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Gunung Jerai

 

photos on our Gunung Jerai visit in 2011

 

Gunung Jerai (Mount Jerai)rises above the surrounding plains at 1380metres/4140 feet above sea level and is visible for miles around. 11kms of winding road lead up to this mountain resort which can be reached by car. The vegetation begins to change gradually as you ascend the mountain - through the lower and upper dipterocarp forests that we commonly encounter in parks and reserves down in valleys and low lying areas that give way to the low montane forest where conifers thrive. At the top of the mount the trees are much shorter in height, twisted and gnarled from the base to the branches. It certainly is a delight to step off the cemented trails and onto the soft forest floor - nature's best carpeting, thickly covered with layers of acid humus soil and peat.

pine trees everywhere

The forest is saturated with delicious scents. A wonderful mixture of balsamic fragrances from various types of coniferous and oak trees gives the forest a rather alien feel. It's like walking into a curio shop in a little seaside town - everything seems so strangely out of place.

Just a short distance away from the resort, sits the forestry's museum. The displays give a fair bit of information on the Malaysian forests. However, a number of displays do not have English placards and can be frustrating for some. There is also a section dedicated to wildlife found within the Jerai Forest Reserve area. Guides can be arranged for trekking expeditions in the reserve park through the rangers at the forestry's museum.

Dusky Leaf Monkeys are common around the area and can often be seen feeding on trees at the quieter end of the road leading to the old shrine at the peak. Its unfortunate that the old Hindu shrine, believed to date from the 7th century CE is off limits to the public. There is now a telecommunications tower located by the shrine. The nine square foundation blocks constituting the shrine is believed to be hearths which some archaeologists believe they might be connected with the nine sacred planets of Hinduism, or Navagrahas.

pitcher plants line the pathway

Gunung Jerai plays a most important part in the history of Kedah. Years before Melaka became a central trading hub, the Indian and Arab merchants preferred Kedah as it is geographically positioned on the same latitude as Southern India. In those days, the ships got to their destinations by hugging close to the coastlines so that they didn't float away into the vast, open sea. This means that the ships could sail due east or west through the Bay of Bengal without getting lost. Gunung Jerai must have been a welcomed sight, being the only visible landmark identifiable from miles away. It commands a magnificent view of the coastal plain, the Merbok estuary to the south and the sea.

Many centuries later, Gunung Jerai was again used for strategic means. During World War 11, the British army built trenches close to the peak where the lay in wait for the enemy coming in from the sea. The trenches are still there, snaking its way along the slopes of Jerai. Unfortunately, some of the historical sites and a number of sites associated with local myths are left in poor condition. Disposables such as plastic containers, bags etc are strewn all over. It's best to stick to the outer areas of the reserve, where fewer visitors roam and therefore you can appreciate the true beauty of the place minus the unsightly human contributions. There was once a time when it was suggested that a 10,000 step walkway be constructed from the base to the peak. (Horrors!). All that has stopped now thankfully and the jungle is once more as it should be - natural.

Dated: updates on facebook 15th may 2011

 

Accommodation and Holiday Packages to Kedah : Alor Setar , Langkawi and Surroundings

Accommodation :

Alor Setar

| Bee Garden Motel | Fuller Hotel | Hotel Grand Crystal | Holiday Villa City Centre | J Hotel Alor Setar | JP Hotel Alor Setar | Miramar Hotel | Rainbow Hotel | New Regent Hotel | Hotel Seri Malaysia | StarCity Hotel | Sentosa Regency Hotel | The Regency | T Hotel Tandop | T+ Hotel | The Leverage Kuala Kedah | Wangsa Inn |

Sungai Petani

| Emerald Puteri Hotel | Park Avenue Hotel Sungai Petani | Hotel Seri Malaysia | Swiss Inn |

Kulim

| Hotel Seri Malaysia |

Ulu Muda Forest Reserve

| Earth Lodge |

Gunung Jerai

| Peranginan Gunung Jerai Resort |

Merbok

Pulau Langkawi

Pantai Cenang ~ 5 star | Pelangi Beach Resort | Casa Del Mar | 3 star | Casa Fina Fine Homes Hotel | Langkawi Boutique Resort | Budget motels & guesthouses | Adina Drive In Motel | Amzar Motel | Baiduri's Place | Best Star Resort | Cenang Rest House | Cenang Rest House (Inn) | Cenang Valley Inn | Cenang Village | Chandek Kura Resort | Delta Motel | Gecko Guesthouse | Grand Beach Motel | Lagenda Permai Chalet | Langkawi Chantique Resort | Langkapuri Beach Resort | Landcons Hotel | Langgura Baron Resort | Malibest Beach Resort | Nadia's Inn | Rumours Guesthouse | Sandy Beach Motel | Tanjung Malie Resort | Tanjung Melati Resort | The Box Chalet | The Cottage | Villa Idaman Motel | Concept Resort | Bon Ton Resort & Restaurant | Beach Garden Resort | Temple Tree at Bon Ton |

