Taman Negara (National Park) is a total protected area of the oldest tropical pristine lowland forest left in Peninsular Malaysia. It area is 4,343 sq km, it encompasses 3 states Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu. This would allow visitors to choose their entry point to this 130 million years old tropical forest. There are 2 entries point from Pahang (Kuala Tahan, Merapoh). From Trengganu is Tasik Kenyir. If you want to access from Kelantan you can use Kuala Koh.
By Public Bus.
From KL Crowne Plaza Mutiara and Hotel Istana you can book your package NKS Travel (www.taman-negara-nks.com). You can ask for land transfer if you wish not to continue part of your journey by boat.
From Jerantut head to the jetty of Kuala Tembeling transfer to Kuala Tahan. The journey by boat is about 2.5 hrs.
By Rail Train services are available from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The train passes Kuala Tembeling, from Kuala Tembeling, there is a half-hour walk to the jetty.
Regarding Park fees, Malaysia National Park fees is super cheap. The fees are charge for the whole duration of your visit. Every visitor needs to register at the Perhilitan Office (Wildlife Dept) near the Mutiara Resort restaurant. Fees are charge as below, this rates also apply for foreigners and child.
Entry permit - RM 1.00 per person
Camera licence - RM 5.00 per camera
Fishing license - RM 10.00 per fishing rod
Camping Fee - RM 2.00 per person
Canopy Walk -RM 5.00 per person
Do you need to hire guide? Guide is a must to hire if you want to scale up Gunung Tahan. The trails around the national park are well mark, it would be advisable not to stray away from the trails if you did not hire any guide. If you wish to have your trips arrange professionally and being guided by a bird-watching guide that can transfer you from KLIA, International airport up to here, do contact them before hand. There are few of the well-know bird guides in Malaysia.
For more information about Taman Negara, Kuala Tahan click on http://malaysiaupclose.wordpress.com/category/map-taman-negara/
Rules to observe in National Park
Observe all the rules of the National Park. Leave nothing, take nothing except photographs. Do not have any action that would harm any wildlife. Music and guitars are not allow cause this would cause an nuisance to others and the wildlife. Do not feed the wildlife. It is very important to ensure to do not litters anywhere. Dispose rubbish in the proper rubbish bin. Every visitors need to be enviromentally responsible because minor changes could have alter the eco-system. During this time of visit as I spent more times at the camp site I notice a wild boar even pick up a plastic bag to eat... Hei whoever you are this plastic bag that you litter could have unintentionally cause this wildboar to have stomach-ache. Me and few friends did try to stop it from eating that plastic bag but we fail to do so.. :-(
My Trip Reports
Teammates: Rafi, Angela, Aun Tiah, KT Chin, Mary, Mowsum, Mam, Kim
After having a assumption breakfast at the Royal Selangor Golf Club courtesy by Kim. We started at journey at 8:30am from Ampang. I pack the two ladies (Kim, Mam) into my small kenari. I drive very slow in my small little car. It was a leisure drive that takes us 4 hrs. Most of the road the highest road speed limit is 80/90 KM. I observed this traffic rules as this road speed limit is meant to ensure a safety journey and as well as will ensure that I will not have saman (traffic ticket for breaking laws).
At about 12:30 noon we found our way to Teresek View Motel where I pre-booked our accomodation. Along the way I keep received phone calls reporting to me some problems happen in office that required some assistant/advise from me. It sound like I'm an very important person.. but that is life for being a system and database administrators.
From outside this pink building looks quite decent but personally I found it's room it very small. It looks like we can't complain much cause all the rest of budget accommodation are full during this peak weekends. They offer air-condition (RM90), non air-con room (RM70) inclusive of breakfast. They also offer Dorm RM10 per bed exclude breakfast. Their breakfast menu is 1 egg, 2 pieces of bread, 1 cup of tea/coffee. I share a non-aircon room with Mam and Mary. We order an extra mattress but that extra mattress cannot fit into that room.. Our friend Mam with her brilliant ideas of combining that 2 single 3 1/2 feet wide bed we 3 ladies share that big bed. The non-air con rooms are on the 1st floor. The traffic noise of local boys zooming down to the Internet cafe at night for hang-out is quite a task to bear. Well we able to make do for 3 nights.
