Gunung Panti is located just a few kilometers north of Kota Tinggi in Johor. The mountain is part of the Gunung Panti Recreational Forest – a protected secondary forest (from other online sources, it seems that the forest is not really protected after all – presence of logging and quarrying activities). At 531 metres high, the mountain is considered a training ground for those aspire to climb higher peaks like Mount Kinabula, Mount Rinjani etc. Other activities in the area include birdwatching (in Panti Bird Sanctuary) and waterfall trekking (in Kota Tinggi and Pelepah Falls).
We embarked on a day trip to visit the below places in Kota Tinggi:
- Gunung Panti
- Kota Tinggi Waterfall
- Taman Buaya (Crocodile Farm)
- Firefly river cruise
The above attractions are all located within an hour drive from one another and we had a vehicle at our disposal. In order to cover all the attractions, we planned an early start and a late return for our trip
630 am: Boarded a chartered mini-bus for Gunung Panti from taxi stand beside Serangoon Nex Shopping Mall
830 am: Reached mountain base of Gunung Panti
845 am: Started the ascent
11 am: Reached the summit
1130 am: Started the descent
130 pm: Reached back mountain base and drove to Kota Tinggi Waterfall Resort
145 – 345 pm: Sightseening cum shower at Kota Tinggi Waterfall Resort
345 – 445 pm: Drove to Teluk Sengat to visit Taman Buaya (Crocodile Farm)
445 – 545 pm: Taman Buaya visit
545 – 645 pm: Dinner at local restaurant
645 – 745 pm: Drove back to Kota Tinggi for the firefly boat ride
8 - 845 pm: Firefly boat ride
9 – 1030 pm: Drove back to Singapore. Home Sweet Home.
We made some preparations prior to the trip and arranged for a freelance Malaysian guide to meet us at the the foot of the mountain to bring us up. Unfortunately, our driver was unfamiliar with the area and the lack of directional signage certainly did not help. As a result, we ended up going round in circles for about half an hour until the driver finally called the guide for help. We met the guide at the entrance of Kota Tinggi Waterfall Resort and tailgated his 4WD to the starting point of the trail which was approximately ten mins away.
A dirt road off the main road led our way to the entrance of the mountain base. There was no way we would know the way as it was a nondescript area with no directional signs, which was why we had to rely on our guide.
As shown in the photo above, our guide was wearing anti-leech socks (white colour clothing from ankle to keen level).
I was pretty amazed by the survival skills of these bloodsuckers. Upon sensing the movements of hikers, these creatures will straighten their bodies vertically upwards and start swinging themselves to and fro, attempting to hook onto their victims’ bodies.
The last 15 minutes of the trail was spent scaling a huge vertical rock boulder. There were some fixed ropes to assist in the steep ascent.
As Gunung Panti is only 513 m in height, the summit view is not as nice as that of Gunung Ledang or Belumuk (both of which are higher than 1000 m).