Welcome to Taman Negara! The jungle with the distinction as the world’s oldest. Pretty cool if you ask me.
It’s located in the heart of Peninsular Malaysia and is definitely worth a visit. Especially since all the rainforest surrounding it for as far as you can drive has been converted to palm oil plantation. But that is for a different discussion. For now, let’s focus on the good stuff, like giant trees and huge root staircases.
Also pretty cool for some people, snakes. How about giant black and yellow snakes hiding in the bathroom next to the toilet in the animal watching hide?
Yea, I know. Crazy. My buddy went to relieve himself and had quite the surprise. He then proceeded to save a future visitor from a snake bite on the butt by giving his best Steve Irwin impression and getting the snake outside. Sheesh! Not my thing. Poisonous perhaps? The guy we met further down the trail definitely thought as much.
Possible poisonous snake? Check. Can you spot anything else in the jungle that could kill you? How about some fungi? Now, let me tell you there was so much fungi and the sheer variety was impressive. No two mushroom are alike you know. I just made that up, but seriously, look for yourself.
And how about a few more mushrooms for good measure.
Fungus is cool and interesting and all that jazz, but just walking through the jungle is pretty sweet. You rarely see any large animals and you also rarely have a view of anything besides leafy foliage and decomposition, but it’s a unique suffocating feeling and Malaysia’s humidity only adds to the effect.
The best part of walking through the rainforest has got to be the sounds. Just listen and you’re sure to hear all kind of insects and animals. We even heard some monkeys talking back. It’s not all fine and dandy though. While you’re listening, be sure to keep an eye out for leeches. They are persistent little vampires. When we first arrived at the animal viewing hide, we totally stripped down and pulled off a bunch of the blood suckers, which left a few too many unwanted bloody spots. Nasty.
Finally, don’t bother getting a guide unless you plan on going real deep into the jungle. Day hikes are totally fine and you won’t get lost unless you wander off the well marked trails.