"Taman Negara (Kuala Koh)" Taman Negara by vyxxyn
Taman Negara Travel Guide: 218 reviews and 489 photos
Taman Negara is a large area nature reserve in West Malaysia. Very popular with hikers, mountain climbers and zoologists. The name itself means "national park" in Malay. You may only enter the reserve at designated points because the government is making a big effort in conservation. The south is more popular with visitors because there is a better network of roads and Gunung Tahan, W. Malaysia's highest mountain is there. Kuala Koh is somewhere in the north. Few adventurers visit this area because it is really remote.
We arrived into Gua Musang town before entering Kuala Koh to get to Taman Negara rainforest. "Things" to look out for inside the cave: Lady with veil praying, bodyless-crocodile, bee-hives, giant wok, demon face, etc. Just use your imagination ;)
We climbed to the top of the cave in the rain. Lots of falling down slippery ground and rocks and stuff... little "mudbaths" here and there can be good. We'd smooth babysoft skin after washing off the mud!
The cave behind the Gua Musang train station's relatively dry and clean. Squeeze through very narrow vertical gaps and low tunnels, tread on soft ground. The interior only takes you to about 3/4 up the cave. Climb to summit outside (pictured). There's a vertical wall obstacle though, so some rope would be nice!
I hoped to see tigers, tapirs, wild boars in the wild but all I got to see were zillions of leeches ;) Maybe I needed to stay a few days longer.
Kuala Koh is a fishing spot (no license I think). Not popular and is little known because of the lack of proper roads there, and is out of the way if you're entering Taman Negara from the south/east/west. Therefore if you really want that "back to nature" feeling, and not do touristy-things, get to Kuala Koh. Every morning wake up to the cheery call of the fidgety Magpie Robin. At dusk, you can visit the salt licks and listen to soft deer calls.
Besides trekking and doing canopy walks you could swim in the river Koh, water raft down it (check with the Rangers in the "resort" area, they can organise some activities for you), and of course fish. There's the Malay version of Salmon in abundance. At one point upstream you can see them jump at one of the fishing holes.
I was standing at the opposite sandy bank with 4 friends waiting for more bamboo rafts to arrive and we heard tiger roaring which sounded like they were not too far away from us. We tried looking for the source but the gutteral groaning got softer :( Damn elusive creatures they are! But glad to know I was close. Will do Taman Negara again, maybe not in the monsoon season.
Besides this strange looking tree, there are bamboo trunks with white stripes, looking as if they were painted on. But I don't think so. Try to get to the animal hides in the morning or evening since that's the best time to spot most diurnal mammals.
- Pros:FUN! Tigers! Leeches! Challenging terrain!
- Cons:Going in monsoon season - slippery slopes and rock climbs
- In a nutshell:I don't usually go anywhere more than once but Taman Negara is a place I'd like to do again!
The Four Seasons don't apply to Southeast Asia, however campers and hikers tend to avoid the monsoon season early... more travel advice
If you're coming in from Singapore, you may want to consider purchasing train tickets from Malaysia instead cos prices... more travel advice
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