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Mount Santubong bears the legend of two princesses from Heaven ~ Santubong and Sejinjang ~ who had quarreled over a man. The fight got out of hand which angered their father, the King, so much that he turned them each into a mountain! Santubong and her sister mountain, Sejinjang, now stand side by side; the latter much smaller and lesser-known.
It may only be about 800 meters tall but Santubong is no child’s play. It’s a solid 3 hours up and 3 hours down, minimum. It took me, FR & Yong close to 8 hours to complete the climb (inclusive of rest-stops and photo-session breaks).
There are 2 routes to choose from to start the climb, the north and the south routes. We took the south end because our cabbie said it’s the best way only to find out later that it’s harder and much longer than the north trail (near Damai Beach Resort). Both routes converge at about two-thirds of the distance to the peak.
The first leg was fairly easy as it leads along a gentle, gradual incline with a clear path. We were quite enjoying the stroll when Bam! we came face to face with a 10 foot near-vertical wall. And there were many more up ahead as we soon found out. I counted at least eight in total, each one in varying heights and difficulty; the highest being close to 50 feet. There were rope ladders to help, but they must’ve been made for Giants coz the gap between each rung on most of the ladders were ridiculously wide (for my legs, that is) with some being strung up at awkward angles. It was hard work all the way.
Difficult as it was, I enjoyed the challenge tremendously. We started out about 8 and came back down around 4 pm. The mountain is relatively ‘clean’ and clear from undergrowth unlike most mountains in Malaysia. The trees provide a cool shade along the way and best of all, no mosquitoes! Gorgeous weather rounded up a perfect day.
Final Verdict: Would do it again! 🙂