There are about 14 trails in Brinchang (Refer the details here http://www.cameronhighlandsinfo.com/jungle_trekking/). The mossy forest, which the local hikers fondly refer to it as the forest of the Lord of the Rings is Trail 1. It is the toughest trail among the other hiking trails in Brinchang, and also offer the most beautiful forest scenery.
We hired a guide (compulsary) to Gunung Irau. The guide fee was RM 350 for a group of 10 pax or under. Fixed price RM45 per head for group of more than 10 pax. So we gathered 10 of our friends and departed to Cameron highlands after work on a Friday. We stayed at a homestay at Cameron Highlands Golden Hills garden for two nights as we have friends from as far as Johor, so we made it a short trip to visit Cameron Highlands. For those who just want to experience the hike or from somewhere nearby, it is still recommended to stay at Cameron highlands at least the night before, as you will need to start the hike early the next day.
According to our guide, Gunung Irau is like the shape of a "W". First you have to descent to the lowest point, which is called Checkpoint Pisang. After CP Pisang, the 2nd highest point is Mini Irau (middle of W). Depending on what time you reach Mini Irau, you can decide to continue the hike or turn back. You should reach Mini Irau about 1pm +. Too late, the guide will advice you to turn back as you will not be able to make it out of the forest before it turns dark. After descent from Mini Irau, go up, you can see around you the most beautiful layers of the mossy forest before the peak of Gunung Irau. The last point of W is of course Gunung Irau peak.
The next day, after buying our breakfast and lunch pack, we car pooled to the meetup point in front of Nova hotel at Cameron Square. The guide took us in his 4WD up to the starting point of the trail, which passes beautiful tea farms through a narrow and winding road. The transportation was RM 25 per pax round trip.
A random hole can be so beautiful!
Mossy forest before Gunung Irau peak.
We conquered Gunung Irau! Yay!
We bought nasi lemak froma mamak in Brinchang town asour lunch pack, it tasted so gooood. Not sure is it because we were too hungry.
Finally out of the forest at 530pm. The idea of sumptous steamboat dinner kept us going throughout the return journey, a good motivation lol. The overall hike took us 8 hours. I was really glad that we made it before night falls!
Did we all wore black shoes for the hike? NOPE. We had "fun" washing our blackened socks and shoes the next day.
The mess. Really glad that I wore long pants for the trekking. I had a few blue black spots, and plenty of mud from mossy forest as souvenir. Since our lower body were practically covered in mud, we requested the guide to send us back to Golden Hill garden so that we don't dirty our cars. After much persuasion the guide finally agreed. We showered and cleaned ourselves at the homestay and the drivers then drove back to Cameron Square to get their cars.
I didn't managed to take as many pictures as I wanted to. We constantly had to rush our pace to get to Gunung Irau peak and back so that we can make it back before night falls. There was little to no time for photography. Furthermore, my hands were too muddy to take out my phone for a picture. So I gave up and just enjoy the moss covered forest with my own eyes. I really wonder how other people can capture such beautiful pictures of mossy forest in the google image results lol.
This mossy forest experience was special as it was chilly and I didn't sweat as much as my previous hiking trips. I enjoyed the breathtakingly beautiful scenery and the weather a lot. Mossy forest to me consider physically challenging due to its uneven and fairly steep terrain. It requires a lot of your upper body strength to lift yourself up. The W shape is only considering the highest and lowest point of the trail, do expect a lot of ups and downs, don't get fooled by the W shape as described by the guide lol. Comparing it to Gunung Ledang, which consumes about the same amount of time for the whole hike, I find mossy forest is easier than Gunung Ledang.
To enjoy the most out of mossy forest trekking, remember to always bring sufficient water supply and food for hiking. Never hike alone, and for trails similar like this, do hire a guide as you can easily lost your way in the forest. Go with your friends and make sure you stick together! Never leave any of your friends behind, bear in mind that you're out in the wild and respect the forest. :)
I would love to try other available trails in Brinchang in future. Looking forward to my next hiking adventure!
Mossy Forest hike contact:-
Andy 017-999 7790
RM35/pax guide fee
RM 25/pax transportation to starting point
Cameron Comfort Home@Golden Hill 5
Able to accomodate 12 pax, really spacious and cosy.
RM 49 /night /pax
For more info -> https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/10257959?eluid=1&euid=f79262d3-42f1-a4a3-9a0c-fb0d6a1284ae
1. Adequate water
1.5 litre each pax is more than enough for us. The weather is very chilly, you don't sweat so much compare to other hiking trip and hence you need less water.
2. Lunch pack and snack
Lunch pack is recommended since its a whole day hike. Do bring snacks like chocolate bars to replenish your energy. Remember to ALWAYS have breakfast before any hike!
3. Gloves (Any kind)
Gloves are highly recommended, remember, you're trekking in a forest which require you to use a lot of upper body strength to hold on to mossy and moist tree trunks/roots, it can get REALLY muddy and dirty, you will appreciate wearing gloves. I got mine from Daiso, RM 5.30, works totally fine. My advice is don't use expensive gym gloves cos you may tear it during the trekking, its not worth it.
4. Long pants and/or long sleeve top
Long pants is recommended as some of the tree roots are protuded and you may knock/cut your legs while climbing them. Also it can protect you from the mud.
The weather is really chilly especially in the evening. Windbreaker is really useful. Bring black or dark colored light wind breaker, sweater is not suitable.
Since you're inside a forest in foggy Cameron mountains, it can get dark fairly quickly: about 530 or 6pm. Bring a headlamp each for safety. My colleague got a cheap headlamp from Mr. DIY. Also please do remember to test the headlamp before buying and charge it before the hike lol.
7. Poncho (disposable rain coat)
Cameron mountains can be very foggy and misty and it could drizzle a little, poncho comes in handy in case the rain gets too heavy. Available in any 7eleven stores.
Same with any hiking/trekking, sling bags are not recommended. Bring a dark colored backpack cos you may dirty it during the hike.
9. Hiking shoes & socks
Wear suitable hiking shoes, the trail can be very slippery. Wear dark colored shoes if possible, if you don't want to suffer so much washing them later.