Gunung Raya LangkawiTHE GREAT MOUNTAIN AT DUSK

By Kamila Delart

Having spent more than a year exploring Langkawi, people keep asking me about my very favorite spot. With sooo many beautiful sites around - not an easy question to answer!  But there is one place I feel magically attracted to.

GUNUNG RAYA - THE GREAT MOUNTAIN! While the remaining part of the island is made of sandstone and karstic limestone, the conical Gunung Raya at the center of the island consists of granite. Honored by ancient cultures as a sacred stone, the volcanic rock is said to exude a powerful grounding energy and promote abundance in every aspect of life. (One of the reasons why the mystical Pyramids are built from it!) I am not an expert when it comes to spiritual teachings; but there is something special about this place that makes me come back over and over again.  

So far, I always visited during the day. So when I learn that with JUNGLEWALLA I can experience this magical place after dark, I am intrigued! 

The tour begins at 5 pm at the bottom of the mountain. While our van follows the winding road, Francis, our Nature Guide, looks through the binoculars - scanning with his expert eye the green foliage of the surrounding rainforest. Only a few minutes later, he finds what he was looking for. We all get out of the car, glancing in the direction of his finger that points to a tall tree. 

Hornbills in a tree on langkawiSquinting to distinguish the details, we eventually notice an opening in the trunk, and learn that in the hollow of the tree is a nest. As if the nature wanted to deliver a proof, we hear the famous laughter of a Hornbill!  As we find out, it is not the only thing that makes this bird appear so human! With a life span of fifteen years, Hornbill is  monogamous, spending his entire life with his loved one. How romantic! Just like us, a Hornbill couple has also only one baby per year.

After only a short drive, we leave the van again to admire a Black-Cupped Kingfisher resting on a branch, and a White-Bellied Sea Eagle majestically gliding through the air.

 

As we continue walking, we learn a lot about the surrounding flora. There are various species of fig-trees and wild ginger with a very intense flavor. I am a little surprised to see so many red leaves. Usually, trees change color during the dry season but we have been lately blessed with heavy rain. When I ask about it, Francis explains that the coloring is meant to warn animals of young leaves that are in the beginning stages poisonous.

Contemplating the ancient wisdom of nature, my thoughts are suddenly interrupted by a motion in a nearby tree. I turn my head and there they are! The Dusky Leaf Monkeys. So adorable -I could watch them for hours.

A little while later, we hear this unusual clicking sound coming from one of the trees. It sounds quite mysterious, a little bit like a wind chime. Before I can even ask, there comes an explanation: It is a frog calling for rain to come…

As the sun goes slowly down, and dusk begins to set in, the surroundings begin to stir with nocturnal creatures. There is a flying fox, and as we lift our heads, we spot the bizarre flying lemur gliding between two giant trees. 

Gunung Raya Langkawi

Finally reaching a platform close to the very summit of the mountain, we all get quiet - taking in the amazing panoramic view. We see paddy fields and tiny kampongs in the valley below us, a little further the Andaman Sea sprinkled with countless tiny islands of the Langkawi Archipelago,  and  on the horizon the mainland of Thailand.  It’s simply breathtaking!

As the brilliant trip with JUNGLEWALLA comes to its end, I cannot help but think about the relativity of time. It’s hard to believe how quickly these four hours passed. And yet - recalling all the amazing animals we saw, remembering all the things we learned - it seems as if we spent in the virgin rainforest of Gunung Raya an entire week. 

One thing is sure. This wonderful adventure opened my eyes! So whenever I return to my GREAT MOUNTAIN, it will never look the same again…


For more details about this spectacular JUNGLEWALLA tour, please view:

www.junglewalla.com/langkawi-nature-tours/dusk-in-langkawi.html