Malaysia – Gunung Datuk

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172
  • Duration: 1 Day
  • Grading: 1A
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Gunung Datuk (885m) is located in Gunung Datuk Recreational Forest, near the town Rembau in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. While a relatively minor peak in Malaysia, it is the highest in Negeri Sembilan. The short trek makes it a popular mountain for day trippers. The trail up is not too difficult and a round trip to the rocky summit and back takes about 4 to 5 hours. It has a unique and interesting summit made of huge boulders. There are metal stairs in place at the bottom of the boulders to enable trekkers to get to the very top. For those afraid of height, the last portion might seem to be a little challenging. The awesome view of the surroundings from the summit rocks is well worth the effort.

Gunung Datuk, though much higher than Gunung Lambak or Gunung Arong, is still a good introduction to tropical jungle mountain trek for beginners. Like most small mountains in Malaysia, the steep and natural trail up to the summit provides a good challenge on footwork and for first time trekkers. It is also an excellent vigorous workout.

A trekking permit is required to trek Gunung Datuk. There is a Forest Ranger station at the foothill to apply and pay for the permit fee.

About The Climb

Negeri Sembilan is around 3 to 4 hours drive from Singapore. It is possible to drive from Singapore overnight or in the morning to Negeri Sembilan to climb Gunung Datuk and make it back to Singapore on the same day.

Our Gunung Datuk trek is a sunrise trek, with a midnight drive from Singapore to Negri Sembilan. The expected arrival time at the foothill is 4am, and heads off immediately to the peak to try to catch the sunrise. The trek will be done in pitch darkness hence a headlamp is a must. The 3km trail up the summit is an incline uphill all the way. Similar to most of the tropical jungle mountain treks in Malaysia, the sloping terrain is covered in undergrowth and thick protruding roots. However, a clear and well-used trail makes the trek straight forward. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to emerge from the jungle to reach the huge boulders that lead to the peak. Two sets of metal stairs are built for trekkers to get to the top of the boulders. Take a break and have a snack while enjoying the sight of the sun rising up from the horizon and the 360 degrees view of the surrounding landscape. The descent is another 1.5 to 2 hours same way back, in daylight, to the foothill. There are shower facilities for a quick wash up & change of clothing at the foothill. Stop for lunch en-route to fill up hungry tummies before heading back to Singapore.

Trekking Seasons

The best time to climb Gunung Datuk, 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 this tropical jungle mountain trek and have an enjoyable time. You will be trekking for 5 to 6hrs with a 3-4kg day pack on mostly vertical tropical rainforest terrain partly in the dark till sunrise. The last section of the trek to the summit is on a flight of metal steps.

Equipment and Gear

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

DAY DESCRIPTION
0 11.30pm: Meet up. Board vehicle to Malaysia. There will be NO stopover for supper. Bring packed breakfast to be consumed in vehicle.
1

4am: Arrive at foothill. Trek to summit

6am-7am: Arrive at summit. After a quick snack break and photo taking at the summit, start the descent to the foothill.

9am-10am: Arrive at foothill. Change / wash up. Board vehicle to Singapore with an en-route stop for lunch.

5.30pm-6.30pm: Arrive in Singapore.

DATES PRICE
18-19 Sep 2020 $135.00 (SGD)  / person
30-31 Jul 2021 $135.00 (SGD)  / person
  • Goup size: 20 – 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
  • Trekking permit
  • Safety management and first aid support
  • Trip information kit
  • Travel insurance (can be deducted if you have your own)
Exclusions
  • Visa (if any)
  • All meals
  • 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.