Not for nothing is there the English expression, “a mountain to climb” in reference to very difficult obstacles that we may face. While we might be able to overcome such tremendous barriers, not all of us are physically capable of climbing an actual mountain.
But thanks to Google Street View they can live vicariously through those who do – and now they have the experience of reaching the top of Gunung Tahan in Pahang without actually trekking up 2,187m to the highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia.
It goes live today, one day before Malaysia Day on Sept 16.
It took volunteers from Google Malaysia and the Malaysian Nature Society working together to capture the imagery using the Street View Trekker, Google’s wearable backpack-mounted camera system. It is widely considered to be one of the toughest treks not only in Malaysia but the region.
There are three trails to the summit and all have been included in the new Street View special collection: Kuala Tahan-Kuala Tahan; Merapoh-Kuala Tahan or Kuala Tahan-Merapoh; and Merapoh-Merapoh.
The Kuala Tahan-Kuala Tahan trail is the oldest and most scenic trail. A return trip on this trail typically takes seven to eight days with a distance of 53km from Kuala Tahan to the summit. Climbers have to trek across undulating ridges and make several river crossings before finally reaching the foot of the mountain to make the final ascent.
The Kuala Tahan-Merapoh trail takes around seven days with a 14km jeep ride from the Merapoh entrance and 32km of trekking to the summit. The Merapoh-Merapoh trail is the shortest, taking only three to four days for a return trip.
“We are always keen to expand the locations covered by Street View and are particularly excited about bringing more of Malaysia into our service,” says Nhazlisham Hamdan, Street View operations lead for Malaysia, Indonesia & Thailand. “We want to showcase the many attractions of Malaysia and attract more visitors to visit and enjoy our beautiful country."
This is a Street Maps image of a trail up Gunung Tahan:
In addition to new Street View imagery for the Gunung Tahan trail, these 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
5. Galeria Sri Perdana
6. Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary
7. National Planetarium
8. Museum of Asian Art
9. Kek Lok Si Temple
10. Kuching Friendship Park
Other attractions like Kinabalu Park, Mulu Park, Taman Negara Pahang and the majority of public roads in Malaysia are already on Google Street View.