Mount Tahan (Gunung Tahan)
Gunung Tahan, located in Taman Negara national park, is Peninsular Malaysia’s highest peak at 2,187 meters. It is surrounded by some of the Earth’s oldest rainforests, estimated to be more than 130 million years old. There are two known ways of conquering the summit of Gunung Tahan. One is through Kuala Tahan, and another from Merapuh, Kelantan. The route from Merapuh is the shorter route but still rewards climbers with the same impressive vistas over the Tahan Range.
The adventurer’s unofficial companions for this spectacular trek will be over 10,000 species of plants, 350 species of birds, and hundreds of mammal species. Patience and luck may reward you with a glimpse of mouse deer, barking deer, tapirs, wild boards, elephants, leopards, and even for the exceptionally fortunate, tigers. Despite the constant inflow of local and international tourist, careful conservation has ensured that its age-old richness remains largely intact.
Moung Ledang (Gunung Ledang)
A recent film has put the name of this mountain on everyone’s lips; yet it has always been renowned among the local population of Johor, who have passed tales of its resident princess. ‘Puteri Gunung Ledang’ from generation to generation. Although the princess was well-known for her riddles, the enduring charm of Mount Ledang is no mystery at all. It is a popular spot for jungle trekking and picnicking. As one near the summit, there are areas of undisturbed mossy forest with orchids and pitcher plants. From the peak, on a clear day, one enjoys an unrivalled view of the Straits of Malacca, framing the islands of Sumatra in the distance.
Also known as Mount Ophir, Gunung Ledang is the highest mountain in Johor at 1,276 meters and appears to be one of Malaysia’s most visited mountains. Another attraction to be found in Gunung Ledang is a 50-meter waterfall, which cool water cascades onto large boulders, splitting into rushing rapids and culminating in a large sandy pool. The ‘Puteri Waterfalls’ is a major tourist attraction in Johor.
Mount Mulu (Gunung Mulu)
Gunung Mulu is the second highest peak in Sarawak, standing at 2,376 meters. With its sister peaks, Gunung Api (1,750 meters) and Gunung Benarat (1,585 meters) it dominates Gunung Mulu National park; yet what lies within and beneath these mountains is just as impressive as what lies above. The highlights of this magnificent natural wonder are record-breakers in their own right: the world’s largest cave passage (Deer Cave), the world’s largest natural chamber (Sarawak Chamber), and the longest cave in Southeast Asia (Clearwater Cave). Over 200 km of Mulu’s cave passages have been surveyed, but this is thought to represent just 30-40% of the actual total.
With its deeply-incised canyons, wild rivers, rainforest-covered mountains, spectacular limestone pinnacles, cave passages and decorations, Mulu has outstanding scenic values. A must-see attraction is the ‘Pinnacles’ – dramatic limestone spikes, reaching up to 45 meters, that adorn the slopes of Gunung Api.
Mount Jerai (Gunung Jerai)
Much like Gunung Ledang to the South, Kedah’s Gunung Jerai is home to many fascinating local legend. It was once reputed to be the abode of ‘Raja Bersiong’ (the ‘King of Fangs’) whose private bathing pool has been said to be located in the vicinity. Whether one embraces these legends or not, the real historical significance of Gunung Jerai is indisputable. Even before the Malacca Sultanate became famous, Indian and Arab merchants had established footholds in the Malay Peninsula at the Merbok estuary in Jerai’s foothills.
For the modern day traveler, Gunung Jerai is still enticing. Just a short drive away from Alor Star, the mountain rewards visitors with numerous picnic spots and natural attractions. The Sungai Teroi Forest Recreation Park is a calming retreat festooned with rhododendrons, orchids, pitcher plants, and many varieties of ferns and herbs. On a clear day atop the peak, visitors can glimpse the magnificent view of the gently rolling padi fields of Kedah, stretching up to Perlis, and the islands of Penang in the south and Langkawi in the north-west.