If you're planning on approaching by train, note that while parts of the Jungle Railway were damaged in heavy rainfall in 2014, only one section (between Kemubu and Gua Musang) is closed. Trains operate on the remainder. Most choose to arrive (and depart by bus).
Getting to Taman Negara is a bit of a case of planes, trains and automobiles. The closest sizeable town is Jeruntut, which is connected to Kuala Lumpur and other regional destinations by bus. From Jeruntut you can either get a minibus straight to Kuala Tahan, or you can get a bus to Kuala Tembeling, from where you can get a boat to and fron Kuala Tahan.
Bus From Kuala Lumpur to Jerantut
SK Ekspress offers a route from the Pekeliling Station (walking distance to Titiwangsa MRT/LRT) directly to Jerantut with departures at 8:30, 10:30 and 17:30 for RM35
Bus From Penang (Butterworth Station)
Kuala Tahan Express bus has a direct bus to Kuala Tahan at 23:00 for RM42.15. The journey is ten hours and crosses through the Cameron Highlands. Greenleaf Holidays and Tours will be able to assist you with Penang as well as Cameron Highland transfers.
NKS Hotel & Travel and Han Travel take much of the point A to point B guesswork away by picking up guests in Kuala Lumpur (or Selangor) and delivering them to Kuala Tahan and the muddy banks of the Tembeling River. Both are located in Chinatown with both departing at 08:30, for 79-83 ringgit.
This route takes about eight hours starting with a mini van or bus pick up at 08:30 and delivery to Jerantut, a mini van ride to the Tembeling River Jetty and a slow river boat ride to Kuala Tahan. It’s not an unpleasant day, but it does make for a long one.
The cut-to-the-chase version is to take a bus from Kuala Lumpur directly to Jerantut and then catch a mini van to Kuala Tahan. Be wary though of leaving Kuala Lumpur (or any other departure point) too late as you may end up stranded in Jerantut.
Jerantut to Kuala Tahan
Private mini vans run from the Jerantut bus station to Kuala Tahan for 45 ringgit and the public bus costs just 7 ringgit. Public buses are scheduled to run between 06:00 and 16:45.
If you prefer to arrive in Kuala Tahan by boat, a mini van service is available from the bus station in Jerantut to the Kuala Tembeling Jetty for around five ringgit and the approximately three-hour onward, river boat ride will cost another 35 ringgit. Do note that Kuala Tembeling river boat departures as well as Kuala Tahan river arrivals appear void of any luggage assistance what so ever. Not for hire or from the kindness of strangers. Steep cement stairs greet you on both ends of the journey and they can be quite slippery when wet. If you don’t absolutely need it, don’t bring it. This route would not be recommended for anyone with back issues or physical disabilities.
Hans Travel Jalan Sultan (across from the Swiss Hotel) T: (03) 2031 0899 http://www.taman-negara.com
NKS Hotels & Travel Hotel Mandarin Pacific (Chinatown) T: (03) 2072 0336 http://www.taman-negara-nks.com/index.php