Malaysia is a tropical country in Southeast Asia. Geographically Malaysia consists of two distinct parts: Peninsular Malaysia in the west, and Malaysian Borneo in the east. In between lies the South China Sea. Trekking and climbing in Malaysia is most popular inside the many National Parks. In most cases a special permit is needed to enter a National Park.
Peninsular Malaysia covers less than half of the country's total land area. From it's border with Thailand in the north, several mountain ranges run in north-south direction to form a backbone and natural division between the plains of the East Coast and West Coast regions. The main mountain range is formed by the Titiwangsa Mountains, known locally as Banjaran Titiwangsa or Banjaran Besar. Highest mountain is Mount Tahan (2187 m) inside the enormous Taman Negara National Park, which is famous for its ancient and dense tropical rainforests. Starting point for the tough 5- to 9-day climb up Mount Tahan, and also for other less demanding jungle treks in Taman Negara, is the village and park headquarters of Kuala Tahan in the state of Pahang. The second large National Park, offering multi-day lowland jungle treks, is that of Endau-Rompin in the southern state of Johor. Other easier and quite popular hiking trails can be found in the Cameron Highlands, up mountains like Gunung Korbu and the legendary Gunung Ledang (Mt.Ophir), and inside the many more park-like recreational forests such as Ulu Bendul. Best time of year for hiking is during the (relatively) dry season, from March to October.
Malaysian Borneo consists of two states: Sabah and Sarawak. Together they cover more than half of Malaysia's land area, but are relatively unpopulated. Sabah is home to Mount Kinabalu (4095 m), highest mountain of Malaysia and part of the Crocker Range. It is surrounded by the Kinabalu National Park. To climb up Low's Peak, the summit of Mount Kinabalu, is quite popular and normally takes 1 or 2 days. Other jungle areas of Sabah worth exploring on foot are the Crocker Range National Park, Danum Valley and Maliau Basin. In Sarawak there are jungle trekking opportunities among the limestone hills and caves in the Niah and Gunung Mulu National Parks, and along the coast in Bako National Park. Best time of year for hiking is during the (relatively) dry season, January to April in Sabah, and April to October in Sarawak.
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