The Transnaning trail is notorious for any hikers, runner who wants a challenge and make a statement! I wanted to make a statement a while back but the organising of logistics from one end to another and the application of permit before hand was such a farce that I swept it down my to hike list! However, these days on-line application for permit is possible, and thus easing the planning process. (below is the link to apply)
The Transnaning trail starts from Tampin town towards Rembau (Gunung Datuk). It can also be approached from Rembau to Tampin depending on your fitness level, as the ascent to Gunung Datuk is much steeper compared to the Tampin side!
Transnaning is a popular training ground for trail runners, the trail is well maintained, marked with cat's eyes reflective that brightens the trail even in pitch dark conditions!
Starting point: Gunung Tampin, entrance
Hike Duration: Allow around 9-12hours from the entrance of Tampin
End Hike: Gunung Datuk entrance
Total hike: 16km
Hike Difficulty: 4/5
Break it into 5 parts,
Part 1- Tampin
Part 2- Ultra Camp to 701
Part 3- Gunung Gagak, Rembau and Datuk
Part 4 - Desend
Scenery Rewards: breathtaking sunset view in Gunung Datuk
What to bring
1. Basic first aid stuff such as disinfectant, ankle guard in case you sprain your ankle, band-aid.
2. Walking stick. The ascent here is extremely steep and 2 walking sticks for this hike is more of a hassle than aid.
3. Raincoat and Poncho
4. Head-Torch, if you start before 7am
5. At least 2.5 of water, pack lunch, snack!
6. Change of clothes
7. Good pair of hiking shoes is absolutely necessary
8. Leech, especially in rainy season! So do bring a Dettol or Listerine spray
9. A prepared mindset to stay in the jungle 12 hours or more in case of eventualities
10. Optional, Thermal blanket
PART 1 TAMPIN (Gunung Tampin North,Gunung Tampin South, 705)
The winding road bends with the contours of the hill that first leads to the carpark but you could drive right up to the radio tower and the trailhead. We drove and parked right up to the trailhead. The road condition was manageable, and steep at parts!
We started around 6.45am with headlamps fasten on our heads, by 7am it was the break of dawn and the forest brighten up to a dull hue. The mountain was shrouded in the morning mist as we approached Gunung Tampin Selatan, Utara and 705. #gunungtampin
Throughout the whole hike in Tampin, it was cool and enshrouded in a soft veil with periodic burst of sun rays piercing through the mist but not strong enough to dispel it!
From peak 705, it was a steady descend to Camp Ultra. Some parts were steep and uneven, demanding extra caution and attention!
We cross deep gullies as we approached the flat terrain. To our relieve, we were soon greeted by sounds of gushing water from the stream along Camp Ultra!
Note: Trek along the river until you reach a flat clearing by the stream. This is a good spot for refill and your first and last water-point!
PART 2: Camp Ultra by the river 199m to 701
From Camp Ultra to 701 is a whopping 502m climb over 3km. The daunting climb begins in earnest! The trail to 701, is steep, with pronounced inclines that stretches relentlessly upward with no flat parts to catch breath or break! My heart was pumping and my lungs was in overdrive as I covered this part, and there was no pause or stop! The chatters among us came to a halt while we struggled to climb the endless hill!
But somehow I managed to take time to admire and spot some bright vegetation strewn on the forest floor, and took shots of them whilst balancing on the very steep terrain.
Finally, after around 1 hour 30 minutes climb, I was ecstatic to hear distant voices of conversation and laughs, knowing that the torturous climb was soon ending!
Part 3: Gunung Gagak, Gunung Rembau, Gunung Datuk
From 701 to Gunung Gagak it was undulating, muddy at parts with a moderate climb! The weather was threatening with looming rain clouds and periodic burst of thunder! We hasten our pace hoping to reach our destination faster, but the heaven's broke and it poured! However the strong winds blew the rain clouds away, and we were rewarded with cool climate! #gununggagak #gunungrembau
I made efforts not to be alone on the trail form Camp Ultra to Gunung Gagak after reading a post about a hiker who was teleported to a different place as she was hiking this part! I was glad I did not smell fragrant roses, or climb a heavily decorated carved stairs!
There was no view at Gunung Gagak 807m, we just took an obligatory shot and headed off to Simpang Y!
There are 2 trails at this fork, one leading to Gunung Rembau( highest peak of Trans Naning) and the other is towards Gunung Datuk.
I have to be honest that few of us skipped Gunung Rembau! The last time I summited Gunung Rembau from Yam Tuan Antah trail, I recalled it was muddy and filled with hungry leeches! It is a short 15 minute climb to Gunung Rembau if you want to check-in all 7 peaks! Instead, we headed straight towards Gunung Datuk for a hot coffee break!
The peak of Gunung Datuk was shrouded in thick mist with fine droplets hovering in the air. We knew there was no view and decided to head downhill after regrouping and reloading all remaining snacks we stashed in our daypacks! #gunungdatuk
Part 4: DECENT
The decent from Gunung Datuk was really daunting especially towards the end. The trekking pole really helped especially at parts with loose sand and pebbles. It is advisable to do it at own pace and not rush down.
We reached Check Point 1 and if you have exhausted all your water, enterprising boys sells drinks and ice cream at the rest area. (during weekends) They normally stay till 6pm!
As I approached the giant trees just after 4pm, I headed to the stream and clean my shoes and socks that were caked in mud!
There wasn't much of a celebratory joy after completing the famed Transnaning hike as I was hoping for. It felt good, and it is doable below 9 hours if you cut short the photo shots and snacking time! #transnaning
Time reference Checkpoints TransNaning hike
0645 - Start Hike Tampin, 520m
0740- Tampin Selatan, 734m
0808- Tampin Utara, 764m
0848- 705, 705m
1020- Kemp Ultra, 199m
1230- 701, 701m
1300- Gunung Gagak, 807m
1350- Gunung Rembau, 884m
1420- Gunung Datuk, 691m........ if time permits
1615- Datuk Entrance, 110m
Flora and Fauna
The Tampin side of the hill was rich with all sort of amzing flora and fauna! This forest is home to gibbons, tiger, leopards, sun bears.... alike that have been spotted on many occasions.
TransNaning is a challenging and interesting hike. More efforts were put in the planning and logistic of ferrying at one end to the other! It would be prefect to engage a driver with van!
We all managed to complete the hike below 10 hours at moderate pace and with surprising ease. It is a great trail full with rich flora and fauna and nature's call were at every corner!
Big shout out to Nature Hunter ladies, Dr. Dorcas Lai, Uncle Praba for organising this amazing hike!
Were there many leeches?
Yes, but not so much!
Is the trail well maintained?
The trail was very clear and well marked! It had ropes at steep parts and cordon off areas with bad erosion! Signs all placed at strategic and visible areas!
Do I need to train for TransNaning hike
Start doing 10km hikes and slowly building up to 15-20km.
Will you do it again?
Hell YEAH! Perhaps from Gunung Datuk this time!
Date visited: 19th August 2023