One trek in Taman Negara National Park, Malaysia
Our trip in Malaysia had two main goals, adventure and sunbathing. We moved to Taman Negara National Park after a short stop in KL, Malaysia capital.
This park is one of the biggest in Malaysia and a nature reserve for several wild animals: rhinoceros, Malayan tiger or Asian elephant. It is also known as the oldest rain forest in the World.
Reach Kuala Tahan, national park main entrance and our base camp for 2 nights, was already an adventure. We rode a minibus from KL to Jerantut during 4 hours then jumped in a tiny boat at Jerantut jetty to sail up Tahan River during more than 2 hours.
It allowed us to enjoy the scenery with an incredible mix of colors: blue from the sky, green from the jungle and yellow of the river water. However, wild animals were rare because our boat engine was really noisy.
As soon as we reached Kuala Tahan, we were looking for a local guide to plan a trek into the jungle. We wanted to avoid tourists’ traps that I faced during my first visit at this place in 2009. We selected a one-day trek along the river after discussing with some backpackers and local forest rangers. We haven’t enough time and adequate equipment for longer treks.
We started our trek early in the morning with a local guide who was not so talkative and a French couple that we met during our dinner last evening. The adventure started badly as we were not able to find proper foods at the camp base for our lunch (only corn and cereals…).
We rapidly understood that the trek won’t be a pushover. The path was not a real path and last days’ rain falls transformed the soil in mud.
We walked into the jungle during more than 5 hours. We had to be careful at each footstep: avoid the tree roots, cross small rivers, climb trees and rocks… Moreover, the leeches decided to attack our legs and successfully leaked our blood.
We were relieved (especially me because I was incredibly tired) to end this trek after 12.5 km in Taman Negara Jungle. We rode a boat to come back to our starting point after a quick stop to an Oran Asli village, the local indigenous.
We decided, after this long day into the jungle, to cut short by one day our stay in the park to spend more time on the marvelous Perhentian Islands.
Traveler recommendation: try to avoid the organized tours sold by local agencies. They are clearly tourist traps. You should go to the forest rangers office where you can arrange a private guide for a trek into the jungle. It will be more expensive but the experience will be better.
More pictures are available on Flickr.