Taman Negara is the biggest national park in Malaysia and one of the oldest forests in the world. There are plenty of trekking routes, some taking few hours, to finish others you will need days. If we did not had the opportunity to go to Borneo, we would have stayed there for longer for sure. Fortunately, as we have been to Borneo already, we went to Taman Negara only for a short trip.
Few routes are in fact wooden boardwalks so you can go for a leisure walk and keep your shoes dry (if something can be dry in such humid air). Park attractions include a canopy walk – approx. 500 meters of wooden pathways hanging 25 meters above the ground. It is also possible to stay in the park for the night, visit villages of local tribe called Orang Asli, do rafting, jungle walks at night and a few more of activities of this kind. We picked up a short route and it took us just over 4 hours to complete it. The fun started where the boardwalk ended and our trail turned into a mix of tree trunks, rotten leaves, mud, monkeys, snakes and birds. To make it more interesting, the path was not flat but rather continuously going up or down. Adventure! Half of our group (still wondering which half) managed to slip and end up sitting in the mud. This was however not the best part. The bast part was still to come.
Before we embarked on the boat to cross the river separating the park from the civilization we decided to clean up a bit from mud and check whether we do not have any leeches (despite socks tugged all the way up to armpits and all skin covered). So I took a quick look into my shoe and whoa! There is life. Lots of it, already fat from sucking my blood. The boys same story. So we enter the boat barefoot and bleeding because leeches inject an anticoagulant into your blood to keep it flowing.There are other tourists on the boat, clean and good looking (were they in the same park?) looking at us with horror in their eyes, like we are Bear Grylls in the middle of his adventures. Meanwhile we discover more leeches in the depths of our shoes and clothes so we shake them off while on the boat. They start to happily wander around the boat making our company even more scared.
The park is beautiful. For sure worth visiting, even for one day. Just skip the reviews telling you about shitty food – there are few restaurants floating on the river and the food is acceptable (or perhaps after weeks on fried rice any food is delicious when you are hungry?). And the leeches are not that scary after a few close encounters 🙂