Full Guide To Taman Negara National Park [Must Read!]

A massive national park in the centre of Peninsular Malaysia, Taman Negara National Park is the perfect place to get outdoors and enjoy the natural attractions that Malaysia offers. From thick rainforest to deep caves, this park is a dream come true for outdoor enthusiasts. 

Calculated to be around 130 million years old, Taman Negara, Malaysia is home to one of the world’s oldest rainforests as well as the highest point in Peninsular Malaysia, Gunung Tahan, which is over 2000 metres above sea level.

This is the place to head to see the natural beauty of Malaysia.

The gorgeous scenery on the way to Lata Berkoh Taman Negara
The gorgeous scenery on the way to Lata Berkoh

Taman Negara actually translates to “National Park” in English. You’re going to love this place. It’s only a few hours from Kuala Lumpur but feels a whole world away.

Below, you will find our full Taman Negara Pahang blog so you can have the best time possible in this gorgeous destination. I also share a video of Taman Negara so you can have a quick overview of what you can see and do here.

You can also listen to our podcast episode all about Taman Negara here.

Is Taman Negara Worth Visiting?

Taman Negara park is definitely worth visiting. It has so many unique attractions, and its protected status makes it one of the most attractive spots in Malaysia for spotting wildlife and enjoying nature. 

From hiking to boat rides to exploring caves and meeting with indigenous tribes, Taman Negara Malaysia national park is filled with incredible experiences for the whole family.

Taman Negara Video Review

You can see a quick overview of what it’s like in Taman Negara in the following video. We walk you through the journey here from KL, staying at the Mutiara Taman Negara and some of the most popular activities like the Canopy Walk, Lata Berkoh and visiting an Orang Asli settlement.

You can find more videos like this on our YouTube channel. Please subscribe here!

How Long Should You Spend At Taman Negara National Park?

Taman Negara Canopy Walk
Taman Negara Canopy Walk

How long you should spend in Taman Negara national park Malaysia depends on where you’re coming from and what you plan to do. The national park Taman Negara spreads to over 4,000 square kilometres so it’s wise to plan your journey in advance.

If you’re traveling from Kuala Lumpur then it’s possible to do a day trip and partake in the main attractions like meeting with the Orang Asli (indigenous tribes), rapid shooting and walking on the Canopy Walkway. 

For exploring the Taman Negara rainforest further, it’s worth spending a couple of nights. This way you can take your time hiking and seeing the jungle at night in all its glory.

You don’t really need more than a few nights to appreciate this area.

Taman Negara Map

The Taman Negara location is roughly in the centre of Peninsular Malaysia. It is spread over three states with the largest area in Pahang, followed by Kelantan and then Terengganu.

Below is a Taman Negara national park map so that you can get a better idea of the park’s position as well as a map of the main trails that you can take without a guide.

Taman Negara National Park map
Click the map above to open it in Google Maps
Taman Negara Park Centre map
Map by the Park Centre

Getting To Taman Negara From KL

Kuala Lumpur is located 3 hours to the southwest of Malaysia national park Taman Negara. Whilst traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Taman Negara national park is easy, there is no direct route unless you take private transport. 

Your options include taxi, bus, car, train and boat for part of the journey.

Kuala Tahan Taman Negara
Kuala Tahan

When it comes to travelling here, you need to head to Kuala Tahan. Kuala Tahan is a small town on the edge of the park with the easiest access to all the attractions and activities discussed here. There are shops, accommodation and restaurants in Kuala Tahan or you can stay at Mutiara Taman Negara which is the only hotel in the park (and the best quality accommodation in this area).

The cheapest way to get to Taman Negara from Kuala Lumpur is to take a bus. There are two major operators – Han Travel and NKS Shuttle – both of which can take you either all the way to Kuala Tahan or drop you at Kuala Tembeling where you then hop on a boat from the Kuala Tembeling jetty to Kuala Tahan.

This is a long day of travel starting at 8am and arriving around 5pm, so it’s only for people with an overnight Taman Negara stay.

You can find this shuttle here.

Jerantut Bus Station
Jerantut Bus Station

Alternatively, you can take a public bus as far as Jenantut and then take another bus or a taxi to Kuala Tahan. Han Travel and NKS Shuttle both operate these services from Jerantut. When I was last here, the bus was RM30 per person (which quickly dropped to RM25 when I said no) and a taxi was RM80.

