Self Trip to Gunung Tahan, Taman Negara

Introduction

In this article, you get to know how to go to Gunung Tahan (Taman Negara ) on your own. Taman Negara is the oldest rainforest in the world 130 million years. Gunung Tahan is the tallest mountain in West Malaysia. The journey will take 7-8 days for a person with above average fitness. Taman Negara will be closed in December and January due to the raining session.

How to go to Taman Negara

Once you are in Kuala Lumpur you need to take a bus, STAR-LRT (stop near Bandaraya station I think) or taxi to the eastern bus station in Pekeliling.

The information on LRT is in the site below.

http://www.rima.edu.my/lrt.html

http://www.putralrt.com.my/fare.htm

From the eastern bus station, you have to take a bus to Jerantut. The cost is about RM10/= per person. The trip will take about 3-5 hours.

From Jerantut you need to take a taxi to Kuala Tembilang. The taxi will take about 30 min ride, costing about RM12/= per taxi in 1995. The rates may have change by now.

From Kuala Tembilang, take a boat on the river to Kuala Tahan 60 km upstream (the main foresty office of Taman Negara is located there). The boat ride will cost RM18/= per person one way 2-3 hour boat ride. Now you are already in Taman Negara, you can opt to travel on the nearby places or climb Gunung Tahan.

Depending on your budget (how much you willing to pay), you can stay in your own campsite with tent ( RM1-2 ringgit per nite) or stay in hostel RM15/= per person per nite.

Before Climbing

You can easily locate the forestry office in Kuala Tahan. You need to register your entry into Taman Negara with the forestry department.

If you decided to climb Mount Tahan, you can always get a guide from the office. The cost for each guide is RM500/= for 7 days and RM50/= extra for each additional day. Each guide can take a maximum of 12 climber. The rates for porter can be negotiated with the guide.

During the 7 days expedition, there are no shops or huts whatsoever for you. You need to bring your own food for 7-8 days. A 40 Ė 60 liter bag will be required to carried all your stuff. Each day, you need to reach a particular campsite so that you get to restore your water supply. Your water supply is river water. Bring your own tent as well.

You need to inform the forestry department that you are climbing Mount Tahan. Before you go up the mount, the forestry officer will check and record all the luggage carried by you (number of plastic bag, tins, clothes etc). You have to bring back everything you carried into Mount Tahan. Should you failed to do so, then a fine will be imposed on you (maybe RM10/= for each plastic bag, RM20/- for each gas tin etc). In some occasion, the climber lost his whole bag (drop to a gown or lost in the river etc), then I donít know how much is his fine but certainly it is in 4 figures. The forestry officer will check your luggage when you come back from Mount Tahan.

 

Climbing Trip

Kuala Tahan à Melantaià Sungai Puteh à Sungai Teku-à Wray Camp à Pankit à Gunung Tangga 13à Gunung Gedong or Padang Camp à Gunung Tahan

The trip from Melantai Campsite to Sungai Puteh is very tiring, you have to cross 13 small hills or mountain.

From Sungai Puteh Campsite to Sungai Teku, you have to do 7 river crossings to reach the Sungai Teku campsite. You can also opt to walk instead of crossing the river but the route will be much longer. You still have to cross the last river. The river crossing is about 70 cm to 1 meter deep depending on whether it is raining or dry session. Normally, sometimes just a small rain can cause the river to rise very fast and the current become very strong making it impossible to cross. After the river crossing, you have now reached the bottom of Mount Tahan.

From Sungai Teku Campsite, it is all walking uphill until you reach Gunung Gedong. That may take you 1-2 days. Once near Gunung Gedong, you can see Padang camp, it may look very near to reach Padang camp but it may take you 2-4 hours to reach that campsite.

Personally, I really enjoy the scenery from Padang Camp to Gunung Tahan (best view for me). Small trees every where. On top of Mount Tahan, every angle you see it is forest (no village, kampung etc).

Due to large number of climber every year, the jungle track is quite clear and wide. After the first day of trekking, you will see very little rubbish along the track due to the strict rules enforced by the forestry department. Sometimes the campsite will be very pack until there is no place to camp because there are too many climbers.

Animal slighting is extremely rare. What this trip can provide is a test of your own mental and physical endurance? A sense of achievement that you have done something tough. Go and climb Mount Tahan when you still have the fitness to do so.

Well I think that about all I can tell. Good luck . Please feel free to e-mail to me wkchan@mmu.edu.my if you have any question or feedback.