Taman Negara


Taman Negara is the Malay language for National Park and is the oldest national park in Malaysia with an area of 4,343 square km.

It was established in 1939 during the colonial time and was then known as King George V National Park. It got its new name after Malaya got her independence from the British on 31 August 1957. This tropical rain forest is believed to be more than 130 million years old.

If you are into eco-adventure and would like to go away from the crowded places in the cities, this is the place to go. You will find refreshing air, waterfalls, clean rivers, birds, fishes, mammals, reptiles and insects that you would not have seen in the cities. You will be fortunate if you could spot the Indochinese Tiger, the elephants, the seladangs or the Sumatran Rhinoceros.

The huge park is their place of refuge and usually the presence of human beings will drive them further away into the unexplored jungle. Family with children will enjoy this place as there are many activities that you can do. The more adventurous family may want to camp at the various campsite here.

For those who are into mountain climbing, you may want to consider climbing Gunung Tahan, the highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia with a height of 2,187 metre or 7,175 feet. Allocate about 1 week if you want to scale the peak of the mountain and getting a guide at the park is a must for safety reason.



Flora

The plants in Taman Negara lowland dipterocarp forest are dominated by the dipterocarpaceae tree family. A study showed that Malaysia has 400 of the world's 550 species. There are different type of plants at different elevation of the park.

Tall canopy type of trees reduce in number as you go up the mountain. Take some time to identify the flora here. It will enhance your knowledge of the plant world even if you are not into the study of plants.

  • Buttressed Tualaing or Koompassia Excelsa, the third tallest species in the world.
  • Oaks tree also known as Fagaceae spp.
  • Conifers with species such as Dacrydium spp and Agathis spp.
  • Epiphytic Orchids.
  • Ferns
  • Lichens and mosses at higher elevation where the plants absorbed the water from the moisture of the air.


Mammals and Reptiles

There are many animals in the park. The best way to sight them is to stay at the "hides", a tall wooden tower during the night. See how many of the following animals you can spot while you are here.

  • Seladang or Malayan Gaur: a type of wild cattle.
  • Asian Elephants: it will be difficult to spot them as they are usually found deep in the jungle.
  • Sumatran Rhinoceros: this endangered rhino has been living here for a long time.
  • Leopard.
  • Mouse deer.
  • Tapirs.
  • Black Panther.
  • Civets
  • Wild Boars
  • Martens.
  • Porcupines.
  • Anteaters.
  • Long-tailed macaques, leaf monkeys and siamang: you will most probably spot them as you go along the various trails in the jungle.
  • Reptiles such as snakes and lizards can be spotted as well.



See the video of some of the wildlife in Taman Negara.


Birds

Spend some time to study the various birds of Malaysia before coming here. You will be glad that you did as there are many beautiful and rare species of birds that are found in abundance in Taman Negara. A study showed that there are more than 300 species of birds here. Some of them include:

  • Hornbills, the medium-sized colorful birds.
  • Kingfishers.
  • Drangos.
  • Eagles.
  • Bluethroated bee-eaters.
  • Masked finfoot


Insects

Take your macro-lens camera and shoot some of the insects here.

  • Butterflies.
  • Centipedes.
  • Red ants: most of them are big and you will not miss them.
  • Milipedes: look out for them as you walk along the trails. Most of them are huge in size.
  • Rhinoceros beetles.
  • Stag beetles.
  • Stick insects that look like leaves.
  • Moths of different sizes.

Taman Negara Trails

Choose and explore some of the trails with different levels of difficulty. The trails nearer to the resort are simpler and a guide is not neccessary. However, it is always advisable to get a guide for longer and more difficult trails.

  • Negeram Trail This trail is about 4.1km and you will be required to cross the river.
  • Palas Trail This trail is about 1.6km and is fairly flat in nature.
  • Lubuk Simpan Trail This is the most popular trail and is about 10 minutes walk away from Kuala Tahan.


Things To Do

There are plenty of activities that you can do while in Taman Negara. Here are some of them:

  • Rapids Shooting Go for a 8km leisurely ride from Kuala Tahan to Lata Berkoh. You can also shoot the 7 rapids of Sungai Tembeling. The 9.1km shooting will take you 45 minutes. Be prepared to get wet.

  • Trekking Trek along the various trails. Make sure you ask the advice from the guide before you embark on your trip

  • Canopy Walk Walk on the 530m canopy walk. It is reputed to be the world's longest canopy walk, with a height of 40 m above ground anchored by the trees. This canopy is located 1.5km away from the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort.

