Visitors to the Mossy Forest can no longer drive there and must use the transportation by select tour operators.
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The famed Mossy Forest in Cameron Highlands is no longer freely accessible to the public.
Visitors must engage the service of selected tour operators that are based in Cameron Highlands and registered with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac)
They are no longer allowed to drive up to the Mossy Forest on their own.
The new regulation takes effect starting 7 March.
Local tour operators had also started informing potential visitors of the requirement.
Currently, the rates are around RM25 per head not inclusive of the entrance fee to Mossy Forest.
Outrage At Strong-Arm Tour Guide Requirement
Regional Environmental Awareness Cameron Highlands (REACH) president Dilip Martin said visitors should be given the choice whether to use tour guides or not.
He added that the latest regulation will a be an unnecessary financial burden to people.
Dilip expressed regret that the decision to require tour guides was made by the Pahang State Forestry Department (JPNP) without public consultation.
No doubt, travel agencies need to make money especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, but not at the expense of public interest. Please think about those with big family and traveling on budget.REACH president Dilip Martin on the pros and cons of compulsory tour guides at Mossy Forest.
At the same time, the public are concered that they could find themselves at the mercy of predatory tour guides.
The compulsion to use tour guide services is seen as a sort of monopoly, as the price of tour packages to Mossy Forest is unregulated.
Nature Must Be Accessible to All
The easing of Covid-19 lockdowns have fueled a domestic tourism boom in recent times.
According to JPNP, Mossy Forest receives between 50 to 300 tourists daily.
The number of tourists doubled to three times on weekends and public holidays.
Most visitors to Mossy Forest are in groups, using transportation provided by local tour operators.
The number of visitors is limited to ensure safety and avoid congestion along the walking route at Mossy Forest.
JPNP had also upgraded the facilities at Mossy Forest, such as the observation tower, to provide more comfort and memorable outdoor experience to visitors.
The Mossy Forest is famous for its sceneries that look like they from the Lord Of The Rings, regarded as one of the greatest and most influential film series ever made.
The natural forest is moist, mossy and wet all year round, and is the entrance to the Mount Irau climbing route.
Visitors can enjoy unique scenery around the Mossy Forest via a 600m long boardwalk.