You can find prices and times for the bus to Jerantut here.

If you’re looking to travel by train to Taman Negara national park from Kuala Lumpur, you can take a train to Gemas from KL Sentral Station, transfer to the service to Jerantut and then take a taxi or bus from there to Kauala Tahan.

For the most direct Taman Negara travel route you’ll need to drive or take a taxi to Kuala Tahan. Driving can take 3 to 4 hours but is easy. A private taxi is the priciest option.

You can book your private taxi here and we can give you the current prices.

Taking the boat from Kuala Tahan to Taman Negara
Taking the boat from Kuala Tahan to Taman Negara

However you get to Kuala Tahan, to access Taman Negara, you need to take a quick boat ride across the river from the jetty in town. This costs RM1 per person and runs frequently.

You can find our full guide to getting from KL to Taman Negara here.

The easiest option is a private taxi or shuttle bus. There are many operators which include Taman Negara guided tours in their transport cost. This is the best way to do all the Taman Negara Pahang activities in a day trip.

Read our full guide to Taman Negara tours here.

Taman Negara: How To Get There From Everywhere Else

The closest major town to Taman Negara is Jerantut, which is just a one hour drive away. Alternatively you can also get transport to Kuala Tembeling and take a boat into the national park from here. Kuala Tembeling is 17 kilometres from Jerantut. This is a scenic way to travel, and it takes 3 hours.

From Cameron Highlands, it’s possible to take a bus (which is long but cheaper) or a taxi (which is more expensive but also more direct). You could also drive the 5.5 hour journey yourself, stopping along the way. 

You can find our full guide to how to get from Cameron Highlands to Taman Negara here.

If you’re heading from either Singapore or Johor Bahru, you could consider taking the aptly named Jungle Railway. This train starts from Johor Bahru and takes you as far as Jerantut, where you can then get a bus or taxi to the national park.

However, this departs and arrives in the middle of the night so it’s not a convenient option.

Click here for ticket information.

You can find all our guides to getting to Taman Negara below…

Taman Negara Kuala Tahan

Kuala Tahan is the main entry point into Taman Negara. It is directly across the river from the Park Centre. It costs RM1 to take a boat across as described above.

Kuala Tahan Taman Negara
Kuala Tahan

Kuala Tahan is a small village but has several accommodation options, as well as services like a grocery store, cafe, police station and restaurants. 

From Kuala Tahan, you can also take a boat ride to many other spots in the national park such as Telinga Cave, which is just a 10 minute boat ride followed by a 20 minute hike. There are plenty of other options too.

What Is The Taman Negara Entrance Fee?

The Taman Negara price is very affordable. Visitors need to pay for a Park Entry Permit and Camera License, valid for 30 days. 

Entry to Taman Negara is RM1 with an additional RM5 fee for bringing a camera/phone. There is a RM10 fishing license fee per rod if you wish to fish.

Taman Negara Park Centre at the entrance to the park in Mutiara Taman Negara Resort
Taman Negara Park Centre at the entrance to the park in Mutiara Taman Negara Resort

You need to pay for this permit before taking any hikes or any tours into the park.

You buy these permits at the Park Centre which is a short walk from where the boat drops you off when you cross the river in the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort.

Taman Negara Activities

As Malaysia’s largest national park and a major ecotourism destination, Taman Negara has many unique and exciting activities on offer. Best of all, most of these are less than a few kilometres walk from the park centre. 

Below are some of the top things to do during your visit. You can read our full guide to things to do in Taman Negara here.

Taman Negara Hiking Trails

Walking through Taman Negara
Walking through Taman Negara

As Malaysia’s largest national park, a Taman Negara hike is one of the top things to do here. There are many beautiful and inspiring tracks with varying levels of difficulty.

From Kuala Tahan, you may opt to climb Bukit Teresek. At 334 metres tall, the track to the top starts flat and becomes quite steep. Much of it is on a boardwalk and you’re rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding hills and mountains at the summit.

Lubok Simpon Taman Negara
Lubok Simpon

Or, you could walk to Lubok Simpon where you’ll find a calming tannin dyed pool for swimming. It’s just 30 minutes from the Park Centre. Or venture further to the cave of Gua Telinga, just 3 kilometres away from Kuala Tahan. 

There are many other walks and no matter where you go, you’ll be able to see numerous bird species and other wildlife from the observation hides.

