Taman Negara Forest

Jerantut Travel Blog

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3 Hour Boat Ride

We woke up from our hostel in Jerantut in time to get on a bus at 8:30am that would take us to the boat to go to Teman Negara forest.  We didn't have enough time to get breakfast so we just bought some bread at a store and got a chicken omelette to go and ate on the bus.  We were on the bus for 25 minutes and then it dropped us off at a jetty where we would take a boat to Kuala Teheman, a small village next to the forest. 

When the boat arrived to take us I thought it was the wrong boat!  It was a sort of like a long wooden canoe-boat which we were expected to be on for 3 hours as we cruised down the river.  You sat on the floor with a padded wooden board behind you.

Monkey Encoutner at Resort
  Well it was a good experience.  Actually I was really tired from having traveled on buses and trains for 24 hours straight, so I slept off and on during the 3 hour ride.  Steve was awake and enjoyed the sights down the river.

We arrived at the forest around noon.  Teman Negara forest/jungle is a national park in Malaysia and a huge and famous jungle.  There are many trails, caves, and sites to explore.  We first tried to find out about what to do and whre to sleep.  We thought about camping in a hut within the forst, but the nearest one was still 2.5 hours walking but we planned on catching a bus tomrow morning at 8am, so would not have enough time if we camped.  So we had no choice but to stay at a geusthouse in Kuala Teheman [village right across the river from forest].

View from Canopy Walk
  All of the guesthouses were totally gross to me, dirty with bugs and shared bathrooms.  But still it was better than camping, so we picked one of the nasty rooms to stay at and put our stuff down. 

Now we were finally ready to explore the jungle.  First we had to take a water taxi across the narrow river to the other side where the entry to the jungle was.  We followed the signs to the first trail we were interested in doing which was the canopy walkway.  We walkd fo about 2 km on a trail through the jungle to get to th entrry of th canopy walkway.  This was a bridge suspended between trees high off the ground so you can walk through part of the jungle at the lvel of the tree-tops.  It was really cool!  we really enjoyed seeing the area from this viewpoint.

Canopy Walk
  You had to be careful of course, no walking within 5 meters of each other and only 4 people on a bridge at at time.  We took lots of pictures and walked to the end of the many bridges. 

Next we walked to another trail.  This trail was a loop and in the middl was a nice outlook spot of the jungle.  The trail was tough, mostly uphill climbing over tree roots deep in the jungle.  Ofcourse it was hot, lots of bugs out and huge fallen trees somtimes blocking the trail, sometimes slippery mud in spots.  We got to th outlook and enjoyed the view and then finished back about 2 km from the outlook to the end i think.  Towards the end we detoured to a watering hole nearby where you could swim.  It was a part of the river and there were many other toursists there swimming, though we had hardly seen any other people at all th whole time we were on the trails.

Canopy Walk
  We started to get in the water a bit but it started to rain so we stood in the rain awhile and then sat under the foliage and ate out "lunch".  We had brough crackers, bananas, and cookies with us.  We ate all that, I even ate a banana even though I don't like them because of my limited food choices.  Then we walked back to the entrance of the jungle.

By now it was about 5pm.  There was one more trail Steve really wanted to do here.  It was a trail that led to a cave and through it.  It was about 2.8 km one way getting to the cave and th same distance back.  We had to take a boat the small distance across the river in a different direction to get to the trail starting point.  We started on the trail and it quickly got quite difficult.

Canopy Walk
  Again deep in the jungle, no othr peopl around and uphill over tall tree roots.  Also more slippery because it had just rained.  about 15 minutes into the trail, I started getting very nervous.  It was already 5:30pm, and I thought the sun might set as early as 6:30pm, and knew it was suppose to take 1.5 hours just to get to the cave.  I told Steve, I can barely walk this trail in the light, I think in the dark it would be impossible.  It was very treacherous and slippry and lots of roots and such in the trail, going back it would be downhill and in the dark I thought it would be too difficult for me.  I didn't want to be a baby, and I knew Steve really wanted to see th cave, but being realiztic I knew it would be impossible for me to maneuver through this jungle in the dark, there were not even any signs to help us find the right way.
View from top of the hike
  So in the end, after much discussion, we agreed that Steve would go on to the cave and I would turn back and return to the geusthouse.  Of course I felt terrible to be separeated from Steve, I didn't even want him to go on the trail, but as usual there was no stopping him.  So I turned back and found my way back to the boat dock place. 

On the way, I felt something slimy on my shirt, I reach to brush it away and it stuck to my finger!  It was a leech, a disgusting sticky worm-like thing, i flung it away from my finger.  I had read about leeches in our guidebook, that they came out in force after it rained in this jungle.  Then, a few moments later, I felt an itch on my ankle.  I scratched it but felt that something was there.

Entrance to the cave
  I lifted up the bottom of my pants, and HORROR!!!!!  There were not 1 but 2 disgusting leeches stuck to my ankle, sucking blood out of me!!!  Of course, I freaked out and screamed as you can imagine I am completely horrified by this.  Panicked I don't know what to do but to get these disgusting things off of me.  So I let out a scream, close my eyes and grab for it but only just rip it in half!  Half the leech is still stuck to me!! So i muster up my courage and grab for it again, and again rip it in half.  Now just its mouth is still sucking on me, so I do it again and finally get it all off, and blood is pouring out of my ankle from where it bit.  The other leech on my ankle came off more easily.  Now there is blood all ovr from these 2 leeches on my ankle.
Bats all over the cave (notice the ones in mid-flight)
  Thouroughly disgusted I wait for the boat and it brings me back and I run to the guesthouse.  Searching my body for more leeches. 

I reach the geusthouse and take a shower right away, with my clothes on at first since I got so muddy and gross.  I discover another bleeding spot on my thigh, that was from a leech though the leech is nowhere to be found.  I wash up, and bandage my wounds. 

After changing and calming down from my leech experience, I now began to worry about Steve.  Imagining him, covered in leeches, breaking his leg on the trail or getting lost.  I walked back to the boat dock and wait for him.  I brought the guidebook along to read, but I can't read because all I can do is worry about Steve.  I asked the tour guide desk people about how long it takes on the trail and back, and they give me bad news, that we started too late on the trail and it typically takes 3 hours roundtrip on the trail.  I calculate that since Steve.

Steve is safe, but gotta go now, more to come later!!!

-Arum 

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3 Hour Boat Ride
3 Hour Boat Ride
Monkey Encoutner at Resort
Monkey Encoutner at Resort
View from Canopy Walk
View from Canopy Walk
Canopy Walk
Canopy Walk
Canopy Walk
Canopy Walk
Canopy Walk
Canopy Walk
View from top of the hike
View from top of the hike
Entrance to the cave
Entrance to the cave
Bats all over the cave (notice the…
Bats all over the cave (notice th…
Jerantut
photo by: sethwd2