Malaysia – Mt Ophir

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  • Duration: 2 Days
  • Grading: 2A
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Mt Ophir or Gunung Ledang (1276m) is a tropical rainforest mountain in Gunung Ledang National Park, in Tangkak District, Johor, Malaysia. The summit straddles between the border of Muar and Melaka and offers spectacular view of the Straits of Malacca. It is the 64th highest mountain in Malaysia and the highest in Johor. It is also a mountain steeped in legends, many of which are centered around the mythical princess, Puteri Gunung Ledang. With its close proximity to Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Singapore and easy access, Mt Ophir is a very popular trekking destination and probably among the most climbed mountains in Malaysia. There are between 15,000 and 20,000 trekkers attempting to scale to its peak each year.

With an aim to prevent overcrowding to protect the mountain, Gunung Ledang National Park has, in recent years, implemented a permit system to cap the number of people allowed to climb Mt Ophir each day. There are also cut-off times at checkpoints for safety and to prevent hikers from being stranded in the mountain, after dark, on the descent.

About The Climb

Mt Ophir is one of the more challenging day treks among the mountains in West Malaysia, especially for those new to hiking or not so fit. A signboard at Gunung Ledang National Park indicated that it is ranked #6 in terms of climbing difficulty among the mountains in Malaysia.

There are two known trails that lead to the summit. Lagenda Trail is the main and more well-used trail that starts at Gunung Ledang National Park’s office (Taman Hutan Lagenda). Asahan Trail is the secondary trail that starts at Asahan Rangers Office, on the Malacca side of the mountain.

The Asahan Trail is on the northern slopes of Mt Ophir. Though shorter and more scenic, is considerably a more difficult route than Lagenda Trail. The higher level of difficulty means a longer time taken to reach the summit and for the descent. It is better to break the climb into 2 days with an overnight at the campsite at Padang Batu.

Whichever of the two trails, expect a grueling climb with steep and challenging stretches. Because of the steepness of the mountain, climbing down is every bit as exhausting as climbing up.

Lagenda Trail Trek

Our Mt Ophir itinerary includes a day climb to the summit via the main Lagenda Trail and an overnight stay in Malacca.

The journey starts with a 3.30am pre-dawn 2.5-3 hours’ drive from Singapore to Taman Hutan Lagenda. The aim is to reach Taman Hutan Lagenda by 7.30am to settle all the pre-climb arrangements and start trekking by 8-8.30am.

There are 8 checkpoints (CP) on Lagenda Trail to the summit with a split route after CP3. The more direct route, from the trailhead to the summit, is around 5.8km via CP1 to CP3, up to CP5 and KFC (Killing Fitness Centre), skipping the longer diversion to the right, eastward to CP4.

The route starts from the National Park Office with a series of concrete steps to gradual rainforest terrain from CP1 (Bukit Semput) to CP2 (Hentian Meranti) to Cp3 (Batu Orkid). The steep and challenging sections are all after CP3.

After CP3, the trail gets steeper with the need to use ladders and ropes in certain sections. Skipping CP4, the next checkpoint is at CP5 (Sg Segi Tiga), which is also a water point for the local guides to gather water from the stream to drink. Then comes KFC (Killing Fitness Centre), the infamous steep stretch on Mt Ophir that leads to CP6 (Gua Kambing), where the first series of seemingly endless ladders are installed. The steep sections and challenges continue after CP6 with boulders and rock faces to clear, followed by more ladders and ropes, from Batu Hampar to Taman Bonsai to CP7 (Bukit Botak). From CP7, the summit at CP8 (Puncak Mahligai) is a short distance away past dense lalangs and a final short section of ladders.

At the summit, the telecommunication tower in the next summit and view of the Straits of Malacca are visible on a clear day.

After a quick lunch break and enjoying the view at the summit, start to descend. The descent can take around 4-5 hours or as long as the ascent (5-7 hours).

Have a quick wash up at the foothill, followed by dinner in Tangkak town, before driving to Malacca to check-in to a hotel for a well-deserved rest.

To lower the risk of having to arrive back to Singapore past midnight, we stay in Malacca for 1 night after the trek. Trekkers can enjoy the good food, massage and Jonker Street, etc. in Malacca before heading back to Singapore the following day.

Update on the cut-off time (COT)
Y-Junction (before CP5): 10.30am
CP7: 12.30pm
Summit: No later than 1.30pm

 

Trekking Seasons

The best time to climb Mt Ophir, 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. Gunung Ledang National Park may close Mt Ophir during the rainy season too.

Experience Required

This trek is graded 2A.

Good to have below 2000m trekking experience. You will be trekking for 8 to 9 hours with a 4-5kg daypack on mostly vertical terrain. The terrain from CP3 to CP8 is steep and challenging, with huge boulders, rock faces and many ladders and ropes to clear. Climbing the steep sections can be a daunting experience for those who are afraid of height. Gunung Ledang National Park has implemented cut-off times for safety and to prevent trekkers from being stranded, after dark in the mountain, on the descent.

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

3.30am: Meet Up. Board vehicle to Malaysia.

6.30am: Breakfast in Tangkak.

7.30am: Arrive at Mt Ophir foothill, meet local guides, registration & start trek to summit.

1pm-1.30pm: Arrive summit. After a quick lunch and photo taking at the summit, start to descend to the foothill. (The turn around time is at 1pm)

5pm-6pm: Arrive at foothill. Change / wash up. Board vehicle for Malacca.

Overnight: Malacca hotel

2

Free & easy in Malacca.

3pm: Board vehicle and transfer back to Singapore.

8pm-9pm: Arrive in Singapore.

DATES PRICE
10-11 Jul 2021 $265.00 (SGD)  / person
  • Group size: 10 – 25 people
Inclusions
  • Chartered air-conditioned passenger van or coach
  • Trek leader(s) – first aid responder + experienced with good track records in leading Malaysia treks
  • Trekking guide(s) – 1 guide : 7 trekkers
  • Trekking permit
  • Packed lunch (prepared by the National Park)
  • Accommodation: 1 night local 3-star hotel in Malacca (twin/triple sharing)
  • Safety management and first aid support
  • Travel insurance (can be deducted if you have your own)
Exclusions
  • Visa fee (if any)
  • All meals, except a packed lunch provided by the National Park
  • Single supplement
  • All tipping
  • Drinking water and beverages
  • Summit certificate (can be purchased at RM15 per certificate after the climb at the National Park’s office)
  • Personal expenses  –  shower fee, soft drinks, souvenirs, 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
Pre-trip Support

1. Trip information kit
2. Complimentary group training sessions

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.