Taman Negara

Trip Start Jan 06, 2007
Trip End Jul 29, 2007

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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Next day we woke up bright and early to catch a bus to Jerantut which was a quick stopover town before catching a boat to Taman Negara. Taman Negara is primarily made up of a massive jungle that's over 130 million years old. We were both stoked to get out of the city and do some treks and possibly even see some jungle wildlife! Our boat ride over was scenic and exciting for the first hour or so, then we realized that a 15 ft shallow boat made out of wood just wasn't that comfortable anymore, but all good. Met some really nice German dudes on the boat ride over who decided to join our fun for the next few days. We arrived at Kuala Tahan which is the base camp for Taman Negara. It covered with floating barge restaurants, small fishing boats/water taxis, and guides ready to take you on an adventure.
Everyone tries to sell you on joining a guided adventure trek because the jungle is so dangerous, but we decided to brave it and see everything ourselves. Our group split to find accommodation then met up later that for a Tiger beer and to plan our treks for the next day.

Got up bright and early to meet up with Ben and Martin, and set off for our first jungle trek which was a well marked main trail towards the Canopy Walkway. Managed to spot a few monkeys diving through the treetops, and some enormous insects spiders and beetles that you only see in horror movies, it was epic! We got to the Canopy Walkway paid our 5 RM each, and in minutes were suspended on a rickety old rope bridge constructed of loose wooden planks and ladders, it was awesome!!! From behind the Canopy Walkway, we took a trail that lead us to the top of the hills for some wicked views across the jungle. It was a steep and slippery walk up the humid jungle and we were all glad to reach the top when we did, as we were all completely saturated in sweat. Took some photos, then headed back down the slippery slope for a dip at Lubok Simpon a little swimming hole just off the track to cool off. We took a water taxi back to Kuala Tahan to grab some supplies and quick bite to eat s we needed a good refuel for our next jungle trek. This trek required us to take a water taxi past a native nomadic village to our drop off point where we walked 45 minutes into a Hide (animal observation hut) to spend the night in hopes of seeing some jungle animals. Our last jungle trek for the day began around 6 pm. It was incredible to hear the jungle symphony of noises getting louder and louder as it got darker! We got to the hide which was a small little hut built on stilts for safety, that overlooked a small watering hole/salt lick to attract nocturnal animals. The four of us approached the hut in silence as we knew to keep quiet if we wanted to see anything. Ten backpackers managed to trek into the Hide that day, and we all spent most of the night trying to keep very quiet with our eyes on the saltlick.  It didn't take long for the silence to turn into talking, as it's super hard to keep quiet when your first meeting everyone and sharing such close quarters. When we were quiet it was incredible to hear so many noises from so many things that you just couldn't see!!! With no sign of any nocturnal animal, besides the jungle symphony and the pitter patter of the rats on the roof, I decided to try and get some sleep, while Shaun hung out a little bit longer with the Croatian guys, drinking Saki from Borneo. Once everyone was in bed, the rats decided to come out and have a little party of their own, it was soooooo nasty! I'm pretty sure everyone at the Hide woke up at least once an hour to either swat a rat off their food, check their food bags to make sure nothing had been eaten, or make sure no rats were crawling on them or near them! It was definitely an experience that none of us will forget. After the world's worst sleep, our group of 4 arose from the dead around 9ish, ate our well salvaged food from the rats, and were off trekking by 10 am. We had a 6 hour hike ahead of us with no time to waste. Crossed a few rivers, 

got stuck in a downpour for an hour or so while clambering over tree roots, and picked several leeches off our ankles and feet on a regular basis that day. They say to visit the jungle during the dry season but we are just entering the dry season, so the leeches were definitely an unwelcome guest. When arrived back to Kuala Tahan we had a celebratory feed at a restaurant and spent the rest of the day and night recuperating back at the Durian Chalet where we stayed. Met some really cool people here in Taman Negara from all over the world!

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