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Nature Destinations



Ulu Muda & Pedu/Kedah

Ulu Muda Forest Reserve

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A large forested area on the north-eastern flank of Kedah, bordering Thailand. About 420 km from Kuala Lumpur, with the nearest major town being Alor Setar, 1.5 hours drive away.

When to go

Any time of the year. The early part of the year is usually the flowering season for northern forests, and by mid-year many forest fruits abound. The latter would be an excellent opportunity to catch the many different fruit-eating birds, like the hornbills.


Overland via the north-south highway, taking the exit at Gurun. Follow the trunk road to Sik (TR K10), then north towards Gulau (TR K8) followed by Gubir (TR K13). For Pedu lake, continue north for another 30 km. From Gurun, follow signs to Desa Utara or Mutiara Pedu Resorts and you won't get lost!


Generally not required. Permits are (as a formality) necessary for access into any forest reserves, request it from the State Forestry authorities (usually in the nearest main town). Tour guides will usually obtain permits for you.


No special equipment needed. If you are planning to camp, there are very limited supplies available at Gubir. You are advised to get all you need before you come out. Generally, light clothes, and prepare for trekking (and camping).


Limited facilities for tourists. Several large resorts have established around Pedu lake. If you want to explore Muda, your best bet is to try for accommodation at the MADA rest house cum resort at Gubir. It is both cheap and convenient. Advance bookings are necessary; they can be quite busy. Several local restaurant are located at Gubir and closer to Pedu lake. Boats and guides can be organized from your accommodation or alternatively, try the village coop jetty (on Muda lake) where you can hire small boats, guides, life-jackets, etc. There is also a small car park with 24 hour guards so overnight parking is safe. Your own transport is recommended. To explore the forest trails I recommend you find a guide from the coffee shops in Gubir. Alternatively, High Adventure Travel (Kedah) runs some interesting nature tours, including jungle treks to observe elephants in the wild.


A remote and isolated forest in the far north of the Peninsular. An important reserve for many large Malayan mammals. The salt licks, Sira Hangat and others, are some of the largest in Malaysia and offer very good opportunity to catch a glimpse of them. It remains one of the few places left where Tapirs are often sighted (in Taman Negara, these shy animals no longer regularly frequents the salt licks). Good birdwatching opportunities, mainly forest birds. Recent surveys have recorded over 201 species. If you want an alternative to Taman Negara, Ulu Muda is well worth exploring.

Visitor Activities

Forest treks with local guides. Bird watching along forest edges and scenic jungle trails. Wildlife watching at salt-licks. Trekking for elephants in the wild. Fishing the lake or if more adventurous, game fishing in the upper reaches of the Muda river.

Further information

Updated: Feb 2002



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