Taman Negara National Park, Pahang
Taman Negara (National Park) is a protected jungle that’s almost 7 times the size of Singapore and covers 3 states in total (4343 sq km). It is also one of the oldest in the world! This huge jungle is accessible through 4 main entrances from Kuala Tahan, Kuala Koh, Sungai Relau, and Tanjung Mentong.
There are so many activities here to choose from with the main attraction being the canopy walk as well as the hike up to Bukit Teresek (334 meters) to see Mount Tahan when the weather is clear. Another highlight here is the visit to Orang Asli’s (indigenous tribes) villages here as well as the refreshing boat ride (rapid shooting)!
So without further ado, let’s get into it!
For our Taman Negara trip, we stayed in the only resort in Taman Negara—Mutiara Taman Negara Resort. This resort is built between two rivers outfall, Sungai Tembeling and Sungai Tahan.
As there were 10 of us, we booked 4 chalets altogether. The start of the boardwalk to the canopy walk and Bukit Teresek are conveniently placed at the end of the resort.
There’s another trail in the resort located just next to our chalet (number 89), but we did not go and explore.
Even so, the resort made for a good place to take pictures!
The boardwalk to Bukit Teresek involves plenty of steps. There were many instances when we had to stop to catch a breather! Nevertheless, the boardwalk made the hike so much easier compared to hiking on muddy grounds!
As you walk, remember to enjoy being in the presence of a tropical rainforest that’s said to be 130 million years old!
The Canopy Walk is one of the most thrilling and adventurous activities on this trip. If you’re a person who loves shaky suspension bridges, then this is certainly your cup of tea.
Be there early, though. We waited for nearly an hour before it was finally our turn as there were many other groups around on a Saturday! Fortunately, we had games to pass the time.
Orang Asli Village
We were extremely fortunate and blessed with the chance to visit the Batek Tribe (one of the first indigeous people) in Taman Negara just a short boat ride away from our resort.
The Batek Negritos’ are hunter gatherers whose diet consists of fruit, leaves, shoots, fish, and small game like monkeys and other animals that climb on trees. As one of the first indigenous tribe to ever settle down in Malaysia, they’re one of the very few tribes ever allowed to reside in Taman Negara.
They’re nomadic and shy, excellent at shooting blowpipes, and make fire with rattan vines and dry wood—skills which we witnessed with our own eyes!
Sounds like a shooting game doesn’t it? In its literal meaning, Rapid Shooting means having your face shot by the rapid current in the river!
We sat helplessly in the longboat as it fought against rapid currents up the river to yet another indigenous village as we watched from afar. Then, the longboat started turning left and right like we were jet boating as our guide splashed water straight at our faces. Not only that, we witnessed many instances where two boats came up to each other and splashed water at each other.
Bukit Teresek Viewpoint
Once you hike up Bukit Teresek, you will be rewarded with one hellava view of Mt. Tahan!
There are other activities such as Night Jungle Trekking, Fish Feeding, Animal Observation, Fishing, Cave Exploration, Gunung Tahan Climbing, Bird Watching, and so many more!
Things To Take Note
- Get a photo permit
- When you check into Taman Negara, be sure to get your photo permit at the reception desk!
- Watch out for leeches
- We did not encounter any while we were there, but it’s best to watch out for them.
- You could go out to take a short walk and come back with your legs full of mosquito bites without ever realizing you got bit. They particularly liked following those wearing dark clothes from behind. No mosquito repellent worked for us. Wear long sleeves and pants.
- They are not afraid of humans and would snatch your plastic bags or food away when you leave your belongings unattended. We witnessed two instances in which they snatched the tourists’ food away and ten to twenty something monkeys started chasing and fighting for the food. Two of them nearly went inside our chalets too!
- Boat Rides At The Jetty
- The one-minute boat ride will cost RM1 (per person) to get from the jetty to Mutiara Resort. Usually, you will need to take the boat ride to have lunch and dinner at the jetty. Breakfast was a buffet at the resort, though choices were extremely limited for a buffet.
Taman Negara is roughly 240 km from Kuala Lumpur City Center, about 3 hr 30 mins drive. We departed from Klang and our toll fee amounted to RM23.70 one-way. Park at Taman Negara designated parking lot and that will cost another RM10 per vehicle.
Set your GPS navigation earlier as you might lose mobile reception along the way. There will be mobile reception when you arrive at the jetty and the resort.
Car Park: 4.381568, 102.402696
Jetty: 4.383688, 102.401348
List Of Accommodation In Taman Negara
There are a few accommodations you can choose from in Taman Negara. For comfort and convenience, Mutiara Taman Negara Resort would be the best choice. Nevertheless, other accommodations are more affordable with some walking and driving involved.
Tours Available for Taman Negara
You can always email Taman Negara to enquire about the activities offered in Taman Negara. Alternatively, give your accommodation a call and I’m sure they’ll be happy to plan/recommend activities for you!
Get Your Guide’s tours, on the other hand, caters for those staying in Kuala Lumpur!
In A Nutshell
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Taman Negara. Despite the bloodthirsty mosquitoes there, we witnessed wild animals in their natural habitat and learned how the indigenous people led a nomadic life.
If you have a chance to visit this old forest that’s filled with endless treasure, then make sure you do it at least once in your life!