Gunung Tahan via Sungei Relau to Kuala Tahan

See Time Off to Outdoors for more information.

Height: 2187m
From Sungei Relau to Kuala Tahan

Date: 29 June 2002

Gunung Tahan

Descending with the summit ridge of Gunung Tahan behind (25 June 2002)

Gunung Tahan is the highest mountain in West Malaysia located in the state of Pahang. It is also the most beautiful mountain that I have been to in West Malaysia. In climbing Gunung Tahan, one can see the gradual change in vegetation from the humid tropical rainforest to the stunned bushes up till waist level at the summit. Traveling from Sungei Relau to Kuala Tahan, we get to pass by many varied terrain, from monotonous ascends, to climbs that requires the help of fix ropes, not to mention the many river crossings that one have to made throughout the trek. The trail is very clean thanks to the strict park regulations which requires all things that is to be brought up the mountain to be inspected and recorded, to be checked again at the end of the climb.

Personally, I recommend ascending the mountain from Sungei Relau route and descending via Kuala Tahan. This way, we get the best of both worlds. Sungai Relau is approximately 7km from the small town of Merapoh, which is at the halfway point along the main road from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu, Kelantan. The nearest towns are Gua Musang (30km) and Kuala Lipis (100km). The “traditional” route to summit Gunung Tahan is via Kuala Tahan and back down the same route, however, with the new route from Sungei Relau, it only takes 2 days to reach the summit instead of 3.5 days from the traditional route. The route from Sungei Relau is also easier in the sense that there is less descending compared to Kuala Tahan route on the way to the summit. Nearer to the summit, the view is breathtaking. We also get to camp meters from the summit, giving us a chance to catch the sunrise at the summit. After we have reached Kuala Tahan at the end of the climb, which is also where Taman Negara is located, we can spend a few days relaxing in the National Park.

Climbing Gunung Tahan as the name suggest, is not easy. “Tahan” means “Endure” in malay. It usually takes a reasonably fit trekker 2 days to ascend from Sungei Relau and 3 days to descend to Kuala Tahan. Good fitness will ensure that the trek is more enjoyable. Mental strength is also required as one will have to trek in wet socks for almost everyday and the demoralizing terrain especially on the traditional route where there is a lot ups and downs. Near to the summit, the trail gets very muddy and soggy. There is virtually no way of avoiding them. Along the lower reaches of the traditional trail, bees are very common at the campsites but they are really quite harmless. Leeches, there are lots of them. So be prepared to lose some blood.

River crossing

The water level may be more than knee deep (09 June 2000)

Getting There

Johor Bahru to Gua Musang
It is advisable to take the train from Johor Bahru railway station as it is much cheaper than taking the ride from Tanjong Pagar railway station.

From Gua Musang railway station to office at Sungei Relau

Private vehicle
Cost of 4-wheel drive : RM10.00 per person
Duration : 40min
Remarks : negotiate the price with the driver on the spot

Return journey: From Kuala Tahan to Jerantut
Motorised sampan to Sg. Jelai Jetty : RM220 per boat (16 seats)
Duration : 2 hrs
Remarks : Ask from floating restaurant

Vehicle from Sg. Jelai Jetty to Jerantut : RM4 per person
Duration : 30min
Remarks : Ask from food stalls at jetty

Accommodation at Kuala Tahan
Note: There are a number of cheap hostels across the river.
Boat ride across river

Cost per way : RM0.50
Last boat : 2200hrs

Taman Negara, Off-Road Seberang Tembeling
Kuala Tahan, 2700 Jerantut, Pahang Darul Makmur
Tel & Fax: 09-2669744(O), 09-2672009(R)
Dorm bed: RM10.00

There are floating restaurant across the river.
Cost of food can be as low as RM4 for a plate of fried rice.

Entry permit : RM1.00 per person
Jeep to starting point at Kuala Juram from Sungei Relau : RM 7.50 per person
Guide fee(for a maximum of 7 days / maximum of 12 person) : RM500
Guide fee for extra days : RM50 per day
Campsite fee per night : RM1.00 per person
Camera permit : RM5.00 per camera

All trips to Gunung Tahan will be close from 15 NOV until 15 JAN every year.

Please write your letter to:
Penguasa Taman Negara, Pejabat Penguasa Taman Negara, 27000 Kuala Tahan , Jerantut.
Fax No.: 02-09-9124894

Trek Details
From starting point in Kuala Juram to summit:

From To Duration Height Remarks
Kuala Juram Kem Kor 2 4hr 750m Cross 4 rivers;At Kem Kor 2: Suitable campsite; water available
Kem Kor 2 Kubang 3hr 1406m Walk mainly along ridgeline; At Kubang:Water available; Suitable campsite
Kubang Belumut 35min 1493m Muddy trail
Belumut Bonsai 3hr 1705m Muddy trail
Bonsai Botak 70min 1904m At Botak:Water available; Suitable campsite
Botak Summit 1hr 2187m At summit:Water available for washing but not for drinking; Suitable campsite
Summit Gunung Gedong 4hr 2066m Cross a saddle; Water available after about 2.5hr; Small spring pool, may not be reliable
Gunung Gedong Gunung Reskit 1.5hr 1666m Steep descend
Gunung Reskit Gunung Pankin 3hr 1462m Walk on ridgeline with 3 to 4 steep up and down slopes that requires rope.
Gunung Pankin Wray’s camp 1hr   At Wray’s camp:Water source 5min descend on trail to the left side of main trail
Wray’s camp Kuala Teku 3.5hr 168m At Kuala Teku:Water available; Suitable campsite; A lot of bees
Kuala Teku Kuala Puteh 5.5hr 122m 9 river crossings; If water level too high, guide might bypass some of them; Beware of leeches along the way;At Kuala PutehWater available; Suitable campsite; Bees are present
Kuala Puteh Gunung Rajah 2hr 575m  
Gunung Rajah Kem Tengah 1hr 379m Water source 10 min, descend on trail to the left side of main trail
Kem Tengah Kuala Melantai 4hr   Bukit Malang(27 hills);At Kuala Melantai:Water available; Suitable campsite
Kuala Melantai Resort at Kuala Tahan 5hr   Cross a hill before reaching flat ground. Muddy trails

The above timings vary from individual fitness to size of group. It should only be used as a very rough guide.

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