Taman Negara basically means national park when translated to English. There are a few of these across the country but the one that is most mentioned amongst backpackers is the one in the Titiwangsa Mountains. Known as the worlds oldest rain forrest at 130 million years old this park has a huge amount of treks in its , trips and sites to see across 4343 sq km. Depending on how long you plan to stay in the park will depend on how far you can travel, however most people only stay here a couple of days which limits how far you can go. Once you arrive at Taman Negara you will greeted by a range of trips, boat rides, visits to local tribes and wildlife tours, however these may not be to your taste and you may want to experience the park in your own time in your own group and enjoy the peaceful rain forrest. Here are three things you can do for next to nothing without having to book a tour.
1. Hike to Bukit Teresek
Tours start at around 9am at the park so the early you can get going the better really. One of the easier treks (it’s still a long trek in the humidity of the forrest) is to the peak of Bukit Teresek. It takes around 1-2 hours depending on your pace. You will reach the first viewing platform which offers an amazing 180 degree view of the whole national park, however this is not the main viewing platform. Head up around another 15 minutes or so and you will come across a sign for Bukit Teresek and an even wider view of the park. The trek up here is very rewarding as there are many stairs but the payoff from the view is well worth it. You will get to enjoy the rain forrest at your own speed and see the towering trees and wildlife along the way. Although there are mention of monkeys, small mammals inside the park they don’t appear very much. You are more likely to enjoy some large monitor lizards, huge yellow spiders, rivers of monster ants, and the odd snake.
2. Canopy Walk
Whilst en route to Bukit Teresek you can make a small detour to the canopy walk. It costs around 15RM to walk the bridge which pays for it’s upkeep. It’s must for anyone visiting the park and not for the faint hearted. The bridge is very wobbly and once your up in the canopy of the trees, looking down can be quite daunting. The views from here are spectacular and it’s really enjoyable to be looking down into the canopy of these ancient trees.
3. Swim in the river
Once you’ve completed the loop of the Bukit Teresek and the canopy walk you can finish with a dip into the cool water of the river in the park. You will undoubtably drenched in sweat by this point to the water comes as a refreshing end to your trip. The swimming area is called Bubok Limpon and is around 20 minutes walk from the jetty back across to the mainland. You can lay back in the river here and watch the boats drive by with the envious eyes of the people on the boat tours as you cool down hearing the songs of the birds and howls of monkeys in the distance. The current is a little strong here so just be observant and don’t swim too far into the current unless you are a strong swimmer.
The park closes in the evening for visitors who are not camping or sleeping in a cave so head back on the boat and enjoy some satay and bbq corn on the beach front.
Things I wish I had taken :
Malaria isn’t a problem here however there are mosquitos here and the last thing you want is to be itchy for the whole day. Also a small towel for wiping sweat along the way!