Gunung Irau, one of the famous jungle walking trail in Brinchang town, Cameron Highlands, is the highest peak of the Brinchang town. At the height of 2,110 metres, the Mossy Forest is the main attraction that sees hikers from other places frequented Gunung Irau.
What is Mossy Forest? Mossy plant is a parasite plant that grows only on most high altitude trees. Driven by wind, low level clouds enveloped Gunung Irau with mist and moisture making it the ideal environment for mossy plant to grow thus creating the Mossy Forest.
Being one of the oldest forest jungle in the world with 130 million years old, the 15th highest mountain in Malaysia is suitable for day trekking as the trail is just 2.3 km one way. It takes about 5-6 hours to complete the trail from the start to the summit and back to the trailhead.
What`s so special here? Obviously, the famous Mossy Forest. On top of that, Gunung Irau is one of the most easily accessible mossy forest in Peninsula Malaysia. You do not need to be extremely physically fit and experienced in hiking to be here as Mossy plants are grown everywhere in the surrounding of Mossy Forest even at the trailhead, unless you want to scale the summit.
For those who lacks exercise, you could just enjoy of the magical view and take photos of the Mossy Forest at the foothill. Other than popular for hiking, the mystical Mossy Forest is also famous for wedding photo shoot. If you choose to scale to the summit of Gunung Irau, get yourself a good pair hiking boots as the trails could be muddy during rainy season. Bring with you first aid kit, water, lunch, torchlight (for emergency use), gloves, rain and/or wind jacket.
If you are putting a night in Brinchang town, drive about 30 minutes to Brinchang Tower. You may pick up some food along the way. You could even visit the B.O.H TEA FARMS, one of the largest tea plantations in Cameron Highlands, and taste a cup of fresh brewed tea here. Don't forget to take a photo or two as this is the best place to take a sunrise photo too.
As the roads leading to the entrance of Mossy Forest are narrow and not well maintained, go with a 4WD pick up truck or else park you car at Brinchang Mall and a truck. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the Brinchang Tower and another 10-minute Walk to the entrance of Mossy Forest. If you are not scaling the mountain, you could just wonder around the observation tower and enjoy the view of Cameron Highlands and the Titiwangsa Range here.
Permit is required to hike Gunung Irau. Hire a guide if you want to see the best of the mystical Mossy Forest. The guides not only know the best spots in Gunung Irau, they know the treks well too.
The hike into Mossy Forest and the summit of Gunung Irau begins with staircases. You will enter the mystical green world of mossy forest as you take a step after another. There will be lots of ups and downs along the trail before your meet a false summit, “anak Irau”. For first timer, you might have mistaken that you have reached the summit of Gunung Irau. The summit is another 45 minutes away.
When you finally reached the summit,you are in a different world. You will be rewarded with the spectacular view of Titiwangsa Range and part of the “G7” mountains too (Mt. Yong Belar, Mt. Junction, Mt. Korbu and Mt Gayong. Take a good rest, capture lots of photos and appreciate the view before you pack up and begin you descend to the trailhead.
The road to the trailhead is the same as the trail that led you to the summit. That means another 2.3km downhill from the summit. The trail could be very muddy after rain and everyone would look like commandos from the war zone covered with muddy when you arrived the base.
Bring some water and clean clothing with you to clean yourselves and change to a new set of clean clothing before heading out to the town again. This is the time when everyone is hungry and wants to rush for the famous steamboat meal at Brinchang town. Steamboat is one of the popular food in Cameron highland due of its cold weather Steamboat restaurants are plenty in Brinchang town. You could just hop to anyone of them.
Some hikers might choose to leave for their next destination after the hike. Putting another night in Brinchang town could be a good idea to explore the most of Cameron Highlands.
This experience and article are contributed by:WILLS WONG PEAKS OUTDOOR MALAYSIA