Aug 17 2012
Malaysia’s most famous national park, Taman Negara is just a few hours from Kuala Lumpur by bus and/or boat and while there’s only one place to stay within the park, there are a bunch of places to stay across the river in Kuala Tahan. But which is the best for you?
Stay in the park
If your prime goal is to be as close to nature as possible, staying at Mutiara Taman Negara Resort is your only real option. You can stay in one of their various bungalow/chalet-style rooms (from 320 ringgit), their (overpriced at 80 ringgit) dormitory or camp on the periphery of the site.
The only other option is to stay at one of the nature-spotting hides, but you’ll need to lug in your water, food and bedding and the one hide we visited was downright grotty and looked like it hadn’t been stayed in for a very long time.
Stay in Kuala Tahan
While Kuala Tahan has a range of accommodation options — most of them are just not very good. This is particularly true at the lower end of the market where the accommodation verges on dire.
At the bottom end, Liana Hostel and Rippi Hostel are the best of a very mediocre selection. Tembeling Riverview Hostel, which is a little along the river from Liana, has a good garden cafe area but the accommodation is just awful. All three have dorm accommodation around the 10 ringgit mark.
Moving upmarket slightly, Tahan Guest House has clean and cute and very brightly coloured fan-cooled rooms with private squat bathroom for 50 ringgit a night. There’s also a bit of a lawn garden which makes this the family-friendly selection of the bunch. Note it is next door to the mosque.
Another 10 minutes’ along the up and down way lies Durian Chalet, which is similarly priced with a sprawling garden feel, but it’s quite a walk into the big smoke of Kuala Tahan.
If you want to stay in Kuala Tahan proper, Teresek View Motel is a sterile but functional option with fan rooms for 30 ringgit and air-con starting at 50 ringgit. The rooms are ordinary, but they get extra points for very friendly staff. We did, however, like the atmosphere at Tahan Guest House far more.
If you’re prefer to spend more, you could opt for the Woodland Resort, a 10-minute walk back from the river, but we found this to be a pretty unappealing option — the rude desk staff didn’t help. If their prices are around your budget, staying in the park or perhaps at the distant Rainforest Resort (from 207 ringgit), would be a better idea.
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