Titiwangsa Traverse

Gunung Yong Belar, Gunung Gayong, Gunung Korbu
Gunung Korbu
Gunung Korbu
Location Pahang-Perak, Malaysia
Height Gunung Korbu - 2813 m
Gunung Yong Belar - 2181 m
Gunung Gayong - 2173 m
Terrain Mixed forest trail, river crossings
Recommended duration 5 days, 4 nights
Ease of access 4-wheel drive to starting point of trek
Special equipment None
Good Covers the 2nd, 3rd and 4th highest mountains on Peninsula Malaysia
Not so good Leeches and sandflies. Frequent rain in the afternoon.

Blog post, from The MtTrekker
December 2000

Titiwangsa range, also known as the main range, stretches over 350 km long and contains some of the highest mountains in Peninsula Malaysia. The popular tourist area of Cameroon highland is also part of the main range. The main range is also one of the wettest regions of in Peninsula Malaysia. Its mountains, many of which are more than 1500m high, pushes up the water-laden clouds from the Straits of Malacca to deposit its load on the mountains. Lots of rain can be expected on this trek.

Titiwangsa traverse crosses three of the four highest mountains in Peninsula Malaysia, Gunung Korbu, the second highest at 2183m, Gunung Yong Belar, the third highest at 2181m and Gunung Gayong, the fourth highest at 2173m. Gunung Tahan, standing at 2187m is the highest mountain in Peninsula Malaysia, but it is not located in the main range. Due to the high rainfall in the main range, the vegetation found on these mountains is thicker and different from those on Gunung Tahan although Gunung Korbu is only four meters lower than Gunung Tahan.

Titiwangsa mossy forest
Mossy forest at higher altitudes along Titiwangsa range

The expedition usually starts from Cameroon Highland and ends in a small settlement near Ipoh and takes about 5 days to cover. This direction of travel is understandably preferred as it starts from a higher ground and ends on the lower ground. The trek involves walking on old logging trails and some river crossings especially on the last day of the trek. Parts of the trek can be challenging as it passes through primary rainforest and mossy forest at higher altitude. At the mossy forests, there are many fallen trees and tangles of moss covered branches which you have to crawl under them. As the trek covers three mountains, the route takes you down long descents before ascending up the next mountain.

There are many other challenges on this trek. Although it rains in the afternoon, water source can be a problem. A lot of distance needs to be covered on the first day of trek to Gunung Yong Belar summit. It is usually dark when the camp is set up at the summit and water has to be brought from the last water source which is about one and a half hour before the summit. The route to that water source is also not well defined and it is a 10-minutes steep descend from the trail. At night, the temperature can fall to about 10 °C.

Gunung Gayong summit view
Gunung Gayong summit view

The next day is a descent to a campsite beside a river. However, the campsite is infested with sandflies. A burning mosquito coil will be useful to keep the sandflies away. The following day's trek to the summit of Gunung Gayong is more difficult. The last water point before the summit is an hour's trek away. However, to reach the water source, one has to make a very steep descent down the side of the ridge through primary forest and loose soil for about 20mins. The return journey usually takes about an hour. From the campsite at the top of Gunung Gayong, the town of Ipoh can be seen.

Day 4 of the trek is perhaps the easiest day. The time taken to come down from Gunung Gayong and climb up to the summit of Gunung Korbu is just over 2 hours. Clouds may cover Gunung Korbu summit and nothing can be seen. From the summit, it is a straight descent to another sandfly infested campsite beside a river. The last day of the trip is a relatively easy trek with little ups and downs. However, there are many river crossings to be made although the water level is not very high. The rest of the route to the ending point is also infested with tiger leech.

The challenge of Titiwangsa Traverse trek is comparable to that of Gunung Tahan trek. Unfortunately, the sceneries from the summit of these three mountains is usually limited by thick vegetation and poor visibility. Frequent rain in the afternoon also made the trek difficult at times. This trek is recommended for people who had trek in other mountains in Peninsula Malaysia and want something more challenging. Due to the remoteness of this region, a good guide is essential.

