Gunung Lesung National Park was established in 2013 and is a lesser explored hiking spot among tourists, making it perfect for an extremely rustic adventure. Gunung Lesung National Park (maps) is located in the town of Lingga, the Sri Aman Division, Sarawak, East Malaysia.
Be aware that it is not for the faint hearted; the road there is tough and the trek is very steep. The nearby, and extremely friendly village Munggu Sawa would be very excited to receive and indeed host tourists, so be sure to drop in and say hello.
There are several waterfalls where a dip is welcome refreshment from the hot and humid jungle trekking. The most attractive is the waterfall Wong Jampang, where there are a plethora of bathing pools to choose from. It can be found if you instead of crossing the river follow it upstream for around 20 minutes from the start point of the Gunung Lesung Peak trail. You should be aware that spirits are believed to reside at Wong Jampang, including a dragon snake and a beautiful Iban girl who might punish those who offend them. Travelers who come here are therefore advised to treat the forest with respect!
If your fitness and especially balance is poor you will probably be looking more at your feet than the magnificent wildlife that is found on Gunung Lesung. Wildboar can be seen on the lower slopes of the mountain, if you’re lucky you might find a wildboar nest as they collect small trees and pile them together when they give birth to their cubs. Orangutan (mavas in Iban) are also found on the mountain as they eat the engkalak a seasonal fruit found on the mountain, but since the orangutan are shy you might not encounter any. Unfortunately the attraction of these animals is accompanied by a less desirable counterpart: leeches. They are found in wet areas but can be avoided by wearing long pants or leech socks.
Transportation to the site is difficult and needs a four wheel drive. It is advisable to contact the (Munggu Sawa) village headman on +60194592140 or +60198471431. He is very friendly, but his English limited. If you do not speak Iban or Malay we recommend that you both call and send him an SMS.
If you intend to arrive independently, then you should travel to Pantu (maps). We believe that there is a bus from Kuching. From there you can take a private 4-wheel drive taxi, ask to go to Munggu Sawa Village.
Altitude increase : 785 m
Distance (start to peak): 3.9 km
Approx. time up :4 hr.
Approx. time down: 3 hr.
The trail is marked by white/red plastic strips and red paint on some trees. These marks are more or less maintained throughout the trek. A guide is recommendable and can be hired in Munggu Sawa.
D = distance, A = altitude
D: 0.0 km -0.2 km/A: 29 m – 45 m:
The trail starts by the junction leading to Munggu Sawa and Enkeranji. There is a stream which flows under the road in the direction of Munggu Sawa. The trail follows this stream upriver until it cuts right, over the stream.
D: 0.2 km – 1.6 km/ A: 45 m -256 m:
The trail crosses the villager’s land and you can see pepper fields and rubber plantations on the side of the road. It then arrives at the prayer base camp: a Chrisitan refuge established in 2016.
D: 1.6 km – 2.2 km/ A: 256 m – 321 m:
From here the trail cuts directly through the prayer base camp and turns on the hill to the other side. It later arrives at a waterfall. A refreshingly cold dip on the way down is a recommendable experience.
D: 2.2 km – 2.6 km/ A: 321 m – 415 m:
The trail leaves the waterfall and goes by a stream until it hits the boundary to the Mount Lesung National Park a 550 hectare big national park that is placed on the flat plateau on top of the mountain. This boundary is marked by a large sign from the Sarawak Forestry Department stating that this is the boundary to the National Park and several smaller yellow signs that claims the same thing. It is unlikely that the boundary is marked anywhere else than here.
D: 2.6 km – 3.3 km/ A: 415 m – 640 m
The trail climbs a fair bit from the national park boundary. And as the ground can be very wet it can be very slippery. Furthermore there are also leeches here on up which trekkers should be aware of. The trail traverses to the left and flattens for a hundred meters and there is a view over the side of the mountain that faces Munggu Sawa.
D: 3.3 km – 3.6 km/ A: 640 m – 801 m:
The trail meets its hardest climb. A rope is attached to trees for the whole distance of this climb. There is a large rock which can be difficult to move past. Additional robes are attached here.
D: 3.6 km – 3.9 km/ A: 801-814 m
After the rope the trail meets the flat plateau on the top of the mountain. Up here there are palms. It moves to the other side of the plateau with a view down to Menuang and further out to the sea if the view is not obstructed by clouds.
There are no fees payable to enter the park. It is advisable to hire a guide from Munggu Sawa, prices can be negotiated.
Munggu Sawa Village Headman:
+6019 459 2140 or +6019 847 1431
Initial Article Contributed by Lucy Owens. Special thanks for the contribution!