14/05/2018 – 16/05/2018
A few words about the area
Taman Negara in Malay, or National park in English, is one of the oldest deciduous forests in the world, which is estimated to be 130 millions years old and spreading over more than 4000 km² in the centre of Malaysia.
The park entrance can be reached through Kuala Tahan town, that we can separate into two parts:
- Town side, gathering all guesthouses, cheap restaurants and shops and « Danz Resort » with its campsite (without infrastructure)
- Park side, with the « Hanz Rainforest Resort » and its campsite with infrastructures (showers, toilets and a basic kitchen)
Transport from the Cameron Highlands
There are at least two possibilities to get to the park, from the Cameron Highlands:
- By bus through Jerantut town (4h30 Tenah Rata – Jerantut and 2h Jerantut – Kuala Tahan)
- By bus+boat through Kuala Retang (4h Tenah Rata – Kuala Retang by bus, 1h30 lunch break and 3h by boat from Kuala Retang – Kuala Tahan)
As we said in our post about the Cameron Highlands, we were not told/did not know anything about the first possibility through Jerantut and chose the second option. We negotiated the trip at the « Unititi » travel agency for 60 MYR/pp (13€), departure at 8AM (but there was another one at 10AM).
Whatever option you choose, your transport will drop you off on the town side.
Available transports in town
Kuala Tahan is a small town with very few public transportation aside taxi-boats :p
« Taxi-boats » can get you from one side of the river to the other, for only 1 MYR/pp (0,20€).
Both restaurant and shop besides the Hanz Rainforest resort are expensive compared with town side. Crossing the river (1 MYR/pp) and eating for 5,5 MYR/pp (1,20€) is cheaper than eating there, where the same dish is four times that price!
Three choices available:
- Han Rainforest Resort and Danz Resort (180 to 350 MYR/night – 40 to 75€)
- Guesthouses (80 MYR/night – 17€)
- Camping (10 MYR/pp per night – 2€)
- Canopy walk & trek to Bukit (Hill) Terisek (40 MYR/pp – 8,50€)
- Night jungle walk (30 MYR/pp – 6,50€)
- Night Safari (45 MYR/pp – 10€)
- Rapid shooting – Boat ride in river « rapids » (45 MYR/pp – 10€)
- Local Orang Asli village (45 MYR/pp – 10€)
All those prices are what travel agencies display, but it’s possible to trek on your own, without any guide on some of the trails. We followed the one linking the canopy walk, Terisek Hill, Lubuk Simpon « beach » and finally back to our campsite and it took us about 3 hours. We had maps.me, but honestly you can’t miss the trail as most of the time there are wood/metal planks or leeches to show you the way. Just follow the leeches guys!
Jungle trek (Bukit Terisek – Lubuk Simpon)
Teman Negara will remain as a nice souvenir, even with leeches, the two thunderstorms/rainstorms we had the two nights we were there (it’s already monsoon season here) and the campsite basic, not well maintained infrastructures. However, we had the opportunity to check that our Decathon tent was waterproof and could sustain tropical showers 😀 Jungle trekking is nice here and it’s safe to get in there alone, in definite trails.
We will now head for Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur. There are several travel agencies on town’s side who will sell you the ride in minivan for 75 MYR/pp (16€) (same price as in Kuala Retang, where we took the boat to Kuala Tahan), but there is also another option, way cheaper, by local bus to Jerantut (no need to book, just get on when it comes, twice a day (10AM and 5PM), at the location pinpointed on maps.me). Price is set at 7 MYR/pp (1,5€) and will get you to the Jerantut Bus terminal, where you can catch another bus to Kuala Lumpur for 18 MYR/pp (4€). We definitely enjoyed spending 25 MYR/pp (5,5€) in total, three times less than what travel agencies sell…
Unfortunately, I can’t say anything about the second bus schedule because we got one that was about to leave right when we got to Jerantut, but there should definitely be several buses a day to the capital.