Jerantut is the best starting point if you want to go to Taman Negara. As the town doesn’t see many tourists the accommodation is much cheaper and has great connections by public bus and train. On top of that has many great and cheap food options. Jerantut is a nice, colourful and quite town, perfect to relax and stroll around.
Taman Negara is the biggest rain forest and National Park in Malaysia and the oldest in the world. And I will start to say that can’t be any easier to make your own visit, without spending crazy amounts of money in an organised tour. My first tip is to get there very early to avoid the crowds.
The local bus from Jerantut to Taman Negara departs at 6.30am (7RM) and stops at the park entrance. Before you enter the park you have a few street stalls where you can take your breakfast.
Rather than booking a tour I suggest you to do it yourself. Walk down the road to pick up a boat to cross the river (1RM), and at the park entrance pay the 1RM fee plus 5RM if you want to take photos. The park is very clean, organised and well signposted so you will not get lost 😀
We start doing the Lubok Simpon path, this place can be a bit crowded, but if you get there early in the morning you will have, like us, the place for yourself. After a refreshing swim we start our way to the canopy walk, amble around and spotting the wildlife, watch out for the monkeys, tree snakes, monitor lizards, spiders, jungle squirrels and the mousedeer.
For the canopy itself they apply a 5RM fee. It was truly an experience!! It’s hard to keep the balance and feels like you can easily fall 🙂 but I would definitely recommend it. Some points are quite high what gives a completely different perspective of the forest.
There are buses from Taman Negara to Jerantut at 8am, 10am, 3pm and 6pm.
After a relaxing day spent at Jerantut we catch the Jungle Train at 6:30am. We went in 1st class carriage with beds (30RM). The train is very comfortable, the bed clean and luckily very slow, I think if it was any faster would flip over, at least felt like it would. The ride is far from smooth. The canopy is so dense and close to the tracks it feels like we’re moving through a tunnel of green.
This train really makes justice to his name, it really crosses a very thick and lush jungle. Despite most of the travel be at night, you still get to see the jungle scenery, and some stunning views of karst formations and muddy rivers after the sunrise. Unfortunately the windows were to small to take photos.
photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha