Malaysia offers a wide range of outdoor adventures for hikers and trekkers in some of the oldest rainforests and unique mountainous areas in South East Asia. Several national parks spread across mainland Malaysia, as well as Souther Malaysia, offers unique jungle adventures hikers and outdoor lovers. A large number of tour companies offer customized tours and hikes to some of the remote locations across the country.
The tourism sector is very well-developed in Malaysia and most of the information is available online on the government website. Organizing a tour with a reputed tour operator is the best and most economical way to enjoy a holiday and avoid any unexpected issues during your visit to remote locations. The tour operators can organize tour guides with in-depth local knowledge of the trails and jungle terrain. Wild elephants roam in the northern part of the Malaysian wilderness. Where the isolation of some unique locations offers challenges for adventure lovers, it also offers innumerable dangers for people not familiar with the region.
Consider staying with a Malaysian family in their village-style home. Homestays are a very popular way of learning about the unique tribal and rural culture of Malaysia. You will be housed with a local family in the region of your choice where you will learn about the lifestyle. Most rural people live in kampong-style accommodation which is a very novel way of exploring the traditional lifestyle of Malay people. Homestay Progam was started in 1995 to allow independent travellers to live with designated families who participate in this program.
The guest is exposed to various facets of Malay village life. The guest participates in the daily life of their host who can teach the guest to learn more about popular economic activities like rubber tapping, paddy plantation, cocoa harvesting and oil palm harvesting etc.
Here are some of the most popular places to visit for outdoor adventure in Malaysia:
Taman Negara – The oldest rainforest in the world
Taman Negara is a massive forest located approximately 185 km from Kuala Lumpur. This region of Malaysia is more than 130 million years old and home to several outdoor adventures including trekking, cave exploration, rafting, river adventures, fishing and wildlife adventure.
The accommodation in the Taman Negar region is limited and preferably the tour should be organized with local travel operators who can organize camping tours, trekkers and guides etc.
Taman Negara can be approached from Cameroon Highlands near Kuala Lumpur as well as from locations on the East Coast including Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bharu etc.
A typical day trip from Kuala Lumpur can take up to 15 hours and cost approximately RM 600. You will enjoy the canopy walk, a trip to the local village and some adventure in the rapids. Lunch and transport are included in the tour.
Ideally, a 3 Nights and a 4 Day Tour will give you more time to explore the remote locations in the national forest. You will enjoy the river cruise, visit unique waterfalls and stay at lodges especially designed for a stay in the jungle.
Cameroon Highlands Pahang
A 4×4 adventure in Cameroon Highlands takes you across the rolling tea plantation in one of the oldest colonial holiday destinations in Malaysia. This area is 6000 feet above sea level. Enjoy trekking through the rainforest while enjoying unique vegetation, orchids and primitive ferns. Cameroon Highlands is home to some unique species of insects, butterflies and plants.
Most tours include a trip to Gunung Brinchang, Mossy Forest (the oldest forest) and BOH Tea Plantation.
Cameroon Highlands is a great location to visit if you have limited time during your visit to Malaysia. Cameroon Highlands is easily accessible from Kuala Lumpur by Bus.
If you are driving to Cameroon Highlands, other interesting places to explore include Fraster Hill and Taiping.
Kota Kinabalu is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Malaysia. Located in the South of Malaysia in the region of Sabah. Mount Kinabalu is located in the Crocker Mountain range with an altitude of 13000 feet above sea level.
Most hikers try to climb the mountain two days a night. The hike starts in the early hours of the morning reaching midday in 6-7 hours to Palanaban. The second part of the hike starts at 2 am reaching the top of Low Peak by sunrise at 5:30 am. The climbers are awarded the climb certificate at the climb HQ after climbing.
Day climbs to Mount Kinabalu are not allowed.
Bako National Park
Bako National Park is located in South Malayis near the city of Kuching. Bako National Park offers a diverse range of landscapes ranging from mangroves to tropical rainforests with several short and long hikes. This location is suited for family travellers as well as solo hikers.
With the presence of wildlife in the park, it is recommended to organize a tour with a repeat agency where park rangers will accompany your group to various locations in the park.
The mangroves and river areas have spotted crocodiles and it is not recommended for swimming.
There are over 15 different walking tracks ranging from 15 minutes to 3 hours return hike. You will encounter a large number of local species of birds including kingfishers, woodpeckers and owls. Carry a small binocular to observe this diverse birdlife.
Park Open time: 9 am to 5 pm
For Further Information:
Tel: +6082-610088 (General Line) 1-800-88-2526 (Toll Free Line)
Fax: (+6) 082 610099
Georgetown Penang, Penang Hill & Batu Ferringhi
Penang Hill is a great location for a day trip with several attractions for kids and adults alike. Most walking tracks on this hill are easily accessible and provide amazing views of Penang Island.
If you are planning to stay in Penang for a couple of days, exploring Penang Hill on a clear day can be an enjoyable activity. A funicular railway, which is one of its kind still operates on Penang Hill. A 6-minute ride will take you to the top station.
Moon Gate 5 is a popular track that takes you down several attractions. This is a challenging track that will take 2.5 for experienced hikers. Several local guides can be hired to explore these attractions.
Batu Ferringhi has some hidden gems other than coastal landscapes. A walking track in the hills behind Batu Ferringhi takes you down to the accuracy and water reservoirs. The walk takes around 3 hours.