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Best Hiking Trails in Malaysia

Overview

Malaysia is a southeast Asian country that occupies two large pieces of land – peninsular or mainland and a large section of the island of Borneo.  There are many mountainous areas throughout the country. Some of the main hiking areas include: the Cameron Highlands, Gunung Mulu National Park, Kelabit Highlands, Taman Negara National Park, Penang National Park, Gunung Trusmadi, and more.  The best months to hike in Malaysia vary; in many areas the months of January to March and June to August are best, but they depend on the region.  Read on for more information on where and when to hike in Malaysia. 

Capital: Kuala Lumpur

When To Hike in Malaysia?

Year Round: For most parts of Malaysia, the months of January – March and June – August are the best, but it varies depending on the region.  Filter through the map to see best months for each region.
Varies
Varies: Very rainy; risk of cyclones
Climate: Equatorial – rain all year round; hot and humid all year round.  Also tropical and sub-tropical in some areas. Weather changes year to year.  In the far north, much rainier (ie. Border with Thailand).  In general, Oct – Dec seem to be the rainiest months.  In Borneo, VERY rainy, hard to pinpoint a good time.  Although Sarawak seems less rainy than Sabah. It’s a matter of how wet you want to be. 

Accessibility of Hiking

Medium:  There are established national parks and trails; but you need a guide for most hikes, and in some places, you have to have a licensed guide.  There are tons of hiking groups that run hikes.

Transportation required: Car; hiring driver

Where to stay in Malaysia for hiking:

  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Ipoh
  • George Town
  • Kuala Tahan

Top Places to Hike in Malaysia

There’s a mountain range running northwest to southwest through mainland Malaysia. There are 28 national and state parks and forest reserves, 23 of which are on Borneo. Highest Mountain: Gunung Tahan (2187 m) in Taman Negara National Forest on mainland Malaysia; Mount Kinabalu (4095 m) in Sabah state on the island of Borneo.

Filter out hiking places of Malaysia by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Batang Ai National Park

  • Jan – Apr
  • Very low mountains around lake/river

Tanjung Datu National Park

  • Jan – Apr
  • Remote, rugged peninsula that is difficult to access; apparently there are four trails

Mount Rumput

  • Jan – Apr

Gunung Gading National Park

Kubah National Park

  • Jan – Apr

Kelabit Highlands

  • Jan – Apr 
  • Hiking from longhouse to longhouse

Gunung Buda National Park

  • Jan – Apr

Gunung Mulu National Park

  • Jan – Apr
  • Mulu National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Gunung Api
  • Interesting caves to explore

Maliau Basin Conservation Area

  • Jan – Apr

Crocker Range National Park

  • Jan – Apr

Gunung Trusmadi

  • Jan – Apr
  • At 2642 m, it is apparently more difficult to climb than Kinabalu

Taman Negara Gunung Kinabulu

  • Jan – Apr
  • In Sabah state, on the northern tip of island of Borneo
  • Mount Kinabalu (4095 m)

Gunung Ledang

  • Jan – Feb; June – Aug

Endau Rompin National Park

  • Jan – Feb; June – Aug

Around Kuala Lumpur

  • Jan – Feb; June – Aug
  • There are forest reserves and hills/mountains right outside the city

Bukit Fraser

  • Jan – Feb; June – Aug

Mount Yong Belar

  • Jan – Feb; June – Aug

Taman Negara National Park

Taman Negeri Perlis

  • Dec – Mar

Gunung Machinchang

  • Dec – Mar
  • On the island of Langkawi

Penang National Park

  • Dec – Mar

Bukit Larut

  • Jan – Feb; June – Aug

Royal Belum State Park

  • Jan – Feb; June – Aug
  • Right on the border with Thailand

Cameron Highlands

  • Jan – Feb; June – Aug
  • Malaysia’s largest tea plantation area
  • Popular area, established trails but you still need a guide

Malaysia's Long Distance Trails

  • Many of the hikes featured are long-distance trails
  • Gunung Tahan
  • Mount Trusmadi
  • Mount Kinabalu

Malaysia's Walking & Hiking Resources

Malaysia Hiking Books: 

  • Insight Guides Malaysia (Travel Guide eBook), by APA Publications Limited, 2019, APA Publications
  • Rough Guide to Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, by Rough Guides, 2018, APA Publications
  • Lonely Planet Best of Malaysia and Singapore, by Simon Richmond and Brett Atkinson, 2016, Lonely Planet Publications 
  • Lonely Planet Borneo, by Isabel Albiston, ‎Richard Waters, ‎Loren Bell, 2016, Lonely Planet Publications

Malaysia Hiking Associations:

 

Best Hiking Trails in Malaysia:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from trail maps/apps, websites, and tourist offices:

  • Bukit Tabur
  • Mount Yong Belar
  • Bukit Fraser
  • Gunung Tahan
  • Gunung Machinchang
  • Cameron Highlands trails
  • Gunung Ledang
  • Mount Kinabalu
  • Gunung Trusmadi
  • Kelabit Highlands
  • Gunung Gading
  • Mount Rumput
  • Penang Hill

Easy Hiking Trails in Malaysia:

  • Penang National Park trails
  • Gunung Api

 

Malaysia Hiking Websites:

 

Malaysia Weather site:

 

Malaysia Official Tourism Organizations:

 

Malaysia Hiking Apps: 

 

Malaysia Hiking Maps: 

What Else To Do

  • Orangutans

Other Important Points

  • It can take many days to do what would normally be a day hike because you often have to jungle trek for a few days to get to the base of the mountain