Thursday, 10 July 2008

Gunung Brinchang - Mystical & Beautiful

I hiked up Gunung Brinchang (in English: Mount Brinchang) with my travel buddy, Angie Tan ( in February this year. Before I continue, I must give her credit for the lovely photos in this entry.

Gunung Brinchang is situated in Cameron Highlands, in the state of Pahang in Malaysia. The mountain is famous for its Mossy Forest - a forest that looks like a movie set from Lord of the Rings. You will see what I mean later.

Before we set off that morning, I devoured a bowl of noodle soup, two half-boiled eggs, a pair of 'roti bakar' (toasted bread) and washed it all down with Chinese tea. I always believe in doing anything, especially hiking, on a full stomach :-)

We then drove to the water reservoir in Brinchang town where the trail began. However we could not find the trail, so we went to the nearest police station to enquire.

The police officer on duty gave us a funny look. Apparently Gunung Brinchang is notorious for missing hikers. When I heard that, I started chickening out. Then I remembered Jim Thompson, the famous Thai silk king who went missing in the jungles of Cameron Highlands in 1967. His body was never found and remains a mystery till this day. You can read more about Jim Thompson in:

We left relevant details with the officer, who strongly reminded us to inform the station when we got back. He also gave us a few 'laws of the jungle' when entering mystical Brinchang forest:

1) Do not use foul language, swear or speak negatively about the jungle. The spirits who dwell there do not like if we belittle or speak negatively about their domain.
2) If we see a three-prong fork in the road, turn back. There's a high possibility the spirits of the jungle are attempting to confuse and mislead us. This mostly happens if you break Rule 1. There have been many stories of people being kidnapped by 'orang halus' or spirits into the netherworld.
By the time I heard those 'tips', I freaked out and almost did not make the climb. But in the end we did make the climb and here are pictures of our little adventure on Gunung Brinchang:

The journey begins ...

Mossy Forest - Like from a movie set of Lord of the Rings.

I saw an Ent!

I made it!

View from the top.

It was raining the night before, so it was a muddy climb.

Climbing Gunung Brinchang is not difficult compared to Mount Kinabalu. But the experience and beauty of it is breathtaking, and we are definitely game for another climb in the future, with or without the 'orang halus'.


Angie Tan said...

the hike was absolutely stunning!! I misses the trip Julie.. hmm.. i shall post more of our hiking pictures soon! =)

Julie Lim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie Lim said...

Yes, Brinchang is a lovely place. Yes, post more hiking pics!

Anonymous said...

I hope to hike Gunung Brinchang this coming weekend. Now that you mentioned about orang halus and the spirit things, I get a bit nervous about getting lost. But I'll do it anyway. Your posted photos said a thousand words. I WILL go and make it back safely.
Thanks for the posting.

Anonymous said...

I am going to mount brinchang soon. After reading this post I kinda regret

Julie Lim said...

Hi Anonymous,

When I wrote this post my intention was to share my experiences when I climbed Mount Brinchang. It as not meant to scare anyone or to deter anyone from climbing. My apologies if you regret going to climb Mount Brinchang, if that's what you mean.

bryan said...

Hey there, nice pics..btw, where do you start yur trail? can u drive up via the farm n start trekkin from there?

Julie Lim said...

Hi Bryan,

Thanks for dropping by :-) I started my trail from the water reservoir located diagonally opposite the Brinchang police station.

I'm not too sure about any farm, but we drove up the lane beside the water reservoir and parked our car beside some houses, as near as possible to where the trail began. Those houses had some plantation going on around their houses, if that's the farm you mean.

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