Updated: Sep 14, 2020
The gargantuan granite pinnacles towering over 690-meter above the jungle at Kampong Mukut caught my attention when a friend shared it on post a month ago. With a name as notorious as DRAGON'S HORN....., it has been my quest to hike it since! Quest quickly realized a month later.....YEEEPIE!
Batu Sirau and Nenek Semunkut, are collectively known as the Twin Peaks, or the Dragon's Horn. They are located at the southern tip of Malaysia's Tioman Island. It can be easily reached from Kampung Mukut.
Note: Main ferries (Cata Ferry or BlueWaters do not stop at Kampung Mukut therefore you must arrange your own ride to the village or stay at the very idyllic Minang Cove resort where it is a pleasant 25-minute walk to the trailhead)
* I had a bad experience riding with the former ferry company and I highly recommend Cata Ferry for more prompt time management!
It is worth to note that an entrance fee of RM50 is incurred per hiker or RM80 with a guide plus entrance fee. There is a booth at the head trail from Semungkut Place, you can pay the men who mend the trail or you could arrange for a guide.
Hike Duration: 45-75 minutes up depending on agility
End Hike: It is a backtrack.
Hike Difficulty: 4/5
Scenery Rewards: 5/5 Sweeping views of the South China Sea, with Pulau Pemanggil, Aurr and even Sumatra on a clear day!
What to bring
1. Basic first aid utilities
2. Raincoat and Pancho ( island weather is unpredictable with rain or drizzle at any time of the day)
3. At least 2l of water, pack breakfast and you will have the best breakfast view! (the island weather can get really hot, best to do this in the morning but not too early as it is shrouded in mist, normally clears up from 9 am)
4. Good pair of hiking shoes is absolutely necessary
5. Gloves as you will be pulling rope and grabbing rocks from Checkpoint 7-9
6. Check the weather forecast
7. A GOOD ADVENTURE SPIRIT
The beginning of the hike starts with some clambering over some huge boulders. The path eases after the initial clambering.
Rafflesia season apparently runs during the November-January period. However, we were lucky enough to spot the buds of the rafflesia! These could be the smaller species that grows ariel as opposed to the larger species in Borneo?
After Rafflesia Point, the trail turns noticeably steeper and you'll start clambering more. There are ropes tied on to roots of trees at certain jagged rocky areas- they come in handy!
From Checkpoint 7 the trail turns more of a climb! This part requires some hoisting of oneself and quick thinking with each step you take on the rocks. Some parts are about 70-degree angle!
Checkpoint 8 to 9 /Saddle point
More climbing, and at some parts a gruelling 75-degree angle up the rocks. The help of ropes is very necessary at this point. Soon you will reach the celebration point!
Many building materials, herbal plants, food, are sought easily from the jungle.
Plants such as mengkung laut used to weave carpets, nipah for the roof and strong teak such as sheroe, merbau for the beams of houses.
Some mushroom (telinga gajah ), Tongkat Ali for virility and simple mushrooms for food!
The return journey is a backtrack. Just watch your footing as you are descending down the rocks as some parts can be rather slippery. In about 60 minutes, you should be out of the jungle. If you can muster any more energy, it is a 40-minute walk to the Asah Falls towards Kampung Mukut. It is a great place to freshen up!
It is amazing how a little island as Tioman offering a plethora of mountains and interesting trails and unique Rafflesia flower!
The island offers a number of pristine beaches that are ideal for leisurely strolls as well as a heart-pumping workout!
Among them, Gunung Kajang, towering over 1038 meters high, is often cloud-shrouded and is an extinct volcano. It is not only Tioman's highest mountain, but it's also the highest mountain of any island off Peninsular Malaysia's East Coast. It would probably take a whole day to conquer this Gunung Kajang as it's tracks are hardly trodden. Therefore if you intend to hike up it is recommended you do it with a credible guide!
It is worth noting if you stay around the Kampung Paya area, there is this mother of a willow tree in the wooded area and it is certainly a sight to behold!
There are a number of hikes and mountain climbing activities you could do around the island. I believe it is best to mix the water and land activities to better explore this mystical island.
Dragon's Horn is a gem and the enthralling scenery you get at the top is simply a must-do if you are in Tioman! It is our very own Diamond Head of Waikiki, Dragon's Horn of Mukut!!
However, the dramatic backdrop of the mega boulders is best viewed from the southern part of Tioman! (Kampung Mukut) You will be hardpressed to find a better view of the Dragon's Horn from anywhere else on the island!
Tioman is indeed a jewel island of the south!
Note: Traveling on sea taxis from one village to another can cost up to RM50 one way per pax. Therefore it is worth planning where to stay and where you would want to hike or snorkel and dive!
“Never laugh at live dragons.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
Date visited: 25rd August 2020