Honestly speaking, I felt that the visit to the Orang Asli Village was touristy but since it was in the package I just tagged along.
Yup, not only were we peeking around their private houses, we were looking at the natives as though they were animals on display. On top of that, each of gave them RM5 for the visit. There were 11 of us in the group, so that amounted to some RM55 for the 3 or 4 natives! I didn't mind giving these folk the money but what these simple folks would do with all the money?
Unique Suggestions: If you do go, observe that blow pipe stunt and try shooting a target yourself. Just don't use your tour mates as target practice.
Fun Alternatives: Better to go on a river cruise and view them au naturel from a distance.
Paying for a guide to get to Canopy Walkway and Teresek Hill.
Unique Suggestions: If you pay for a guide, he will explain to you some things about the Canopy Walkway, the jungle flora and fauna, and if he is smart, he will register you for the Canopy Walk much earlier so that you don't have to wait for ages to use the Canopy Walkway! There is always some waiting and on public holidays, the wait can stretch to hours.
If you pay for a guide, you will also be taken to the jetty nearest to the Canopy Walkway by boat so you can save your energy for the hike up Teresek Hill.
Fun Alternatives: It isn't necessary to pay for a guide if you wish to get to the Canopy Walk or hike up Teresek Hill. Just pay RM1 to cross the river to Mutiara Taman Negara. Walk up the steps at the jetty, turn right and continue walking straight along the paved path until you are at the gate between chalet no.89 and 90. There is a map you can refer to at the beginning of the path.
From the gate, walk for 1/2 hr-40 mins and you will reach the Canopy Walkway. The path up Teresek Hill also begins at the Canopy Walk and it is just a straight path up the hill although steep and narrow at some parts. You need some stamina to go up.
Many foreign tourists go to Taman Negara without booking rooms so they had to stay at those that overlook the Kuala Tembeling river (separates Taman Negara from Kuala Tahan). These places are cheaper (but not always). When I walked past them and looked into the rooms thro open doors, I was thankful I chose a better place (Rainforest Resort)!
The rooms were rather dank, the bed linen's cleanliness questionable (even those in the store room), the bathrooms/toilets looked somewhat like public toilets. Examples are those at Ekoton (behind LBK Floating Restaurant) and the bathroooms/toilets for dorm guests at Nusa Camp.
Unique Suggestions: Take along a pair of bathroom slippers so you need not walk bare footed on slimy sandy floors. These slippers are easily available in sundry shops around Malaysia for less than RM3.
Fun Alternatives: Go during the low season or at least not during weekends and public holidays. Call the better hotels or resorts and negotiate for a better price.
Checking in on Sunday afternoon is fine as the weekend crowd will be leaving and the hotels/resorts will be more willing to offer you a better bargain.
Don't stay in dorm accomodations if you can afford not to. You will get bathrooms and toilets that look like they are open for public use. I went to those at Nusa Camp while on the way back from rapid shooting and that is exactly what they look like.
Many people may try to soak a few bucks off your back when you are on your way to the park, especially at Jerantut, which is a place that wants to earn some cash from the park.
Tell them politely that you go your own way, thank you. Many other people may just be friendly helping you.
Well, it's nothing serious, really. Even if you take a taxi all the way from KL, it shouldn't be more than like 30 USD.