To Nearest Town
Take a bus to Tapah1
Sri Maju Sarata Ekspres (Singapore to Ipoh)
Bus timing : ...2200 hrs...
Cost : RM 40 per person
Duration : 6 hrs 20 min
Remarks : Super VIP (1 free small mineral water per person)
Buy bus ticket from counter 36
Bus stop outside Restoran Caspian (agent for daily express bus) in Tapah

From local bus terminal (along Jalan Raja) to Tanah Rata1
To get to local bus terminal, facing the foodstall, go left along the main road. At the first junction where there is a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), turn right. Local bus terminal is on the left side of the road.
Bus company: Regal Transport Co. Ltd
Cost: RM 4.70 per person (RM 5 per person for air-conditioned bus)
Duration: 2 hrs
Remarks: Buy tickets on bus

From Tanah Rata to Kumpong Raja,1
Regal Transport Co. Ltd
Bus timing: 0800 hrs (first bus)
Cost: Rm 2.40 per person
Duration: 50 mins
Remarks: Buy tickets on bus

From Kumpong Raja to starting point,1
Private 4-wheel drive
Cost: Rm 50 per vehicle
Duration: 25 mins
Remarks: ask locals

Return journey from Tanjong Intik to Tanjong Rambutan1
Private van
Cost: Rm 3 per person
Duration: 15 mins
Remarks: ask locals

From Tanjong Rambutan to Ipoh1
Cost: approx RM 10 per vehicle
Duration: 30 mins

Trekking Log
Time(hrs) Duration(mins) Description Remarks
0850 00 Kumpong Raja  
0915 25   4-wheel drive ride to starting point
0940 25   Starting point
1000     Set off (200 steps)
1040 40 Dam across river Walk on dam across river
1150 70 Mossy forest  
Up and down knolls
1450 3hrs Water point  
1700 2hrs 10min 6352 summit  
1820 1hr 20min Water point Steep descend down path on left side of route for 10mins
2000 1hr 40min Yong Belar Summit  
0925 00   Set off
1040 1hr 15min Water point Small trail on the right down to a valley
1345 2hrs 5min 6470 summit  
1645 3hrs Campsite in a valley beside stream Sandflies
0900     Set off
0915 15 min Cross stream  
0940 25 min Cross stream  
1050 1 hr 10 min 5800 summit  
1325 2 hrs 35 min 6852 summit  
1645 3 hrs 20 min Water point Steep descend on left side of trail to a valley for 20 min. Sandflies and leeches are present at water point
1800 1 hr 15 min   Set off
1900 1 hr Gayong summit  
0915 00   Set off
1130 2 hrs 15 min Korbu summit  
1210     Set off
    Steep descend and very muddy path  
1520 3 hrs 10 min Water point  
1640 1 hr 20 min Campsite beside river sandflies
0920     Set off
1040 1 hr 20 min Pondok  
1130 50 min   Rest
1145 15 min River crossing Set off
1220 35 min River crossing, twice  
1240 20 min River crossing  
1310 30 min River crossing  
1340 30 min Pondok Rest
1420 40 min   Set off
1520 1 hr Large bridge Cross bridge
1610 50 min End of road Tanjong Intik
September 2000. Courtesy of The Mountain Trekker1

  1. Outdoors Sandals
  2. Light weight clothes
  3. Tent
  4. Groundsheet
  5. Gas stove and canister
  6. Lamp/torch
  7. Pots for cooking/ Mess Tin
  8. Small Shovel
  9. Nylon string
  10. Water Purification Tablets
  11. First Aid Kit
  12. Toiletries
  13. Toilet Paper
  14. Extra clothing
  15. Kitchen utensils (Fork, Spoon)
  16. Rain gear
  17. Sleeping bag
  18. Cap/Hat
  19. Windbreaker/Jacket
  20. Lighter
  21. Swiss Knife
  22. Insect repellent
  23. Water container

See map with contour lines here

Shop Outdoors and Travel Gears
Google Ad.