KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — If you have enough courage to ascend and descend mountains then scaling Gunung Tahan would be within reach. But what about those unable to do so, how would they be able to enjoy the glorious views from this majestic mountain?
Fret not, non-adventurers. Thanks to Google — and just in time for Malaysia day too — we are now able to take a virtual hike and enjoy the breath-taking views of Peninsular Malaysia’s tallest peak which stands at 2,187 metres high.
Google announced earlier today that it will be introducing a special collection update to Google Maps in Malaysia by launching Street View imagery of Gunung Tahan.
Known as one of the toughest treks and among the most challenging mountains to climb in the region due to the various peaks one would have to ascend and descend before reaching the main summit, not much is known about Gunung Tahan.
Its name, which in Malay means "to endure" befits the high level of mental and physical fitness one needs to be able to conquer its peaks.
Earlier this year, volunteers from Google Malaysia and the Malaysia Nature Society worked together to jointly capture the imagery on three trails to the summit using the Street View Trekker, Google’s wearable backpack-mounted camera system.
Google Street View operations lead Malaysia, Indonesia & Thailand Nhazlisham Hamdan is quite happy with the results.
“The availability of Street View for GunungTahan’s trekking routes and beautiful nature attractions for the very first time makes Google Maps more useful, comprehensive and enjoyable for Malaysians and everyone else interested in discovering more about this mountain,” he said.
The three trails included in the new Street View special collection include:
1. Kuala Tahan-Kuala Tahan
2. Merapoh – Kuala Tahan or Kuala Tahan-Merapoh
The oldest and most scenic trail is the Kuala Tahan-Kuala Tahan trail. Trying to conquer this trail will typically take seven to eight days, with a distance of 54km from Kuala Tahan to the summit. Undulating ridges and several river crossings stand in the way before climbers will reach the foot of the mountain to make the final ascent.
The second trail — while shorter — is not necessarily easier. Usually requiring seven days to complete, climbers would have to take a 14km jeep ride from the Merapoh entrance then endure 32km of trekking to the summit.
Gunung Tahan is truly not for the fainthearted. Even the shortest, the Merapoh-Merapoh trail, takes three to four days to complete.
In addition to the Gunung Tahan trail imagery, the following notable brand new Street View imagery locations have also been added to Google Maps in time for Malaysia Day 2016:
1. KL Sentral
2. KLIA and KLIA2
3. Aquaria KLCC
4. National Library / Perpustakaan Negara
5. Galeria Sri Perdana
6. Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary
7. National Planetarium / Planetarium Negara 8. Museum of Asian Art
9. Kek Lok Si Temple
10. Kuching Friendship Park Visit maps.google.com.my to get started.
Watch the journey here.