If you’re traveling on ferry between Langkawi and Penang, Gunung Jerai or formerly known as “Kedah Peak” is certainly the majestic peak that will capture your heart. I have been eying on this summit since our last visit to Titi Hayun Recreational Park some time ago. Enormous limestone outcrop that rises 1,175 m above sea level, Mount Jerai being the highest in the state of Kedah erupts majestically over a vast flat plains of paddy field. Breathtaking, scenic, this is the picture that has been playing in my mind since then!
Steep in history, Gunung Jerai was once considered sacred by the ancient Malays hence there are evidences of Hindu-Buddhist civilization dating back to the 4th century. Similar to many other summits, Mount Jerai also shares a fair bit of fascinating tales. One of the most famous folklore is King of Fangs or “Raja Bersiong” – a story of a cruel king that ruled an ancient kingdom within Bujang Valley, also liked to consume human blood.
Top 5 things to do in Gunung Jerai:
One may opt to walk in the woods. Begin from Titi Hayun Recreational Park, ‘Tangga Kenari Seribu Tahun’ (1000 years of Canary’s Staircase) path offers an interesting greenery in the tropical forest, ascending to Mount Jerai. Speaking from experience, check out with DanLiew.
2. Watching Straits of Malacca and vast land under the clouds
Taking the vantage point, overlooking one of the busiest straits in the world i.e. Straits of Malacca, the aerial panoramic view on the east overlooks the strait is simply breathtaking! Especially on a fog-free day, the view of Pulau Bunting and the bridge connecting the island to mainland is captivating , leaving one to wonder if you can visit one day. I was told however cars are not allowed, though it is a popular spot for fishers to flock. Flag post of Jerai Regency Resort is certainly the best spot to pan through the view of coastal plain. Blooming Hydrangea ranging from light blue to dark or light pink, these flowers are indeed captivating the hearts of many visitors.
3. Wandering in Nature
Alor Naga Waterfall or literally means Dragon’s Creek is a worth venue to begin from Jerai Regency Resort. Merely a few hundreds meters away from the resort, this famous waterfall requires one to hike down a path of steep boulders. The beauty of the waterfalls is absolutely inspiring, particularly the crimson color blending with mossy green on the rocky wall surface!
Not far away, I discovered there was a mushroom farm, initiating back in 2008. Adopting organic style of farming, one may check with the resort staff if visitors are allowed into Agro-Bio Future Sdn Bhd mushroom farm.
For family with kids, pack up delicious salads, sandwiches, fruits, cakes and some hot beverages can be a great choice. Unlike the typical tropical temperature, elevated almost 1000 meters from sea level provides a cooling, freshing atmosphere to enjoy simple, favorite, home foods under the sun.
If not, there is always a back-up. The one and only decent eatery that sits on Mount Jerai is Puncak Kedah restaurant (Kedah’s Peak). It belongs to Jerai Regency Resort, serving buffet hi-tea from RM20 per person from 12-4pm. Also featuring a-la-carte option, fusion menu offers the selection of rice, noodles, pizza to fruits, cakes and ice-creams.
5. Outdoor Camping
Not many perhaps know that Jerai Regency Resort does provide an outdoor camping site for adventurous visitors who want to sleep under the moon and stars, plucking ears to buzzing insects in the darkness!
By road: On the North-South Expressway, take the Gurun exit. From Gurun town, turn towards north heading on Alor Star.
Access to Gunung Jerai is roughly 2 km from Gurun town and 5 km from exit.
From foothill of Mount Jerai to Jerai Regency Resort, the 13km route takes about 20 minutes.