Taman Negara translates directly from Bahasa Malaysia as “National Park”. As the name suggests, it is one of Malaysia’s premier national parks and is renowned for being one of the oldest rainforests in the world, estimated to be over 130 million years old.
Spanning 4,343 square kilometers, Taman Negara encompasses three Malaysian states: Pahang, Kelantan, and Terengganu. The park is characterized by dense tropical rainforests, rivers, and limestone caves. The Tahan River is a significant waterway that winds its way through the heart of the park.
Taman Negara was established in 1938/1939 as the King George V National Park. Its primary purpose was to serve as a conservation area for wildlife and to protect the watersheds of surrounding rivers. In 1957, following Malaysia’s independence, it was renamed Taman Negara. The park has remained largely untouched, preserving its ancient rainforest ecosystem.
Highlights of Things to Do
- Jungle Trekking: Explore one of the world’s oldest rainforests by trekking through its dense and biodiverse terrain. Popular trails include the Bukit Teresek trail and the trail to the top of Gunung Tahan, the highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia.
- Canopy Walkway: Suspended high above the forest floor, the Taman Negara Canopy Walkway offers a unique perspective of the forest canopy and a chance to spot wildlife from a bird’s-eye view.
- River Cruises: Take a river safari along the Sungai Tembeling or Tahan River to observe wildlife and enjoy the serene surroundings.
- Night Jungle Walk: Experience the rainforest’s nocturnal life with a guided night walk, where you might encounter luminous fungi, night-active creatures, and more.
- Caving: Explore the ancient limestone caves of Taman Negara, like Gua Telinga or Gua Kepayang.
How to Get In and Out
- By Road: From Kuala Lumpur, you can reach the town of Kuala Tahan, which is the main entry point to Taman Negara, in about 3 to 4 hours by car or bus.
- By Boat: From Kuala Tembeling, you can take a scenic river boat ride to Kuala Tahan. This journey offers an immersive experience into the rainforest landscape and typically takes around 2 to 3 hours.
Taman Negara, with its rich biodiversity, ancient landscapes, and plethora of adventure activities, offers a unique opportunity to experience one of the world’s most incredible natural wonders. Whether you’re an avid trekker, wildlife enthusiast, or just a nature lover, Taman Negara promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of the Malaysian rainforest.