Taman Negara

Teresek Hill, Taman Negara

Taman Negara - Malay for "National Park" - is the largest national park in Peninsular Malaysia. It is famous for its rainforest, birds, and insects.

Understand

Admission is RM1, a camera permit RM5. If you also want to fish, it is an additional RM10 for your entire length of stay. Permits can be bought at the park headquarters, just across the river from the village in the park, Kuala Tahan.

Climate

The dry season runs from February to September, which is the best time to visit the park. The peak tourist season is from April to August.

Talk

The local language is Malay (Bahasa Malaysia or colloquially, Bahasa Melayu)

Get in

By public transport

If you do the trip yourself, first take a bus or a train to Jerantut (RM19 from Kuala Lumpur), and then take a taxi from Jerantut to the jetty at Kuala Tembling, costing RM16.

The river boat leaves from the jetty at Kuala Tembling at 09:00 and 14:00 for Kuala Tahan. The 60 km journey takes 2-3 hr, and costs RM35.

Or for a cheaper option without the boat, take the public bus from Jerantut directly to Kuala Tahan for RM7 (05:30, 10:00, 13:00 & 16:40). The 16:40 bus is an old mini-bus that tends to be overcrowded. Although smoking is not permitted on buses some passengers may still do so. Politely ask them to stop if it is causing you discomfort.

A taxi can be taken directly from Jerantut to Kuala Tahan which will take 1 hr and cost RM70. Ensure that the price is understood prior to departure.

The easiest way to get to the park is through an arranged service from the Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur for RM75. The coach departs from Hotel Mandarin Pacific, going to Jerantut, then change to another smaller bus to Kuala Tembeling jetty, finally take a boat to Taman Negara (Kuala Tahan) from Tembeling jetty. KL (08:30) - Jerantut (12:00) - Kuala Tembeling (14:00) - Taman Negara (17:00). On the way back the boat starts at 09:00 at Taman Negara and you arrive at 16:30 in Kuala Lumpur Chinatown.

You can contact NKS at their Jerantut office at Hotel Sri Emas or ☎ +60 9 260-1777, +60 9 260-1773, +60 9 266-4488, or +60 9 266-4499. There's also an office in KL at the Hotel Mandarin Pacific (Petaling Street, Chinatown), ☎ +60 3 2072-0336. Also try booking online - choose a bus from Kuala Lumpur to Taman Negara.

By car

If you have your own transport, you can drive to Kuala Tahan; although you would miss the river boat trip, which is an important part of the experience. Parking is available at the hotels. From East Coast Expressway, exit at Temerloh and proceed to Jerantut. You will reach a T-junction. Turn right to Kuala Tahan - 75 km). The journey is a 3.5 hr from Kuala Lumpur. There are plenty of roadsigns so you shouldn't get lost. You will drive across estates of palm oils and winding roads. Beware of cows and buffalos. There is no phone signal in the estates.

Get around

It is easy to get around without any guide. You can explore the forest on your own. However, if you go into the deep jungle, especially by the Keniam, Tenol, or Tahan Mountain trails, it is better to go with guide, as you will learn a lot about the jungle and reduce the risk of becoming lost or disoriented.

See

Do

Canopy walk

Eat

There are floating restaurants at the riverside of Kuala Tahan, including Family Restaurant, Wan Cafe, and LBK. These cafe serve local delicacies such as toasted bread with kaya jam (weird but tasty combination of egg and coconut), fried rice, drinks, sandwiches, and soups.

Outside of Kuala Tahan there are not many restaurants.

Drink

There are no bars in Kuala Tahan as it is a Muslim village. Chess Corner, near the Tembeling Riverview Guesthouse is a nice bar style cafe where locals sing songs and play the guitar at some nights. However, this 'bar' does not serve alcohol. There are also several cafes across the Tembeling River which a reachable by a quick boat ride.

One local drink you should try is the "Sirup Bandung", which is a blend of rose syrup and milk. It is a tasty concoction to drink after a day's trek.

Sleep

Apart from Mutiara Taman Negara, which is next to the park entrance, all accommodation is across the Tembeling River at Kuala Tahan. Most are within walking distance of the river and there are many boats to take passengers across to the park entrance. Cost is RM1 per person, per crossing.

Stay safe

There is no violent crime in Taman Negara. As anywhere, do not leave valuables lying around unguarded. Beware of theft from hotel rooms and always monitor and secure your belongings.

Wear footwear when outside. If you make a jungle trek on your own inform the park headquarters where you are going and at what time you will be back. People sometimes get lost or disoriented in the jungle.

Leeches are common in the park but are not as dangerous as they are made out to be. They're fairly annoying, although after a few days, you'd get used to them.

Go next

Schedule information and boat ticketing is available from the travel booths at the floating restaurants.

Boats run to Kuala Tembling at 09:00, 10:00, and 14:00, costing RM35. From there, you can catch a quite worn-out bus to Kuala Lumpur (RM40), Penang, Cameron Highlands, or other destinations - try not to sit on the bumpy back seats.

A cheaper but much rougher option is to catch a public bus to Jerantut RM7. From Jerantut, there is air-conditioned bus and train service to Kuala Lumpur RM17 and other destinations.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, December 27, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.