Tips to visit Taman Negara, the oldest rainforest on the planet

Taman Negara, in Malaysia, is the oldest rainforest on the planet, 80 million years older than the well-known Amazon.
With more than 10,000 species of plants and more than 200 species of mammals including tigers, rhinos, elephants and tapirs. It is one of the places where you can see the largest flower in the world, the rafflesia.

Here you can visit the path of the longest suspension bridges in the world, visit an aboriginal tribe that lives inside the jungle, hiking, swimming and even fishing. Every year, it attracts miles of tourists and adventurers who want to go into it and enjoy nature in its purest state, which is one of the jungles least touched by the hand of man.

 

“Spending time in nature is healing energy”

 

 

HOW TO GET TO THE FOREST FROM KUALUMPUR

 

You can get to the jungle from 4 collection points: Kuala Lumpur, Jerantut, Kuala Tahan and Sg Relau.

To get from Kualumpur to the jungle you have two options. The first option is to choose a hired tour that takes you from Kualumpur to Teman Negara by bus and then by boat from Jerantut crossing the river to the jungle .the second option is to take the whole bus route (on several buses).

1. Bus + boat

We chose this option because they had recommended that it would be better to go by boat to see animals and another part of the jungle that you can not see if you travel by road. From our own experience, the only thing you get to see from the boat and from afar are some wildebeests.
The rest is all green, very beautiful but without anything in particular and the same landscape for 3-4 hours. It is a different way to cross the river and experience Malay life, since even children, move in boats to go to school and fish in them, so we leave it to your choice, but the reason is not for see the fauna

We got the tour with the agency NKS Travel & Tours for 95 ringits (transfer + boat). His office is at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Kualumpur where you can hire the services. This tour leaves every day between 8.30-9 in the morning from the same hotel. Another company is HAN Travel which, as far as we could see was somewhat higher prices than the latter.

2. Only bus 

These buses make a stop in Jerantut, so you can go free to the Jerantut village from Kualumpur, as we saw several backpackers do.

You can get there by public transport but then from Jerantut to Taman Negara you have to hire a private bus from a tourist agency.

We choose to contract everything with the agency as they give you a discount and you can negotiate with them.

Some companies that organize tours & transfers:

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS BEFORE VISITING TEMAN NEGARA

 

#1 Do not put your feet into the mud

After my experience, this could be my number one rule. When you enter the Taman Negara National Park, you will see areas with mud where you have to walk, especially if it has rained in the previous days.

For the love of God, do not put your feet there or you will take several leeches  and it is not very pleasant to go bleeding after having had several hits. They recommend bringing salt for once they are stuck, they come off easily, although I notice that you can remove them with a push.

#2 Do not book an excursion to the jungle

There are several activities that can be done in Taman Negara, one of them and the most recommended is Canopy Walk, Bukit Teresek and Lubok Simpon, which consists of walking on suspension bridges meters above the ground, visiting a high hill to have views over the jungle and end up in a river bathing area.

This excursion you can book it for about 40 rings or do it for free. We give you the recommendations to do it on your own without the need of a guide and with the necessary instructions in our next post.

On the other hand, if what you are looking for is to go deeper into the jungle for several days, first I will tell you that you are really brave and second, we recommend you book it with a local agency, besides it is obligatory to go with a guide in inland areas.

 

 

#3 Issue your entry permit

Before entering the Taman Negara National Park, you must take the previously issued entry permit with you.
This can be processed directly with your agency or in an office located just before the boats leave for the jungle. It costs 5 ringits per person + 2 ringits per each camera that you bring.
If you have already booked it with your agency, you will skip this procedure as it is included in the price.

You must carry this piece of paper at all times because without it you risk a fine of 10,000 ringits or up to three years in prison. There is a sign at the entrance to the park where you can see it specified, so it is not a joke.

#4 Bring enough cash

To pay in restaurants, supermarkets and accommodation only accept payment by cash. Make sure you bring enough money for the days you are going to spend here.

Also, bring enough medicine supplies, Taman Negara there is only one medical center and there are no pharmacies. The little they can sell you are some aspirin in the supermarkets. Do not forget to bring with you mosquito repellent, ibuprofen and basic material to heal wounds.

#5 Get yourself into a good equipment

Boots, raincoat, high socks and waterproof material for your backpack. This is what you will need for your adventure in the jungle. Always carry special equipment for trekking and find out the weather forecast before making your trip. It will help you organize yourself so that you do not get caught in the middle of a tropical storm.

 

 

Download here the Taman Negara National Park map


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Laura

I write for curious and independent travelers that would like to maximise their time and costs, even having a full time job and not "so many holidays". Did you know that we have a consulting services for study, work or volunteer abroad? Find it on the menu!

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