How do you get to Mount Ophir? Mount Ophir, also known as Gunung Ledang, is rumored to be ranked 6th most challenging trek in Malaysia. This post will provide you with all everything you need to know to plan a trip to Mount Ophir successfully!
1. Reserve a trip with Gunung Ledang National Park
Booking has to be made before you are allowed to climb Gunung Ledang. You can make reservation with the National park either by email or phone. The park rangers are friendly and replies email on time. Previously, my point of contact was Mr Azam, the ranger in-charged of Gunung Ledang National Park. His email is still firstname.lastname@example.org. In my latest correspondence with them, they have an official blog that you can get information on all the price plans. The booking procedures can be found in the official blog as well.
Previously, a booking deposit of 100 Ringgit has to be made to the Gunung Ledang national park’s Maybank account to confirm your booking. Not sure if this is still required as it is not listed in the blog. Basic charges of the climb includes entrance permit, trekking permit, guide fees and rubbish deposit. The guide fee is a must as it is compulsory to have a guide to bring you up the mountain. Anyway, it is always good to go up with a guide as he may bring you to new and interesting places outside of the trek itself!
2. Where to stay
You can either stay in the nearby town of Tangkak, or go straight to the resort that is located at the foot of Gunung Ledang (Mount Ophir). Personally, I would not recommend staying at the resort as it is located far away from all amenities. On the contrary, Tangkak is a better option as it provides travellers with a wide range of food choices. Also, a ride by taxi to Mount Ophir is only 20 minutes and can be pre-booked a day in advance. Getting out is also easier as buses to other part of Malaysia is within walking distance!
3. Find a hotel
5 years ago, I would have recommended Ophir Hotel in Tangkak . Other accommodations are available today, and can be booked through booking.com. Ophir hotel is a budget hotel with decent bedrooms and clean, private bathrooms. Not for a luxurious stay if you are looking for one. The staff are friendly and the cost per night is relatively affordable. They now have a facebook page that you can contact them for reservation. Pricing and room details are there as well. Emails may take a longer reply. Booking through phone may be a better option. You can contact them via email@example.com, call them at (+60 6-9791661) or WhatsApp them at (+60 011-108 11661). Previously, a deposit of 50% of the total room charges will have to be made to confirm your reservation, which can be quite cumbersome.
4. How to get to Tangkak and Ophir
From Singapore to Johor Bahru to Tangkak
From Singapore, take a bus from Admiralty MRT station to Larkhin terminal, Johor Bahru. where you can get buses to Tangkak. There is only one express bus that goes directly to Tangkak, and the coach service is known as CityExpress bus service. You can see the booth by walking along the interchange (from where you get off when you take SBS 170) until u reach the other end of the bus interchange. Each ticket cost around RM17.50. Once you arrive at Tangkak, you can walk to any of the hotels, including Ophir Hotel. Just ask the locals and you should be able to find it. Remember to book your return bus tickets the moment you arrive. Otherwise the buses for your trip home may be fully booked.
Kuala Lumpur to Tangkak
I have never tried entering from Kuala Lumpur, but here is a website that have helpful bus information that you can explore. My assumption is that the drop-off will be the same as the Johor-Tangkak route.
Tangkak To Mount Ophir/Gunung Ledang (Important!)
You can take a cab down from Tangkak to Gunung Ledang. Taxi can be arranged either at the interchange or through the hotel. The cost ranges between RM20 to RM30. Good if you have a team of 4. Inform the cab driver to drop you off at Gate B, which is where the ranger’s lodge is. Otherwise, you can walk from Gate A (which is where the resort is) to Gate B. Careful of cheats who will try to drive you to gate B for a fee (by convincing you that the distance between Gate A and B is far). They may end up dropping you somewhere further and extort some money before they drive you back.
There is also a bus service (North-west Bus 10) that can take you to somewhere near Gate B, where you can walk in after alighting. The walk is about 2 km to the ranger’s lodge, through a plantation. However, I have never taken the bus and cannot guarantee where it may alight you. The bus number stated here was from a local that I met. Anyway, it cost way lesser if you take a bus, between RM3 to RM5. Do check with the locals at the interchange for what buses to take and where you can take the bus from. And of course, remember to check with the driver where to alight!
5. Recommended duration
Plan for a 3 days trip even though 1 day is possible. You can enter Johor Bahru on Friday, and get to Tangkak on the same day. Relax and enjoy the scenery of the shanty town and the friendly locals. Get a good meal and a good night rest before waking up early to head down to Gunung Ledang for the climb. After the climb, you can return to Tangkak and rest for the night. Remember to have a good and hearty meal to let your muscles recuperate! You can slowly make your way home on Sunday and finish the exciting trip for the weekend.
Now, hopefully with all these information, you are ready to embark on your adventure up Gunung Ledang, Mount Ophir! For what to expect for Mount Ophir, read my other blog on What to expect at Mount Ophir (Gunung Ledang).
Note: Information updated as of Jan 2018