My Beloved Mystical Gunung Ledang
I CAN’T call myself a Johorean if I don’t write a post dedicated to our beloved Gunung Ledang National Park.
Being born just 35 minutes away from the legendary mountain, the beautiful summit and thick lush rain forest, is a big part of us Johorean especially those who were born in the surrounding area.
When I was growing up it was the only recreational place I have ever known. It was a big treat for us to visit the place and had our swim and picnic there.
And I went there again today. For the umpteenth time. In fact we haven’t been to the place in the past two years or so. Hence, it was a treat for the children to have their swim and picnic there.
The mountain is 1276m high (4186ft). According to a sign at the entrance to the park, Gunung Ledang is Malaysia’s 64th highest mountain and the 6th most difficult to climb.
It may not be the highest mountain in the country but we are very proud it it. And with its accessible location, being only a couple of hours drive from both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, the mountain is one of the most popular and frequently climbed mountains in Malaysia.
That does not mean that it is easy to climb. It is a five to six hour of difficult ascend to the summit for a reasonably fit person and there are some steep rocky faces to negotiate with the aid of ropes. Accidents happen and there have been some fatalities which is why it is compulsory to engage a guide from the Ranger’s office.
I remember John being an avid climber, scaled the mountain at least twice and I recalled he said the climb was treacherous.
Even for veteran climbers the trail here is no walk in the park. John did say that sometimes, accidents can happen when visitors do not show enough respect for the places they visit.
Superstitious or not, people have got lost and people have died on the mountain and don’t underestimate the mountain which designated as national park in 2003. It is definitely not a place to fool around.
And myself, I never climb the peak. I was pretty happy walking on the easy terrain for the next 30 minutes or so, admiring the beauty of the jungle and the waterfall.
Being in its vicinity have always left me in awe. It is a place to bring family for wonderful picnic and for us Johorean (at least my family) we were taught from the time when we were small to respect the mountain and don’t do anything stupid while we are there as her guests.
While I was growing up, I have known personally some people who have lost their lives while bathing on the waterfall. For us this majestic mountain is a place associated with folk lore and mythical stories about a princess, Puteri Gunung Ledang, and her magical powers and enchantments.
Even its beautiful waterfall can be deadly especially after heavy torrential rain. Many have lost their lives after being swept away by rushing waters in a natural pool below the Gunung Ledang waterfall.
Despite the tragedies and misadventures, the mountain is very well known for the trek to the summit. Every school holidays, hundreds or students climbed the mountain to reach its summit.
And if you are trekking from Sagil route, there are about five waterfalls that are more than two storeys high. Including the cascades that form a series of small waterfalls, there are a total of eight waterfalls from the entrance to the square pool.
I am glad to say that despite its popularity among tourists – local and foreign alike – it is a well preserved forest, with many different obstacles, such as rock climbing, ladders, stairs, mussy rocks, small streams, and seven check point for whole trip. From my previous enquiry, permit is required and also guide fees. Climbers must declare their things before and after climbing. That’s why the trails of mountain is clean…A