17 Top Things To Do In Taman Negara, Pahang

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Going on a Taman Negara trip and want to know all the best things to do in Taman Negara, Pahang? We have you covered! Below you will find our guide to all the best activities in Taman Negara to plan your ultimate trip.

As the largest national park in Malaysia, Taman Negara is a popular destination to visit. Estimated to be over 130 million years old, it is among the world’s oldest rainforests.

The park is spread across three states and contains within it some of the oldest land on peninsula Malaysia. As such, the park is home to a diverse range of geological formations, flora and fauna – many of them rare and endangered.

canopy bridge Taman Negara

Animals like tigers, leopards and elephants as well as numerous species of birds make this park a top spot for seeing wildlife in their natural habitat. Plus, a stunningly diverse tropical rainforest, complete with hills and mountains, makes this a top spot for hiking.

There is a lot to do in Taman Negara, and this guide has been written to help you explore the park yourself whether that’s on a day tour from Kuala Lumpur or on an extended trip.

Below, you will find everything you need to know and exactly what to do in Taman Negara, Pahang, what you can do for a Taman Negara day trip as well as the best Taman Negara attractions for your ultimate holiday!!

Top 17 Things To Do In Taman Negara, Pahang

Here are the best Taman Negara, Pahang activities. Read through and select the ones that fit your interests and timeframe.

Take A Hike To Bukit Teresek

Bukit Teresek taman negara

As it’s a national park, one of the best things to do in Taman Negara Malaysia is hiking. A particularly good hike is the trail to Bukit Teresek, where you can admire the surrounding forest and mountains. 

At 334 metres, Bukit Teresek is a modest hike and takes 30 to 45 minutes to reach the summit from the park headquarters at Kuala Tehan.

There are both flat and steep sections of the track. The first section is relatively flat and follows a boardwalk through the rainforest. It is an excellent area for bird watching with many species found here. The final section of the track becomes quite steep and follows a set of stairs. You will get sweaty – bring water!

From the summit, you will have lovely views of the forest below. When the weather is clear, it’s also possible to see both Gunung Perlis, and Gunung Tahan – Peninsula Malaysia’s tallest mountain.

Go Rapid Shooting

Taman Negara National Park rapid shooting

One of the more unique activities to add to your Taman Negara itinerary is rapid shooting, where you jump into a wooden boat and shoot the rapids of the Tembling River.

Most people experience this Taman Negara activity on their way to an Orang Asli settlement. These thrilling boat rides involve high speed turns with crews aiming the boats straight into the rapids. There are seven sets of rapids down the Tembeling River.

Be prepared as you will be splashed by water from all directions! Dress appropriately. Life jackets are provided, but a waterproof bag for valuables (and a change of clothes) is recommended.

Enjoy A Night Jungle Walk

Taman Negara national park at night

When it comes to Taman Negara what to do at night, one of the best options is a jungle walk. The jungle changes at night and is vastly different from the daytime, with strange and interesting sights and sounds.

A night jungle walk starts from the main Wildlife Office at Kuala Tehan. Usually jungle night walks are done on tours (but you can walk yourself) where you can walk from here to Tahan Hide, where the salt lick attracts native animals. It’s not uncommon to see reindeers, boar and lizards.

You will also see a range of plants and insects more active at night. It’s advised to bring a torch so you can make the most of your jungle night walk.

Visit An Orang Asli Settlement

Tribes in Taman Negara national park

Taman Negara has two tribes that live in the mountains – the Batek tribe and Semokberi tribe. The Orang Asli, or native people, are distinct from the Malay population and meeting with them is one of the top Taman Negara things to do.

These nomadic tribes live simple, traditional lives, moving from place to place in search of food and resources depending on the season. They hunt food from the forest and live in huts of leaves and ratan.

To visit an Orang Asli settlement, you need to join a tour where a guide will introduce you to the settlement and help translate the local language into english.

These settlements live by their ancient traditions and have a strong community spirit and visiting them is both unique and fascinating. You’ll be introduced to some of their practices such as lighting a fire (difficult in the rainforest) and shooting a blowpipe – a traditional weapon the Orang Asli use for hunting.

