Taman Negara is the National park of Malaysia. It is a must-visit travel destination for nature lovers and casual travelers alike.
We truly enjoyed the boat ride to Lata Berkoh, took the Canopy Walk, joined the night jungle walk, visited the aboriginal village, hiked up to Bukit Terisek, savored the local gulai tempoyak, and roughed out through the rapids shooting.
Are you planning to visit Taman Negara? We just returned from Taman Negara and want to share our experience and helpful information on what to do, where to stay, and loads of photos to show you what you will expect.
Most casual visitors should stay here for two nights to explore the diverse activities from river cruises to jungle trekking. It is a trip back to nature suitable for anyone at different fitness levels. It is an authentic experience to enjoy the forest and wildlife.
However, if you are an adventures geek, plan for some extreme activities like hiking to the summit of Mount Tahan, which will take you 7-10 days.
Come and join us for our three days two nights adventure!
Make sure to watch our Taman Negara video! It is at the end of this article.
A brief introduction to Taman Negara
Taman Negara has been one of the world’s most ancient rainforests for more than 130 million years. In comparison, the Amazon rainforest in South America is only 55 million years old.
Taman Negara means National Park in the Malay language. Although it covers an area of 4343 square kilometers, most of the activities are centered around the forest entrance at the village called Kuala Tahan.
Arrived at The Mutiara Taman Negara Resort
Upon arrival, we unloaded our luggage at the jetty of Kuala Tahan. If you stay at Mutiara Taman Negara resort, you will be greeted by their staff. We plan to stay at Mutiara Taman Negara Resort. It is relatively pricy compared to other accommodations, but it is worth it as it is located across the Tembeling River at the edge of the jungle.
However, as shown in the above image, we have to park our car at the official parking complex, located about a 5-minute walk from the jetty. The fee is RM10 per day. Ask the boatman, and he will show you how to get there.
We then got back to the boat, paid RM1 for each person to the boatman, and he will send us to the resort on the opposite side, where the forest is located.
It is commendable that tourist activities are kept out of the jungle. Shops, mini markets, and other eateries besides Sri Mutaora restaurant are centralized at Kuala Tahan, located on the opposite side of the Tembiling River.
Upon arrival, we had to climb up some stairs to the resort. The resort is thoughtful to install a unique trolley to deliver the luggage up to the resort.
The reception office is where you make the check-in arrangement and the assembly place for all the excursion trips.
We have to pay RM1 for the entry permit and RM5 for the camera license at the Park Centre behind the reception before entering Taman Negara.
Finally, we arrived at our chalet, settled in, and headed back to the reception for our first activity, the rapid shooting trip.
The rapid shooting excursion
We took the boat traveling upstream of Sungai Tembiling. The water was calm initially, enjoying the soothing music of the gurgling waters.
There were also other travelers we met as it was the holiday season.
Gradually, the water began getting choppy when we rode over the first rapid. Then, with a racing heartbeat, we embraced and immersed ourselves into the fun of soaking ourselves inside out by the splashing water when the high-speed boat shot through the rapids.
We rode through seven rapids for the entire journey. We were all drenched inside out. Remember to keep your wallet and other essential items in a waterproof bag.
Just chill and appreciate the gorgeous scenery and feel the roaring power of the water.
The aboriginal village
There is something more than trees and rivers, the human culture. We visited an aboriginal village along Sungai Tembiling.
We approach one of the families. Modest lifestyle, but they should have less stress and worries than the city folks. The Batek tribe is a gentle race. They have dark skin and short curly hair.
Their house is bare and basic. Life here is far from modernization.
We got their permission to take a photo with the family for remembrance.
They are known for their exceptional hunting skills with the blowpipe and making fire with reed skin and roots.
Sri Mutiara restaurant
Sri Mutiara Restaurant is the only restaurant in Mutiara resort. All the meals included in the tour package are served here. The restaurant served a buffet dinner when I was there.
Chef Zamri, the head chef, introduced his unique Sambal Hitam Pizza to us.
The restaurant is spacious, open concept in line with the natural beauty of the national park.
Night jungle walk
After dinner, our guide brought us into the jungle to have a glimpse of the nightlife. The jungle came alive at night. It was like a symphony with cicadas taking center stage, accompanied by other mysterious sounds from other insects.
We were at the Tahan Hide, a place to look for nocturnal animals.
The hide faces the salt lick where nocturnal animals may appear at night.
Although we had no luck looking for animals but spotted some spiders. Our experienced guide also found and showed us snakes, luminous mushrooms, glowing worms, and giant ants.
More about the surrounding of Taman Negara Mutiara Resort
This photo is the aerial view of the Taman Negara jetty. It was a beautiful morning with slightly cloudy weather perfect for flying my drone.
Visitors were flocking into Taman Negara, and we had no chance to extend our stay. The resort was at full occupancy.
The chalets are built for all travelers from single to a family of 4 persons, with a private balcony overlooking the garden’s landscape.
The rooms and landscape were well maintained, brushing our initial doubt of the current standard, as it still looked unchanged as we visited this resort 22 years ago.
Savor the local delicacies near Taman Negara
On the second day, we savored some local delicacies at Kuala Tahan. Our guide recommended a local store specializing in two unique local dishes famous in the Temerloh district. Don’t miss out on these gluttony experiences.
Asam rong is a dish made with fermented rubber seeds. (those stored in the jar.) The rubber seeds were crushed and dried in the middle of the heat.
We ordered a fish dish with pucuk paku (fiddlehead), keledek (sweet potato) cooked with asam rong.
Here is the Gulai tempoyak ikan patin, which is patin fish cooked with a condiment made from fermented durian.
On the way to Lata Berkoh
We took a boat ride heading upstream of Tahan River to Lata Berkoh. The water was crystal clear, with a mirror-like reflection at the beginning.
Our boat stopped mid-way for us to marvel at the tallest Tualang tree in Taman Negara.
The water gets shallow and rocky gradually after that. The view was stunning, showcasing the beauty of nature, with smooth pebbles under and along the river.
The quiet and still water turned into rolling waves as we traveled deeper into the jungle.
Eventually, our boat stopped at a place about twenty minutes of trekking to Lata Berkoh as the cascades mark the ends of the accessibility by boat.
We invited every visitor we met and took a group photo in front of the signboard.
Just enjoy sitting on the rock and chilling at Lata Berkoh. The water was harsh, and the pools were deep with an undercurrent. It is dangerous to swim there.
Trekking to Bukit Terisek
Trekking to Bukit Terisik was enjoyable and is achievable by anyone. The first part was a well-maintained boardwalk until the first viewpoint.
After that, it was a relatively easy jungle path, which took us 20 minutes to reach the top.
Once we were on top of Bukit Terisek, we enjoyed the superb panoramic lowlands, hills, and mountains. The elevation gave us a clear view of Gunung Tahan, 2187 meters, the highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia, as the weather was good.
The canopy walk
The canopy walk is about 100m from the first viewpoint mid-way to Bukit Terisek. You only need to follow the boardwalk, and you will reach the starting point of the canopy walk.
The canopy walk is constructed high up on the treetops, has 530 meters long, is one of the longest in the world.
All the suspension bridges are netted on both sides. So it is pretty safe even if you slip at the height of 40 meters above the ground!
It is a series of suspension bridges supported by tall trees and connected with nine tree platforms.
Watch this video – our Taman Negara trip
We want to share our thrill, excitement, comfort, exceptional food, spectacular river cruise, and more with you. Click the image below to watch our Taman Negara video. Enjoy!