Gunung Brinchang, Cameron Highlands
An outdoor adventure travel
At 2032 meters, Gunung Brinchang is the highest peak that is accessible by road in Malaysia. It is also the highest peak around the Cameron Highlands area. It is not too difficult to go up there by car. Yes, by car! You can drive up to the mountain, and this is one outdoor adventure travel that you don't need any four wheel drive or land rover to do it.
I have seen a van carrying technician speeding up the steep gradient without any problem! I had a tough time catching up with them even with my 1.8 liter powered car and at times feels like the car has no energy going up at all! I guess they go up there regularly to service the telecommunication tower located at the peak and know the road and terrain very well.
This trip up to Mount Brinchang is not for everybody, especially not for the faint hearted because the gradient is rather steep in certain stretches. When I'm driving up the road, at times I have to grit my teeth and push on ahead and keep going. At narrow stretches with steep gradient do not even consider stopping your car! Driving up to the peak is not something you want to do often when visiting Cameron Highlands. Of my so many visits to the highland, I've only gone up twice. The first visit it was bright and clear and on my second visit, it was just cloudy with mist all over with rain threatening to make a downpour any moment!
But for those who do brave the steep drive up and down will be well rewarded with a grand view of the surrounding Cameron Highlands at the peak. There is a watchtower up there giving you a 360° view. It was said that you could actually see Ipoh from up there. I'm not so sure about that, maybe I don't know which direction to squint my eyes to watch out for Ipoh and perhaps the weather was lousy with clouds all around obscuring the view.
Going up to Gunung Brinchang is best done on a cloudless day to get a commanding view. So do watch out for the weather. If it is a cloudy and a wet day, don't waste your time and forget about going up there. Not only you don't get the grand view, the road is wet and a tad slippery, and not to mention the risk of landslide too. Landslide is common in Cameron Highlands and it happen in this stretch at the end of year 2005. Some tourist drove up to Mount Brinchang and had to leave their cars behind as there was no other road access. The landslide debris was not cleared up till sometime in the middle of year 2006. Of course the road is now accessible again, but do consider a bit before embarking on this simple outdoor adventure.
How to get there? Take the road to the Sungai Palas Boh Tea Plantation. Just before reaching the tea plantation gate, there is another road branching away on the left, take that and you are on your way up to Gunung Brinchang. The initial road is still in the tea plantation grounds, and at some point along the way, you may want to stop your car to enjoy a nice relaxing view of the tea plantation and perhaps snap a few landscape photos.
Hey, here's an idea, if you do feel squeamish about driving all the way up to Gunung Brinchang, you could drive up halfway instead. Look for a spot with a nice panoramic view of the Sungai Palas tea plantation valley and have yourself a nice picnic with your family and friends! Yes, there are spots along the narrow road that are wide enough for you to park your car. And if your timing is right, you might see the tea plantation workers picking tea leafs for processing into tea later in the factory.
For those who just love trudging the highland trails, there is a Mount Brinchang jungle trail path number #1 around there somewhere. This is not an easy trail and many a trekkers has lost their way. Better to hire a guide to take you around the trek. Besides the guide knows some secret hidden path, that most general trekkers are not aware about. You can get to see many exotic fauna, flora and fuzzy moss along the path leading finally to a beautiful grand view of Cameron Highlands surrounding. The hidden path is not well known and thus it is ensured of its pristine condition as less people trudge the path leading to less damage to its environment.
There you have it, Gunung Brinchang the highest peak accessible by road in Malaysia. Have a go if you are daring enough for this simple outdoor adventure travel!
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Posted on 2-Dec-2006