Taman Negara Tourist Attractions
The sprawling, tropical 130-million year old Taman Negara Rainforest is filled with an assortment of natural delights. For travellers simply wanting a peaceful, quiet reprieve from city life, as well as travellers looking for adventurous, adrenaline-pumping activities; there are plenty of things to do in this lush, fertile sanctuary.
Exploring the jungle
Nature enthusiasts will delight in the staggering amount of flora and fauna treats offered by Mother Nature in Taman Negara. Guided or solo jungle treks for novice and seasoned trekkers are a good means of getting up close and personal with the park’s plant and wildlife.
Another means of doing this is by taking part in one of the night walking safaris or 4WD safaris on offer.
The park is home to around 200 different species of animals and 3000 species of plants, both diurnal and nocturnal. Home to snakes, elephants, owls, leopards, Malayan tapirs, exotic birds, monkeys, giant squirrels, Taman Negara is also the habitat of gravely endangered wildlife, such as Sumatran rhinos and tigers. Be sure to keep a look out for unique flora, such as glow-in-the-dark fungi, night-blooming flowers and the enormous flowers of the Rafflesia plant.
One can also opt to stay overnight at the Tahan Wildlife Observation Hide in the hopes of observing sambar deer, wild boar and monitor lizards at a salt lick and nearby watering hole. The price of the safaris are around MYR 30 and MYR 40 per person and can easily be organized in the park.
Getting acquainted with Orang Asli
For cultural aficionados, a visit to the Orang Asli Settlements, is also an excellent and memorable means of learning about the nomadic lifestyle of the villagers that are native to Taman Negara. ‘Orang Asli’ means ‘original people’ and refers to the indigenous, nomadic tribesmen who survive in the rainforest as a result of hunting with blowpipes and poison darts as well as gathering. A visit to the village as well as a tour guide, who introduces you to a real native tribe and shows you their way of life, costs around MYR 50 per person.
The world’s longest canopy walk is also located within the Taman Negara National Park and once accustomed to the swaying of the bridge at 25 meters above the ground (40 meters in some places!), you’ll be rewarded with a truly breath-taking birds-eye view of the spectacular scenery of the park. The Canopy Walkway costs MYR 5 as well as an additional MYR 5 for a camera permit and is open every day from 9am to 3pm other than on Friday which only operates as a half-day.
For travellers craving a bit of adventure be sure to look into white-water rafting which costs plus-minus MYR 50 and is sure to get your adrenaline soaring and heart racing. Aside from the elating experience of traveling upstream on the Tembeling River, there are also excellent opportunities for swimming as well as fishing in the frothy waters.
For visitors wanting to keep dry, cave exploration is an interesting and fun nature encounter. Gua Telinga (Ear Cave), Gua Kepayang and Gua Daun Menari (Dancing Leaves Cave) are definite highlights of Taman Negara and ideal for those who fancy an underground adventure. The caves have been sculptured over time as a result of underground rivers that steadily flowed through the limestone boulders and crags and offer cavers an intimate glimpse at the creepy-crawlies and animals that occupy the spooky hollows.
Conquering Gunung Tahan
Saving the most hardcore for last, a climb to the summit of the 2,187 meter Gunung Tahan is not for the faint-hearted. The name 'Gunung Tahan' means ‘Mount Endure’, which alludes to the effort involved in summiting this mist-capped peak. This strenuous physical test of endurance is only recommended for visitors that are in absolutely excellent physical shape with superb fitness levels. Gunung Tahan is the highest mountain on the Malaysian peninsula and is said to be the most demanding and difficult climbs in all of Malaysia. The journey entails crossing several rivers, climbing extremely steep paths, camping with very basic equipment, as well as the possibility of torrential rains and leeches. Despite all this, the view at the summit promises to be well worth the strenuous ascent. A 7-night, 8-day trek to the top costs around MYR 800 per person and needs to be booked with one of the many tour operators in the park at least one month prior to the trip.