Cruise Lata Berkoh

Lata Berkoh Taman Negara Pahang

Rapid shooting is not for everyone, so for others, one of the things to do at Taman Negara is cruise the Sungai Tahan River to Lata Berkoh. 

Lata Berkoh is a stunning spot with its deep pools and cascade. These relaxed boat rides take about an hour on a wooden boat, and form part of a tour that takes you upstream to Lata Berkoh where you can walk and enjoy the scenery before heading downstream back to Kuala Tahan.

Feed The Fish At Kelah Sanctuary

Kelah Sanctuary Taman Negara

On the way to Lata Berkoh, you can stop at Kelah Sanctuary and feed the fish. This research and conservation center is located in Lubuk Tenor and is only 20 minutes away from Kuala Tahan.

Pellets are provided so that you can throw food at the fish and watch them swarm to eat it up. The clear water makes seeing the kelah a delight and, in the dry season, schools of fish can be seen. 

Eat At A Taman Negara Floating Restaurant

Taman Negara Floating Restaurant

With quite a few floating restaurants around, one of the things to do while in Taman Negara is eat at one of them!

You can find floating restaurants offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. Most floating restaurants are located at the jetty of Kuala Tahan where you can watch the Tembling River sweep past.

Options include the Taman Negara Floating Restaurant, Arissa Floating Restaurant and Kuala View Restaurant among others.

Go Fishing

man fishing

If you’re keen on fishing, Taman Negara can be an excellent spot. The dry months are best for fishing, and the deeper you head into the jungle, the better the fishing gets.

Popular fishing spots include Rincing and Kuala Perkai. Of course, bringing fishing gear into the jungle is difficult for tourists, and so there are tours you can do that include gear and transport to fishing spots.

There are many other fishing spots, some located up to 5 hours away by boat, but the pristine jungle setting makes fishing there one of the best things to do in Taman Negara Malaysia.

Take The Plunge At Four Steps Waterfall

If you’re up for a challenging hike, follow the track to the phenomenal Four Steps Waterfall. This hugely powerful waterfall can be reached by following the Gunung Tahan trail (which leads to the highest point on Peninsula Malaysia) and detouring to the Four Steps Waterfall. 

Rarer wildlife can be spotted on the way as you delve deeper into the jungle, and part of the journey takes you through the river. When you reach the waterfall, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views and the sound of the powerful falls. The waterfall can be fierce and swimming is definitely not advised.

This hike is usually done as part of a tour. It is notoriously difficult and best done by people with hiking experience.

This is a less explored track but one where you can be rewarded with a stunningly beautiful  natural environment.

Go Bird Watching

Taman Negara National Park bird

With hundreds of species of birds in Taman Negara, both native and migratory, one of the top things to do Taman Negara National Park offers is bird watching.

Kuala Tahan, close to the park headquarters, is one of the best places to spot birds. You can stay in a hide and wait to spot birds or see them on a walk. It can often be easier to hear birds than see them, which makes the hides super useful for this purpose.

Many endangered species like the Masked Finfoot, the Wreathed Hornbill and the Large Green-Pigeon can be found in Taman Negara, and you may be lucky enough to spot one.

May through to August is the best time for bird watching.

Admire The Views On The Canopy Walkway

Canopy Walkway Taman Negara

When you’re planning what to do in Taman Negara Malaysia, no Taman Negara to do list is complete without a walk on the Canopy Walkway. It is arguably the top attraction the national park offers.

The Canopy Walkway is a suspension bridge that was originally built for research, and whilst it wasn’t intended as a tourist attraction, it is now certainly one of the most popular things to do in Taman Negara. 

At 530 metres long, the Canopy Walkway is one of the world’s longest suspension bridges and is a great place to admire the views below, and surrounding the area.

Reaching it takes just 30 minutes by foot from the park headquarters on a boardwalk. The suspension bridge averages 30 meters above the ground, and you’ll see the stunning rainforest below, plenty of birds and wildlife like the long-tailed macaques.

