Taman Negara - Ancient Rainforest.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Sunday, November 30, 2008

Where can you find a rain forest over 130 million years old that is accessible? Taman Negara in Malaysia is where, and this is to be our final very exciting part of our 2008 travels.

To get there involved a journey by bus from KL then travelling in a long boat with our luggage perched precariously on the front and with dire warnings ringing in our ears of getting swamped by the afternoon monsoons. These thankfully didn't eventuate at all for our two day stay(even though the day before monsoon rains hit us in KL)  and our plastic emergency raincoats remained unused. 

Our accommodation was a lovely little wooden chalet, at the only resort backing onto the jungle, with the bonus of wildlife able to be seen from our veranda, including playful monkeys. Taman Negara is famous for its canopy walk, which is  the longest in the world at 550 metres and definitely not for the faint hearted, as most of it is around 40 metres above the ground. Not only that, it is mostly constructed of ropes tied to trees, with a narrow board to walk on and mesh sides below the metal cable you hang onto to stop you falling through. There are around six sections and a maximum of four people only allowed on each section, with each person staying five metres from the next. Believe me you want to stick to these rules and want everyone else to, as it gets a huge sway up as you progress along the walkway!  At one place there is a household ladder to climb, linking two sections.

An interesting excursion we took was to an aboriginal camp not far away.  We went in an even smaller long boat just with our guide. Malaysian aborigines look a little like Papau New Guineans with tight curly dark hair. Quite a different look to most Malaysians. They still hunt and gather, live in bark huts and we were given a fascinating demonstration of how they make and use blow pipes for hunting prey.  We both had a turn at a blowpipe and Avan managed to mortally wound Garfield with his shot.

We undertook both a night and day jungle walk with our own guide and found many amazing plants, however not many animals were in evidence.

After two wonderful days it was time to take the boat back, downstream this time, so a little quicker, and then the bus to take us back to KL, where we had time for a last look around in the evening at the lavishly lit up Christmas decorations that had appeared in the two days we were away, before heading to the airport the next morning for our flight back to Perth. 

Footnote: Taman Negara Rainforest is featured in the book Unforgettable Places to See before you die.
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