Saturday, April 25, 2009

Taman Negara: being close to nature

A boat full of foreign tourists going for 'rapid shooting'

A boat full of merry-men cruising along Sungai Tahan

The small, rustic chalets on the edge of Taman Negara in Kuala Tahan

Feeding fish at the Kelah Sanctuary, Sungai Tahan

Spiritual obligation. Boarding a boat which will take us to the Kg Kuala Tahan mosque for our Friday prayers

I had the good fortune of joining a trip to Taman Negara two weeks ago. I’d heard so much about it. And I've seen it so many times on TV too, especially in tourism advertisements. But this was my first trip to Taman Negara in Pahang.

The Taman Negara National park sprawls over 4,343 sq. km. For comparison, that’s six times the size of Singapore! It is one of the world’s oldest tropical rainforest in the whole wide world as it has never been destroyed by ice ages.

Legally declared as an area for conservation in 1938, the 135 million year old Taman Negara is a haven for flora and fauna. It is said to be a sanctuary to hundreds of species of birds, butterflies, insects, fish and plants.

Okay, so I didn't manage to catch any glimpse of tigers, elephants nor rhinoceros. But, as we traveled by boat along the rivers I could not help but be awed by what Mother Nature has to offer deep into these jungles. Gigantic trees line along the river banks, some almost straddling across the rivers with trunks so huge that it makes you just wonder how old these trees must be.

The greenery from the leaves of trees come in all shades and hues. But occasionally you’d notice a few trees with yellow or orange foliages which make them stand out from the ‘crowd’. Just gorgeous.

The river waters were not as clear as I had imagined it would be, though. Sungai Tembeling was like teh susu. Sungai Tahan was more like Nescafe ‘o’. But if you are into fishing, then this is the place to be. Popular species like the kelah and sebarau abound. But in the National Park they are protected. So it’s a catch and release affair here.

But if you like to be close to nature, this is one of the places on earth that you’d want to experience first hand. And it’s right here in Malaysia.


KotaStar said...

Congrats. You have made it there. We have thought and planned but never got it there yet. Susah sangat hendak sampai ke sana; maybe because of its distance and out of the way position of its departure point. Then again the departure point does not attract you just as much. True Taman Negara is there waiting ; just like Langkawi but you know Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis but Kuala Tembeling or other departure points hardly where they are and what's there.

Keep on writing. Salam

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Pak Non

Yes the distance can be off-putting somewhat. Only those crazy about nature (or forced to go there) will make the trip. Its a good 4 hour's drive away from KL. But it's worth it if you love the greeneries and want to run away from the hustle and bustle of city life.