- Elevation: 1,825 m (5,988 ft)
- Prominence: 623 m
- Ribu category: Spesial
- Province: Peninsular Malaysia
- Google Earth kml
- Other names: Sometimes spelt ‘Semangkuk’ or ‘Semangko’.
Despite Semangkok’s relatively modest elevation, and the relatively high starting point (approximately 1,310m), this is one of Malaysia’s most challenging trails. Meaning ‘one bowl’ in Malay, the name amusingly sounds like ‘valley of death’ in Chinese.
The trail is around 32km return and starts at Pine Tree Trail near the old British colonial era hill resort of Fraser’s Hill. It leads via Gua Akar (1,280m), Pine Tree Peak (1,455m) and Twin Peak (1,435m) before dropping down several hundred metres to Kem Sungai Merah (Red River Camp) at around 1,180m. The trail then leads up again via Kem Helipad (approx 1,675m), the flag peak and then the true peak.
The summit does not offer any views so the best places for panoramic photos are actually at Pine Tree Peak and Twin Peak. Some folk try to do this as a dayhike, but it takes up to 24 hours to complete so it is much more sensible to camp at Sungai Merah. A typical itinerary involves starting before dawn, reaching Pine Tree Peak and Twin Peak for photos at first light, continuing all the way to the peak before descending again to Sungai Merah. On the second day, hike out from Sungai Merah. Given it takes 8-9 hour one-way, the first day is very arduous and tiring. There is a lot of up and down so the return leg normally takes almost the same amount of time as the ‘ascent’.
For those not keen on bagging Semangkok peak, a more leisurely hike to Pine Tree Peak and Twin Peak is a great option for a dayhike. It can also be hiked from a little further north-west via Jeriau waterfall (985m) and Hulu Sempam junction (1,235m) with the two trails meeting on Pine Tree Peak.
And for those keen on something extra challenging, this hike can be combined with Gunung Liang on a multi-day expedition known as Semaliang.
For a high quality PDF version of this and other trail maps, please download from our Trail Maps page.
- Getting there: The trail starts in Fraser’s Hill which is about 2 hours from KL.
- Permits: You can register and pay for an e-Permit online from the Forestry Department of Malaysia website.
- Water sources: Available at around 1,240m between Gua Akar and Pine Tree Peak and at Kem Sungai Merah.
- 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.
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