After enjoying a summer back in England with friends and family and saving money it’s time to get back on the road. I jumped on the plane and headed towards Malaysia. Not wanting to spend any time in the sweaty city of Kuala lumpur I got straight on a bus to Kuala Tahan, the gateway village to Taman Negarra national park for some much needed jungle time.
Taman Negara is a huge jungle with a total area of 4,343 km3 and is one of the world’s oldest deciduous rainforests, estimated to be more than 130 million years old. Home to some amazing animals such as the Malayan tiger, Malayan gaur, tapirs and the Indian elephant, the forest is pretty much untouched.
Perhaps the main attraction for visitors to the park is the canopy walkway. Up in the trees the walkway is supposedly the worlds longest suspension bridge, but that’s a very Asian claim. After about a 30 minute treck you reach the starting point of the walkway. It’s pretty impressive although very unstable it allows you to walk amongst the top of the trees. However, in true Asian fashion half of it was closed (and had been for over a year) so couldn’t quite take full advantage but it was still a good experience.
As well as the walkway there are loads of other trails that can be done around the park. As always they recommend you pay for a guide but this is definitely not needed as the trails are well sign posted. I took a trail up to a peak called bukit teresak. It’s a fairly steep walk and takes about 1 hour to reach the top but rewarding as the top gives you a wide open view of the river below and the rest of the parks massive peaks.
The next day I took a longer trail to bukit Indah. This trail was much better and you are completely on your own without seeing anyone else. It takes around 5 hours to do the whole thing and when you start to ascend there is some very precarious paths in between boulders which you have to climb with a very large drop either side. This one is not for the faint hearted but again offers a great view at the top where you can sit and watch the birds go by.
Due to the density of the forest it was rather difficult to spot much wildlife however I did manage to come face to face with a family of bush pigs. There was distant calls of gibbons but I only managed to see macaques. The forest floor was full of monitor lizards scampering away from you, so you only catch a glimpse. Bird wise I was a bit disappointed with the quantity but I saw a few bee eaters and caught a glimpse of the rare Malayan peacock pheasant which was really beautiful.
Over all it’s a very good option to visit as its not too far from Kuala lumpur and offers some easy enough self-guided trekking routes. Next destination Penang.