Broga is a town just outside of Semenyih, about 40 minutes drive from Kuala Lumpur.
Sak Dota Tempel
On of the most noteworthy features of the place is the Chinese temple called the Sak Dota Tempel. This place is worth a visit when you are in the neighbourhood. The place is quite big and envellops a shrine, a small cave, a garden, an impressive bridge and an enormes monkey statue. To me the entire place felt a bit like an amusement park for kids. Behind the first part, where you find the shrine and the cave there is a staircaise with a railing out of fake wooden stems. Walking up you can admire huge representations of all different kinds of fruit painted in bright colours. People where actually giving the enormus produce an extra coat of paint when I was over there. On the right side there is a statue of a guy fishing in pound. He has no hook on his line. According to my collegues it is a metaphore for people being hooked. For so far I understood it, it means that you can be tricked only if you want to be tricked. Like when watching a magician, you can convince yourself that the magic is true and amazing. I know it’s a bit vague but the internet is not allowing me to do any more research on this topic right now.
If you go further up the staires you can see al the animals of the Chinese zodiac. The path then leads you to a herb garden where some plants still have signs with there names. Altough I am not sure if the names still correspond with the plants actually growing there, the entire thing seemed a bit overgrown. The huge pannels with anime and cartoon characters are still standing strong though.
The entire thing is build on one side of a valley, a big red bridge connects to the other side of the valley. You are free to walk over it right now but the little admission boots on either side suggest that this was not always the case. Maybe on busy moments like Chinese New Year, a fee is required to use the bridge. Once you reache the other side you arrive at a sloping green hillside. A paved road will lead you to the monkey statue that is build on top. It only takes about 10 minutes to walk up there and you are rewarded with a nice view.
The place left me feeling a bit confused. It seems quite big and well developed to be in this “remote location”. It has this ‘new but left to its own devices’ kind of vibe. I have been there twice now and always there where other visitors as well. I have had some remarkable encounters in the tempel like a Chinees woman who was wearing a T-shirt that said ‘Wank For Life’ in the front and ‘Wankers’ on the back. I am still curious whether she knew what the writing meant. The other time we walked into this group of Indian people who kept taking sneeky selfies with us in the background. It waws like they had never seen white girls before.
The most visited place in Broga is Broga Hill. People come from far away ( but mostely from KL) to climb its moderately easy slope with four peaks. It will take you between half an hour and an hour to get from the street to the top depending on how busy it is and, of course, your own fitness. If it has been raining a lot the paths get very muddy and might slow you down as well.
We went after a few days of little rain so we had no trouble with mud although, as it was a Saturday morning, the path was filled with people, bottom till top. Apearantly it is a popular pastime to climb the hill very early and see the sun rise, especially in the weekends.
Seeing it is so popular I was a bit dissapointed by the whole thing or maybe just because it’s so popular. You walk up a deeply hollowed out path, passing by out of shape teenagers who were “forced” to do the walk. Before you know it, you reach the first overcrowded peak. The next peaks are just as populated. I hope to do the climb again on a weekday so maybe less people will be there and I can walk at my own pace.
Overall it’s worth a try if you are even a little bit in shape because it will not take very long to do.
Every monday night there is a small night market in Broga from around 5:30pm to 8pm. Its not big but you can get a nice selection of hot food, fruit and buscuits. Not worth coming especially to Broga for but if you are in the neighbouhood and feeling a little peckish, this is a good place to go.