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Mountains of Malaysia

(26 April 2006)


Mountains of Malaysia Mountains of Malaysia

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Mountains have always exerted a powerful influence on the human imagination - their lofty heights inspire dreamers and storytellers, and have challenged adventurers through the ages. Malaysia's mountains are no exception. Peninsular Malaysia's mountains like Gunung Jerai and Gunung Ledang, bear a rich folklore, and Sabah's highest peak, Gunung Kinabalu, is revered by the local Kadazandusun populace as the resting place of their ancestors.

Beyond the mystique of our mountains, there is an equally fascinating reality. With increasing altitude climate gradients are created, which Mother Nature has taken advantage of to create some of Malaysia's most unique flora and fauna. In the heat of the tropics, our mountains have become cool islands of incredibly rich biodiversity. Every year, tourists from all over the world come to conquer the slopes of Malaysia's peaks. Our task is not just to preserve the challenge they present to climbers, but the equally important challenge of keeping their beauty and diversity unspoilt. For nature lovers, birdwatchers, climbers, botanists - and modern-day dreamers and storytellers - they are truly our "highest" national treasure.

Mount Kinabalu (Gunung Kinabalu)

Mount Kinabalu is among South-East Asia's tallest mountains, towering 4,095 meters above Kinabalu National Park in the heart of Sabah. The mountain's sheer height means it supports ecosystems ranging from tropical forest to sub-alpine conditions. The majority of Borneo's rarest plants, mammals, birds, amphibians and invertebrates live on the slopes of Gunung Kinabalu. Despite its imposing presence, the main peak is actually fairly straightforward to climb, although Gunung Kinabalu's lesser peaks will challenge even experienced mountaineers. The most popular trek is the two-day Summit Trail, which winds through cloud-covered forest where orchids, pitcher plants and rhododendrons bloom, and then beyond to a surreal world of granite peaks and steep cliffs. In the year 2000, the mountain and its surrounding area was gazette as Malaysia's first World Heritage Site - a fitting tribute to Mount Kinabalu's uniqueness and importance.

Moung Ledang (Gunung Ledang)

A recent film has put the name of this mountain on everyone's lips; yet it has always been renowned among the local population of Johor, who have passed tales of its resident princess. 'Puteri Gunung Ledang' from generation to generation. Although the princess was well-known for her riddles, the enduring charm of Mount Ledang is no mystery at all. It is a popular spot for jungle trekking and picnicking. As one near the summit, there are areas of undisturbed mossy forest with orchids and pitcher plants. From the peak, on a clear day, one enjoys an unrivalled view of the Straits of Malacca, framing the islands of Sumatra in the distance.

Also known as Mount Ophir, Gunung Ledang is the highest mountain in Johor at 1,276 meters and appears to be one of Malaysia's most visited mountains. Another attraction to be found in Gunung Ledang is a 50-meter waterfall, which cool water cascades onto large boulders, splitting into rushing rapids and culminating in a large sandy pool. The 'Puteri Waterfalls' is a major tourist attraction in Johor.

Mount Jerai (Gunung Jerai)

Much like Gunung Ledang to the South, Kedah's Gunung Jerai is home to many fascinating local legend. It was once reputed to be the abode of 'Raja Bersiong' (the 'King of Fangs') whose private bathing pool has been said to be located in the vicinity. Whether one embraces these legends or not, the real historical significance of Gunung Jerai is indisputable. Even before the Malacca Sultanate became famous, Indian and Arab merchants had established footholds in the Malay Peninsula at the Merbok estuary in Jerai's foothills.

For the modern day traveler, Gunung Jerai is still enticing. Just a short drive away from Alor Star, the mountain rewards visitors with numerous picnic spots and natural attractions. The Sungai Teroi Forest Recreation Park is a calming retreat festooned with rhododendrons, orchids, pitcher plants, and many varieties of ferns and herbs. On a clear day atop the peak, visitors can glimpse the magnificent view of the gently rolling padi fields of Kedah, stretching up to Perlis, and the islands of Penang in the south and Langkawi in the north-west.

Mount Mulu (Gunung Mulu)

Gunung Mulu is the second highest peak in Sarawak, standing at 2,376 meters. With its sister peaks, Gunung Api (1,750 meters) and Gunung Benarat (1,585 meters) it dominates Gunung Mulu National park; yet what lies within and beneath these mountains is just as impressive as what lies above. The highlights of this magnificent natural wonder are record-breakers in their own right: the world's largest cave passage (Deer Cave), the world's largest natural chamber (Sarawak Chamber), and the longest cave in Southeast Asia (Clearwater Cave). Over 200 km of Mulu's cave passages have been surveyed, but this is thought to represent just 30-40% of the actual total.

With its deeply-incised canyons, wild rivers, rainforest-covered mountains, spectacular limestone pinnacles, cave passages and decorations, Mulu has outstanding scenic values. A must-see attraction is the 'Pinnacles' - dramatic limestone spikes, reaching up to 45 meters, that adorn the slopes of Gunung Api.

Mount Tahan (Gunung Tahan)

Gunung Tahan, located in Taman Negara national park, is Peninsular Malaysia's highest peak at 2,187 meters. It is surrounded by some of the Earth's oldest rainforests, estimated to be more than 130 million years old. There are two known ways of conquering the summit of Gunung Tahan. One is through Kuala Tahan, and another from Merapuh, Kelantan. The route from Merapuh is the shorter route but still rewards climbers with the same impressive vistas over the Tahan Range.

The adventurer's unofficial companions for this spectacular trek will be over 10,000 species of plants, 350 species of birds, and hundreds of mammal species. Patience and luck may reward you with a glimpse of mouse deer, barking deer, tapirs, wild boards, elephants, leopards, and even for the exceptionally fortunate, tigers. Despite the constant inflow of local and international tourist, careful conservation has ensured that its age-old richness remains largely intact.

Technical Details

Date of Issue 26 April 2006
Denomination 30 sen, RM1
Stamp Size 40 mm X 30 mm
Miniature Sheet Denomination RM2.00
Miniature Sheet Size 100 mm X 70 mm
Stamp Size in Miniature Sheet 50 mm X 40 mm
Perforation 14
Sheet Content 20 stamps
Paper SPM Watermarked, Phosphor Coated
Printing Process Embossed Technique and Lithography

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