Rest.Ice.Compress.Elevate – Gunung Wakid


I like to live dangerously or maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment, I’m not really sure myself. Either way, I definitely wanted to sit myself down and give myself a good talking to once the hike was over.

I decided to start my first day of leave, by waking up at 4.30am to climb Gunung Wakid (Mount Wakid). We were to meet at 7am for the trip, and given that Tambunan is about 1.5 -2 hours away, I did not want to take any chances. While there are a fair few things to do in Tambunan – such as climb Gunung Wakid, climb Trus Madi (2nd highest point in Sabah), waterfalls and the Rafflesia Information Centre, I personally feel the drive to Tambunan itself is worth the trip.

The view on my way to Tambunan.

It is possibly the most scenic district in Sabah, with it’s lush forests, paddy fields and hills, which makes for amazing views when the sun rises and the fog begins to clear. For those of you Tambunan also is home to Trus Madi (which I intend to climb), waterfalls and the Rafflesia Information Centre (none were in bloom sadly!).

I finally arrived at the starting point near Klinik Kesihatan Sunsuron at around 6.30am and decided to kill time by scaring little children on their way to school while waiting. The hike itself is a 12km loop, with a path that starts somewhere behind the school, through paddy fields, several rivers and finally an incline of about 700+m to the first peak. With the second peak only about 300metres or so away and the third peak along your descent.

Through the paddy fields – many of the villagers have small gardens/”kebuns” up along the way to the mountain as it’s more fertile land.
One of the many rivers along the way
Our guide basically being like Legolas and floating across the rocks daintily while we struggle across.

The trail while extremely scenic and breathtaking – can be a bit of a pain especially if you are

  1. Extremely clumsy
  2. Decide to not listen to the advice of the guide and proceed to wear your worn out sport shoes with hardly any grip
  3. It rains

Why? As all of the above combined on this trail which includes many moss covered rocks (which are slippery when wet!) and rivers results in lovely bruised knees and aggravation of an old injury.

Gunung Wakid’s name stems from the story of an old man who disappeared after going up the mountain. When locals began the search party 2 days later, all they found was his basket used to gather produce which is called a Wakid.

The entire trip took us about 6.5hours in total with multiple stops and breaks. Aside from the clear and sometimes freezing cold waters of Sunsuron river, a quick dip at Kolopis Waterfall and the amazing view at the peak, the best bit about the trip was our tour dog. This stray decided to tag along and even waited for us to catch up with him along the way.

View from 1372m!

I’d definitely recommend a raincoat, and wearing better hiking shoes or the Adidas Kampung shoes for this hike. You will definitely need a guide, as there are so many old trails along the way that are more dangerous, steep and no longer in use – which only a local guide can warn you about. After all, they are helping conserve the area and are the ones making the trail, so the RM 70 fee is not very much to support the local community.

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