Mount Belumut, standing at 1010m, is the second tallest mountain (after Mount Ophir at 1276 m) in the state of Johor. It is located about 30 Km east of Kluang town. Mount Lambak, standing at 510 m, is a favourite nature hangout for the locals of Kluang. It is located only 5 km from Kluang town.
A 2D 1N “gunung trip” in Kluang to climb Mount Belumut on the first day and Mount Lambak on the second day.
Day 1 Sequence of event:
645 am: Boarded a chartered mini-bus for Belumut from the carpark beside Lavender MRT Station
830 am: Reached Rail Hotel in Kluang to deposit some of our stuff which we did not want to carry up the mountain. Breakfast at Rail Hotel Cafe.
915 am: Boarded minibus to police station to register for the climb (we actually went to the wrong police station and did not manage to get the registration done)
10 am: Reached the park ranger office at the base of Mount Belumut
11 am: Started the climb (the climb was delayed due to some red-tape)
230 pm: Reached the summit. Rested for about 30 mins on the summit.
3 pm: Started the descend.
6 pm: Reached back at the base of Mount Belumut and washed-up
7 pm: Boarded minibus back to Rail Hotel
730 pm: Reached Rail Hotel. Quick shower.
815 pm: Sumptuous dinner at a local restaurant
Day 2 Sequence of event:
715 am: Breakfast at Rail Hotel Cafe
745 am: Hired a taxi to Mount Lambak
800 am: Reached the base of Mount Lambak and started the climb
930 am: Reached the summit
945 am: Started the descend
1100 am: Reached back to the base of Mount Lambak
12 noon : Checked out of the hotel. Boarded the chartered mini-bus back to Singapore
The park ranger office is located beside an oil palm plantation. We had to drive along a long stretch of plantation road in order to reach it. According to the online sources, all climbers have to register at Kg Gajah Police Station before the climb. A climbers nominal roll, complete with the police stamp serves as the climbing permit (to be submitted to the park ranger before the climb). Enroute to Mt Belumut, our driver dropped us at the police station to get the paperwork done. Alas, it turned out to be the wrong police station and we were unable to get our permit. Nonetheless, we decided to carry on with our trip towards Mt Belumut to try our luck. Kg Gajah Police Station is actually located beside the stretch of road between Kluang town and Mount Belumut.
It was already 10 am by the time we reached the park ranger office. The office was manned by a lady guide who stopped us from climbing on grounds that we did not possess any climbing permit. After some negotiation, she allowed us to climb on conditions that we joined another climbing group and that we must turn back by 2 pm. Our group paid RM 150 for the climbing fee and another RM 100 for the guide to join in the climb.
A notice board in the ranger office showing the climbing information like contact numbers and fees. There is a serious lack of information online pertaining to climbing permits, guide fees for mountains and national parks in West Malaysia. Our planning would have been much easier if the above information was found online.
There are many big tall trees along the trail! Much more than in Mount Ophir or Gunung Panti.
In general, the climb was quite steep. There were sections where we had to climb on all fours in order to get up.
We bypassed Botak Hill the so-called “False Summit” which is an open field – a suitable area for camping or resting. Someone drew a big arrow on the ground to show the right direction to the summit. From the “False Summit”, it is another 15-20 mins to the summit.
On the summit, there is a huge boulder called Crown Rock.
It is difficult to see wild life along the trail, but there are many beautiful and interesting plants like Orchids and Pitcher Plants around.
We had a quick lunch on the summit. After which, we “chiong” all the way down to the base.
At the base, there is a warning sign – not to climb Gunung Belumut without a permit.
We arranged another chartered van (from another company) to bring us back to Rail hotel. We had a quick shower before going out for dinner at a Chinese Restaurant nearby.
We took a cab from Rail Hotel to the base of Mount Lambak. There were some makeshift stores selling Chinese Kueh.
The initial part of the trail is a cement road, crowded with locals strolling about.
Along the way, we saw an uncle (in his late fifties or sixties) clearing the fallen leaves from the path with a huge dried leaf. He greeted us and asked where we came from. He did not look like a cleaner, instead, we gathered that he was just a civic minded public maintaining the place. Could you imagine how the world would be like if everyone could take care of his or her own immediate community like this uncle?
The cement road ends at a communal tea house which provides free snacks and olive tea for visitors/hikers. According to the tea house volunteers, there are many olive trees in the mountain. The olives are collected by the volunteers for making olive tea.
The pathway after the tea house is no longer cement but a forest trail.
The forest trail is generally quite steep. There are ropes along some sections to assist climbers to pull themselves up. The trail is shorter but steeper as compared to that of Mt Belumut.
There is some flat ground on the summit where campers can pitch their tents for an overnight stay.
Rail Hotel is located near the railway station at the peripheral of Kluang Town. It is only a 5 min drive away to the town center. The rooms are new, clean and comfortable with wall-mounted flat screen TV and free Wi-Fi. There is a cafe in the hotel which is crowded with locals during breakfast time. The cafe serves local food like Nasi lemak, mee siam, toasted buns, etc. at a reasonable price. The cafe is also famous among the locals for the coffee.
Hotel Reservation: At the point of writing, the only way to make a room reservation is through walk-in or a phone call. I managed to book 6 rooms via a phone call.
Address: 20 & 21 Jalan Tasik 1, Pusat Perniagaan Tasik, 86000 Kluang, Johor
Contact: 07 7728391/92