https://www.instagram.com/sweech/ https://www.instagram.com/sweech/
top of page
Tulou
suzdal

Gunung Ledang via Asahan trail

Updated: Jul 7, 2023



Gunung Ledang, straddled on the Melaka/Johor boarder is the highest peak in Johor at 1276m, on the southern part of the Titiwangsa range that runs from Thailand to Peninsular Malaysia.

There is a popular folklore of Gunung Ledang about a fabled celestial princess who turned down the Sultan of Malacca for her hand in marriage with seven impossible requests! It is believed that her presence still permeate the jungle slopes. So watch where you release your nature's call! Read more about the history of Gunung Ledang.


The Johor Forestry has made huge efforts to control the number of hikers through daily quota to protect the mountains. Therefore, permits need to be applied well in advance with 7 hikers to 1 guide per group! There are 2 main trails to summit, from Sagil (Legendary Trail) and Asahan. Asahan, from Melaka, is an extra 2km, totalling to 13km, while Sagil trail is 11km. There is an option for a day climb or you 2 day 1 night to soak up the awesome views when the sun sets and rises!


We opted for the one day climb via Asahan, the lesser known trail, from an unassuming forestry container office operating on someone's private land. The morning was enchanting, with the hovering mist, the calm and colours of dawn, the chirping birds and the anticipation of the mystical mountain!
Road leading to the container office at the foot of the mountain

Go early to register and do an inventory check on your food and plastic you bring up the mountain, including your underwear! Make sure the list tally with the garbage you bring out or be charged 5RM per missing item!


Starting point: Gunung Ledang office in Asahan

Hike Duration: Allow around 8-10hours from the entrance, 13km back and forth

End Hike: Backtrack

Hike Difficulty: 4/5

Break it into 7 parts,

  • Checkpoint 1- Enggang Berangan (38 minutes)

  • Checkpoint 2- Hentian Hanuman (38 minutes)

  • Checkpoint 3- Hentian Unggas (35 minutes)

  • Checkpoint 4- Lembah Beruang (29 minutes)

  • Checkpoint 5 - Batu Berlumut (38 minutes)

  • Checkpoint 6- Padang Batu Campsite (25 minutes) clean toilet, water point

  • Checkpoint 7- Gunung Runduk (37minutes)

  • Checkpoint 8 - Mt Ledang peak (30 minutes)

Scenery Rewards: If the sight of sheer rock face excites you, this hike is IT! NOT FOR NEWBIE!


The granite trail to CP 5, Padang Batu Campsite! Clean toilets available here!

What to bring

1. Basic first aid stuff such as disinfectant, ankle guard in case you sprain your ankle, band-aid.

2. Walking stick.

3. Raincoat and Poncho

4. Head-Torch, if you start before 7am

5. At least 3l of water, A celebratory ISOTONIC drink, or champagne!

6. Change of clothes

7. Good pair of hiking shoes is absolutely necessary

8. Gloves

9. Insect repellant

10. Check the weather forecast


* a pack lunch is provided in the package price, which includes permit, guide and packed lunch. Click here for guide contact


Checkpoint 1 & 3


The hike from the entrance to CP3 is a gradual ascent of 2.75km, to an elevation of 581m.

The trail is full of dried foliage atop rutted clay, and puddles of water from the morning showers. There was a light mist at the foothills and quickly dissipated as the sun rays burned them away. The foothills to CP3 was infested with leeches, try not to stop!

Interestingly CP3 is named the "Bear Valley" and many petai trees around this area has trademark claws of the sunbear!


Sunbear claws marks on petai tree around CP3

Checkpoint 4-5


From Cp 3 to 4, the trail continues ascending for around 300m. It eases into a flat trail and descends, squandering the hard earned elevation gain! Towering shorea trees (meranti, damar, keruing) surrounds the lush forest from CP2-4.


The trail from CP4-5 gets steeper. The terrain, gets rocky with coats of moss and more protruding roots. The giant trees replaced by a dwarf species. Soon the trail ends and a gargantuan granite boulder towers above the jungle. There are 2 loose ropes fasten on the anchor on top of this 2 story, 70 degree angle incline rock cliff.

Anyone who has acrophobia will definitely be hyperventilating or experiencing height vertigo at the sight of this immense rock! I on the other-hand, felt an exhilarating rush to scale it!


Take a deep breath before scaling up the 1st rock face as it is energy sapping! Don't forget to look back!

The incline of the rock is not as steep and you could scramble or even run up! But the boulder spans approximately 300m across and 500m in height and the best way to tackle it would be with slow deep breaths and use the rope as security! The first rock cliff is just a teaser for better things to come!

