After reading about all the tours offered to hike through the mossy forest, aka Gunung Brinchang, we decided we’d do it ourselves and not on a tour, since we’d only be allowed a limited amount of time in the forest and we wanted to stay as long as we liked to take some photographs.
Gunung Brinchang is the highest accessible peak in the Cameron Highlands. Its also the highest mountain accessible by car. We took advantage of this fact by hiring a cab to take us up to the top of the mountain-and then hike back down. Yea, we’re a little lazy. We knew we’d only have energy to hike one way, so of course we chose down.
Our taxi driver was really nice-we negotiated a price from Tanah Rata (not really cheap, about 60 MYR) all the way up to the observation tower. He explained that the rate was so high because of the steep terrain-and he was not even driving a 4×4. He drove us all the way up to the lookout point (after making us get out of the cab at one point so he could go over a huge hole in the road) and pointed out where to start walking on the trail.
At first, the hike was a little muddy, then it got much drier and the light coming in from the forest was creating wonderful photo opportunities.
We met a couple on the way who had climbed up in a few hours and were on their way down too. They made it sound like an easy hike-then again they looked like serious hikers and we are so out of shape (and chubby) that we knew it’d take us twice as long.
I was not concerned because I was in photo heaven.
I oohed and ahhhed every 3 seconds while trying to keep Mike safe from bees-he’s allergic to bee stings and I told him if he got bit he’d probably die because he was too chubby for me to carry him down.
There are clear signs as to which way to go-lots of ribbons on trees and arrows. It would be really hard to get lost.
We kept seeing signs for the km left to get out of the forest, however-those calculations were definitely off because we would hike for a bit, take note of the time, and we only seemed to be advancing a little before we’d see a sign with more km left than the last one! At least the weather was bright and sunny, perfect for hiking.
We were so relieved to see the beginning of the gravel road signifying we had made it out. Tired but happy, we wandered along the road and bumped into this guy.
We tried to calm him down but he just got more upset. His leg got tangled in his rope so we called the farmer over, who was nearby, to untangle the poor goat. He kept complaining to his goat buddy as we left him.
This was a great trek and I would recommend it to hikers and non-hikers alike. The scenery was kick ass, the weather was perfect and its pretty hard to get lost with all the markings guiding the way. If you don’t mind hiking up, then you’ll save the 20 or so bucks we paid to get up by cab.
If you’re a little out of shape like we are, or short on time, it’s worth it to splurge on a cab and make it to the top and hike the way down. I think it took us about 2 1/2 hours to get down. However, it was starting to thunder and I would not want to be there when it starts to downpour. The mud can be a little slippery. Once you hike up, be aware you’ll have to hike down again, as there are no cabs to hail from up at the lookout point.