  • Hides When the sun sets, go and stay a night at the tall wooden tower. You may spot some nocturnal wild animals. Remember to bring a torchlight and a binocular. Hides available include the Tahan Hide, Yong Hide, Blau Hide, Kumbang Hide, Tabing Hide, Cegar Anjing Hide and Blau Hide.

  • Explore the cave. Explore Gua Telinga cave, about an hour's walk from Kuala Tahan. If you are keen to go for the second cave, try the Gua Daun Menari at Kuala Keniam.

  • Camping Set up your own tents and experience the wild. Equipment can be rented at the center. Remember to camp only at the designated campsite.

  • Orang Asli Settlement Hire a boat and go to the settlement of the Batek tribal people of the national park. See how they live and learn how to blow the pipe to capture the animals, their way of living.

  • Fishing Fishing can be fun. A charge of RM10/rod is required as permit as you enter the park. Sungai Keniam is the popular spot for fishing. The best time to fish is the months of Feb, Mar, July and Aug.

  • Swimming Swim at Lubuk Simpan and Lata Berkoh. As usual, remember not to swim alone and do not go too deep if you are not a good swimmer.

  • Bird Watching Bring along a binocular and a good camera to capture the colorful birds here.

  • Conquer Gunung Tahan You will need to prepare yourself physically before scaling this mountain. Allocate 7-9 days for this climb.


Accommodation

You can choose to stay in chalets, hostel or camp here. The Mutiara Taman Negara resort is the most popular resort with guesthouses, chalets, bungalows or dorms to choose from. All the rooms are air-conditioned. There are other budget motels and chalets here as well. Get the online rates of this resort here.


Getting Here

There are four ways to enter the park. They are Kuala Tahan in Pahang, Kuala Koh in Kelantan, Tanjung Mentong in Terengganu and Merapoh in Pahang. The facilities are the best if you use the Kuala Tahan way. However, if you are adventurous and want to go where few have gone, you can try the other ways.

The best time to go is from March to October when it is not so wet. The months from November to March could be wet as it is the North-Easterly monsoon season.


#1 Kuala Tahan, Pahang Way

This is the most common and easiest way to the park. You can take a bus to Jerantut town after which you can proceed to Kuala Tembeling town which is about 15km away from Jerantut. An economical way to travel is by bus.

The other alternative is by taxi. The other alternative is to take the KTM train and stop at Kuala Tembeling Station which is just a short walk away to the jetty. Travel by train takes twice as long and hence is not the preferred mode of travel unless you have plenty of time to spare.

The boats depart from the jetty at 9am and 2pm daily. The 3 hours of scenic river boat ride from Kuala Tembeling will take you to Kuala Tahan, where the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort is. The return boat trip cost about RM50 per person.

If you prefer not to take the boat ride, you can also go straight to Kuala Tahan from Kuala Lumpur. The journey will take you 3.5 to 4.0 hours. Once you are here, all you need to do is take a boat and cross the Sungai Tembeling River. The resorts are located just across the river.

Use this way if you intend to climb Gunung Tahan.


#2 Kuala Koh, Kelantan Way

If you are in Kelantan, you will want to use this way. This is the north entrance to Taman Negara and the jungles are still virgin in nature. If you are coming from Gua Musang, take a bus or drive to Kuala Koh.

Visitors can either drive or take the public transport to Kuala Koh from Gua Musang in Kelantan. There is a road connecting this park entrance to the Gua Musang-Kuala Krai main road.


#3 Tanjung Mentong, Terengganu Way

If you are in Terengganu or is visiting Tasik Kenyir, this is a good way to go. The south of the lake is located in the park where submerged trees and caves can be seen here. Go to Gawi Jetty or Jenagor Jetty and travel by boat to Tanjung Mentong.


#4 Merapoh, Pahang Way

Use this way only if you are climbing Gunung Tahan. This is a short-cut way compared to Kuala Tahan way. You will pass the town of Kuala Lipis or Gua Musang if you are taking a bus. The KTM train also stops at Merapoh town. Take note that there is still a long trek or ride by boat from here if you are not camping here but staying in Kuala Tahan.


Wildlife Department Contacts

Call up the Department of Wildlife and National Parks if you need further query or if you want to check the weather condition of the park.

Kuala Lumpur: +6 03 9075 2872
Kuala Tahan: +6 09 266 1122
Gua Musang: +6 09 912 2940 
Kuala Koh: +6 09 928 2952


Permits

The permit to enter Taman Negara is RM1 per person. Camera and video camera permit is RM5 each and fishing rod permit is RM10 per rod.


Videos

See the videos of the park.

A Typical Boat Ride Within The National Park 


Canopy Walk











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