Malaysia – Gunung Arong and Gunung Lambak

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  • Duration: 2 Days
  • Grading: 1A
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Gunung Arong and Gunung Lambak are among the smaller mountains in Johor. Their relatively close proximity to each other and Singapore; and short climb makes it possible to combine both treks into a 2-day weekend getaway.

The 2 treks are a good introduction to tropical jungle mountain trek for beginners. The steep and natural trail up to the summit provides a good challenge on footwork and for first time trekkers.

Gunung Arong

Gunung Arong is located in Gunung Arong Recreational Forest, in Mersing District, Johor. Standing at only 274m, it is the 3rd lowest peak in Johor. While a low hill to climb, the view from the top, which looks out to the South China Sea, is stunning. The trail offers more wilderness, as it is a less trodden path, compared to other below 500m mountains in Johor, like Gunung Lambak or Gunung Datuk.

A trekking permit is required to trek Gunung Arong. Forest rangers petrol Gunung Arong frequently, especially during the weekends and can issue a fine to those are caught without a permit.

Gunung Lambak

Gunung Lambak (510m), which means “Flea Mountain”, is a small mountain in the Kluang District of Johor. It has been developed into an outdoor recreational attraction, called Mt Lambak Recreational Forest, with facilities at its base. There is a carpark, picnic area, children’s playground, chalets, a swimming pool (Gunung Lambak Water Park) and toilets. However, most of the facilities, like the chalets and children’s playground are in a dilapidated state or left vacant. Majority of people visit the area on a short day trip to climb Gunung Lambak. Many Kluang residents exercise regularly at the lower part of the trail and it can get crowded in the early mornings during weekends.

There are no admission charges and no permits are required for Gunung Lambak.

About The Climb

This 2-day itinerary starts with a drive to Mersing (2.5 to 3 hours) to climb Gunung Arong.

Gunung Arong’s trek starts at the Kampung Tanjung Resang trailhead, in the forest after passing through a rustic village and oil palm plantation. The first 30 minutes of the hike is a consistent 30 to 40 degree incline. The trail becomes less steep at the last 30 minutes and opens up to a panoramic view of the South China Sea and neighbouring islands at the top. On a clear day, Pulau Tioman can even be seen in the distance. There will be plenty of time to take in the scene and have a snack break before the descent.

The descent may be on the same way down or traverse on another trail to the beach area (Teluk Gorek), depending on the tide and weather conditions. The traverse walk down to the beach area is more scenic and the preferred route. The first section of the traverse, after the summit, is steep and slippery. There are ropes to help those less sure-footed. A short distance, after the steep and slippery section, is a boardwalk known as the Lover’s Bridge, that offers another gorgeous view of the South China Sea and neighbouring islands. There is a beautiful cliff, before the bridge that serves as a fantastic viewpoint. The last section, after descending from Gunung Arong and out of the rainforest jungle trail, is an interesting 200m of coasteering on the beach. This coasteering section requires crossing over big red boulders and a river mouth before ending at a nearby outdoor resort. The traverse route from Kampung Tanjung Resang to Teluk Gorek is around 5.5km. 

A tea snack is catered at the resort, where you can also take a dip in the sea to cool off and freshen up with a shower. After the wash up, drive to Kluang for a sumptuous dinner and good night rest, before climbing Gunung Lambak the next morning.

Gunung Lambak’s main trail, that leads directly up to the summit, starts at the car park at the Water Park. It covers a distance of around 2km from the start point to the summit. The first section of trail is a relatively easy walk on concrete path along a stream. At the end of the concrete path is the start of a steep climb up a mixture of well cut steps and tree roots. Arrive at a rest area with a big shelter, a water point for washing and a huge welcome signboard, a good spot for photo taking.

The trail then enters into a steep vertical jungle section. The steep terrain is made more difficult to manoeuvre by rocks and thick protruding roots sticking out from the eroded ground. This section can be slippery and muddy when it rains or after a downpour. The local climbing enthusiasts who maintain the trails have put in place ropes. Closer to the summit, at the last 300m, the gradient levels out a little.

It takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to reach the summit, which has a telecom tower and a simple rest shelter. On a clear day, part of Kluang town is visible. From the summit, it is possible to walk across to the other contour, known as the False Summit, or detour to the Big Tree on the descent. However, it will take another 2-3 hours for either or both. 

To make it back to Singapore in good timing, we do not detour to the False Summit or Big Tree. The descent directly from the summit is via a more gradual but slightly longer route from behind the rest shelter. The trail merges at the big signboard area before it splits again, to follow the same steeper trail or a wider gradual path back to the foothill.

