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Lost Jungle Skatepark - Bukit Cerakah

Arial photo of Bukit Cerakah showing the bowl and ramps.
Image: Rich Armitage

Newspaper clipping of Bukit Cerakah, back in 1990.
Image: Skate Malaysia Facebook

In the forests of Shah Alam lies the lost jungle skatepark called Bukit Cerakah. Built in late 1989 and completed in 1990, this park was the first concrete park ever built in Malaysia. It looks like some type of ancient mayan structure and in these jungle conditions nature takes command making the result is pretty crazy.

So if we look into the setup of the park, you have two half-pipes that run side by side, the first is smaller, around the size of a mini half-pipe, with these curved steps leading up both sides, giving it this ancient mayan look. The second is a wider vert ramp. One of the platforms is split by a roll in a section that runs straight down the centre. Both half pipes are connected side by side which almost looks like it has been carved out of the rock into the hillside. Then at the back you have a mini bowl. The bowl is pretty well covered in dirt and green moss. The old newspaper clipping from when this place opened (above) you can clearly see a transition in the centre of the bowl but from modern photos it’s one entire bowl so the transition has been removed, or it's just buried? Most of the footage from this place is taken from the larger vert ramp which has been cleared as best it can be, considering its condition. Running around the platforms of the vert ramp are rusted, bent out metal rails.

Close up of Bukit Cerakah, showing the vert ramp.
Image: Rich Armitage

Close up of the mini-ramp at Bukit Cerakah.
Image: Rich Armitage

History of Bukit Cerakah

The earliest documentation of the skatepark, apart from an archive newspaper clipping (above) was in 2016 when Sidewalk Magazine ran an article on the place after they had been sent photos from a friend while trekking through the forest of Selangor. Selangor rainforest is a 544 hectare national park consisting of man-made tropical rainforest with waterfalls and botanic gardens and is a major tourist attraction for travellers. So this guy was apparently just doing a treck and stumbled across this place, without knowing the year it was built, you would be thinking that the ancients were skating way back since the dawn of time. There is also some footage on this article of a local skateboarder Arina Rahman who is digging in pretty hard on the vert ramp. Since 2016 it has appeared in a few vlogs on YouTube and some clean up attempts have been made by the local skateboarding community during 2019 which can be seen on the Skate Malaysia Facebook page.

There is some decent film also shot in 2017, when pro BMX rider Daniel Dhers makes a trip to the park with some locals, they shoot a video called Riders of the Lost Ramp. It is clear that the humidity was a major challenge, and the environment in general is probably the main factor that led to the park now being consumed by the jungle. Being built in such a remote location is one of the factors that lead to the park to be abandoned and engulfed by the dense forest during the past 32 years.

The history of this place is still really hazy, I could never get concrete information on why it was left abandoned, yet based on its remote location and the harsh climate I would say these two elements were not in favour of the park. I was also told that skateboarding was not supported by the government in Malaysia at the time the park was built so this would have also played a part in the lack of maintenance on the place. It seems like the 2016 article in Sidewalk Magazine kicked off a rebirth in interest and attention on the place, which is great.



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