Taman Negara ~ Places to Visit from Kuala Lumpur
KL Visitors Guide


About 3 and a half hours drive towards the East of Kuala Lumpur is Taman Negara, Malaysia's National Park, one the world's oldest tropical rainforest. Estimated to be more than 130 million years old, the protected park is 4,343 sq km of thick dense jungle with all manner of flora and some of Peninsula Malaysia's most distinct and rare wild animals.

These include Asian elephants, tigers, leopards, Sumatran rhinos, tapirs, as well as smaller creatures such as flying squirrels. These animals however stay far from the park’s trails and sightings are extremely rare.

Getting There - KL > Kuala Tahan
From Kuala Lumpur you will have to take the East Coast Expressway (ECE) to exit Temerloh ( 2 hours drive ). From Temerloh, head north to Jerantut town (45 minute drive.

It take another 50 minute drive (70 kilometres) to Kuala Tahan (Taman Negara).

From here its just a matter of taking one of the many boats across the river to the Park HQ.

Getting There - KL > Kuala Tembeling jetty > Kuala Tahan
From Kuala Lumpur you will have to take the Kuantan Highway. Take the Temerloh exit. From the exit toll, turn right at the traffic lights and head towards Jerantut on route 98, which is about 53km away from this exit point. Once you get to Jerantut town, you will see a set of traffic lights with signboard directing you to the Kuala Tembeling jetty. The Kuala Tambeling jetty is about 14km away from Jerantut town. Please do not confuse the Jerantut jetty with Kuala Tembeling jetty.

The 60km boat trip to Kuala Tahan takes two to three hours, depending on the level of the river. Along the river you’ll see several Orang Asli kampung, local fishing people and domestic animals such as water buffalo. You might also see monkeys, otters, kingfishers and hornbills from the boat. It’s a beautiful and relaxing journey.
To / From - Regular 12 seat wooden boat with rooftop, depart daily at 9am and 2pm (9am and 2.30pm Friday) at RM 50 Per way.

Among the many activities, other than the physically exerting jungle trekking that visitors can look forward to, would be the following -

Night Jungle Walk
This would normally be your first introduction to the jungle on arrival at Taman Negara. You will get to watch a video presentation giving an overview of Taman Negara and then embark on a night jungle walk with park rangers or guides.

The walk starts at an entry point into the jungle where the Mutiara Resort boundary ends. Armed with your torches about a dozen or so in a group will walk into the jungle following a wide path while being led by an experienced guide.

The guides here have an amazing knowledge of their park and somehow manage to find all sorts of creepy-crawlies in the dark. Experience the unique sights and sounds of nocturnal plants and insects. Look out for luminous mushrooms, luminous fungus, glowing worms, fireflies, bird-eating spider, cicadas and other insects.

The night walk ends with a visit to the Tahan Hide (located within the proximity of the Mutiara Resort) which faces a natural salt lick. Animals normally come out at night to take a sip at salt licks and if you are lucky you might catch a glimpse of one.
Note - Make sure you wear mosquito repellent and clothes with long sleeves and long trousers.

Canopy Walkway
Taman Negara’s famous canopy walkway, situated 1.5km from Park HQ, is said to be the longest of its kind in the world.
Originally build up for research purposes, it has become the highlight of the trip to Taman Negara and a popular place for bird enthusiast.

It stretches 530 metres in length and 40 metres above forest floor with 9 platforms constructed on tree top and provides bird’s eye view of rainforest 5 main canopy layers.

Trekking towards the canopy walkway, you will head for to Bukit Teresek which is about 2km away from the Kuala Tahan/Mutiara Resort. For the first 500 metres, the trail is fairly easy and then becomes a steep climb of 1.5km to the summit.

The climb on uneven natural soil, mud steps and some wooden stairs built by the park, would normally take about 45 minutes.

On reaching Bukit Teresek, there are two look-out points on each side of the ridge. Visitors will be rewarded with an amazing view of lush green mountains and also a glimpse of the Tahan River far below.

You then make your way downhill to reach the entrance of the Canopy Walk. Here you will probably have to wait for your turn as only a few people were allowed to cross at a time. As a safety precaution you also have to keep at least a 5 metre distance between each other.

As you make your way across the several shaky bridges, do look out for wildlife such as birds like the majestic rhino hornbill and also monkeys. Looking down you will also notice the various heights of the different trees that make up the rainforest.

Aboriginal Village
“Orang Asli” simply means “original people” in the Malay language, and refers to the aboriginal tribes who were the first human occupants of the Malay Peninsula.

The Orang Asli in Taman Negara call themselves Batek and they pretty much continue to live a nomadic, hunting-and-gathering lifestyle.

