Taman Negara, Malaysia

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Sweden and I traveled to Taman Negara via a four hour mini-bus then a three hour long canoe ride along the river. We arrived at 4pm and checked into Julie’s Hostel. The dorm has seven non-bunk beds with two ensuite bathrooms and AC for $7 per night.

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Taman Negara is the oldest rainforest in the world at 130 million years old. Last year there was a major flood and a lot of the rainforest was damaged which is visible along the water banks. The tiny town across from the rainforest is where the accommodation, restaurants and general store in located. The accommodation is up a hill while the restaurants are on barges on the water (the are also a few on the one street up the hill.)

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We had been planning to stay three nights and two days but we changed our plans when we found out how little there is to do besides trekking. We decided to spend our next day doing all the activities (day and night trekking,) and leave the day after.

We woke up, had breakfast on one of the barges, then headed out on our own for day trekking. First we walked to the canopy walk- the longest in the world. There were five walks that were very sturdy.

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Then we walked up to Bukit Terisek view point at 344 meters. But we found a taller peak right before with a nicer view. We trekked back down the mountain which ended up being an adventurous path through destroyed trees. We stumbled upon a massive fallen tree that we were able to climb onto and walk on. It’s roots stuck in the air about 15 ft high. From there we skipped over streams and eventually made our way to Lubuk Simpon, the swimming area. It was a separate part of the river that was lagoon-like. The water was too cold for my liking but it was refreshing to jump in none the less.

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We made it back by 5ish, had lunch on another barge, then went out for an evening jungle trek. Some girls we knew did it the night before and said it was great- they saw spiders, scorpions, snakes, etc. But our trip ended up being not so great. There were two groups with kids right before us on the path who kept screaming and scaring everything off. At one point two boys were arguing over who spotted the tarantula first and by the time we got there all we could see was one leg sticking out of a hole in a tree. Through the whole walk we saw a few stick bugs, a grasshopper, the leg of a tarantula, half a scorpion, and the wing of a colorful bird hiding in a tree. I guess you either luck out or you don’t.

After the tour we grabbed beer and burgers in town with two of our roommates. The next morning we left for Kuala Lumpur.

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