Mount Tahan


Climbing Mount Tahan: Malaysia’s Toughest Trek

Mountain Stats
Natural Form and History
Climbing Experience & Itinerary
Support Facilities
Safety & Accessibility
Special Tips
Weather Now

Quick Answers

Q:How do you climb Mount Tahan?
A:Merapoh is 244km away from Kuala Lumpur. You can take the bus/train or a 3.5 hour car/taxi ride to begin your hike at the Taman Negara National Park. Baggage will be checked, a guide must be hired and a permit must be paid for to begin the hike from either Kuala Tahan or Merapoh. Foreigners must file a report at the local police station to obtain a permit for their Mount Tahan hike.
Q:How difficult is it to climb Mount Tahan?
A:Gunung Tahan is the highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia and is considered to be the toughest trek due more to its length and duration than its difficulty, but it does present a number of river crossings, thick rainforests and some steep slopes.

Climbing Mount Tahan Malaysia - Mountain Stats

2,187m (7,175ft)
Climbing Height
1,902m (6,240ft)
  • #6 Highest Mountain in Malaysia
  • #1 Highest Mountain in Peninsular Malaysia
Other names
  • Gunung Tahan
  • Endurance Mountain

Climbing Mount Tahan Malaysia - Natural Form and History

Natural Mount Tahan Malaysia - Natural history

This 100 million year old mountain is a part of the southern most reaches of the Himalayas, the Tahan Range in the Tenasserim Hills. Mount Tahan is located within the Taman Negara National Park, in the midst of the world’s oldest rainforests. The mountain has much to offer in terms of nature with its exotic wildlife, bountiful rivers, beautiful orchids and even the world’s largest flower, rafflesias.

Natural Mount Tahan Malaysia - Climbing history

Despite the many failures by early explorers, the first successful summit was recorded in 1899 by a member of the Cambridge Scientific Expedition. Although at the time he was thought to be missing for several days, he returned, albeit severely ill. The locals have stories of how climbing Mount Tahan has been an adventure since ancient times, when a Sultan of Pahang had ordered his men to fetch him “magic stones” from the summit. The men never returned and were said to have gotten lost in the gorges of the mountain.

Natural Mount Tahan Malaysia - Current status

Today, despite its popularity amongst climbers, Mount Tahan is considered to be a tough trek, so it is popular for people looking to really get into the wilderness and test their stamina. 

Climbing Mount Tahan Malaysia - Climbing Experience & Itinerary

Climbing Mount Tahan Malaysia - Climbing Experience

Mount Tahan isn’t a climb for beginners, but this shouldn’t deter you into considering this a climb only for advanced climbers. Summiting Tahan just requires climbers to pay attention to their physical fitness levels. The trail offers a mix of flat and steep sections, with plenty of ridges, river crossings, slush and ravines to keep things interesting.

Climbing Mount Tahan Malaysia - Trail options

Number of options

You get to choose a trail out of the 3 options available depending on your time constraints and physical fitness. The longer, classic trail will take you over a week to complete while the shorter trail brings you back to the starting point within 4-5 days. The other option is basically a combination of these two options whereby you’ll be using one trail to go up and the other to come down.

Time to complete
4 days

This is the shortest trail and starts at 285m above sea level. However, this trail will test your endurance.

Number of days
Day 1

Registration at Sungai Relau Park Office and bag check by the officials. At this point, everything in your bags will be catalogued for checking again when you finish the trek to discourage travelers from leaving trash behind; you may be fined if there are missing items when you return.


Briefing by park officials and drive to Kuala Jurum, 13 kms away from the Park Office which is the starting point of the trek.


Lunch and final briefing by guide.


Start of hike.


Arrival at Kuala Luis. The route from this point onwards becomes a little steeper.


Arrival at Lata Luis.


Arrival At Kem Kor where camp is set up for the night and dinner is cooked and served.

Day 2

Wakeup call; breakfast is cooked and served on site and lunch is cooked and packed.


Start of hike.


Arrive at Kem Permatang.


Arrive at Kem Kubang: lunch and water refilling stop.


Resume hike. After a morning of climbing up steep slopes, this part of the trail becomes a little easier to navigate.


Arrive at Kem Belumut.


Arrive at False Peak, from where you descend to Bukit Botak.


Arrive at Kem Bonsai. This is tree has become a ‘must have’ location for pictures, where many hikers climb to take pictures in their creative postures. From this point onwards, the tree cover disappears and you face the harsh sun on your skin.


Arrive at Bukit Botak where camp is set for the night, and get a well deserved rest after the longest day of the trek. There is also a nearby water point where you can take a quick bath. You will have covered approximately 16 kms in about 12 hours of trekking.