Enjoy A Night 4WD Safari

Night 4WD Safari

As an alternative to a night jungle walk, why not try a night 4WD safari? 

These 4WD safari tours save you from walking and allow you to penetrate deeper into the forest. They start at night from Kuala Tahan and take you to the best places to see wildlife. You are likely to see wildcat, wild boar, and all the sights and sounds of the jungle at night.

Tours usually go for 2 hours and are affordable. 

Go Hiking To Lubok Simpon

The Hike to Lubok Simpon is one of the easiest in Taman Negara and offers a great introduction to the national park.

From Kuala Tahan it’s only a 1km walk to Lubok Simpon. You’ll see birds and walk along the river before reaching the natural tannin dyed pool at Lubok Simpon. 

This is not only a lovely spot to relax but also a nice spot to swim or dip your feet into the water.

Explore The Limestone Caves

Rainforest Cave in Taman Negara

Taman Negara is an excellent spot to explore some caves, and the national park has its fair share of interesting limestone caves.

An easy walk from the park headquarters in Kuala Tahan is Gua Telinga. This cave is just 3 km away and is known as the ear cave due to its unique shape. You need to crawl through an underground tunnel to enter, where bats inhabit the inside.

Deeper in the jungle are several other caves. These caves are usually visited as part of a multi-day tour where you can explore, hike the trail and spend the night inside a cave.

Gua Kepayang Kecil is one such option, as well as Kepayang Besar where people often camp overnight.

Visit The Huge Tualang Tree

Tualang Tree Taman Negara

With a 130 million year history, there are bound to be some big trees in Taman Negara. Among the largest and tallest of all the trees in Taman Negara is Tualang Tree, and it is worth visiting. At a height of 65 meters, this tree is as tall as a 20 storey building. 

Stop at Tualang Jetty down the Tahan River to capture a picture of this enormous tree, although it’s hard to appreciate the full size from close up. It’s size lends the area a special and ancient feeling.

Hide In A Wildlife Observation Hide

One of the reasons Taman Negara is great for seeing wildlife is the wildlife observation hides. Built like little huts, Malays refer to these hides as “bumbung” and they aid in observing animals without scaring them away.

Tahan Hide is just a short distance from the park headquarters and is an excellent spot to wait and see birds and other wildlife, especially at night, attracted by the nearby salt lick. 

Deer, porcupines and birds, wild boar and numerous insects can all be seen with patience. 

Head on a boat ride to another spot like Kumbang Hide. Located deeper into the jungle, this is a great area for spotting your sights on rarer animals. Rarer species like tapir, leopards and elephants can be seen in other hides located deeper in the jungle. 

Arrive By Boat From Kuala Tembeling

Kuala Tembeling jetty entry to Taman Negara National Park

Kuala Tembeling is where both the Tembeling River and the Jelai River meet, and the jetty is about 17 km away from the town of Jerantut. This town is a popular entry point to the national park, and if you’re entering from here, the way to go is by boat.

Both locals and foreigners enjoy this scenic boat ride to Taman Negara. It takes about 3 hours. The ferry is a simple wooden boat with a roof on top and whilst the trip is long, there’s no denying there are some wonderful views along the way.

Taman Negara Activities Map

Things To Do In Taman Negara, Pahang map
Click the Map to open in Google Maps. You can then access directions to each of the locations discussed in this article.

Best Place To Stay In Taman Negara

Taman Negara is a wonderful place to stay overnight. There’s nothing quite like spending the night in an ancient rainforest. It makes for both a relaxing and rejuvenating stay.

There isn’t a huge range of accommodation options, but there are a number of hotels and guest houses that cater towards all budgets. 

Below you will find our Taman Negara accommodation recommendations including the best pick, a mid-range and a budget option.

BEST – Mutiara Taman Negara Resort Review

Mutiara Taman Negara Resort is the top spot to stay in Taman Negara. It is located just a short walk from the park headquarters in Kuala Tahan, being the only resort to be located within the national park.