This is a different Individual, which it's plumage is not as vibrant as the above male which I suspect it is the Harem.
Some Male bird would not be very far from the female bird. ... Hmm...very protective being.
Here me and Kim sighted and heard Chestnut Breasted Malkoha, Oriental Magpie Robin, White Rumped Shama, White Crowned Forktail, Plantive Cuckoo, Black and Yellow Broadbill.
OOOOh...oooh time pass so fast now is 6:30pm already... Kim let's walk back to the jetty as the others may be waiting for us. It was a very satisfactory session as managed to know the presence of the Giant Pitta, based on it's call this bird present is very near to me.. Being a shy bird as we human approached they would be even further away from us. Able to takes some good decent photographs of Crested Fireback, I'm all ready to called it a day.
For dinner we went to Tembeling River View to look for Cik Rosnah. As we drop in as an unexpected customers she is quite reluctant to cook for us.. I keep assure her that we whom she is quite use to her style of cooking we mind not what is being served on the table. A few of us who have been staying at her accomodations before whenever we are at Taman Negara we seems to pay her a visit like meeting a old friend. Her cooking is very much prefer by our groups. After a satisfaction meal we told her that we are coming back again tomorrow night. This meal is so much better than what we have at Teresek View where my plate of fried rice is super salty.
After breakfast we takes the boat to cross the river to get to Taman Negara. As the lightings in the trail is quite low yet we concentrate at the Campsite. Here we heard and sighted Moustached Babbler, Buff-Vented Bulbul,Streaked Bulbul, Blue Throated Bee Eater, Greated Racket Tailed Drongo, Grey-Cheeked Bulbul,Grey Bellied Bulbul, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Blue-Rumped Hanging Parrot (male , female), Plantive Cuckoo, Rufous Tailed Tailorbird, Dark-Necked Tailorbird, Spectacled Bulbul, Crested Serpent Eagle, Brown Barbet, Black-Headed Bulbul, Tiger Shrike,Hairy-Backed Bulbul, Abbot's Babbler, Banded Pitta (H), a Blue Flycatcher spp (H), Indian Cuckoo (H), Large Billed Crow.
Some of them trek into Lubuk Simpon, a few of them sighted the Great Argus Male. The female bird was being sighted by an UK birders couple an hour later.
I trek into Lubuk Simpon quite late my sightings are only Little Spiderhunter and Black-Capped Babbler.
I received an SMS from Kim that they have found a fruiting trees that attracted alot of birds near the Mutiara Resort's Hostel. There are basically 2 main species that fly in and out to feed on this trees (Bulbul and Barbet).
Here we sighted Blue-Eared Barbet, Red-Throated Barbet, Gold Whiskered Barbet, Red-Crowned Barbet, Yellow-Vented Flowerpecker, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Red Eyed Bulbul, Spectacled Bulbul, Ashy Bulbul, Yellow Vented Bulbul, Scally Breasted Bulbul, Grey Bellied Bulbul.
OOOH no I'm too hungry I have to take a lunch break. We head off across to the floating restaurant Liana to have a simple meal. After that a few of us head back to the National Park. Me, Mam, KT Chin, Mary and Kim aim for the Swamp Loop. We have Pond Heron, Black Naped Monarch, . At some scrubs near to the board walk I spotted a few Crested Fireback. I told them to freeze and look out.. 3 of us stand there with no noise and less movements. I do recall Mam was very excited to have this spp as her lifers. As this birds stand on the rock near the board walk she keeps whisper and repeating the statement.. JUMP... jump... jump... come on jump up to the board walk.... It comes to materialised...
As the time is approaching 6pm the lighting inside the trail is getting dimmer and dimmer, we went back to the campsite we waited but today the flock of Crested Fireback decided to have another place to roost.. We then called it a day.
Mam whisper to him JUMP.. Jump... come on do it... JUmp...
