By Devaughn Thornton
This is an adventure in Malaysia you wouldn’t want to miss! Camping in the middle of the rain forest, and exploring the lush jungle is a nature lover paradise!
When I first arrived in Malaysia I was stoked at the amount of treks, hiking and nature that was available for camping and exploring. I was born in a big city. So even though I am a city boy, I have a strong desire to be out in nature where adventure knows no limits. However, I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did: lack of research. I came to find out most of the hikes and treks were located in Borneo- which is still part of Malaysia, but disconnected from the mainland. This means I would have to take another flight. This wan’t an option for me at the time. So if you are planning to go to Malaysia for the outdoors, make sure you book a ticket to Borneo. None the less, there is one adventure in Malaysia I still can do, and one you wouldn’t want to miss.
Here I was in the wonderful city of Kuala Lumpur, wondering what my next move would be. With proper research, I discovered the biggest rainforest right in the middle of Malaysia known as Taman Negara. Taman Negara is an adventure seeker’s heaven, and surely can not be missed if you ever plan to step foot in Malaysia! After heading to the bus station, I bought my ticket and was on my way. The journey from KL to Taman Negara is around 5.5 hours altogether, The beautiful scenic journey takes you through the rural country sides of Malaysia. Note that you will have to take two buses. The first from KL to Jerantut costing 17 Ringgit (price may change), and the second from Jerantut to Kuala Tahan costing 6 ringgit. Kuala Tahan is the town across the river connecting to the rainforest.
Once in Kuala Tahan, there are many guest houses you can stay at. But I chose the traditional nomad approach to camp throughout my stay. The first place I camped at was Mutiara resort for 5 ringgit a night. It offers a nice campsite but not a good place if you are a solo traveler. The best campsite I stayed at sits on the edge of the rainforest. It is called Danz Travel Campsite. The best part is they will provide a tent if you don’t have one! You can camp anywhere within the camp grounds in this place. If you need to get back into town, you get to ride on a cool truck provided by the campsite. It is about a 10 minutes ride, and you are free to commute back and forth to town as much as you like. The rest of my time was spent camping within the rainforest.
In Taman Negara, you have a choice to do your own adventure or hire a guide. I chose to do my own thing. After paying the park entrance fee, and buying a camping certificate, you are free to do as you like. Just make sure you check into the park headquarters letting them know how long you will be gone for- so they will know to come looking for you if you have not checked out. It’s for your safety, trust me. Taman Negara reminded me of a smaller scale of the Amazon rainforest. It is filled with wild animals: snakes, tigers, jaguars, wild pigs, elephants, creepy and crawly insects and spiders! But I have to say the worst would have to be the LEECHES! They are a nightmare so be prepared to bring a few extra pair of socks!
As we all know, adventure is what we make of it. There are loads of things you can do- from canopy walks above the forest, camping overnight in the jungle, multiple day hikes, bird watching, and exploring this never ending rainforest to wherever your imagination would take you…or more so your legs. Be prepared for the possibility of crossing a few rivers, and to make your away around fallen trees and bridges that may have collapsed. The first night I got to stay in a hut which is like a tree house. And I found places to camp within the forest for the rest of my nights. If you can, try to camp near the water as it is very calming.
It is easy to get lost here. There are many signs for directions but once you find yourself in areas with no signs, you will begin to drive yourself nuts out of fear. The forest does feel like a never ending labyrinth at times. So take a deep breathe, and keep going making notes of landmarks to retrace. It’s actually why they strongly urge you to hire a guide. But I made it out, and so can you! I did get lost a few times. But my intuition always led the way. Camping is what makes Taman Negara so unique, and a great place to visit. If you are a nature lover, and an adventure seeker, you will have to check out this place in Malaysia. I can only tell you so much but this is something you will have to experience first hand. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
I hope you find this article helpful. Happy and safe travels!- The Archatek.
About The Author
Devaughn Thornton aka The Archatek is an Adventure Travel Blogger and Photographer from Los Angeles, California. His goal is to inspire and help others to live a life of freedom and adventure! Check out his blog at thenomadarchatek.com