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JOHOR - SOUTHERN REGION OF PENINSULAR MALAYSIA

PLACES OF INTEREST : NATURE & NATIONAL PARKS

Gunung Ledang - General Info

 
 

GUNUNG LEDANG

JOHOR NATIONAL PARK

 

"It's a more than just a mountain.  It's a living legend"

 

In 1854, Alfred Russel Wallace - a contemporary of Charles Darwin and a fellow originator of the theory of evolution - spent a week on Mount Ophir. Like others before him, and many others to come, he fell under the spell of its hypnotic beauty... During his visit, Wallace recorded the presence of tigers, rhinoceroses and elephants, as well as a host of plant, insect and bird species! The rhinos have long since been extinct in the area, and the mountain itself is now better known as Gunung Ledang. But the charm and allure of this sub-montane jewel continues to attract visitors by the droves. Gunung Ledang (1, 276m) is the highest mountain in Southern Peninsular Malaysia.

 

It has a formidable presence and for centuries, it has had a reputation of being a profoundly spiritual place. All manner of travellers- from princes of warriors, naturalists, shamans, ascetics, artists and practitioners of the occult, have been drawn to it from the time of the Majapahit Empire. Till this day, mystics still make their way up Gunung Ledang to retreat and meditate in search of a higher self. Its enduring appeal is partly due to its celebrated association with the legend of the Princess of Gunung Ledang, who famously turned down a royal proposal so as to preserve her independence.

 

Tales of mysterious happenings abound, as the locals firmly believe the mountain to be the enchanted abode of fairies and forest spirits, whose mischief is credited with leading the occasional climber astray. Rhinos notwithstanding, ecologically the mountain remains as interesting as it was in Wallace?s time. Its vegetation can be broadly classified into four zones - lowland dipterocarp, hill dipterocarp, lower montane and montane ericaceous forest. The luxuriant foliage is likely to keep residents such as the barking dear, wild boar, white-handed gibbon and leaf monkeys well hidden, but bird-watchers will have a field day. No less than 163 species of birds from 36 families have been recorded here.

 
 

ATTRACTION

As the Legendary Park is another nature education and research destination, visitors learn an invaluable lesson at identifying and learning about a whole mountain of trees that are name-tagged, some include interesting information. Guessing the age of some of these trees is another interesting and fun activity that further fosters rapport among the participants. Two giant trees, a jelutong and a ficus, have become subjects of lively intellectual discussion and argument.

 
 

MOUNT CLIMBING

Climbers will certainly find the mountain a refreshing challenge and a test of stamina.

 

 

There are two main routes up the mountain, one from Asahan and the other Sagil. Each one traverses a variety of terrain - pine forest, open spaces, up steep rocky faces, across sparkling streams and gushing waterfalls - and they all come to rest at pit-stops bearing such colourful names as Lembah Majapahit (Majapahit Valley), Gua Kambing (Goat Cave) and Bukit Botak (Bald Hill). And after a long day, the plateau - like summit offers a hard trek, nothing quite matches the exhilaration of standing on the peak! On a clear breath-taking view of the Strait of Malacca and even the coast of Sumatra. At Gunung Ledang, you lose all sense of time. You?ll appreciate that sublime feeling of being one with nature, in all its raw splendour And be warned - you too will feel that yearning to return someday.

 
 

ABOUT THE PARK

 

There is plenty to explore on the way to the summit - shaped like the bow of a ship! Almost every bend of the trail reveals something new.

 

Taman Hutan Lagenda (Park Headquarter)

The park headquarters and its surrounds are known as Taman Hutan Lagenda.  This is located at the foot of the mountain in Sagil.  The park HQ offers accommodation for trekkers and facilities for students or corporate groups wishing to run training programmes. Prior booking is necessary.

 

Admission

It is always advisable for would-be climbers to book in advance at the JNPC head office in Johor Bahru. Advanced booking is compulsory for those running programmes. All fees, including entrance and hiking permits, camping fees, rubbish deposit, guide fee, etc must be settled before embarking on your climb. All climbers must engage a registered guide.

 

Activities

No mountain climber in the country can seriously claim to be one until he/she has had a go at Gunung Ledang. Other than pitting your skills against the slopes.

  • Insect / Bird-Watching

  • Camping

  • Jungle Walks

  • Swimming (in the outdoors)

  • Team Building Exercises

  • Picnics

  • Biking

  • Nature Photography

  • Conservation Work

  • Clean-Up Campaigns

 
 

CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN

 

 

Gunung Ledang has been rated the sixth most difficult mountain to climb in the country. Still, about 15,000 climbers set out to scale it each year! A few points to bear in mind.

