The Jungle Train
There are two
train services in Malaysia very interesting for
tourists: The "Eastern Oriental Express" and the
The Jungle train
is more basic. You can choose a hard seater or a
soft seater, there are air-conditioned
compartments and there are non air-conditioned
compartments. In the last you will meet the
local people, traveling to another kampong or
there are girls/boys going to school.
The Eastern and
Oriental Express has a lot of luxury. The train
is going from Singapore to Bangkok and stops in
every interesting city's along the railroad
(Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Butterworth (Penang)).
In these places the train will stop for some
hours, so that the passengers can make an
excursion. This train is expensive: 1500 US or
The jungle train
is traveling through the jungle from Gemas to
Tumpat, which is near Kota Bahru (10 km). If you
want to make that trip, you have to do South to
From Gemas the
train will go North to the Thai border (Tumpat).
When you come for
the first time to Malaysia, then it will be
better to visit the National Park Taman Negara
at first. You'll come back out of the jungle by
boat at twelve o'clock from Taman Negara to
Kuala Tembeling, In Tembeling you can take a
taxi to the nearest station. Probably this will
be: Mela or Jerantut.
Plenty of taxi's
will be waiting for you to bring you to the
nearest station. The train will leave at 13.00
hours, so you don't have to hurry. The passage
to Tumpat will take 8 hours. Late in the evening
you'll arrive in Tumpat.
From the little
towns Jerantut or Mela the train will go North
and you will be traveling through the thick
jungle. The train will stop at a kampong to let
passengers in and out.
The whole stretch
has only one track. Every time the train stops
(8x), the vendors will come so sell you eggs,
litchi's, cake or those plastics bags with
Until Gua Musang
you will see nothing but jungle and sometimes a
kampong. Near Gua Musang you get more view of
the landscape. The green jungle is behind and
you will see more rice fields.
late in Tumpat, but don't worry, a lot of taxi's
are waiting to bring you to Kota Bahru, the
capital of Kelantan. The taxi-driver will take
you to the hotel you want, even when you haven't
There's a day
train and a night train on the track from Gemas
to Tumpat. The day train is stopping more often
then the night train. It's obvious, that the day
train does the track in shorter time, because
less people are getting of the train.
departure times at the KTMB: www.ktmb.com.my
Taman Negara is a
15-acre forest sanctuary. As one of the oldest
tropical rainforests in the world, the
possibilities for eco-tourism are immense. Here,
visitors find endless evological adventure and
opportunity to observe diverse species of animal
and plant life.
Here are some of
the highlights found at Taman Negara:
Canopy walkway -
The world's longest suspension bridge 50 meters
above ground and stretching over 530 meters,
it's an opportunity to see the various plants
and animals that inhabit the topmost layer of
and hiking - There are trails varying from an
hours' walk to serious trekking lasting up to
nine days. Pre-trek preparation is imperative
and a guide must accompany guests on long treks.
- The more adventurous can try climbing Gunung
Tahan, the highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia.
This challenge demands will power, physical
fitness, good equipment and a guide. The trail
is 55km from MUTIARA Taman Negara.
observation hide (Jungle hide) - Spend nights
hidden up in the trees while waiting for a
tapir, bear or elephant to appear. Most hides
are built overlooking saltlicks, from which some
animals obtain necessary minerals. Except for
Bumbun Tahan, which is five minutes away, most
require either a boat ride or a few hours walk
to get to it.
Settlements - "Orang Asli", the local natives,
are gentle folk who lead a nomadic lifestyle in
Taman Negara. They are called Batek and their
settlements are found along the trails whilst,
some are accessible by boat.
Cave Exploration -
The Gua Telinga (Ear Cave) has an ear-like rock
formation, while Gua Daun Menari (Dancing Leaves
Cave) and Gua Kepayang are limestone
outcroppings. Gua Telinga is 2.6km from Mutiara
Taman Negara, while Gua Kepayang and Gua Daun
Menari are located 17.7km and 20.9km,
respectively, from the resort.
Fishing - One of
the main attractions of Taman Negara, it is best
carried out during the drier months of February
to April and June to August. Anglers will need
permits, which are issued at RM10 per rod.
Rapids - Experience an exhilarating ride
upstream on Sungai Tembeling. Prepare to get
drenched as the boat negotiates seven sets of
rapids along the 45-minute journey.
Bukit Teresek -
Hike up this 334-meter hill and enjoy
breathtaking panoramic views of Gunung Tahan and
the forest canopies that cover the hills and
verdant valleys below. Located 1.7km away from
the resort, it can be reached in 45 minutes.
Lata Berkoh - A
spectacular cascade with a deep pool below it
and a rocky area overlooking the rapids. Located
8km from MUTIARA Taman Negara, it is an ideal
spot for a picnic.
Waterfall - The eastern flanks of Gunung Tahan
and Gunung Gedong drop off very sharply into the
headwaters of Sungai Tahan. One of the
tributaries in the Ulu Tahan plunges and
cascades spectacularly down the mountainside in
what is known as the Four Steps Waterfall