Kajang

Facts

  • Elevation: 1,038 m (3,406 ft)
  • Prominence: 1,038 m
  • Ribu category: Kurang Tinggi
  • Province: Peninsular Malaysia
  • Google Earth: kml
  • Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (Bagged it? Be the first to rate it)
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  • Other names: none.

Bagging It!

The extinct volcano of Gunung Kajang is the only significant mountain on the islands off Peninsular Malaysia’s east coast and is home to some endemic species. The most commonly-used trail starts in Kampung Paya and it takes around 5 hours to reach the peak. Most hikers start early and do this as a long day-hike, but camping at the summit is apparently also possible. There is another trail up from Kampung Juara but much less well-used.

There is apparently a metal pyramid (beirut) at the summit but only very limited views due to the vegetation. Watch out for leeches on this trail.

Tioman island also has a couple of very interesting near-vertical cliffs known as Nenek Si-Mukut which look to be of real interest to rock climbers.

Practicalities

    • Getting there: The closest major airport is in Johor Bahru but many folk come from Singapore and KL too. Most people take the ferry from Mersing to Tioman (which takes just under 2 hours), but Tanjung Gemok (40km further north) is an alternative and increasingly popular option as it is not as reliant on the tides. Ferries from both ports call at several key villages on the west coast of the island, usually from south to north i.e. Kampung Genting, Kampung Paya, Tetek, Air Batang and Salang. The basic return ticket costs around RM70 and there are usually a minimum of 2 crossings per day, but book ahead during the holiday season. There is also an airport on the island with occasional flights from KL those these seem to have bee unavailable to the general public since 2014.
    • Accommodation: Plenty available to suit various budgets.
    • Permits: There is a Tioman island fee (RM20) and a Marine fee (RM30) that all visitors must pay at the ferry terminals.
    • Water sources: Unknown
    • Travel insurance: We recommend World Nomads insurance, which is designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities including mountain hiking.

Local Average Monthly Rainfall
Average precipitation (rain/snow) in Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Location

2 thoughts on “Kajang

  1. After 3 pleasant weeks of summer holiday in the UK completing the list of Welsh Marilyns with no problems whatsoever it was back to Southeast Asia yesterday and a return to complete ineptitude and chaos due to unprofessionalism and breaches of basic consumer trust!

    I had just enough time to fit in one more hiking trip before having to be back at work, and months ago I’d decided on Gunung Kajang because a dayhike of a new Ribu with some time for relaxing by the coast seemed ideal. After Rob’s reports of serious delays with immigration to/from Singapore/Malaysia at the Johor end, I decided on flying to Johor itself to minimise the likelihood of travel disruption. If anything, what actually happened was far worse than had I just gone via Singapore.

    After painstakingly booking flights, buses, ferries, and sorting out a local guide, everything on my side was ready to go, planned to perfection, and with enough leeway given for a 90min flight or ferry delay at either end. I went to Soekarno Hatta as usual, checked in and only upon reading the boarding time for the second leg (KL to Johor Bahru) did I notice anything was up. Indeed, the Malindo staff member had said nothing about the ‘retiming’ of the flight or the ongoing technological chaos at KLIA that I was unaware of. The second flight was changed to depart 2hr 15min later than the original schedule, meaning my already paid for bus connection in Johor would be missed.

    No email had been sent, no Traveloka message, nothing. And even at check in the staff did not draw my attention to this. As I was looking for alternatives with other airlines (none available!) a succession of three messages from Traveloka suddenly arrived, the first stating the change I was now aware of, the second stating a slight improvement but departing 50km away at Subang Airport in the centre of KL (!), and the third stating a further delay and also from Subang and not KLIA.

    I thought about either getting a bus from KL to Tanjung Gemok (ferry terminal for Tioman) or a later bus from Johor Bahru, but the former were unavailable at such short notice and there was only one later bus leaving Johor Bahru at 1945. To cut a long and tedious story a little shorter, I decided not to risk throwing even more money down the drain by booking the later Johor Bahru to Mersing / Tj Gemok as it would require the delayed flight to be perfectly on time for it to be doable and it was clear from checking online news that KLIA was in meltdown with 68 flights cancelled or delayed due to an IT problem. As Malindo would not pay for me to get a taxi to make my onward connections, I asked for whatever refund I could get. It was about half of the outward ticket price. They would not help me with the return ticket booked for Monday or for any of my other many costs.