Day 3

 Wakeup call; climb to the summit to catch the sunrise. This part is flatter, but also windier and chillier than the rest of the trail.


Arrive at the summit of Gunung Tahan.


Descend to Camp Botak.


Begin the descend from Camp Botak.


Arrive at Kem Kubang and set up camp for the night.

Day 4

Wake up call.


Start descend.


Arrive at Kuala Juram and drive back to Park office.


Arrival at office where bags are checked again by Park officials.


Return to lodgings.

This is the longest and oldest trail. The entire trip up and down should take about 7 days. This route may be tough but is also the most scenic trail.

This trail is a combination of the other two where you’ll either begin at Kuala Tahan and descend to Merapoh or vice versa. This trail can take anything 5-7 days to complete.

Climbing Mount Tahan Malaysia - Support facilities

Guides and porters

Guides are required
Porters are recommended

Trail facilities

Trail head - Registration kiosk
Trail head - Toilets / Bathrooms
Trail - Built-in hand-holds, guide-ropes, and hazard markings at technically difficult sections
Trail - Publicly displayed trail maps

Food & water

Trail head - Food & potable water only available from guide / porters
Trail - Food & potable water only available from guide / porters
Summit base camp - Food & potable water only available from guide / porters

Network connectivity

Trail head - Network signal

Climbing Mount Tahan Malaysia - Safety & Accessibility


The best time to climb is during the dry season from March to September. The weather in Malaysia is typically equatorial so expect temperatures averaging 24°C during the day and 15°C during the night. Mount Tahan is closed for trekking during September-October due to high rainfall.

Climbing safety

This trail is rather adventurous with many river crossings, dense patches of jungle and plenty of slopes. During the first three days you’ll experience 3 distinct sections of the climb. The first day isn’t too steep of a climb but the 4th and final river crossing of the day may have you waist-deep in water. The second day is a much steeper climb with just one river crossing. Be aware of the intertwined tree roots along the way and take advantage of the guide ropes and side railings. The final stretch isn’t as steep as the second day climb.

Personal safety

It is recommended that you stick close to your group and guide to avoid getting lost.

Snakes and insects: This is a real threat and even more reason to avoid wandering off, away from your group.

Permits, Fees, and Regulations

Foreign travelers must file a report at the local police station before proceeding to the park entrance at Kuala Tahan or Merapoh to acquire their permit. A permit will be handed over once the fee has been paid, a guide has been hired and the baggage check has been completed.

Emergency contacts

Police & Ambulance: 999 (112 from a mobile)

Fire & Rescue (Bomba): 994 (112 from a mobile)

Tourist Police Hotline: 03 2149 6590

Getting there and away

The nearest airports to the Taman Negara National Park are in Ipoh, Terengganu and Kuantan. However, Merapoh is 244km away from Kuala Lumpur so you could always take the train, bus or a 3.5 hour taxi/car ride. The bus from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Baruh stops at the Merapoh station. If you want to take the train, go south to Gemas from Kuala Lumpur and then get on the “Jungle Line” to Tumpat.

Money Matters

If you’re going in a group, expect to pay at least around $650USD. Costs may rise depending on whether you’re traveling solo or in a group. Remember, guides are mandatory either way.

Climbing Mount Tahan Malaysia - Special Tips

Tips for amateur climbers

Fitness and endurance levels are the most important factor that may affect your climb (rather than technical skills). Be sure to get fit well in advance to attempting Tahan. Be sure to get good wet-weather camping gear, and to wear in your hiking boots.

Tips for advanced climbers

If you’ve already set your mind on spending about a week on your Mount Tahan summit, consider taking the combination route as opposed to the shortest. This way you’ll get to enjoy an all-round experience of the trek up one of the toughest peaks to summit in the region.

Tips for women

There aren’t any threats to women in specific, however you may want to take the local culture into consideration when deciding on attire for your visit.

Tips for responsible / safety-conscious climbers

This trek takes you into some remote areas. You will need to be self-sufficient when it comes to your food, water, first aid, and emergency equipment.

Tips for trail runners

The Mount Tahan Climbathon took place in January 2018 where a hike that takes a minimum of 4 days was attempted to be completed in 12 hours. Keep an eye out for other events like these.

Tips for nature lovers

Taman Negara is Malaysia’s largest protected conservation area, boasting rich lowland forests, with over 200 tree species per hectare. During your trek, you’ll see rivers, ancient trees and exotic flora, including the world’s largest flower, rafflesia.

Weather Right Now