The shorter walks near the Park Centre, like Lubok Simpon and Bukit Teresek are easy to walk yourself or you can join a tour. For longer walks, you need a guide.

Taman Negara Night Safari

Taman Negara national park at night
Taman Negara at night

A night safari is worth adding to your Taman Negara visit. See how the jungle changes at night by taking a walk from Kuala Tahan to the salt lick at Tahan Hide.

You can wait in an observation hide until wildlife come out to replenish their minerals. You can also see a number of nocturnal animals including snakes, lizards, spiders and lorises.

As an alternative to walking, consider taking a 4WD tour through the Taman Negara forest. These tours can take you deeper into the jungle where you can spot even rarer nocturnal animals. 

Taman Negara Rapid Shooting

Taman Negara National Park rapid shooting
Taman Negara National Park rapid shooting

Thrill seekers will love rapid shooting which involves jumping in a Taman Negara boat and sailing through seven sets of rapids. This exciting Taman Negara boat ride includes high speed turns, fast sailing and often races with other boats. 

Prepare to get wet! It’s the ultimate way to cool down 🙂

Taman Negara Fishing

Fishing at Taman Negara
Fishing at Taman Negara

If fishing is your thing, then Taman Negara in Malaysia offers excellent fishing particulary in the dry months.

You can pick up an inexpensive permit, hire some gear and then jump on a boat and head to one of the popular fishing spots like Rincing, Kuala Perkai or Rawa.

Taman Negara Waterfall

If seeing a waterfall is on your Taman Negara itinerary, then you’re in for a treat. Four Steps Waterfall is a phenomenal sight, but there’s a catch – it’s located 50 kilometres away by hike! This waterfall is best visited as part of multi-day Taman Negara trekking tours.

The hike is worth it. When you arrive there are rocks to sit on and appreciate the awe inspiring power of the waterfall.

Cruise And Hike To Lata Berkoh

Lata Berkoh Taman Negara
Lata Berkoh Taman Negara

My absolute favourite of the Taman Negara activities to take a cruise to Lata Berkoh. The main attraction of this tour is the amazing scenery, and it is oh-so-beautiful. The first photo at the top of this article is from this cruise.

I think it’s the best way to enjoy the beauty of this area.

The tour starts with a stop at the hug Tualang Tree. At 65 metres tall, it’s massive! You can also stop at Kelah Sanctuary to feed fish when fish are available.

Part of the hike to Lata Berkoh Taman Negara
Part of the hike to Lata Berkoh

You then keep cruising upstream until you hit a 20-minute hiking trail that takes you to Lata Berkoh itself. This is easy enough to walk (my 6 year old did it without any issues). At the end, you can take a swim at Lata Berkoh.

You then need to hike back and take the boat back to Kuala Tahan.

All up, this cruise is a great way to get closer to all the beautiful nature in Taman Negara both by foot and by boat.

Canopy Walkway

Taman Negara Canopy Walk
Canopy Walk

The Canopy Walk is the most popular attraction in Taman Negara. Amongst the longest in the world, the Taman Negara bridge spans over 550 metres and rises up to 45 metres above the ground.

Spine tingling in sections, the canopy walkway is the best way to appreciate this vast and ancient rainforest from above – as well as spot Taman Negara wildlife!

It’s also a nice 30-minute walk in each direction into the park so it’s great for a quick look and decent hike through Taman Negara.

It’s closed on Fridays.

Click here to read our full guide to the canopy walk.

Read our full guide to all the things to do in Taman Negara below…

Taman Negara Tours And Packages

Since it’s a little more complicated to get to Taman Negara and many activities require guides and equipment, it is recommended to do a tour to Taman Negara or a package tour over multiple days.

You can find our full guide to Taman Negara tours here.

Taman Negara Animals

One of the top things to do in Taman Negara is see wildlife, and there are observation hides scattered around built for this purpose. 

Taman Negara has a particularly great bird population, with hundreds of species found within the national park. Over 400 species have been identified and among those are many vulnerable and endangered species. It doesn’t take long to spot birds when walking from Kuala Tahan.

Kelah Sanctuary Taman Negara
Kelah Sanctuary Taman Negara

Fish are also plentiful here. The easiest place to spot fish is the Kelah Sanctuary in Lubuk Tenor where you can feed them and see schools of fish in the dry season.

Other animals include wild boar, lorises, water buffalo, macaques, deer and much more. Of course, spotting some of these are rarer than others, and you may have to do more Taman Negara jungle trekking to see them. The longer you stay and further the trek, the more likely you are to see these animals.

