It’s been awhile since we’ve gone on a long trek, so we decided to take a day trip to Kluang to climb Gunung Lambak. Gunung Lambak is a 510m high mountain found in the town of Kluang, Johor. This mountain can be seen clearly from the town with its prominent twin peaks. Usually, Singaporeans give this mountain a miss as there is an even higher one (Gunung Belumut 1010m) which is half an hour away. However, this mountain is suitable for trekkers who want to go on a short, leisurely day hike.
Due to its close proximity to the town, there are playgrounds at the foot of the mountain. During the weekends, it is common to see locals trekking on the hill as a family. Food stalls sprung out from the side of the road and numerous cars occupied the car park. Some children would be playing in the murky waters of the man-made pool while others would prefer the cleaner stream.
From the main carpark, you can choose to trek up 2 separate paths which leads to the 2 peaks. For the more popular trail, head straight on the cemented trail which will bring you past waterfalls and the start of the ascend. The uphill trek can be quite tiring as the route is steep for most part of the journey. Ropes are tied to the side of the trail to assist the tired trekker.
We stopped for a break at the midway point of the left trail known to the locals as “half way hill” or “tea station”. It is called the tea station because a man will trek up this “half way hill” and prepare tea and snacks for trekkers as refreshment free of charge on most mornings. Here, there is hut where the tea is prepared and two man-made fountains. We quickly made our move uphill when some curious (and fierce) monkeys approached.
For most trekkers, the highest peak can be reached between 60-90 minutes, where you can enjoy views of the east side of the town. There are two benches and a small shelter and a signboard on a lightning rod to indicate the top of the mountain. The television station RTM completed a transmitter on Gunung Lambak in 1969 to provide good reception in Kluang. It closed in 1983, superseded by a transmitter at Gunung Ledang, near Tangkak. The mast still stands at the summit of Gunung Lambak.
We made our way down and across the ridge and after some downhill walking were faced with a very steep hill. The scary looking climb up the 45 degree incline up to the lower peak turned out to be quite simple as we took one slow step at a time. And surprisingly, this was easiest section of the trail for us. Also met many friendly hikers along the way down to “kaki bukit”.
Here’s a screenshot of our runkeeper route up the mountain, to the “tea station” (300m ASL), to the highest peak (510m ASL), down across the ridge (368m ASL), back up to the 2nd peak (465m ASL), and back down to “kaki bukit”. All-in-all it took us almost four hours to climb two peaks, including rest and shutterbug time.
Directions to the foot of the mountain: From the North South Expressway (NSE), take the Ayer Hitam exit (Interchange 244) then turn right after toll onto the Kluang – Jemaluang trunk road (Highway 50), headed towards Kluang town. Follow 12 o’clock when you reach the first roundabout. Follow 12 o’clock when you reach the second roundabout on Jalan Mersing. Turn right at traffic light on Jalan Abdullah. You should be able to see the mountain on your 2 o’clock. There should be brown signs indicating “Gunung Lambak”. Gunung Lambak Recreational Forest is close to Kampung Dato’ Abdul Rahman Yassin, just south of Kluang town centre.