 
 

WEATHER

 

Typically hot and humid, but cool and sunny the higher you go. Cold at night at the summit.  Camping at the summit is not allowed due to the danger of lightning strike.

 
 
 

TIME TO VISIT

 
Best time to visit is March-September, less favourable from mid-November to mid-January. Rainfall tends to be higher between October and February.
 
 
 

ROUTES

 

There are two main routes up the mountain - from Asahan in Malacca, and Sagil, Johor (Climbers staging from Sagil can do so from either the Park HQ or from Gunung Ledang Resort).  The journey up takes an average of six hours, and there are several rest stops and campsites along the way (see map).  Many climbers choose to camp overnight on the mountain, Another option for beginners would be to trek up, and then descend by vehicle.

 
 
 

RATIONS

 

Carefully plan your rations, as this is all the food you will have for the duration of your stay on the mountain, Mineral water, biscuits, chocolates, nuts and other nonperishable high-energy foods are worth stocking up on.  Don't have heavy meals and spicy food before climbing.

 
 

 
 

SAFETY FIRST

 

While many climbers of average fitness successfully make it up and down the mountain each year, never underestimate the risk of danger. A torchlight and a basic first aid kit are a musts. Be vigilant and take note of the guide?s advice,  A cellular phone will be handy in an emergency. It is essential that you register with the park staff and discuss your route and plans before embarking on your climb.  This information can prove crucial in the event of an emergency. All groups must be accompanied by a guide and for good reason.  Although the trails are marked, the density of the jungle foliage and the slightest change in conditions, such as rain or a freshly fallen tree, can easily cause a hiker to lose his / her way. If you are prone to asthma attacks or have a heart problem, be sure to inform the guide.  Adjust your pace accordingly and seek the guide?s advice if you find the going too hard. Generally it is not advisable to do the full trek if you are unfit as the mountain is unpredictable.

 
 
 

CLOTHING

 

Light-weight, quick-dry clothing is best.  Jeans are too heavy for climbing. A warm top to cope with cold nights and a raincoat will see you through the weather.

 
 
 

FOOTWEAR

 

Shoes with soles for good grip are essential as the terrain can be steep and rocky one minute, muddy the next, Sandals are good for traversing water, but will not offer enough toe protection. Rubber shoes, the kind worn by tappers are cheap and should do the job nicely.

 
 
 

MINIMIZE WEIGHT

 

At as much as you can, Ensure that your backpack, including camping gear, clothes and food, does not weigh you down. Clear any doubts with park staff before embarking on the dumb,

 
 

Note : The use of sulphur and / or carbide in the park is strictly forbidden.

 
 
 

GETTING THERE

 

 

The small town Sagil is the benchmark town for a journey to the Gunung Ledang Legendary Park. Travellers from the east must first target the textile town of Tangkak in Muar district. Tangkak town is about 3km from Exit 235 of the North South Expressway or 26km from Muar town. Tangkak town to Sagil is 10km. The entry point to the legendary park is 3km from Sagil town or 32km from Segamat town. The legendary park is 3km from the entry point.

 

From Kuala Lumpur (KL) / Johor Bahru (JB)

 

Take the North-South Highway and exit at Tangkak. Head forTangkak Town, then follow the signboards for Sagil and Segamat.The turn-off to the Park HQ is about 2km after Sagil town. After you get clearance from the guard at the post, drive for another 2 5km along a laterite road that goes through an oil palm plantation.following the small signboards forTaman Hutan Lagenda.

 
 
 

Public Transport

 

There is an express bus service from kuala Lumpur to Tangkak (Cepat Express, 06-9784 162), as well as from Johor Bahru to Tangkak(Express Cepat Sedia, 06-9183 533). Arrangements can be made at the time of booking with the JNP head office for a private van operator to pick you up at Tangkak bus station and ferry you into the park.

 
 
 

Useful Contact

 

JOHOR NATIONAL PARKS

JKR 475, Jalan Bukit Timbalan,
80000 Johor Bahru,
Johor Darul Ta'zim, Malaysia.

 
Tel: +60 7 223 7471 / 224 2525

Fax: +60 7 223 7472

 
 
 
 

PLACES OF INTEREST : NATURE & NATIONAL PARKS

Gunung Ledang - General Info

JOHOR - SOUTHERN REGION OF PENINSULAR MALAYSIA