On our casual visit with kids, we only saw macaques and birds. The day before, there had been elephants visible on the Lata Berkoh cruise though!

Where To Stay In Taman Negara, Pahang/Kuala Tahan

Spending a night in Taman Negara is one of the best ways to experience this national park and to take advantage of all that it has to offer. Below are our recommendations and Taman Negara review of where to stay.

Mutiara Taman Negara Resort

Mutiara Taman Negara
Mutiara Taman Negara

Mutiara Taman Negara is the only place to stay in the national park and the best accommodation option in the area. This is where you can rent a lovely Taman Negara chalet and enjoy one of the best locations of any accommodation.

This charming resort offers a riverfront setting and an on-site restaurant with great food. Many rooms offer half board. There is also strong wifi available, and we were amazed how good it was even in our chalet on the edge of the resort.

Chalets are private, space out and fit into the surrounds, with space for up to 6 guests in some chalets. They are a little basic for a 4 star resort, but comfortable, clean and easy.

Click here to see the latest prices now or click here to read our full review.

Xcape Resort at Taman Negara

For standard accommodation, consider Xcape Resort at Taman Negara. This accommodation is positioned close to a local travel agent in Kuala Tahan who can help you arrange your trip. 

The accommodation includes a number of room types to choose from catering to several budgets. Among these are double, twin, and family. There is also a nice swimming pool and a restaurant and bar. 

Rooms are very affordable and breakfast is included.

Click here to see the latest prices now.

Abot Guest House

Abot Guest House is great if you’re looking for an affordable Taman Negara backpacking option. This is simple accommodation with standard rooms including double, triple and quadruple occupancy.

All rooms include a private bathroom, free WiFi and daily housekeeping. On-site, there is a simple restaurant, guest BBQ and gift shop. 

Best of all, Abot Guest House is located in Kuala Tahan just across the river from the Park Centre.

Click here to see the latest prices now.

Find our full guide to the best accommodation in Taman Negara below…

Taman Negara Camping

If you’re looking to camp in Taman Negara, there are designated campsites with facilities like bathrooms and restaurants nearby. These include Mutiara camp site, Danz Eco Camp site and AsiaCamp Taman Negara. They are all located close to Kuala Tahan.

For campers looking to get more wild, Lubuk Tenor is a good option, as well as Kepayang Besar Cave and many other spots along the Tembeling River. For this option, you’ll need to bring all your gear with you as there are no camping facilities in these spots.

Taman Negara Weather And Best Time To Visit

While Taman Negara is warm year round ranging from 24 to 35 degrees on average, it does receive heavy rainfall in the monsoon season. This can impact any hiking you plan to do, and many activities may be unavailable, such as the Canopy Walkway.

The monsoon season spans from mid November to mid January. If you’re planning to visit Taman Negara in December it might be better to consider activities closer to Kuala Tahan if you don’t want to take any Taman Negara malaria risk.

The driest season is February through to October where rain is less likely. However, the park does receive rain year round. 

In our opinion, the best time to visit is between June and September as rain is less likely and it’s hot. However, this is the busiest time so accommodation and attractions may be more busy.

We found Taman Negara to be very humid in April, and we sweated a lot! We didn’t get bitten by mosquitoes at all though.

Lata Berkoh Taman Negara
Lata Berkoh Taman Negara

Top Tips For Visiting Taman Negara Malaysia

  • Dress accordingly. Lightweight clothes are recommended year round for the warm weather and humidity. However, consider wearing long shirts and pants to protect yourself from insects and leeches.
  • Bring ample supplies. There is a small grocery store for basics in Kuala Tahan, but for more specific items, bring them with you. We recommend your own torch for a night safari as well as insect repellent and sunscreen. 
  • Plan your trip ahead. This will make the journey much more enjoyable especially if you have limited time to explore.
  • Bring money with you. There are no banks or ATMs in Kuala Tahan. Bring all the cash you need with you.

Final Words

We hope you have enjoyed our guide to Taman Negara and have plenty of ideas for your visit. We loved visiting this area of Malaysia, and I’m sure you will too.

However, the best way to connect with Taman Negara is to visit yourself!

Head to Kuala Tahan, pick up a Taman Negara trail map from the Park Centre and start exploring this ancient rainforest.

You can find more information on other destinations in Malaysia across this site here.