Sunday, June 8, 2008

National Park / Taman Negara

I took off from work recently from 4Th to 8Th June. Just want to take some days off and to get away from work and at the same time to be with the kids, the get together outing with the family. Initially it was supposed to be to Krabi, Thailand or Pulau Perhentian. But since the weather is so unpredictable now a days over here... sometime very hot and sunny and sometime thunder storm and raining, so we decided to change plan and take a drive to the National Park at Kuala Tahan, Jerantut, Pahang. It was quite a distance.., about 8 hours drive. We started at 5.30am and arrive Kuala Tahan at around 3pm. The only stop we had was at Kuala Lipis town for lunch and taking a look around the small Lipis town. Nothing much over there, except that the town has changed quite a lot compared to my last visit there about 10 years ago ?.. I think so..
This is my first time driving to Kuala Tahan as my previous trip was by boat from Kuala Tembeling. The journey from Kuala Tembeling to Kuala Tahan itself (by road) is about 120km. The last 60km before reaching Kuala Tahan is nothing except palm oil plantation. (see above photo).
This is our chalet, Tembeling River View Guest House. The name itself already tells that the chalet is facing the Tembeling River. We rented the whole dorm which consists of 4 beds. Each bed cost us RM10.00 per night, which I consider quite cheap as compared to there chalets around.

This is how our room looks like. Blankets and mosquito net provided.

Part of the roof is "atap" and the front portion of the top wall is uncovered. Good thing is that you get to feel and breath those clean air from the jungle. Bad part is that insects can fly into the room anytime, especially mosquitoes. See above ? So it is rather cooling during the morning.... natural air.
See the above photo ? Nothing much to do, ....while watching out from the window, I decided to snap a photo of the "atap" roof. We were quite cut off from the outside world.. no tv, no news paper and no Internet except hand phone. It was raining too at that time, so I just sat by the window and watch the rain falling down. That reminds me of my late grandmother's house in Bachok, many decades ago when I used to go there while I was young.
Somewhere around 7 pm, I received a SMS informing that the price of petrol is expected to go up again from RM1.90 to RM2.70 per litre. That was really a drastic hike. We were chatting around about it, and couldn't believe what we just received, as the media already said earlier that there won't be any price hike in petrol until August. The only expectation is the government to announce the new petrol subsidy by tomorrow. Immediately, I recalled that our PM did the same thing when he announced the Parliament was dissolved on march the 13Th. He denied about it just a day before . The same trick on us Malaysian ! Anyway, I can't really do much as the nearest petrol station is about 60 km away.

To cut it short, this is how our surrounding looks like. There is a tourist information centre right in front on the right hand (above) and a canteen far left with a waiting / resting area too, right in front (below). So during the day or night, you'll see a lot of tourist (especially the back packers Mat Salleh) walking to and fro to the floating restaurants not far away.

The Tembeling river is very busy from daylight till night, with boats carrying passengers and goods. You can get across to Taman Negara by ferry (small passenger boat) just by paying RM1.00 per trip. There is only one hotel at the Taman Negara site which is Mutiara Taman Negara Resort. A very expensive hotel for a National Park.

Across our guest house is Taman Negara. So, we have no problem looking for food or to visit the park anytime as they are right just in front of our place.

Above photo is the scenery of how the floating restaurants looks like on the Tembeling River.

The next morning right after breakfast, we took a boat across to Taman Negara. All tourist have to register themselves to the Wild Life Department with a minimal fee of Rm1.00 per head.

These are the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort chalets. They have various types of rooms, dormitory, terrace and individual units at different prices. They even have a camp site.

The one and only restaurant at the park. An adult buffet lunch cost RM40.00++ per pax and children at RM22.00++ per pax.

Today, we are visiting the Canopy Walkway and Bukit Teresek. The walk to the Canopy is about 2.5km and from there, we'll climb up the nearest hill, Bukit Terisek for about 1.6 km.

My photography session begins over here. But in actual fact I didn't take much photos as the walking and climbing is too tiring.

One group photo for the album, just Me and Us. Halfway to the Canopy Walkway.

Each person is charged RM5.00 for the Canopy Walk.

After the Canopy Walkway, we climb up to Bukit Teresek to view Gunung Tahan. The climb is very exhausting and tiring. We completed the day's exploration by around 2.30 pm., just the right time for lunch at the Family Floating Restaurant, and called it a day after that.

The next day, right after breakfast at about 11.30 am, we crossed the river again to the Park, This time we decided to visit the Tahan Hide to look out for some wild animals.
Didn't get to see much as it was already late at noon time. Only managed to see a wild boar, a snake and some birds.
After 2.30 pm, we booked 2 boats for 5 of us for some adventure. It coast us RM120.00 per boat. I think this is the most interesting part of our National Park holiday. Anyone who goes there shouldn't miss the boat ride. Its just like going to one of our "Pulau" without going snorkeling. So, boating is a must when visiting Taman Negara. This time, we are visiting Lata Berkoh and the "Kelah" Sanctuary.

Well. we went through the rapids and there seems to be quite a lot of boats going the same direction as we are going.
Our boat ride takes about 30 minutes to our destination.

At the Lata Berkoh, you'll be surprised to see a group of "Mat Salleh" only swimming at the deeper part of the water. We dare not join in as the water looks dark and deep. The moment I see the water, it reminds me of the movie "Anaconda" . We went to the shallow part instead.
We have to get out of the restricted area before sunset. By 4.30 pm we proceed to the "Kelah Sanctuary" for play and feed the tame fishes. I had no idea at all what fish they were but they do look big at around a kilo each swimming around us looking for breads and pallets food. At about 5.30 pm we proceed back to our base.
We drove home on the next morning. We had fun !
For more information about where to stay at Taman Negara, you may click here.
For Places of Interest and Activities, you may click here.
Well, lets wish this Taman Negara mother's nature could be preserved and protected forever for the benefit of our children's future. We took nothing but memories and leave nothing but footprints...

For a great selection of places to stay with discount prices in Kelantan, visit Kelantan Hotels for more information.