This resort offers a range of rooms with all the creature comforts you need for a convenient stay. Options include both chalet and bungalow accommodation. Chalets include air conditioning, an in-room safe, a balcony, flat screen TV and a hot shower in a private bathroom, as well as a lovely traditional aesthetic .

Up to 6 guests can stay in the one bedroom and quad chalets. WiFi is also available, but just in public areas.

A buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served. Many rooms are half board, meaning breakfast and dinner are included. The accommodation can help to organize all your Mutiara Taman Negara activities like a jungle safari, an Orang Asli visit, as well as fishing permits and cave tours.

Click here to see the latest prices.

MID-RANGE – Xcape Resort at Taman Negara Review

Xcape Resort is located in Kuala Tahan before crossing the Tembling River to the park headquarters. The resort offers guests free parking, in-room WiFi, an onsite bar and a daily housekeeping service.

Room options include double, twin and family rooms. Rooms are simple and minimalist, with no TV, safe or minibar, however they do have air conditioning. Some rooms include a balcony. Dorm rooms are also available for guests on a budget. Some of the rooms have private bathrooms whereas others are shared. 

The accommodation serves light snacks and refreshments in the bar, Malaysian fare in their onsite restaurant, and can also organise bicycle rental for guests to explore the area.

Click here to see the latest prices.

BUDGET – Balai Serama Guesthouse Review

Balai Serama Guesthouse is located further away from the park headquarters in Kampung Padang. Here you’ll find a spacious guest lounge, guest laundry facilities, an onsite restaurant serving local dishes and a buffet breakfast as well as rooms with half board.

Room types include standard rooms and one bedroom chalets with private bathrooms. The property is very clean and offers free parking for guests and a beautiful onsite garden.

Chalets are well equipped with a sitting area in the one bedroom chalet, as well as a kitchen with cooking equipment. Standard rooms are more basic. There is also good onsite WiFi.

Click here to see the latest prices.

Click here to see all our recommendations for the best hotel in Taman Negara.

How To Get To Taman Negara

Taman Negara Highway Road

It’s easy to get to Taman Negara by bus, train or car. If you have your own car, great! You are good to go. 

You can also hire a car to get you there by clicking here.

Otherwise, the fastest way is by private taxi. You can find out prices and book a taxi from anywhere in Malaysia here.

If you are coming from Kuala Lumpur, your next best option is by shuttle bus. You can book it here.

The cheapest way is by bus from Kuala Lumpur to Jerantut. This takes longer and you’ll still need to get a taxi the final hour to Kuala Tahan. Click here for the latest timetables and bus prices.

Want more details? Find our full guide to getting from KL to Taman Negara here. Or you can find our guide to getting from Cameron Highlands to Taman Negara here.

If you are coming from Singapore or Johor Bahru, you can consider the so-called jungle train. Warning though, the departure and arrival times are not nice. Click here for more details.

Finally, if you are short on time or want things organised for you, read our full guide to Taman Negara tours here. It’s possible to visit Taman Negara on a day tour from Kuala Lumpur and all the options are listed there as well as some multi-night package options.

Taman Negara With Kids

For the most part Taman Negara is very kid friendly, you may just want to avoid rapid shooting or the other longer hikes if your kids are young.

There are many walks from the park headquarters that take just 30 minutes, such as the canopy walkway and the hike to Lubok Simpon. Plus, the experience at Orang Asli can be very eye opening for kids and adults alike.

A night jungle walk and observing animals from an observation hide are also great activities for families.

Kuala Tahan Taman Negara
Kuala Tahan Taman Negara

Final Words

I hope this Taman Negara guide has given you plenty of ideas for your visit.

Taman Negara really does have a lot to offer visitors. Whether you decide to visit for the day or spend the night, you’ll have plenty of Taman Negara things to do!

You can check out all the best accommodation in Taman Negara here and all the best Taman Negara tour packages to get here. Read our full travel guide to Taman Negara here.

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon is an Australian who has fallen in love with Malaysia! She explores Malaysia multiple times a year, often with her kids, and has previously lived in Penang.