Gunung (mount) Jerai is situated in Kedah, one of the states in the north of peninsular Malaysia. The easiest way to get there is by driving. It's less than two hours from Penang International Airport and only about 1 hour 30 minutes from Alor Setar Airport.
You can drive up the mountain and most visitors ended up at The Regency Jerai Hill Resort. Along the way, you can stop at the Forestry Museum which opens between 9.30 am to 4.30 pm except on Friday and Saturday.
It is believed that Gunung Jerai wasn't always a mountain but once upon a time was an island called Pulau Serai. Then, the water level receded and the island turned into the highest peak in Kedah. It was like a beacon to the Arab and Indian merchants in yesteryears and they flocked to the Merbok estuary at the foothills.
Don't quote me but I thought that I read somewhere about those candis preserved in Lembah Bujang Archaeological Museum (Bujang Valley) were actually from around Gunung Jerai. Oh you can hike up to Gunung Jerai from the museum. I saw the heritage trail map but I'm not sure how long the journey will take.
|View near the restaurant in Regency Jerai Hill Resort|
Even if you don't stay at the Regency, don't miss dining at their popular restaurant or enjoying hot beverages and snack at the new Simple Day Cafe with the gorgeous view.
|More seatings for 2-3 pax|
Within the resort compound, there's the Gunung Jerai Botanical Park and right by it, there is a track called Tangga Kenari 1000 Tahun (1000 Years Canary Stairs). I guess that's the track to use to hike up the mountain from Titi Hayun/ Lembah Bujang. The 'Kenari' was referring to canary bird which was the name of Kedah football team before it was changed to the red eagle =)
|Trail heading to God knows where|
Other than that, there are several spots with interesting stories like Batu Kapal, Telaga Tok Sheikh, Padang Tok Sheikh, and Alor Naga. Batu Kapal is believed to be a ship that was cursed into stone by Sang Kelembai, a mythical creature from local folklores. Telaga Tok Sheikh is a sacred well and the Padang is an area with flat stones believed to be a "mosque". Don't be surprised if you see people performing solat in Padang Tok Sheikh.
|The sacred well at the back|
|Padang Tok Sheikh|
|A tower at the peak of Mount Jerai|
You can come for the view or stay longer for a picnic. Many pitched tents and spent at least one night. One thing for sure, it's a nice place to enjoy nature.
However, pleaseeee bring home your trash! Don't spoil the place like (unfortunately) MANY did.