After traveling apart for two weeks, Nicole and I met up again in Taman Negara, Malaysia. Lonely Planet described Taman Negara as “A buzzing, leech-infested mass of primary forest over 130 million years old, sprawling across 4343 sq km.” Despite all the “jungle fun” we had in Laos a few months back, Nicole and I were ready and excited head back into the jungle!
Getting to Taman Negara required alot of transfers: taking a bus or train to Jerantut, then a minibus to Kuala Tembeling, and a three hour river boat ride to Kuala Tahan. It is an all-day affair and the river boat ride reminded us of our time on the infamous slow boat.
Nicole and I met at the guest house we had booked through a tour. I was glad it wasn’t a treehouse filled with rats!
Once it got dark, we headed out with a small group on a jungle night walk. We didn’t see anything too exciting, but we were told that a tour group had seen a tiger two weeks before. I wanted to see a tiger, but instead we same alot of “stick-bugs”, spiders, and lizards. We were told we were “very lucky”, as we got to witness two stick bugs “making love”. It didn’t look like either stick was enjoying themselves very much. It is kind of cool how they can turn back into what looks to be only a stick to defend themselves.
The main tourist attraction at Taman Negara is the Canopy Walkway. It was originally constructed to be a tool for researchers. Today, one can pay to walk through the jungle canopy, 45 meters in the air, suspended on a hanging rope bridge constructed of wooden planks and ladders. Definitely not for those even slightly afraid of heights (Spencer you would have FREAKED out!)
After the Canopy Walk, we hiked through the jungle to the top of a lookout point.
We were suppose to “shoot the rapids” in a wooden boat and put on our life jackets expecting a wet and wild ride. Instead, the rapids were lame and pretty non-existent so we just cruised along the river for a while, stopping at a small village.
The villagers did demos for the tourists, like how to start a fire. We were taught how the villagers make darts and how they use a big bamboo stick to shoot the dart. We each got a turn shooting the dart which involved putting your mouth around the end of the bamboo post and blowing hard to expel the dart. Nicole played along, but I refused as I had no interest in putting my mouth on the same pole that that ten other people just deposited their saliva onto… my mamma taught me well! I told Nicole she will probably get the mumps and I decided to be “a stick in the mud” and refused to shoot the dart.
We survived the jungle and were blessed with dry weather which meant no leeches!
To see photos of Taman Negara CLICK HERE.