Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia divided into two distinct portions. These are Peninsular Malaysia to the west and the island areas of East Malaysia in the east. Both parts of the country have numerous mountain ranges comprising of some of the highest mountains in the country. The mountain ranges in the Peninsular Malaysia run from north to south of the peninsula with the main mountain range, Titiwangsa Mountain, dividing the coasts. The East Malaysia’s mountain ranges follow the northeast-southwest path with the highest ranges forming the border between Indonesia and Malaysia. The Crocker Range is the highest mountain range in Malaysia dividing the state of Sabah in half. Some of the highest Mountains in Malaysia are detailed below.
Mount Kinabalu is a significant mountain on Borneo Island in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah. It is the highest peak in the Crocker Range and also Malaysia’s highest mountain at the height of 13,438 feet above the sea level. Mount Kinabalu is world’s 20th most prominent mountain by the topographic prominence. The mountain and its surroundings are considered one of the most significant biological sites with over 5,000 plant species, 325 birds’ species, and over 100 species of mammal. Mount Kinabalu is protected and conserved as Kinabalu Park with the mountain being a World Heritage Site. The first recorded ascent of the mountain was in 1851 by Hugh Low, a British Colonial administrator. However, climbing Mount Kinabalu is now restricted to climbers who own bed at mountain huts with only 130 climbers allowed to climb the mountain per day. Despite the mountain being within a protected area, logging remains a major threat because of the logging permits granted in 1984.
Mount Trusmadi is Malaysia’s second highest mountain with an elevation of 8,668 feet above sea level. It is located around 40 kilometers north of Mount Kinabalu, in the state of Sabah. Mount Trusmadi has a forest cover of 184,000 hectares bordering four districts. The mountain consists of five different types of vegetation with diverse species of plants and animals. Mount Trusmadi was a famous hunting ground for the neighboring communities. However, the mountain is currently a protected area under Class 1 Forest Reserve. It has a challenging terrain for the mountain climbers but offers perfect natural beauty for the nature enthusiast.
Mount Tambuyukon lies 12 kilometers to the north of Mount Kinabalu. It is recognized as the third highest peak in Malaysia and the highest point in South East Asia at 8,462 feet above sea level. Its peak, which appears cloaked in cloud, is a sheer majesty and grandeur of granite. The twin peak of Mount Tambuyukon, which appears to bear a resemblance to a double-hump buffalo from a distance, lies on the boundary of the Kinabalu Park. The name of the mountain translates to “Cheating Mountain” in Dusun Language. The name was given to the mountain because a guide by the name Tam kept on cheating the climbers that the summit is not far ahead but it was still a long way. Mount Tambuyukon is known for immense biodiversity with several species of plants and animals. The mountain has two climbing routes, including the Serinsim Substation and the Monggis Substation.
Characteristics of Malaysian Mountains
Mountains in Malaysia are generally forested, housing a wide variety of species of plants which in turn provide habitats for diverse fauna species. The mountains on the Peninsular Malaysia are largely composed of granite, while those on the East Malaysia contain many jugged limestone peaks. The mountain ranges are the origin of several Malaysia’s river systems. The only active volcano in Malaysia is the Bombalai in Sabah. These mountains are important tourist attraction sites especially for nature enthusiast and climbers.