Date: 17-18 October 2008
Lodging: Durian Chalet
One of the cheapest chalets in Taman Negara. The condition is okay, as expected for a price that low, about RM80 per night. There was only 1 queen sized bed but all 4 of us girls crammed on to the bed. There were 6 boys in our group, they got a bigger room but the condition was just as bad as us. The chalet owner was nice to us, she wasn't overly friendly, but she did clean up the chalets for us and didn't mind at all that we exceeded the rooms' capacity.
Sungai Tahan - Tahan River
We started our journey from Kerteh at 5.30am, and reached Durian Chalet at about 9am. We were welcomed by the cool air and green scenery. After checking-in, we wasted no time and headed straight to the jetty. We paid for the boat ride to cross Sungai Tahan to reach the national park.
Because it was Friday, Canopy Walkway was closed early, only opened half day due to Friday prayers. It used to be the longest suspension bridge in the world and undeniably, the main attraction of Taman Negara. We had to postpone this activity to the next day. So we decided to jungle track up Bukit Teresiek, following the pathways provided.
Mount Tahan from Teresek Hill
From the top of the hill, we were presented with the view of Mount Tahan, the highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia. That mountain would take up to 7 days to conquer, am not sure I can make it! After a massive picture taking moment, it was time for us to go back. We had booked a sampan trip at 2pm. We needed to rush so someone, who now I have forgotten whom, proposed that we use a shortcut, a pathway covered with bushes. All 10 of us followed the shortcut until at one point, our confidence level decreased rapidly. We were basically lost!! The sky was getting dark, a bad sign for unexperienced jungle trackers with no idea where we are. We had to find signs among the trees, left by the rangers to guide us forward. We could here the river flow and motor boats' engines a few times so we knew we had a chance of survival! With no network coverage, we bravely (not really) found our way out... which was a huge relief! I don't know how to eat herbs, for all I know, I could be eating poison ivy (can it be found in this part of the world?)
Now, safe and sound, we met with our sampan driver who brought us to Lata Berkoh, a waterfall for some refreshing swimming time. The water was sooo cold, swimming time changed to sit-on-rock time. We were all so physically challenged today so once we hit the pillow, bye bye world (not forever).
Canopy Walkway time!! To get to Canopy Walkway, we made sure to use the main pathway this time and read the signboards properly. I don't think I was mentally nor physically prepared for another shock! There was a long line at the entrance but the walkway was so much fun. It's up to 40m high from ground level and we were able to see the rainforest from a unique perspective. Just lovely~
Our adventure in Taman Negara ended in the afternoon. I was really tired but happy to be able to visit one of Malaysia's treasures.