The Pahang rainforest dates back to 130 million years and is scientifically proven to be older than the Amazon, we were informed, while entering Taman Negara, world’s oldest rainforest in Malaysia. The virgin rainforest is a gem waiting to be discovered.
Several activities await visitors at the forest. If you are up for adventure, you can trek to Gunung Tahan, the highest mountain in peninsular Malaysia, or go jungle trekking along the most adventures trail about 1.7 km to Bukit Teresek. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to reach its peak. The 334-metre-high hill offers a magnificent panoramic view of Gunung Tahan.
Apart from these, the canopy walk is also a must do, as it is the longest suspension bridge in the world — 510 metres long and 45 metres above the ground level. You can actually walk on the top of the forest and enjoy the flora and fauna along the canopy. Apart from these, you can also shoot the rapids that does not involve any shooting. It is an exhilarating ride that encounters seven rapids along River Tembeling. You can combine the rapids experience with a visit to the settlements of Orang Asli, who are natives of Taman Negara. They are called batek and their settlements are found along the trails. Visitors can witness the primitive methods of making fire and try their hand at their hunting weapon — blow pipe.
Fishing is one of the main attractions of Taman Negara and you will need permits for the same. One can also explore caves that are home to different species of bats, racer snakes and many fascinating insects and even spend a night at one of the three caves — Kepayang Besar, Kepayang Kecil, Luas or Daun Menari. The jungle walk at night is highly recommended. This was a first for me, but I was lucky to see the Malayan tapier and spot the wolf spider, bronze back snake and the bird-eating spider on the way. If you love birds, this is the place to be in. Apart from the magpie robin, which is all over the place, the white rum shama, greater cocal, crested fireback and spider hunter are some birds that I spotted. The thick-billed pigeon, rhinoceros hornbills, blue-eared barbet, Asian fairy bluebird, blue-winged leafbirds, green boardbill and the yellow-vented flowerpecker are some of the other birds you can spot.
Observing the local flora and fauna is something of an adventure in itself, courtesy the 10,000 varieties of plants, 150,000 insect species, 25,000 invertebrates, 675 birds, 270 reptiles, 250 fresh water fish and 200 mammals. If you like a holiday that has solitude and adventure, head to Taman Negara and enjoy a wild getaway!