Mt Irau the largest "Mossy Forest" in Malaysia

On: Saturday, October 18, 2008

It was the Raya holidays and we were eager for some adventure. I've heard stories about Mt Irau being the largest mossy forest in the country and was looking forward to this. Doing some research from the internet, it seems like Mt Irau is accesible but we weren't sure whether it has clear trails. So we contacted a local guide recommended by our guesthouse. We were quoted RM200 which we thought was a bit exorbitant but he insisted it was the festive season. Hesitantly we agreed to it and requested for a face to face meeting at the guesthouse.

We spent the first day lazing around Cameron and did some carbo-loading. Was surprised to see the first Starbucks joint being setup here at Tanah Rata. Apart from that, there was not much new development from the last 6 months. It was drizzling now so we were hoping for clear skies next day. Before we headed for dinner at Brinchang, we were able to meet up with the local guide to discuss about tomorrow. Our first meeting left us with a really bad impression of him. Not only does he have a beer belly, he was also giving all sorts of excuses and trying to convince us to cancel the trip. But there was finally an agreement and the meet up was set.

The next morning, we drove to the rendezvous point to meet up with the guide but he was nowhere to be seen. After waiting for a further 15mins, we made up our mind that he was not going to show up and proceeded without him. It was not going to be a major setback for us as we were determine to summit Mt Irau with or without a guide, rain or shine. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we were to discover later.

We drove all the way from our guesthouse in Tanah Rata to Mt Brinchang. There were a group of people camping at the summit of Mt Brinchang which was also accessible by car. There is a watch tower at this area where you can catch a glimpse of Mt Irau and also nearby peaks.

We realized that we have drove pass the entry point to Mt Irau as we clarified with some of the campers. There was maintenance work going on at the entry point as the authorities were trying to construct step structures for tourist access. This is really dissapointing as trees had to be brought down and the natural beauty of the mossy forest is being spoiled. Don't expect the maintenance work to finish anytime soon although the deadline was stated as 30-Sept. The partially completed structure posed to be an obstacle as we had to maneuver across it which strectches some distance ahead.

Soon after that, we were greeted by one of the most awesome sights the "Mossy Forest". We thought that the mossy forest at Mt Yong Yap was nice but this was really amazing. All along the way there were greenery covering the floor and surroundings, it was truly out of this world. The first part of the hike was really a stroll. But as we started to wander deeper and deeper into the forest, there were many obstacles to overcome especially the mud. Much energy was wasted evading the muddy areas.

We came across this huge monkey cup en route to the summit.

As we had done some research from the internet, there were many false peaks en-route to the summit of Mt Irau. This is what they called the "Baby Irau" which is an hour away from the real peak.

After a grueling 4 hour hike, we finally step foot on the peak of Mt Irau (2,110m asl).

As expected, the condition of our footwear is not at all appealing. Much work to be done on laundry later.

3-4 hours later, we were able to enjoy the spectacular view of the tea plantation on our way back to civilization. Boy, was the stench of our filty clothes unbearable.

For more photos, please visit Boon's Gallery.

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2 comments on "Mt Irau the largest "Mossy Forest" in Malaysia"

kazuolim said...

It was really a great experience by hiking through the mossy forest. Amazing!! Just like we are in the movie of Lord Of The Ring.

No doubt, it's not an easy hike. We are extreme careful from time to time by going through the slippery unclear trail, soggy and muddy terrain. Morever, crossing uncountable slippery boulders as well as stepping on the sprawling roots.

We made it as last!! :-)

Shaun Yap said...

Agree, this is one of the most memorable hikes due to the unique environment.