort of detailed information about the hill. Nevertheless, we were ready to hike. The determination was overflowing. It was like a little gateway after surviving for the last 3 months.

We left our campus early at 5.30am as we didn’t want to reach the peak in a hot scorching Malaysia weather. We arrived at the location at 6.30 am where it was still very early and the gate has not opened yet. It was silent and empty. So, we changed our plan and headed to find the nearest restaurant to have breakfast instead. 

We went back to see whether it was open for hiking later at 7.30am. Thankfully, it was. We signed in and paid rm5 each and off we began our journey. Still then, we had no idea how long it takes to get to the top. Only after we rested at several huts, we began to question how many more huts should we find before we finally reach the canopy walk (the peak of the hill). There were 6 huts in overall, covering 1.7km journey.

Fortunately, there was not the need to hold on to rocks or trees as it was a fairly easy trails. It was more like walking in the woods, with a steady inclination of walking along the way. The good thing is there was this information about the type of trees we encountered. Good for the brain while having a moment to gasp for air in the exhaustion of the hike.

We reached the peak after about 40 minutes steady hike. If you are faster, you can reach the peak at about 20 minutes. We also met a guy who came later. Apparently, he was there for his morning jog. I bet he went there occasionally for his fitness routines, which was a great thing to do.

We rested at the canopy walk and enjoyed our little sandwiches we prepared earlier. What a great place to eat a sandwich hanging on a tall tree, overlooking part of Tawau town! Now, that’s what we called Brunch on The Tree!

Going down took us a shorter amount of time, and along the way we met a group of secondary students on their way up. Some of the girls were already mumbling or more like whining about how far left is the canopy. I just smiled knowing they were just a few meters away from the entrance area. Did you make it girls? I hope so.

That is it for our experience in hiking Bukit Gemuk in Tawau. It only takes about 1 and a half hour to finish the hike. Looking back, it was a very great Saturday morning I had with my two closest friends. 

I am missing them everyday, now that we have graduated and do not live together anymore. 



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