Taman Negara is a national park in Malaysia with the reputation of the oldest rain forest in the world and it’s an amazing place to visit. Most of the accommodations are in Kuala Tahan. This village is a perfect base to explore the jungle.
Kuala Tahan is located on a riverbank, to enter the jungle you have to take a shuttle boat, which brings you to the other side. Before you enter the jungle there are a couple of restaurants, at night this is the spot to see tapirs hang around. You can take a guide to walk through the jungle, but when you want real adventure, just go on your own. Make sure you bring a map and if you don’t want to make it to crazy, there are signed routes through the jungle follow the signs. We don’t recommend going into the jungle without some good preparation. The jungle of Taman Negara is beautiful, but there are a lot of leeches. Here is a tip to prevent leeches from sucking your blood: put tobacco in your socks. Apparently leeches don’t like this. Anyway we heard this when we just left the jungle, but we can tell you that without any preparation you will have to clean your self from leeches about every 5 minutes. Another tip from experience by Hugo; it’s something you will never think about when buying shoes back home, but don’t wear shoes that have small ventilation holes in it! Besides air entering my shoes leeches joined! Leeches is not all the jungle has to offer, you hear lots of birds and you can see endless rows of ants walking over the path carrying all kinds of stuff.
Going with the river
At the end of your walk through the jungle it can happen that you arrive at a jetty but there is no boat to bring you back to Kuala Tahan. Not a nice surprise when you just walked for the whole day. So maybe it’s better to turn this around. Start the day with arranging a boat that brings you to the jetty and then walk back to the riverbank where the restaurants are. It’s immediately a good seal for the day. We didn’t so we ended up at the jetty. It took a while; we spent waving at boats, until somebody brought us back to Kuala Tahan. Because the sun was about to set, we were already thinking about where to sleep just in case. Boating back on the river was pretty cool and gave the most amazing views of ethnic villages and children playing in the water.