The Batek is a gentle race of people, short in stature, dark-skinned, and with tight curly hair and some might say have a strong resemblance with the aborigines of Australia. Overall Batek population in Taman Negara area is estimated at about 2,000 people.

Their habitations are simple, palm-thatched shelters, one for each family group, with several families usually staying together. Normally situated along the river or along trails, their simple thatched huts that do not have any rooms or doors.

Their life is pretty much the same as it was centuries ago - The men goes out hunting for food and the women stays home to cook or take care of the children.

The Batek depend largely on forest produce for their food supply- fruits, yams, and small animal life such as monkeys and squirrels which are hunted with a blowpipe. The Batek have their own language, but also speak Malay.

A visit to Orang Asli Settlement is possible as long as a recognised guide accompany you

You visit here will enable you to see their simple existence with nature, how to make a fire using wood and bamboo and even on the use of the blowpipe.

The Batek youths are willing to share with you their intimate knowledge of the rainforest survival skills which have been preserved for generations. Besides that, they will share their beliefs and customs that form the basis of their way of life.

There have been instances where the all knowing tourist might exclaim “How come you have a sardine can”, or give a cynical “Oh ooh”, when some youth fails in his attempt to create a fire. Might as well ask them if they know how open a sardine can or how to us matches.

The fact is they are presently experiencing a rapid encroachment by the modern world. Traditionally, Batek subsisted primarily on gathered tubers. Fruit, leaves, shoots, fish, and small game such as monkeys contributed to their diet.

More recently, the addition of cash to their economy has led to a decreased utilization of wild food sources and an increased dependence on commercial foods such as rice, sugar, tinned sardines, biscuits and tea. Collected food, however, continues to play an important role, and its availability strongly affects the Batek's movements through the jungle.

The Malaysian government, has tried to encouraged them to settle and to emulate Malay subsistence farming communities. This has mainly failed as they prefer to be left alone and prefer to camp in the vicinity of a stream or river. When an individual is asked where he or she is from, they usually say that they are from the confluence of particular rivers or streams.

They have even been prevented from collecting and selling jungle produce, which is one of their main economic activities as did not conform to park regulations. In accordance with park regulations, jungle produce such as resin or rattan may not be collected for sale.

In spite of the law, the Batek continue to collect plant materials from within Taman Negara. This writer for one will state that the Batek should be allowed, if they so desire, to continue their hunting and gathering existence within their ancestral territory.

Lata Berkoh
Lata Berkoh means Berkoh Waterfalls as “Lata”, in Malay means ‘waterfall’. Located 8km from Park HQ, Lata Berkoh cascades, a great picnic and swimming area surrounded by inspiring natural landscapes

The boat ride on Sungai Tahan (Tahan River) takes about one hour depending on the water level. Described as lovely and scenic and shaded almost all the way by the canopies of big trees, is probably the most photographed part of Taman Negara.

The ride also passes through a few rapids and whether going to or on the way back you might chance to see kingfishers, fish-eagles, straw-headed bulbuls, monitor lizards and the like. You can enjoy the sounds of the forest, as you move on its generally shallow and clear waters.

Lata Berkoh is a spectacular cascade that marks the limit of easy navigability on the river. As you reach the entrance to falls, you might find a few boats already parked, indicating earlier visitors.

To get to the waterfall, walk about 700m through an easy trail. There is a deep pool below the cascade, delightful for swimming; and a rocky area overlooking the rapids offers an ideal site for a picnic lunch.

Here, the rock formation of the cascade creates natural Jacuzzi, the bubbling waters providing an invigorating natural spa bath. Bring food, have a picnic, whatever. It’s probably the easiest activity that really feels back-to-nature, so to speak.

On the way back, you might venture to the Kelah Sanctuary-Fish Feeding, located at Lubuk Tenor, about 5 minutes boat ride away. A designated fish sanctuary area, especially for kelah fish species, the popular activity here is to watch the freshwater fish up close in their natural habitat and feeding them. Most amazingly, they can be summoned by ringing a bell.

Points to Note

• There are no ATMs and banks at Taman Negara (Kuala Tahan), last place to use the ATM before arriving at the national park is at Jerantut.

• Before you do any trek in Taman Negara, you must pay the wildlife conservation fee (RM1) and a license for your digital camera (RM5). These arrangements will be made, if you have booked a package

• If you are staying in the same hotel in Kuala Lumpur before and after your trip to Taman Negara, then you should consider leaving some of your luggage at the hotel. Most of the hotels have a reliable and safe storage service for its guests.

• There is (almost) no phone reception in Taman Negara. A few of the resorts offer internet for an hourly rate.

• If you want to make pictures, it is best to bring along a waterproof digital camera.

Best Way to Visit - 2 to 3 Days to Penang Overland Tours

Overland Tours from K. Lumpur that takes in some leisurely sights along the way and tour around Penang Island.



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