There is an option at camp at Padang Batu to watch the sun set at the western side of Ledang

Checkpoint 6 to Checkpoint 7


After ascending the 1st rock cliff, we were fooled to think that the summit was near. We were in celebratory mood, but victory had to wait! It was another 2.5km and app. 800m elevation before we summit. From Padang Batu campsite to CP6, the trail narrows and steepens, less spots to catch your breath and you start to wonder where the end is!


Some points felt like we enter the Forest of Fangorn!

Finally, after about an hour you'll hit a rock face that towers about 4 storeys leading to the apex of Mt Ophir. This cliff is less exposed but the height is dizzying! #mtophir


You could leave your walking sticks at the side of the trail and reclaim them on thereturn!

There is an option to climb 6 rickety ladders or pull yourself up with the ropes. I suggest only for those who has strong upper body strength to do the ropes, as it is extremely exhausting, and you might need to conserve some energy for the return journey.

At this point, there were rumbles of thunder from a distance. The awful spectre of heavy downpour when ascending this 3 half story, 80 degree angle rock cliff was unfathomable! This sheer cliff might turn into a waterfall if it pours!

Best way to approach this cliff is to take one step at the time and not jump the gun!

After the series of ladders, there are 2 or 3 more leading to the clearing just before the apex

Checkpoint 7 to Summit


After the last ladder, the ridge meanders towards the east face of Gunung Ledang. Feeling exhausted and hungry with some feeling of trepidation from the dark clouds, we gave it one last push to reach the clearing, perfect for a picnic. Ahead, from the clearing is Sagil trail while the left, leads to the summit! Fearing the downpour, we quickly headed to the peak for our victory insta-shot!


Anti climax at the cloud shrouded summit! Thankfully the sky held up!

Clouds shrouded the peak, and there was absolutely no celebratory view, nevertheless, when I opened my still cold bottle of 100plus, which I tugged along and saved for this moment, it was as good as it gets!


Dry food never tasted so good!

Lady luck was shinning on us. The rumbling thunder stopped, skies did not clear up, but the rain held. We had a hearty hot KEMBARA lunch at the summit under a dwarf tree, enough shade just for 2 on spongy ground from decades of wood litter. The only visible view was the ugly sight of the radio tower, but it did not matter as we were too busy gorging down our lunch!

I can imagine lunch at the summit on a sunny day would be too hot!

 

RETURN


The return journey should be broken into 3 parts, boulders, middle, foothills. Heading down will require more care than ascending!


Boulders

For those who have acrophobia, have someone ahead of you to guide where you step on the ladder and rock. It is indeed tricky when you can't see where to place your next footing! One step at the time!


Pay extra caution on the way down!

Middle

The middle part is about 3.5km of descend. It is tempting to skip down but it would be really bad for the knees. Remember to collect your hiking stick and put it to good use.


Foothills

From CP4 to CP 3 there is a uphill slope to tackle and after that it is a gradual downhill to the exit! There are some benches on CP4 perhaps to refresh before the last part of the journey.






Flora and Fauna


The branches of the the towering shorea trees echos the cries of gibbons and birds, while the thickets buzzed with crickets and bugs performing a synchronised orchestra.


Jewel Orchid in bloom! There are multiple on going studies on the medicinal usage of this orchid. It contains Kinsenoside. #jewelorchid


Monkey pitchers from 800m elevation

There was no significant cloud forest above 1000m but there were patches of moss, lichen and liverwort.


Reflections


This hike up to Gunung Ledang was more demanding than expected. Although the total length of the hike is only 12.3km, the total ascent was a whopping 1321m.

This hike to Gunung Ledang was fun and exciting and the sweeping views were awesome but the 152rm price tag to climb it might be a little too pricey for weekend hikers!



We took an epic 10 hour to complete the hike and it was one without many stops! Therefore photography time should be limited and one should train and be reasonably fit for a hike like this! The boulders via Asahan adds the punch to any adventure seekers and fears to some, but it is worth every bit of effort and maybe even tears!


Our guide Ann, a local in the area was very resourceful about the facts of flora and fauna around Gunung Ledang. He was patience and took time to explain and point out interesting finds. Great shout out to Ann and also to our wonderful group that did not manage the family shot at the peak! .......... Nevertheless, Gunung Ledang CHECKED!


3 Boarder stone in Asahan

.....after every challenging hike, a deserving meal is a must. And if #Tangkakbeefnoodles is closed, do try the claypot noodles for Restoran Dong Fang in Tangkak!


Delicious claypot noodles, you'll Thank me after eating it!




Date visited: 19th June 2022













Comments