About a week ago, I saw a friend posting about a hot spring retreat an hour away from KL. That perhaps lingered in my mind. After one of my consecutive long work days, I just felt like soaking myself in a hot spring. The search began for an overnight trip to a hot spring resort but rooms were full so we settled for a public hot spring in Batang Kali: Hulu Tamu Hot Spring.
Honestly, I’ve never heard of this hot spring until it appeared on Lipstiq as one of the 10 hot springs in Malaysia. Surprisingly, RK said he’s heard of the place and thus I researched further.
I trust that most of the photos posted online were taken prior to the upgrade of this hot spring in Batang Kali in 2015. The current condition looked better than the photos.
I’m glad that I knew the hot spring was tiny or I’d be disappointed; totally not comparable to the ones in Sungkai or Pedas. But the silver lining was that we could leave (and lock) all our valuables in the car because the parking bay was just 30m away from the pool.
There were 2 pools; hot spring & shallow pool for children. Within the hot spring, there was a pond with hotter water. Bubbles were seen coming out through the cracks at the bottom and we could easily see steam too. I wished there were indications on the temperature of the hot spring.
Surprisingly, there was no health warning or whatnot on how long one should stay submerged in the hot water. RK and I progressively soaked ourselves in the water up till neck level over half an hour. We definitely took our time getting out of the hot spring too because we could feel our hearts racing. The hot water also made the numbness in my feet (side effects from chemotherapy) so much more noticeable. On the other hand, sweat was piercing through RK’s skin — we’re guessing that’s a good sign.
Some sources have cited Hulu Tamu Hot Spring as one of the most popular hot springs in Selangor; I’m not very sure about that because it didn’t look like one. Firstly, it wasn’t crowded when we arrived on a Sunday at 10am — not complaining though. We easily found a parking spot and a spot under the gazebo to place our items.
Secondly, despite the upgrade in 2015, the place already looked run-down, even by Malaysia standard. I initially thought the washrooms were under renovation when I saw it from a distance. And the shower heads next to the hot spring pools were mostly broken.
Thirdly, there was only 1 signage on forbidden activities (i.e. littering, vandalism) and it was in Malay — if it’s meant to be a tourist attraction as cited by multiple sources, shouldn’t there be an English signage?
Fourthly, there was no dress code or bathing etiquettes imposed. RK wore swimwear. I wore swimwear underneath my shirt and pants for modesty. I don’t know what others wore on the inside but I’m pretty sure the lack of communication on dress code would be a concern to tourists.
Lastly, the directional road signage to Hulu Tamu Hot Spring can be improved. We were following the GPS directions. As we were approaching our destination, RK started to doubt if we were in the right direction because there was barely any road signs as we ventured further away from urbanization.
Despite the setbacks, I think it was still worth the RM3/adult entrance fee for locals who just want a no-frills hot spring experience. It was relaxing to just chill in and by the water. In fact, I asked RK if we could start visiting hot springs every now and then after this.
Do not expect to see youngsters though; most visitors whom we shared the pool with that day were 40+ who were there with peers or young family. I guess RK and I just did something “old”. Afterall, it’s only a short drive from KL and we don’t have to wake up early for this. It felt like a half day road trip too.
For whatever reason, the location on Google Maps is “Upper Hot Springs Guest” but you can find the same spot using “Kolam Air Panas Hulu Tamu” or “Hulu Tamu Hot Spring” as well. One landmark to confirm you got the right place is Cholo Cholo Restaurant located next to the hot spring; it wasn’t opened when we visited.
We were charged RM3/adult without additional charge for parking. I didn’t notice the opening hours but online sources cited that the place is operational day and night, crowded during the evening.
I heard there’s Batang Kali Waterfall nearby but we didn’t explore because RK and I spent too much time chatting by the hot spring. We had early lunch in Batang Kali and left with a pack of freshly made crackers — it’s good!
We left via Rawang Bypass just to experience this super elevated new flyover that connects Serendah and Rawang. Took a hyperlapse. Watch with caution because you may get carsick.
Let me know if you have hot springs to recommend!