Great thanks to Aun Tiah for he sacrificed his half day birding yesterday to help us to booked a boat ride to Yong and Blau hide. The night before it rained heavily. OOOh no leeches are very active. A few of them decided to dashed through run to the nearest hide to avoid leeches. A few of us choose the other way. We heard a lot of birds call rather than able to sight them. Anyway today the weather is not very fine.. it has indication that it would pours again.. Here we heard and saw Chestnut Winged Babbler (nesting), Puff-Throated Bulbul (my lifer), Great Hornbill, Black Magpie, Little Spiderhunter, Ferruginous Babbler, Rufous Tailed Tailorbird, Black Throated Babbler (H), Yellow Bellied Bulbul, Black Hornbill (H), Indian Cuckoo (H), Brown Fulvetta (H), Sooty-Capped Babbler (H), Striped Tit Babbler, Drongo Cuckoo (H), Grey Cheeked Bulbul, Greater Racket Tailed Drongo, Scarlet Rumped Trogon. Today seems to be one of my lucky day cause at 9:40am I, Angela and Mary managed to have a good look at the Male Banded Pitta. As I walked to catch up with the others at about 2++pm at the "T" junction between Blau and Yong Hide, I bump into a ground bird .. I know that ground bird are very shy I quickly hold up my binoculars and scan thru.. I noticed that it's does not have the vibrant colours like the Crested Fireback, this bird have 2 colours on it's face, it's tail is not long, it is not a fat bird to be a partridge, It has some hair sticking in dark blue that my brain quickly match it to a peafowl looking head... I have a feeling that I met a Malayan Peacock Pheasant... Another lifer... Anyway I very lucky so far up to now I yet to photographs anything yet today but I have LIFERs...
As it rain basically quite sometimes the leeches are very active. As I trek out some drop into my neck, my tripod, my camera, my shoes, my arm, my neck, my face. I have a few bites. Hide tide is about to cover all the stairs at the jetty, this indeed worry us. Haiyoh when is this boatmen comming to pick us up? How are we getting into the boat as the sky is about to pours again. Finaly he turn up in the brim of time before it rain, as we all safely get into the boat it rain. Thank you GOD..
As we walked back to our accomodation after a brief meal at Liana Restaurant. We sighted a Greater Coucal, Stork-Billed Kingfisher.
As today we finish off the day quite early, as the sun have not set me and Mam walked to Durian Chalet as I wish to checked out it's accomodation. On the way we sighted Blue Throated Bee Eater, White Breasted Waterhen, Chestnut Winged Babbler, Peaceful Dove, White Rumped Shama, Oriental Magpie Robin.
After dinner from Tembeling River View's kitchen a few of takes a night walk to the Woodlands to check out it's accomodations. I noticed that even it's is a posh hotel at the apposite side of Mutiara Resort. Their rates is much more lower than the mutiara resort.
Later a few of us walk over to Durian Chalet after that and we heard the presence of a Large Tailed Nightjar at Tahan Guest house. I told them that I'm very sure of that cause Large Tailed Nightjar is one of my neighbourhood back home.
Today is the last day as we know that the trails are quite soggy and the leeches are very active. I decided to collect data on what spp comes to feeds on this fruiting trees.
We have Green Broadbill, Hairy Backed Bulbul, Gold Whiskered Bulbul, Grey Bellied Bulbul, Spectacled Bulbul, Black and Red Broadbill, Ashy Bulbul, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Gold Whiskered Bulbul, Scally Breasted Bulbul, Yellow Vented Bulbul, Red Eyed Bulbul
As we noticed basically are those spp that comes by, we then walked a little further where we noticed a fruiting tree flowering. Here we noticed Grey Breasted Spiderhunter, Orange Bellied Flowerpecker.
As we head back to campsite on the way we notice some Blue Winged Leafbird.
At the camp site we have Straw Headed Bulbul, Black and Red Broadbill, Scally Crowned Babbler, Rufous Crowned Babbler, Banded Woodpecker (male, female), Streaked Bulbul, Ashy Bulbul, Banded Pitta (H), White Crowned Forktail (fly pass).
At about 11:30pm me, Kim and Mam head back to our accomodation to check out and here we end our Taman Negara Trip. We would be heading to Kim's Nephew to stay a night at his hse to shorten up our journey to Bukit Rengit as we want to show our friend Mam our low-land forest Trogon.
All I can conclude that compare to all of the low-land forest that I have visited the wildlife and birdlife in Taman Negara is indeed more better. It is indeed a must place to visit for low-land forest birding.
Others Wildlife that we encountered in this trip.
Long-Tailed Macque, Giant Squirrel, Wild boar, some small squirrels spp and a Sambar Deer.