Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A visit to Taman Negara-The National Park, Kuala Tahan, Pahang.

                                                       Sg Tembeling Jetty

                              The long boat that will take you to Taman Negara-
                                            no toilet break for 3 hrs

In May 2005 I joined a group of nature enthusiasts to visit Taman Negara, our National Park in Kuala Tahan, Pahang. After a smooth 3 hrs drive on board a coach we arrived comfortably at the Kuala Tembeling Jetty for a lunch break before proceeding to the National Park by means of a motorized long boat. We rode for 3 hrs along the meandearing river of Sungei Tembeling leisurely. Much to the chagrin of some of our members who ate heartily a sumptuous lunch before boarding, there was no toilet break. We saw colorful flora amidst the green forest at both sides of the river bank. There were sandbars, shallow water ways, smaller distributaries, small Orang Asli (The indigenous people) settlements and some jetties along the way. A herd of buffaloes submerged their whole bodies in the murky river with only their heads exposed above water. Our boatmen knew how to avoid the buffaloes; otherwise we could fall into the river readily soaking wet, with their massive bodies posing threats to boats plying the narrow water ways.

                                              Seri Mutiara Restaurant

The comfortable Chalet that accommodates 4

We arrived at 4 stars Mutiara Resort of Kuala Tahan, by the bank of the river Sungei Tahan and were led to our camp site to rent tents. There were few sizes available with RM14 for 2 campers and RM20 for 4s. However it was most uncomfortable as the tents were rather small and stuffy. It was made worse by frequent visits of carefree wild boars that roamed the parameters of the camp sites, scouting for food. Apart from that the menaces from the crawlies could not be ignored too. Large headed ants, millipedes and other unwelcoming insects were plenty to invade our sleeping tents. I ended up sleeping at the fair priced dormitories at the park resort. There were 108 Malay styled chalets and bungalows amidst the 6 hectare eco-resort available for booking, with prices ranging from RM450 per night per chalet (for 4 persons) and above. 

Wild Ginger flower and plant

150yrs old Bintangor tree

                            Foot long centipede crawling in the night  

We were so glad to be given a complimentary buffet dinner at the Seri Mutiara Restaurant by Tourism Pahang. After the dinner we were ushered to a corner to view a slide show put up by a friendly Encik Yunus of the Wildlife and National Park of Pahang. The state is the largest of Peninsula Malaysia, with its two-third of its 35,960 sq km covered with tropical rain forest. The National Park spreads a whooping 4,343sq km of virgin jungles. Here it is the best place on earth to watch and study the hundreds of species of rare and endangered flora and fauna. For the adventurous, there are hills and caves, streams and rivers, rapids and slow flowing water falls to explore. Taman Negara was founded since 1939 when it was named King George V National Park. Subsequently it was re-named Taman Negara when Malaysia gained its independence.

                                  Monitor lizard waiting for squirrel?

                         Exhausted after reaching the peak of Bukit Teresek

                            The Canopy walk path is rather narrow

Looking at Sg Tahan from atop the Canopy walk

Imagine the leech could reach the foot for blood sucking through the sock and not alerting the victim. What about girls who wear low waist pants?

                                      Dwarfed by giant Yam Plants     
We engaged a local tour guide for a night jungle walk into the forest at the brink of the resort. The one and half hours walk through the totally dark trail was fun-filled. With touch lights in hands, we were shown centipedes, cocoons, spiders, stick insects, and other unusual crawlies along the way. We encountered some huge trees; the Bintagor tree was 150 yrs old. The most rewarding for the night walk was the sighting of a dear family; there were 3 large deer of the rusa Sambar species when we spotted them from the height of a watch tower. They seemed to be unfazed at us shining strong beams at them. They were here at one of the salt lick areas of the park. We were told that the wild animals which frequented the salt lick areas were sun bears, deer, tigers, panthers, wild boars, tapirs, and some smaller civet cat families.

                                    Green chameleon stayed motionless

                                Wild Jungle Chempedak fruits abundant
                                           but what about the taste?

The next morning we engaged the same guide Encik Rahim for an arduous and exhilarating mountain climbing that lasted for 3 hrs. The ascent was tough with many undergrowth shrubs and fallen trees that blocked our way. The 1st view from Bukit Teresek at 275m overlooking the Sungei Tahan with the backdrop of the mountain a distance away was simply breathtaking. Bukit Teresek peaked at 344m above ground level.

                                                   Perhilitan posters

We then descended to another trail that led us to the Canopy Walk. It was one of the longest walkway in the world above the canopy of trees. It began with a 250m long bridge in 1992 with 3 platforms. Now it had been extended to 530m with 10 platforms. Ropes and planks bound tightly and tied to supports on towering giant Tualang trees form the bridge walk 40meters high in mid air. Visitors paid RM5 for a go at the canopy walk, with 5m intervals from each walker.

                       Hungry Mother boar came with baby piglet univited

                        The camping ground where wild boars intruded
                                           even before night fall

The Interpretic Centre of Taman Negara serves as a information centre for the Department of Wildlife and National Parks of the country. The centre educates us with slides, pictorials, diagrams and posters, articles and photos the functions and importance of Perhilitan(The Department of Wildlife and national Parks).

                                  Lubok Simpon fresh water playground

A short 600m away from the entrance of the Mutiara Resort, the Lubok Simpon water area provides a natural fresh water escape for the city folks who love to soak themselves in the shallow, nature cooled water surrounding. The sandy banks of the stream are strewn with pebbles, with small fishes swimming in the shallow waters without fear of being caught. This is the popular spot for children and their families.

                               Where is the bloody bus?

When it was time to leave Taman Negara after our 2 nights stay , we crossed the narrow river of Sungei Tahan on board small boats to the other side of the river where the coach stood waiting to bring us back to where we came from. It was another 3 hours ride before we called it a day of exhaustive expedition.

Alan CY Kok


  1. Interesting uncle Alan~ Ah, I couldn't imagine that the leech could reach the leg without noticing by the victim @_@

  2. Good sharing here, Rainforest Resort Taman Negara is the ideal getaway for the much needed rest, relax and revitalizing break. See detail visit: