I Must Write About Taman Negara

Before I Write ABout Last Weekend In Singapore…

I must write about Taman Negara. 

Before I Skype Marah and before I attempt yet another futile game of 2048 and even before I struggle through the last terrible pages of my new zombie book, I must catch up on this god dang blog.

Yes I know. Brenna was so diligent about blogging at the beginning of the year. She wrote quirky anecdotes about all the happenings in Malaysia, but now we get a once-a-week summary of what she did this weekend. God I’m living my life! Though I know I will regret not blogging later, so here I am blogging. 

And here I am in Taman Negara:

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So this literally means “National Park” in Malay. This rainforrest in I think technically the “oldest rain forrest in the world”. It’s like 100+ Billion years old, and this is because the ice age didn’t reach the middle of Malaysia.

So. What I had heard was that there were leeches just on the floor of the jungle. Leeches. For those who aren’t aware. I have a deathly fear of leeches! This was bred from watching one eat a crayfish earlier in life. So why, you might ask, was I going on a weekend trekking in this place where apparently leeches just crawled up your legs while you were walking in the jungle? I have no idea. ((Spoiler: It was actually okay)

The group for this particular outing was Me, Lenny, Mia (Lenny’s friend who was still with us), Joske, and Celeste. It was exciting Celeste went with because usually she has a lot of work to do and opts to stay home from trips.

We caught the afternoon bus from KL. The trip was slightly complicated because we were going to a forrest and not like an easy city. We took a bus to Jurantut first and then after a night there in this little hostel:

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The next morning we had to take a mini bus to the boat stop. Then we had to take a 3 hour boat to the entrance to the park.

Let’s be clear, we could have taken the bus, but we wanted to take the boat. This was because we remembered how much freaking fun we had on the slow boat in Lao. This boat was smaller and obviously did not try to squeeze a few hundred people on it.It was like 3 couples and us, plus all of our bags.

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The view was awesome. Then we finally got to the entrance of the park and began the long trekking section of the park. Yes mother, I actually went hiking. It was like a typical Barker-Hallowell-Foley camping trek, except this was throughout the freaking jungle and Brenna had her leggings tucked into her converse to avoid potentially coming in contact with a darn bloodsucker. Literally I was less worried about the malaria-carrying mosquitos.

I also wanna add that I was pretty unprepared for a trekking/camping trip. I don’t have hiking boots with me. I pretty much don’t have exercise clothes, and my backpack is good but not the most comfortable when it’s stuffed with fruit and then carried on your back for hours. However, i think I managed to survive the trip with a relatively good attitude. 

We got a pretty late start. So the first stop was this canopy walk. Which looked a little something like this:

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It’s slightly terrifying. But definitely fun.

Then we started out with this campground a few hours away being our goal for the night. Now, we had a map and signs, but it was very unclear. And then next thing we know we are hiking up this truly sheer cliff in the mud, and I’m wearing converse, and there are ropes there to pull yourself up.

We get to the top of this freaking mountain and then realize that we are somewhere else and we must have made a wrong turn ages ago. That means before the damn hill. So, I tried to stay positive and we had to march back down the hill and at this point it’s getting kind of late and so we decide that we probably won’t make it to the campsite. Joske and Celeste decided to go back into town and sleep in a hostel where Mia, Lenny, and I opted to camp illegally on this beach.

This turned out to be a better situation because we had been kind of planning to sleep with all 5 people in the tent and we put it up to realize that it was even kind of tight for 3 people. We cooked probably the best ramen noodles I have ever eaten. And Lenny almost got attacked by a monkey.

We’re cooking and obviously this is attracting all these monkeys to come to the trees nearby and try to get near our food. Now the monkeys here are into stealing from people. So Lenny get’s up and screams trying to get them to leave us alone and this one scampers up the tree a bit then turns and hisses at Lenny. And Lenny is still walking towards it and then the monkey braces itself like it’s gonna jump at him and Mia and I are watching like “No!!” And then Lenny backed up and the monkey ran away. From there, we just stayed away from the monkeys. I didn’t want it to end up like that scene in Tarzan. (“And Daddy, they took my boot”)

We woke up and took more buses back to KL and made it to Tanjung by Sunday afternoon!

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