Climbing up mountains is a wonderful way to discover the diversity and uniqueness of Malaysia’s natural landscape, starting from the tropical rainforest in the lowlands to the mountain vegetation in the high elevations. River crossings and gushing waterfalls along the way add to the adventure.
From easier walks in the cool comfort of Peninsular Malaysia’s Main Range to the more challenging peaks of Malaysian Borneo, there are mountains to tempt every level of climber. Be it high or low, with each ascent you make, you will be rewarded with awe-inspiring sights and discoveries that will expand your mind.
The peninsula has a range of scenic accessible heights as well as steep shrouded mountains.
For starters, there are less arduous climbs with well-marked trails at popular sites such as the legendary Gunung Ledang in Johor, historic Gunung Jerai in Kedah or Gunung Angsi in Negeri Sembilan where trips take several hours to a day to complete. These are easily accessible and guides are not compulsory.
Gunung Berembun and Gunung Brinchang in the Cameron Highlands offer sweeping views of tea and vegetable plantations and are ideal for those who prefer light trekking. The latter at 2032m is the highest point that can be reached by road in Peninsular Malaysia.
Those who want more than a leisure outing can choose a summit that requires a journey through the wilderness first. Gunung Gagau in Taman Negara is a day’s climb, but to reach the base you need to traverse lake, river and jungle and throw in a cave or two along the way before the peak rewards you with a view of three states.
For a bigger challenge, head to Gunung Tahan, the highest point in the peninsula. The 130km return journey takes up to eight days and traverses over rainforests, tricky rivers and mountain ridges in the unspoilt heart of Taman Negara. It is compulsory to hire an experienced guide.
Some of the world’s most unique mountain environments can be found in Malaysian Borneo.
Gunung Kinabalu, one of the highest peaks in Southeast Asia at 4095.2m is located in the World Heritage Site of Kinabalu Park, Sabah. Accessible to all trekkers, the Summit Trail leading to Low’s Peak has clear paths and ropes at steep, rocky sections. Exotic plant life found only in the area such as the Necklace Orchid can be seen on the climb.
Nearby Gunung Trusmadi is a more adventurous week-long trail through mossy forest, steep hills and rain-swollen rivers. The summit will reward you with one of the best views of Gunung Kinabalu and a chance to see the remarkably large and rare pitcher plants found only on the ridges of Trusmadi.
Most other mountains can be reached in two days as long as you are fit enough to tackle any steep terrain.
In Sarawak, Gunung Santubong is one of the most popular mountains with its spectacular view of Kuching. Guides will be needed on the tough trek to Gunung Penrissen, but the 1329m vertical scramble to the top can be completed in a day or two.
The long uphill trek to the sandstone summit of famed Gunung Mulu takes four days and passes through primary jungle, with swampy patches and huge clumps of colourful rhododendrons before the white clouds disperse to reveal the massive limestone outcropping of Gunung Api just across the valley.
While many mountains, especially those located in the national parks, have overnight camping facilities and provide some equipment for rental, it is always wise to plan ahead and make enquiries for bookings, weather conditions and other current information. Some remote or protected sites may even require special permits from the authorities
It is best to hire a guide for the trip, unless the trail is well marked. Besides guiding you to the best campsites and rest spots, local guides know the natural history and folklore of the area and are invaluable when plans change and alternative routes need to be taken.
The exertion of carrying a heavy pack is compounded by the altitude, so it is always best to choose to climb mountains within your ability. Do not overload yourself with camping equipment. As a rough guide, the weight of your pack should not be more than a quarter of your body weight, the lighter the better for longer journeys.
|Gunung Wang||499.1m||Sg. Batu Pahat, Perlis|
|Gunung Raya||713m||Langkawi, Kedah|
There is so much to do and so many places to see in Malaysia. To make sure that you don’t miss anything, use this handy map to navigate your way across the country and find great places to visit.
Perlis is the northern gateway to Malaysia. Despite its small size, Perlis has an abundance of attractions that make it a great destination.
Kedah is Malaysia’s largest paddy producing state. Delve into history in Lembah Bujang, the site of an ancient civilisation or relax in Langkawi, a world-famous resort island.
The site of a UNESCO World Heritage City, Penang is a holiday paradise with fabulous beach resorts and eclectic cultures. It is also the undisputable haven for foodies.
A tin-rich state in its heyday, Perak beckons with a range of sights and experiences. The state’s top attractions include Pangkor, an island getaway and Pangkor Laut, an internationally-acclaimed private island.
Hailed as the Cradle of Malay culture, Kelantan is a destination teeming with age-old arts, crafts and pastimes.
Beautiful islands, culture and nature give Terengganu its magical appeal. Dive, snorkel, sunbathe at the islands or journey to its hinterland to experience the best of nature.
The largest state in the peninsula beckons nature-enthusiasts with exciting eco-adventures. From Taman Negara, the oldest national park in the country, to the idyllic Tioman Island, Pahang is simply mesmerising.
Malaysia’s dynamic capital city is bustling with attractions and activities. Explore the city by day and night.
Selangor is home to the country’s main airport KLIA, and the main gateway by sea, Port Klang. It is also the country’s most developed state with a long list of shopping malls and themed attractions.
Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia, is a well-planned township with impressive buildings, verdant parks, scenic lakes and beautiful bridges.
Find the best attractions in this vast eco-paradise.
Sarawak, the largest state in Malaysia, has a vast wilderness that contains numerous national parks including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mulu National Park.
Located off the northwestern coast of Borneo, this island thrills visitors with its wreck diving sites, historical relics and duty-free shopping.
The birth place of the nation, Melaka is a treasure trove of history and heritage. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage City for vestiges of the past.
Known for its fascinating Minangkabau culture and a unique social system, Negeri Sembilan is the place to learn age-old customs and traditions.
Visit Malaysia’s southern gateway, for a family vacation at the theme parks or escape to its islands for an unforgettable holiday.
Enjoy birdwatching at 55 Important Bird Areas (IBA) throughout the country, tucked away at various habitats such as islands, coasts or lush lowland and montane rainforests.
Love the cool highlands? Find refreshing destinations to unwind in Malaysia. From French-themed settings, energetic amusement parks to forest-clad hills, there is something for everyone.
Find the coolest, trendy spaces to hang out while you tickle your tastebuds with the best delights.
Find the fun and thrill that you are looking for in Malaysia. Meet your favourite characters, plunge down the world’s longest water slide or enjoy the rides and games!
Get your rod ready to reel in the best catch in Malaysian waters.
For those who appreciate the finer things in life, Malaysia is the place to indulge in sheer comfort and sophistication. Luxe Malaysia takes you beyond your expectations.
Enjoy exploring the South China Sea, Andaman Sea, Celebes and Sulu seas for incredible sights from pelagic species, sea turtles to reefs, wrecks and more.
The best way to engage with the locals, a homestay programme gives a peek into the lifestyles, customs, cultures and pastimes of a local family.
What better way to explore Malaysia than through its food! Follow the aroma to track down lip-smacking delights found around the country, together with interesting snippets on its culture and origins.
Get your complete info on cruising, yachting, anchorage facilities and land excursions around the country.
Blessed with year-round sunshine and rain, Malaysia has a wealth of tropical flora and fauna. Visit its national and marine parks to enjoy the captivating sights both on land and underwater!
Get a glimpse into Malaysia’s rich mosaic of ethnic communities and indigenous people.