01 Mar Simply Malaysia: Take A Walk On The Wild Side!
If you’re an avid trekker, then you should be heading out to Malaysia for your adventure. Taman Negara National Park is the perfect place if you love rainforest and outdoor activities. Experience walking on the world’s longest canopy walkway, visiting the aborigine village, trekking under rainforest canopy, climbing the highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia, caving, fishing, camping, observing wildlife, and many more.
At 130 million years of age, Malaysia’s Taman Negara rainforest is the oldest in the world. Covering 4343 square km, the national park is one of Malaysia’s biggest draws, its thick jungle and fast-flowing rivers pull in thousands of tourists every year.
Here’s all you need to know if you’re planning a trip to this wonderful expanse of nature:
Chugging upstream along the Tembeling river in a creaking wooden boat is the best way to get into the heart of Taman Negara and its launch point for adventure, the tiny village of Kuala Tahan. This can be easily done as a full-scale tour, but what the tour companies don’t make quite so clear is that you can hitch a lift to Kuala Tahan with them and then sort yourself out at the other end. On this three-hour ride, keep an eye out for water buffalos cooling off in the shadows and Macaque Monkeys stalking the banks of the Tahan as the jungle closes in.
Where To Stay
The village is teeming with budget stays and while you will need to book in advance for the pricey Mutiara Resort across the river, you can show up and arrange a room at a basic guest house without any hassle.
The Yellow Guest House is known to be a popular pick, with free tea, Wi-Fi and a feisty flock of geese in the lawn. It’s also a five-minute walk from the boat drop-off point. Added advantage, the rooms are clean, spacious and hassle-free from tour guides.
The Right Path
Taman Negara’s famous canopy walkway, the longest of its kind in the world, is well signposted from Kuala Tahan. This is one trip that you can do on your own, without a guide. There’s comprehensive information on the birds and wildlife around you too. Remember that if you want to take a trek deeper into the jungle, you should heed the signs on the walkways and employ a local guide.
In order to avoid the crowds, wake up early and try reaching the path before 9am.
A note from a frequent travel blogger: “Get to Lubok Simpon early; very early. A 15-minute walk from the jetty on the Mutiara Resort side of the Tembeling River, get here in the morning and you’ll have the place to yourself for a wild swim like no other. It may not be far from civilisation, but this stretch of water feels as if it’s been untouched for millennia. Just be careful of the current here, which is extremely fast as you wade out of the shallows.”