Cameron Highlands Brothers Drive – Part 11
After a good night’s sleep, we set off for our morning trek to Gunung Brinchang.
This is what we bring:
- 2 x 1.5l Plastic Bottles of Mineral Water
- Packed bread from the Bakery (we bought from Brinchang the day before)
- Some chocolate and snacks
- Umbrellas which double up as trekking sticks
- Baseball cap to shield the sun
It is a two hour walk up, without any shelter or food options, so we make sure we fuel up before we set off up the highest mountain peak in Peninsular Malaysia with road access (2032m):
A nice breakfast at Old Town White Comfort does the trick. We don’t want to fill up too much, lest we pack our intestines too much and develop the urge to do some big business in the wilderness with no restroom available for miles.
We set off after breakfast, and we are grateful for good weather. The umbrellas would come in handy, but to protect us from the sun and not from the rain.
The scenery is breathtaking, and with the cooling weather, this are great conditions to be sweating it out on a long hike. As we walk, we have great conversations. Can’t remember the last time we interacted like this as brothers!
The pictures we take do not do justice to the whole experience of actually being there and taking in all the sights and sounds. The air is fresh (except when vehicles pass).
It was also interesting watching how the drivers drive and navigate their way safely through the narrow roads.
Very soon we get to the fork in the road. Take the right side and it leads you to Boh’s Sungei Palas Tea Centre. Today, we take the left turn, the road which leads us up to the Mossy Forest and Gunung Brinchang.
I did attempt to drive up to Gunung Brinchang a couple of years back, but because the roads were in such bad condition, and the heavy rain made the roads extremely muddy. I saw a few vehicles get stuck in the mud, and I turned back, deciding that it wasn’t worth the risk getting stuck in the pouring rain on a narrow country road. Today, with perfect weather, and making the trip on two legs instead of four wheels, we wouldn’t have to worry about getting stranded in the mud!
Traffic along this country road thins out, with fewer drivers willing to brave the rougher roads up to the mountain top. This means we have fresher air.
The gradient of the slopes start to get steeper, and I tell my brothers to stop for a bit of a rest, so that I can catch my breath and to get a sip of water. By this time, my shirt is completely soaked through, even in the cool breeze. This was turning out to be a great workout! Perhaps also a sign that my fitness levels have really deteriorated… 😛
After the pit stop, we continue on our upward trek. We meet with some adventurous drivers and riders. For the drivers that want to try their luck driving up the mountain, please go slow. The potholes can be quite severe and can cause damage to your undercarriage if you try to go down too quickly. The roads are in much worse condition than those that lead to the Sungei Palas Tea Centre, so do be mentally prepared. Passing oncoming vehicles can also be tricky at some parts.
Best vehicles to make the climb are those with good power and strong suspensions.
We pass by a vegetable farm, where we find some noisy goats tied up to poles, in constant conversation with each other:
This goat obliged when I wanted to take a selfie with him. He seemed very interested in sniffing my sweat soaked shirt!
On the way up, there are also some lookout points with great views of the tea plantations in the valleys below, framed by the majestic mountain peaks in the background.
We are really reaping the rewards of our efforts now. The views are amazing, allowing for some awesome panoramas!
Just one last stretch to hike, we approach our destination!
After a two hour hike, we finally reach the furthest point we can go: the car park at the Mossy Forest. We learn that the access to the peak of Gunung Brinchang has been closed off due to some military activities. Thankfully we didn’t try to hike up the mountain using Jungle Walk No. 1 from Brinchang Town, as that has been completely closed off to the public.
Nevertheless, we celebrate our achievement in making it all the way up the 8km route. It wasn’t easy for old-timers like us, but the views and the company make it all worth it!
The Mossy Forest is a popular attraction which many say is worth exploring. There is a boardwalk through the forest where you can see mosses, ferns, lichens and pitcher plants, among other beautiful plant life. The entrance fee for foreigners is RM30 per adult which is a little steep in my opinion. On this occasion we choose not to go inside, but to just take a break, fill up our stomachs with the bread and water which we brought, and to head back down the mountain.
The descent is less strenuous for us in terms of our cardio, but more strenuous for our knees. We have to control the rate of our descent to avoid doing damage to our aging joints. There is also the danger of slipping if we step on loose pebbles on the road. As we walk down, the friendly gang of riders also make the descent, and we exchange friendly smiles and waves.
We found that the people we met hiking up and down that mountain were some of the friendliest of our trip. I guess the shared experience of taking that rough road bonds us.
After 4 hours of walking, we complete our 16km journey up and down Gunung Brinchang. It was tiring but it was a manageable hike, and well worth all that effort. We were glad we didn’t have to bash through the forest, it was tarmac all the way. This was a perfect day for us hiking amateurs, and it was a great time of bonding and fellowship between brothers! This was our first time, but we all agreed that it won’t be our last time undertaking a long hike together!
- 2019 Cameron Highland Brothers Drive
- Clearing up Confusion
- 3am and Away
- Roadside Waterfalls and Tea Plantations
- Review: Copthorne Hotel, Cameron Highlands
- Walk to the Boh Sungai Palas Tea Estate
- Evening Entertainment
- Morning in Ipoh
- Up the Mountains Via Simpang Pulai
- Walk to Brinchang
- Hike up Gunung Brinchang
- Last Dinner
- Heading Home
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- 2019 Cameron Highlands Brothers Drive
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- 2017 Hokkaido Winter Drive
- 2019 Drive from Singapore to Thailand (Krabi, Phuket)
- 2018 Drive from Singapore to Thailand (Bangkok, Rayong)
- 2017 Drive from Singapore to Thailand (Krabi, Phuket)
- 2016 Drive from Singapore to Thailand