After a quick wash up, drive to Kluang town or Johor Bahru for an early dinner before heading back to Singapore.

Trekking Seasons

The best time to climb Gunung Arong and Gunung Lambak, or any of the mountains in West Malaysia, is from March to October, outside the monsoon season. Chances of encountering bad weather and rain can be high from December to early February. 

Experience Required

This trek is graded 1A.

Trekking experience is not required. Anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can complete both Gunung Arong and Gunung Lambak treks and have an enjoyable time. You will need to carry a small day pack with packed lunch, 1.5 to 2 litres of water and rain gear.

Equipment and Gear

You can wear a quick dry t-shirt, sports shorts/tights or trekking pants and trail shoes. Bring rain gear and waterproof your backpack.

DAY DESCRIPTION
1

6.45am: Meet up. Board vehicle to Malaysia. There will be a stopover for breakfast.

11am: Arrive at Gunung Arong foothill. Trek to summit.

12pm-1pm: Arrive at summit. Have a short break, quick lunch and photo taking at the summit. Descend to foothill.

3pm: Arrive at foothill. Board vehicle and depart for Kluang.

5pm: Arrive Kluang and check into hotel. Rest of day free & easy.

Overnight: Kluang hotel

2

8am-8.30am: Checkout of hotel. Board vehicle for Gunung Lambak. Arrive at foothill and start trek to summit.

10.30am-11am: Arrive at summit. Have a short break and photo taking at the summit. Descend to foothill.

1pm-1:30pm: Arrive at foothill. Change / wash up. Board vehicle to town for lunch.

3.30pm: Depart for Singapore.

6pm: Arrive in Singapore.

 

DATES PRICE
$- (SGD)  / person
  • Goup size:  10 – 35 people
Inclusions
  • Chartered air-conditioned passenger van or coach
  • Trek leader(s) – 1st aid responder + experienced with good track records in leading Malaysia treks
  • Accommodation: 1 night local hotel in Kluang (twin/triple-sharing)
  • Trip information kit
  • Safety management and first aid support
  • Travel insurance (can be deducted if you have your own)
  • For Gunung Arong: Trekking guide(s), tea snack (after trek) and trekking permit 
Exclusions
  • Visa (if any)
  • Single supplement
  • All meals, except a tea snack after Gunung Arong’s trek
  • Drinking water and beverages
  • Personal expenses  –  shower fee, drinks and snacks, etc.
  • Personal hiking & travel gear
  • Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg. climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items, etc.)
  • Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
  • Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
Visa

No visa is required for a stay of less than one month for nationals of all ASEAN countries except Myanmar. For a stay exceeding one month a visa will be required, except for nationals from Brunei and Singapore.

Nationals or passport holders of the following countries require a visa to enter Malaysia.

Duration

Countries

30 days

Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Montenegro, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Serbia, Sri Lanka, UN-Titre De Voyage, UN-Laisser Passer

14 days

Afghanistan, Angola*, Burkina Faso*, Myanmar, Burundi, Cameroon*, Central African Republic*, Colombia, Congo Brazzaville*, Congo Democratic Republic*, Djibouti*, Equatorial Guinea*, Eritrea*, Ethiopia*, Ghana*, Guinea-Bissau*, Hong Kong (COI), Ivory Coast*, Liberia*, Mali*, Mozambique*, Niger*, Nigeria*, Rwanda*, Western Sahara*

Prohibited

Israel

* Entry by air only

For latest updates and details of visa application, please visit https://www.malaysia.gov.my/portal/subcategory/1543.

Money

In Malaysia, there are moneychangers located at the airport terminals, in shopping malls and shops in the city centres, as well as major rest stops along the North-South Highway in Peninsula Malaysia. You can also change money at the banks and hotels. The rates at the moneychangers tend to be better than those offered in the hotels and banks. It is best to change money in the city, prior to travelling to the National Parks or remote areas where there is likely no moneychanger or bank; or the exchange rates offered by the hotels tend to be high. Double count your money before leaving the moneychangers to make sure the accurate amount is given.

Credit cards, such as Visa and Mastercard, are readily accepted by hotels, major stores and restaurants in the cities and the major tourist areas. The smaller and local establishments typically accept only cash payment. ATMs are widespread in the city and some town areas and accept the common network such as Visa, Mastercard, Plus, Cirrus, etc.

