With a huge choice of destinations, Malaysia is a great place for a trekking vacation. Most trekking activity is based around national parks and forest reserves, which include rain, mangrove and mountain forests. Each has different characteristics, but all offer a large variety of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species. You can go trekking independently, but it is safest to hire a professional guide or join an escorted tour.
Where to Trek
The Pahang and Johor districts offer both highland rain forests, such as the Cameron Highlands and Gunung Ledang, and lowland rainforests, which include two of Malaysia’s premier trekking sites, Taman Negara and Endau-Rompin. Each offers a network of trekking trails beneath a dense jungle canopy, and most contain primitive campgrounds. Taman Negara also boasts a canopy walkway for a close-up experience of nature. Endemic wildlife includes monkeys, tigers, elephants, Sumatran rhino and hundreds of species of birds. Mountain forests, such as Tempters Park in Selangor, are cooler and contain fewer mosquitoes. Novice trekkers will find easier trails at the Forest Reserve Institute of Malaysia or the Malaysian Agricultural Park, both near Kuala Lumpur.
Many adventure tour companies offer jungle trekking in Malaysia, ranging from easy, half-day hikes to multi-day excursions deep into the rain forest. You can book these over the Internet, or through tour agencies in Kuala Lumpur on arrival. Jungle Walla operates a one-day nature trek (junglewalla.com) in Langkawi Forest, which is suitable for children over 12, and also offers a four-hour family trek along an easy trail. Malaysia Travel Plan’s (malaysiatravelplan.co.uk) four-day trek in Endau Rompin includes a visit to an Orang Asli village, nature talks and an opportunity to learn how to use traditional native tools.