Kuala Cenang ~ Concept Motel | Tubotel Langkawi |

Pantai Tengah ~ 4 star | Favehotel | The Frangipani Langkawi Resort | Holiday Villa | Aseania | 3 star | The Lanai | Federal Villa | Concept Resort | Sunset Beach Resort | Villa | Villa Molek | SangRia Exclusive Beach Villa (Private Villa) | Island Retreat | Ambong Ambong Langkawi Rainforest Retreat | Motel | Tropical Resort | White Lodge Chalet | Guesthouse | Cassa Kaseh Guesthouse | Budget Corrie Chalet | T Star Cottage |

Mukim Kedawang ~ 1 star | Dawn Langkawi Hotel |

Kuala Teriang ~ Guesthouse | Sarong Hostel |

Pulau Rebak Besar ~ 5 star | Rebak Marina Resort |

Kelibang ~ Motel | Akasia Hotel |

Kuah Town ~ 3 star | Bella Vista Resort & Spa | Bayview Hotel | Citin Hotel | De Baron Resort | Hotel Langkasuka | Langkawi Seaview Hotel | Grand Continental Hotel | My Hotel | 2 star Azio Hotel | Eagle Bay Hotel | Budget motel & resort | Region Hotel | Langkawi Budget Inn | Apartment Hotel | Kondo Istana | Century Suria | Apartment Suites | The Ocean Residence |

Tanjung Rhu ~ 5 star | Tanjung Rhu Resort | Four Seasons Resort |

Datai Bay ~ 5 star | The Andaman Datai Bay | The Datai |

Mukim Ulu Melaka ~ 4 star | Kampung Tok Senik Resort |

Pantai Kok ~ 5 star | Tanjung Sanctuary | The Danna |

Teluk Nibong ~ 5 star | Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort |

Padang Matsirat ~ 5 star | Langkawi Lagoon | 4 star | Four Points by Sheraton Langkawi Resort | 3 star | Bella Vista Hotel | Budget | The Box Chalet |

Langkawi Airport nearby ~ 4 star | One Helang Hotel |

Kuala Muda ~ 4 star | Langkasuka Beach Resort |

Burau Bay ~ 5 Star | Berjaya Langkawi Resort | 4 star | Mutiara Burau Bay Resort | Inn ~ | Geopark Hotel |

Tanjung Malai ~ 4 star | Resorts World Langkawi | Private Villa ~ | Villa Del Porto |

Pantai Dato Syed Omar ~ 5 star | Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa |

Gunung Raya ~ Boutique | D'Coconut Hill Resort |

Trips & Packages :

Pulau Langkawi

Island Day Tours | 1/2 Day Tour Round Langkawi Island | Langkawi Island Hopping & Eagle Watching Tour | Langkawi Duty Free Shopping Trip | Mangrove River Safari | Mangrove Kayak Adventure | Entrance Fees |

Yacht / Boat Trips | Boat Charter | Romantic Sunset Yacht Cruise + BBQ Dinner | Full Day Adventure Yacht Cruise + Buffet Lunch | Koh Lipe Island, Thailand | Pulau Payar Marine Park ( Snorkel ) | Pulau Payar Marine Park (Dive) |

Langkawi Specialised Tours

| Jungle Trekking | Birdwatching in Langkawi | Langkawi Geopark Tour | South Island Geopark Tour | Herbwalk with Dr. Ghani | Herbwalk in the Rainforest | Ethnobotanical Tour of the Mangrove | Kayakking and Swimming Trip | Mangrove Cruise & Swim | Escorted Nature & Wildlife Photography | Geopark Mangrove Cruise |

Combination Trips

Nature/ Highland/ Island / Culture / Heritage

| 5 Days 4 Nights Kuala Lumpur & Penang - Cooking Class + Food Trip Package | 5 Days 4 Nights Kuala Lumpur Cooking Class + Food Trip Package | 7 Days 6 Nights Peninsular Malaysia Nature & Island Trip | 7 Days 6 Nights Peninsular Malaysia Animals , Nature & Island Trip | 8 Days 7 Nights Kuala Lumpur, Penang & Langkawi Tour Package | 9 Days 8 Nights Peninsular Malaysia Highland, Nature & Island Trip |

 

Malaysia Highlands

Peninsula Malaysia Hills & Mountains

| Cameron Highlands | Bukit Chini | Fraser's Hill | Maxwell Hill | Bukit Jerai | Gunung Tahan | Penang Hill |

Sabah and Sarawak, Borneo Highlands & Mountains

| Mount Kinabalu | Kelabit Highlands (Bario) |