Photo: Up in the canopy.


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The superlatives come easy when it comes to Taman Negara National Park. At more than 4,000 square kilometres in size it is the largest national park and home to the tallest peak in peninsular Malaysia. The old-growth forest, mostly untouched by humans, is believed to be more than 130 million years old — making it the oldest primary forest in the world.

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A popular trekking destination, Taman Negara plays host to many endangered species, including the sun bear, Asian elephant, tigers and leopards, and likewise protects a vast collection of flora. While your chances of seeing big game within the park is close to zero, the sheer variety of plants and the incredible towering trees more than compensate.

The easiest way to get around. Photo taken in or around Taman Negara, Malaysia by Vanessa Workman.

The easiest way to get around. Photo: Vanessa Workman

Within the park’s boundaries are spectacular caverns, hilltop viewpoints and the park is delineated by fast-flowing rivers, which you can travel along to reach the upper reaches of the park. Established in 1938 as King George V National Park, the park was renamed following independence from Britain as Taman Negara (which means “national park” in Malay) and encompasses territory belonging to Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu provinces.

The park is most commonly approached from Kuala Tahan, a small, riverside hamlet in Pahang province, which in turn can be approached both by bus or mini van from Kuala Lumpur or other regional centres via Jerantut (which is on the train line).

This is a tree. Photo taken in or around Taman Negara, Malaysia by Vanessa Workman.

This is a tree. Photo: Vanessa Workman

From Kuala Tahan it is possible to spend upwards of 10 days hiking through the park totally incommunicado, but many if not most first-time visitors will spend one, two or three days in the park. Our ideal first-time stay would be two to three ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,100 words.)

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