By the time we reached the camp, the sun had set and it had begun to rain heavily (the images below were taken the following day), so we dashed into the wooden huts for shelter as soon as we reached the camp. The guides that had already set up there didn't look too happy to see us as there were a large number of people who had already made camp so the conditions there were a little cramped. We tried our best to dry off in the little corner of the makeshift kitchen that we claimed as our own and decided to prepare dinner in the shelter since we had a lot of time to spare whilst waiting for the rain to cease.
The wooden huts that were normally available for rent at RM10 each were not available due to the large number of campers and after a guide called 'Dek' found out that not everyone in our group had tents or hammocks of their own, he surprisingly went out of his way to set up a tarp and a ground sheet for us. He even lent us an oil candle for the night. Setting up my Hennessy Hammock was very straightforward as all I had to do was find two trees with some space in between them.
I only realized how large the sprawling campgrounds were the following morning. There were two large areas that could accommodate a number of tents as well as six wooden huts that were made available for rental. The other structures comprised of a large kitchen and dining area and a small shack that sold provisions including t-shirts. Apparently the campsite is able to accommodate between 150 and 200 people at one time.
Aside from Dek, the other guides seemed to almost resent our presence, almost as if we were cheating them out of their livelihood. I personally am a lot more satisfied when I plan trips by myself and have complete control with the ability to decide what to do and when to do it. The logistics can be a pain to deal with in the initial planning stages but there is a certain element of satisfaction when the plans come to fruition. Guides also seem to always overestimate the duration and the difficulty of the routes and always seem to be in a rush to get to the next point as the novelty of the jungle trail has been lost to them. I find that hiring a guide to do all the planning and hiring porters to carry all your gear (as most travelers do for treks such as Everest Base Camp) ends up just taking away from the sense of accomplishment, almost like a lazy trekkers way out. I think the only advantage to hiring a guide would be for the abundance of knowledge of the local flora and fauna (and fungi) that they possess.
We found banners advertising the upcoming 'Mount Stong International Climbathon 2013' that is to be held on the 22nd of June 2013 with a trail that is supposed to cover a distance of 14.5km from the entrance of the Gunung Stong State Park following the waterfall along it's South side. The banners state a URL for the official website (that doesn't seem to work) but they also have a facebook page that contains some information about the race.