27 Jun 2010


The best way to enter the interiors of Kelantan and, at the same time, get a first-hand look at the typical village life, is to take the KTM train – once romantically known as the Jungle Train in the spirit of adventure and exploration – right through the state. One of the stops along the way is in the quaint village of Dabong, about 155 kilometers from Kota Bharu, the state capital. Dabong lies in the area dedicated as Mt.Stong State Park (formerly called Jelawang Jungle) and is situated on the fringes of Malaysia’s massive Titiwangsa range.

The rugged landscape of Kelantan’s interiors offers many exciting adventures for anyone who loves the great outdoors. From limestone hills to rushing rapids, from thick tropical jungles to cool cavernous caves, Kelantan is a pleasure to experience.

The mountainous backdrop there is made up of a chain of majestic peaks, waiting to be conquered – Gunung Ayam, Gunung Stong, Gunung Tera, Gunung Saji, Gunung Koh, Gunung Baha, Gunung Beirut, Gunung Che Tahir. (Gunung is the local word for mountain). One of the main attractions at the state park is Gunung Stong (1,422 meters), a dome-shaped granite complex more than 500 million years old. Here, the seven-tiered Stong Waterfalls, reputed to be the highest in Southeast Asia, drops from a height of about 990 metres.

At the peak of Stong Waterfalls is Baha’s Camp – and much-appreciated rest for tired legs. Weary travellers often make Baha’s Camp their pit stop for the night before continuing up Gunung Stong the following day. It has eight wooden huts and two camping grounds that can accommodate between 200 and 300 people at one time. From here, one can sit at the edge of smooth, large rocks and watch the crystal-clear waters of Stong river rush down over the steep edge of the mountain. In the mornings, a thick fog floats in the air creating the dreamy effect of walking on clouds. By noon, the fog clears to reveal a magical view of the lush green valley below. When night descends, snuggle up by the campfire as the mysterious legends and folklores about the origins of Gunung Stong are unraveled.

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