    Then I got another taxi home and thought about how this was my last series of any more than just 2 days off in a row until Christmas, and how just like pretty much all my Johor trips, it had been a tremendous waste of time and money. I checked the final flight later online and it turned out that the (3rd) replacement flight was over an hour late departing so I wouldn’t have made the last bus and that extra money on a bus ticket would have been wasted too and I would have had a near-repeat of last month’s crap weekend when I was stuck in Johor Bahru in a bad state of mind after losing money on a trip that wasn’t going to happen due to factors outside my control (in July’s case, a guide called Azizi taking the money in advance and then doing a runner).

    I doubt I’ll get any refunds for ferries, accommodation and buses or my return flight so late in the day, but it does draw attention to how the faith we have in airlines and airport management, and the like and the money we pour in their direction, is routinely disrespected. Like always, people were responsible for this almighty series of errors affecting thousands of people, but all that will happen is a few of the normal staff will have to deal with irate customers and those with the actual power to make decisions, and whose fault it was in the first place, will be unaffected.

    In short, in this episode KLIA and Malindo failed to stick to their side of the bargain. Accommodation providers and bus companies and ferry companies also do alright out of these problems. They already have our money and will not refund it. It is only the customer who loses when the other side is incompetent.

    It’s become a bit of a Johor curse now, with problems every time I do so much as consider going to that over-priced part of Malaysia. At least in Indonesia when things go wrong you can find an ojek to get you where you want to go. You can find a Plan B. Malaysia compares very unfavourably, being much more expensive in so many ways, yet leaving you at least as prone to scams and mismanagement and without many affordable options for fixing your plans when things go horribly wrong other than deciding to stop throwing good money after bad.

    What can be learnt from this? First of all, if you have a day job 5 days a week like most people in the world then your opportunities to explore are so much more reduced than those who do not have to be back in the office 2 days later or face the possibility of being sacked. We can’t just delay things by a day or leave 6 hours for delays at either side.

    Secondly, although booking lots of things ahead gives you a feeling of security that things will go as you have planned them, this is not the reality and it is one good way for you to lose a lot of money and waste of lot of time on admin and then trying to claw back whatever tiny percentage you can get in a late-notice refund. Thirdly, Kereta Api seems to be a better bet over the last few years, with delays of rarely more than 30 minutes or so, much better than fickle and poorly managed airlines and airports with staff who seem to get so little training that you are best advised to search for information yourself online than asking them a question, or expect them to give you vital information rather than watch you walk into chaos at the other end at which point they are no longer responsible!

    And, with perfect timing, to draw things to a bloody ridiculous close, I was back at home for just 2 or 3 hours in a bad mood about all of this when I got an SMS from Sriwijaya Air telling me my 0610 flight to Malang booked for a weekend in September had been changed to 1255. Yes, nearly 7 hours later. Another one! Unbelievable. So the planned hike would be impossible on the new schedule. However I managed to book a train ticket (15 and a half hours night train!) so that trip can still go ahead, but I am yet to receive a refund for my flight as it would appear Sriwijaya have yet to actually tell Traveloka about this flight delay or cancellation. So I, the customer, had to draw this to their attention and spend even more time sending further messages about other people’s ineptitude. User-generated customer service, it would appear. Most 5 years olds in the UK could do a better job that this!

    Gunung Kajang will have to wait as I am back at work on Tuesday and with no more holidays until Christmas.

    Thanks to Malindo and KLIA management for a much lighter wallet and no holiday or useful trip report to show for it.

  2. Just back from Tioman Island for a week. We spent a couple nights in Paya hoping to arrange a climb up Gunung Kajang. After 2 days of no one seeming to know anything about how a human could take on such a mission, we threw in the towel and moved onto Juara. We got a lot of: “I don’t know”, “you cannot climb to the top of Kajang”, and “it is too far, not possible”…..that kind of thing. I did a few recon walks to try to find something resembling a trail up to the summit, but after a couple hours of walking around the jungle among the web of small trails one finds in the forests of Asia, it quickly became futile to think we could just start hiking up the mountain, i.e., there isn’t an obvious trail, and/or summit in sight. Finally, after we had made our arrangements to leave Paya early the next morning, we tracked down a local guy named “Lambak” (tel: 012-761-4101). We had a chat, but because he was fighting a cold/flu, he was in no shape to climb, and we had already decided to leave the area.

    Long story short though, is that if you find yourself in Paya, and are keen on climbing Kajang, just ask around for this guy (Lambak — everyone seems to know the guy). He seemed reasonable, speaks decent English, and indeed said he knew the way to the top, and normally would be keen to take people up. Although, he did warn that it is a long, arduous journey, and by his description “the trail” seems sketchy to non-existent. Sounds like an adventure to be sure! Anyway, just adding that to the information base. Good luck!

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