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Taman Nagara

Welcome to the jungle...


As Jason's Mum was on a pretty tight schedule we decided to get an organised mini van and boat to the rainforest, Taman Negara, rather than local buses. Our hotel in KL managed to organise this for us. The mini van was simple with a brief change of bus in Jerantut and then we had a scenic boat ride for 3 hours down the river (it was definitely the best way to enter the rainforest, but my bum was numb by the end).
We were welcomed into our guesthouse by a smiling lady, Delimah, with fruit juice and biscuits. Our room was basic, but clean and homely, and it provided us with a lot of entertainment when we realised Jason's mum's bed was a mattress in the corner of the room, nicknamed the 'dog bed'. It happened to be Debbie's best nights sleep of the whole trip.
The 4x4 night safari had been highly recommended by a girl at our guesthouse who had seen flying foxes and sloths the night before... so we quickly organised a tour for our first evening. Our high hopes for the tour had quickly disappeared... the tour consisted of a slow moving Jeep on the main road with a spot light pointing up at trees 50-100m away in the hope of seeing a sign of life...Jason may have seen a wild cat, we saw a small wild pig and then the tail of some form of mammal...we were really bored and disappointed with our drive along the main road (not what we expected of a safari).

Delimah had fed and watered us at breakfast time in preparation for our walk in the rainforest the next day. Unfortunately my toe was still painful and so I wore Debbie's new walking shoes which were slightly wider than mine for the walk. We caught a small boat across the river and made our way to a viewing point in the rainforest. The initial paths are all wooden board walks with signposts all the way through the trees, however if you go further into the forest (which is the size of Luxembourg) it is completely wild and you have the opportunity of catching sight of their big animals, including bears, tigers and elephants. We stuck to the board walks, which were steep and sweaty work in the humidity of the forest, and were rewarded by a spectacular viewing area where we were lucky enough to see lots of tropical birds (catching a photograph of them was more difficult, I promise you we saw bright red ones, green ones and blue winged birds too).
We also walked through the rope canopy of the forest, which was good fun; but unfortunately no wildlife as I guess the animals know that they are disturbed by humans there.
After all that walking in the humidity we were in need of a refreshment break and found the perfect spot by the river. Jason and his mum enjoyed their pineapple roti and we all admired the view, including some monkeys and a huge Rhino-horned Hornbill flying across the forest canopy (which we were very lucky to see).

In the afternoon we went on a tour down the river to a local village. We got soaked! The boatman insisted on rocking the boat through the rapids, which in turn sprayed us with water (I think Jason won the prize for being most wet). We were a little concerned by our village stop at first as our guide just left us to walk around it ourselves, we couldn't help but feel as though we were intruding. The tour got better once our guide sat down with us and explained a bit about the villagers; they have an unknown origin, some say their genes are from African descendants and they certainly look more African then Asian, they still hunt in the forests for food and eat gibbons, they have certain marriage and death rituals, there's a village shaman, and many more interesting ways... They demonstrated how they make fire and catch animals with a blow pipe. We all got a chance to use the blow pipe on a target... guess who was the best? Me!!!
You would think Jason's Mum would have been exhausted by the days activities... but no, instead she treated us to a night walk in the rainforest to see the critters that come out to play in the dark. We donned our waterproofs as it was chucking it down and our torches to meet our guide. We were a bit unlucky with the weather because a lot of the wildlife hides in the rain, but nevertheless we enjoyed it and was a new experience for us all. We saw: stick insects, a family of wild pigs, bird eating spider, a yellow bird in its nest, gecko, porcupine and a scorpion. Apparently we had just missed the deer from the viewing hide, I think the group before us must have scared them away. I really enjoyed it despite the rain.
A little family cafe became our place to eat whilst in Taman Negara. We ordered drinks, nasi goreng (rice dishes), paprika chicken, Thai soup and for the three of us it never cost more than £5 total. We all also discovered we were partial to a coconut smoothie from a local lady who serves them from her front door... calorific and delicious!
A jampacked day...no rest for the wicked... next stop the Cameron Highlands.

Posted by bloorsontour 02:11 Archived in Malaysia

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