|pine trees everywhere
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
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