130 million year old rainforest filled with exotic wildlife and a few hidden tigers.
Taman Negara is one of the most interesting rainforests on this planet due to its age, the species that inhabit it and its ease of access.
How to get there:
In order to get to Taman Negara you can either get a boat or a bus. Either of these will take you to where you need to be… which is the village of Kuala Tahan. This village sits at the mouth of the rainforest and is the perfect place to rest up before starting a trek.
Most bus/tour companies will make booking this as easy as possible and will set you back around 95 ringgits which is actually the most you will spend unless you decide to book overnight tours.
Where to stay:
There are many hostels and guesthouses in Kuala Tahan, so don’t feel like you need to book in advance online unless you plan to stay at the expensive Mutiara Resort which sits at the mouth of the rainforest. Kuala Tahan is literally across the river… a 2 minute boat ride at 1 ringgit per person.
I decided to book a bed in a dorm with the company that was organising my bus, simply because it was offered at 15 ringgits per night.
Things to see and do yourself:
You definitely do not need to book a tour if you’re doing the following-
Canopy Walkway- a view of the rainforest from 45 metres up for 5 ringgits
Bukit Teresek view point
Lubok Simpson (great spot to swim)
Bukit Indah (to get off the beaten path and spot some birds and insects)
Bring enough water and food with you
wear appropriate hiking boots or walking shoes
Wear insect repellent and spray your boots with insect repellent (leaches are everywhere just after the rain)
Tour ideas to book:
If you want a greater chance to see wildlife then it is necessary to book a tour.
Cruise along the river
Night jungle walk
Camping and trekking (4 days 3 nights/ 3 days 2 nights/ 2 days 1 night)
Sleep in a cave (Gua Kepayang Besar or Gua Luas)
Taman Negara was an interesting place to hike but it wasn’t the best. It was great to see different plant life and insects but I was disappointed by the trek itself. I’m not sure what I was hoping to see but I imagine that it had something to do with animals… maybe some monkeys or even a tiger. (wishful thinking- why would they hang around where humans are?)
If I was to do this trip again I would definitely book a camping and trekking tour in order to go further into the rainforest and experience the real unruly rainforest life that I imagined… it’s just a shame that I was running out of time in Malaysia.