Malaysian Tourism Tax (TTx)

Effective from 1 September 2017, foreign tourists staying at paid accommodation in Malaysia are subject to pay a Tourism Tax of RM10 per room per night. This flat rate of RM10 will be applicable for all room types, based on per room per night. Collection of this tax will be payable to the hotel/lodge directly. Under the Tourism Tax (Exemption) Order 2017, Malaysians or Permanent Residents with MyPR cards are exempted. The TTx is mandatory and regulated by the Ministry of Finance and the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.

Electricity

Malaysia’s electricity is 240 Volt and 50 MHZ. The electric plug is the rectangular blade plug or Type G, used in the UK.

Language 

The official language in Malaysia is Bahasa Melayu, although many Malaysians speak several languages and will use them all in general conversation. English is a compulsory subject in all schools and is widely understood, especially those working in the tourist industry like the tourist guides and hotel staff.

Drinking Water

It is strictly not recommended to drink water straight from the tap. You should boil the water before you drink it or buy bottled water. Bottles of mineral water can be easily purchased in hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and petrol kiosks in Malaysia. Many hotels also provide a small bottle of complimentary mineral water per day to each guest.

Tipping

Giving a tip to tour guides is a common practice in Malaysia but other service staff in hotels, restaurants and taxi drivers in general do not expect a tip from tourists. Service charge of 10% is included in hotels and most restaurants.

 
Travel Safety Advice

With evolving world situations that may occur unexpectedly due to natural disasters, pandemics/epidemics, conflicts and unrests, it is best to read up and keep tabs on news and developments at your destination country and region before the trip. Check on the country’s official website and/or your own foreign ministry website for any travel advisory or safety precautions to be taken while abroad.

As with traveling in anywhere in the world, regardless of the local crime rate, stay vigilant and take care of personal safety. Good to read up on any possible exposure in the country prior to departure.

It is a good practice to register with your respective foreign ministry if there is such a service provided to citizens, to contact you in order to make sure that you are safe and, if need be, assist you should an emergency (e.g. natural disasters, civil unrest, etc.) occur when you are overseas.

For Singaporeans, this is the link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ eRegister:
https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/eregisterportal/common/preLoginEregisterView.action.

 

Travel Insurance

It is highly recommended to purchase comprehensive travel insurance(s), upon payment of your trip, to cover adverse situations that may occur while you are overseas or even before departure. Ensure that the coverage is suitable for your destination and the activities that you are participating in. Be familiar with the terms and conditions before purchasing and travelling abroad.

 

Travel Immunization Advice 

There is no compulsory vaccine to be taken to enter Malaysia. You should, however, be up to date on routine vaccinations, especially vaccines against water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (examples: hepatitis, typhoid and tuberculosis) while traveling to any destination. You are encouraged to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition.

Recommended routine vaccinations for travellers in general:

Hepatitis A

Spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route. Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation are poor.

Hepatitis B

Spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse. Risk is higher for those at occupational risk, long stays or frequent travel, children (exposed through cuts and scratches) and individuals who may need, or request, surgical procedures abroad.

Rabies

 

Spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, but also bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.

Tetanus

 

Spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A primary series of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine is recommended for life. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.

Typhoid Fever

Spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.

Influenza

A vaccine specific for a given year to protect against the highly variable influenza virus.

For more information and professional advice on travel vaccinations, please consult your doctor or travel clinic.

For people residing in Singapore, you may visit The Travellers’ Health and Vaccination Clinic (THVC) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital:

Travellers’ Health & Vaccination Clinic
Address: Level 4, Clinic 4B, Tan Tock Seng Hospital Medical Centre
Contact number: 6357 2222
Website : https://www.ttsh.com.sg/Patients-and-Visitors/Medical-Services/Travellers-Health-and-Vaccination-Clinic/Pages/default.aspx.

 
General Health Advice for Malaysia

Malaysia’s climate is equatorial and tropical, meaning it is generally hot and sunny all year round. Mosquito & insect bites and sunburn are typical health concerns in such a tropical place, particularly for those who stay outdoors for long hours.

Mosquito and insect bites are common in the lowland areas in Malaysia, especially in the jungle. Apart from acting as carriers of disease, mosquito & insect bites can result in unpleasant and occasionally serious skin reactions. You are advised to take measures to avoid mosquito and insect bites, including using an insect repellent at all times and wearing long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing in the evenings. Some simple ways to minimisation of exposure to mosquitoes:

  • Avoid dark coloured clothing as it attracts mosquitoes as do perfume, cologne & after-shave.
  • Clothing to cover arms and legs in the evenings.  It is common for mosquitoes to attack leg/ankle region.
  • Apply mosquito / insect repellents diligently.