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TRANSNANING via Tampin (7 peaks)

Updated: Oct 9, 2023


The Transnaning trail is one circuit all hikers and runners would like to check-off from their list with some satisfaction, after all, summiting 7 peaks in one hike is indeed gratifying!!

The whopping 16km trans trail from Tampin to Datuk is challenging and arduous, but only if you are racing for time! I have wanted to do this hike for the longest time. But organising the logistics from one end to another and the application for permit before hand was such a farce that I swept it down my "to hike bucket list".

However, now that on-line application permit is possible, it eases the planning process. (below is the link to apply) And transport planning can easily be organised among your group! However moving forward, there are talks of a mandatory guide for Trans Naning, Gunung Berembun and Gunung Besar Hantu to be imposed!


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We parked at the trailhead entrance and manage to save about 30 min trek uphill on tarmac road!

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 - Decsend

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 a hassle.

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


bamboo loop on the jungle trail
Bamboo loop at Gunung Tampin

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!

The first part of the hike was through bamboo thickets!

The gully is over 2 meters deep at some parts!

From peak 705, it was a steady descend to Camp Ultra. Some parts were steep and uneven, demanding extra caution and attention!

We crossed 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, cross to the right bank. And at some point you have to cross again to the left bank of the river (although the markings are clear but there it is possible to get lost).

The trail bends with the stream and leads to the "picnic point" clearing. This is a good spot for refill and is your last water-point before the steep climb!


Picnic area at Camp Ultra 199m, right before gruelling climb!

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 started after a sharp left from Camp Ultra and it 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!


The inclines were steep from the beginning of 701 climb but gets more pronounced as you go higher!

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 up an ornate 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: DESCENT


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!

Steep and rocky on the way down

Roots and unstable rocks on the downhill trek was daunting!

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.


Reflections


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










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