Best of Mother Nature

Best of Mother Nature

With so many beaches in the country, the attractions of sun, sand and sea seem better than the jungle. That is the usual response I receive from friends and family, when I ask them why they don't visit Taman Negara.

But if you have never been there, how would you know if it's worth the trip?

At 130-million years old, Taman Negara is one of the world's oldest tropical rainforest. It stretches over 4,300sq km and straddles three States - Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu.

Within its boundaries you'll find thousands of different species of flora, fauna and insects - some very rare and others indigenous only to Malaysia: 300 of birds, 200 of mammals, 10,000 of plants, 150,000 of insects, 250 of freshwater fish, and more than 25,000 different invertebrates.

That is a lot of difficult-to-pronounce Latin names. And there are still endangered tigers roaming deep inside the national park.

Peninsular Malaysia's highest point can also be found here. Gunung Tahan stands proudly at 2,187m. While not as high as Gunung Kinabalu, it is arguably more difficult to climb, as you need to carry all of your food, shelter and water for the gruelling six-day round-trip through the jungle.

Taman Negara's air is clean and fresh, a welcome respite if you have recently experienced haze.

There are no noisy neighbours, and it is the perfect destination to get away from the sharp elbows and 24/7 go-go-go attitude of the city.

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