Gunung Jerai: Day 1 Trekking

Two weeks ago, I joined my colleagues for our annual trekking activity which coincidentally was held at Gunung Jerai. This gem is located in Yan District, State of Kedah. Our mini bus took off around 6 o’clock in the morning, after several stops, we finally made it to Yan around 1.00 o’clock in the afternoon and stopped for lunch in this small town.

Greeting us was this huge signboard, apart from the heat (it’s pretty hot in the north) and of course the clear blue sky. Back in the olden days, the old folks would always advise the young to respect the jungle, so we did our best not to piss the jungle spirits.

Part of our backpacks were delivered to the resort by the local van driver.  This made our weight lighter, which indeed helped a lot in the later part of the journey. My jaw dropped when I saw this!

1162 + 30 + 142 = 1300! This fleet of stairs (tangga kenari) has 1300 steps! Even Batu Cave’s 272 steps cannot beat this. It took us five times the endurance needed to climb Batu Caves. This steps climbing appeared to be part of the first challenge.

In between the fleet of stairs, we walked pass the hanging bridge. Was not thrilled by this bridge, it is short-distanced and hanging to near the ground. But then the spookiness and the fallen tree did make me wonder my personal safety.

It took about 45 minutes to climb the stairs before arriving at the jungle trek, very virgin jungle indeed – untouched except for the trails cleared for jungle trekking. The clock is 3 in the afternoon by now.

After much rest, some of my colleagues had cramp and stars on their legs, we continued our journey so as to not left in the jungle by nightfall (told you that everyone is afraid of the jungle).

At first, the only part of the body used was the legs, then came the hands because we had to grab the stones while ascending. Step by step, minute by minute, bottles of water turned into sweat and perspiration. Midway, rain drops starting to pour on us. Raincoat is always handy at times like this.

The rain never stopped, mist started to set in the backdrop, in front of our eyes were now blurry vision and drops of rain. As if we weren’t burdened by the weight of our backpack, the rain did no good adding more weight (our clothes and shoes are good water absorbent).

Three and a half hour of endurance paid off as we were fast approaching the perimeter of the resort. The air was cool, I thought I was at Cameron Highlands for the moment. For those of you who would want to go to somewhere cooling, Gunung Jerai is the place.

This is just the beginning of Gunung Jerai episodes. Two more entries to go!

About Daniel Liew

Hails from Kuching. Life is good. This blog serves as collection of his recollection for his life and things he saw.

  • Rohani Yusof

    Hi Dan…wish to know bit more details about where to start the mentioned about reaching Yan & started your to get there ( Yan ) we need to have guide through out the trekking..Please share some more…thanks in advance..

    • Daniel

      Hi Rohani, we stopped by at Gurun before proceeding to Titi Hayun. We started trekking around noon at the bottom of the mountain where you'll see the Tangga Kenari 1000 Tahun.

      I’d say the path is pretty clear and the signs good enough, hence it really is OPPTIONAL if you want to employ a guide. As for my case, I have a local friend who climbed Jerai a few times so he guided us all the way up.

      You can have a look at the picture I uploaded just for you. There are a few landmarks as a gauge point.

      Feel free to drop any comments.

      Gunung Jerai trekking map

  • Fisol Khalib

    Thanks Daniel for the post! Me and few friends will go for Gunung Jerai hiking this coming Sunday 19-Feb’12 via same trail Daniel went. Hope to get best experience in this hiking trip. Glad we have a friend who will lead for us.

    • daniel

      Fisol! Have a great trip hiking Jerai this weekend. There are a number of natural trails on top of the mountain too, worth exploring if you have the time.