The following link demonstrates the still existing problem of malaria in certain parts of Malaysia and the need for prophylaxis prior to entering endemic areas, which include Taman Negara:-
Since it is a national park, the wild beasts such as tiger, jaguar, and other predators are abundant here.
My experiences in Taman Negara during one of our day trip to Gua Daun Menari (Dancing Leaf Cave) almost scared the *** out of me. You may hear thunderous roars of tigers across the valley and you will never know some of those beasts could be on your side of the mountain.
Of course nobody got eaten by tigers in Taman Negara so far. If it does happen, hope that its dinner is not you.
This is seriously a no-brainer but wear a life-vest when you're shooting the rapids! Honestly, being a good swimmer wouldn't count if you were hit unconcious when your boat tipples!
True account:A friend of mine got hit unconscious while yachting. If not for her life vest, she would have gone under the water. She survived but had a bad case of amnesia after that.
If you have a fear of heights, please do not attempt the canopy walkway. Although it is safe and thousands of people have walked through the canopy walkway safely, those who suffer from a fear of heights may want to avoid this famed "above the tree tops" experience.
The walk itself starts of at a deceptively low level, but after a while, you will find yourself climbing higher and higher. The walkway itself is rather shaky as it is made up of ropes and wood. The shakiness of the structure in itself seems to scare many people! LOL
I didn't have a problem myself, and did the walk very confidently. However, once when I was at one of the highest bridges, I did take a look down. When I saw that the ground was such a loooooong way off, I was suddenly hit with a feeling of dizziness so I quickly looked away. Oooh, quite scary!
A colleague of mine who has a slight fear of heights tried to attempt the walk because she was cajolled by others. As she was in a big group, there was no turning back. She bravely continued even though her heart was pounding like mad, but after the second bridge, with her knees all shaking and her face all red, she decided not to proceed. As mentioned, the walkway is one way only and there is no turning back. However, she managed to get down at one of the levels and caught up with us later on.
Sp, remember, if you have a fear of heights, don't try to be a hero. Just give the canopy walkway a miss!
Although people from Taman Negara will tell you the trails are well-marked, there are still some trails that due to uncommon explored from visitors, it is blocked by vegetation.
Our experience is from Bukit Teresek, we intend to visit Lubok Simpon. Before that we consulted a guide in Taman Negara, he advised us to do a round trip from Canopy walk- Teresek- Lubok Simpon
However, people seldom go to Lubok Simpon from Bukit Teresek; in fact there is another road to Lubok Simpon from Mutiara Hotel. So, some part of the trail from Bukit teresek to Lubok Simpon was blocked by vegetation. We thought we followed the wrong trails and keep changing and keep changing.. the feeling of lost in the jungle is terrible especially the day is darken.. day dark early in the jungle.
A splash of water or an unexpected rainfall at Taman Negara can turn your camera into an expensive paperweight. So why take the chances? Bring along a water-proof casing for your camera and you'll be more at ease when enjoying a waterfall or shooting the rapids..
Photo Note: Taken with a Sony DSC 70, in a MPK-P9 casing. The case cost around USD290 or so.
While it is fun, exploring a tiny Asian limestone cave can be dangerous for you if you share the same body shape as Fat Bastard*. Not joking, you just might get trapped under a rock crevice and feed on bat droppings for the rest of your life,haha....
*scottish lump of fat as seen in Austin Powers
Photo Note: This shot was taken by Adrian, on his Nikon Coolpix 3200
This photo is really posed . Honestly, you won't be allowed to walk in twos once you're on the bridge. Do so only if you're thirsting for big adventure and can't wait to sway from the end of a broken bridge like Indy Jones.
Yes, single file on a 1m gap.
The rivers at Taman Negara, though shallow, are filled with powerful undercurrents that can suck you in an instant . This can be bloody fatal if you take a tumble at a cascading waterfall. Not kidding, you can sustain more injuries than Jack in the Hill ever did. A couple of chaps actually died here..
As you can see from the faces of my friends, they were not exactly thrilled after getting soaked at the rapids. Yup, all of us were ill-prepared for wet ride, me included. I did not pack my camera in a waterproof casing, arrgh.
If you have to go, wear your swimming costume beneath and wrap your valuables in plastic. My passport was soaked, boo-hoo.
Gua Telinga is an accident waiting to happen if you go there without a guide, a torchlight or any rock climbing skills. Some places need more than just agility to get you through. Your guide will advise you how to push your butt up some crevices, not to scream into the face of a bat and scare the other sleeping rodents, etc...
Picture taken by CK on the Panasonic Lumix.
There are lotsa of leeches in the jungle after raining. The leech can even suck ur blood from outside of the sport shoes, they are thin enough to go through ur shoes. Wearing boots is recommended.
Check your shoes when you stop in any point. Take out your shoes and socks to check coz they might hide between your toes.
If you found leeches on you, dun pull it, put some salt and it will drop out itself.
The Four Seasons don't apply to Southeast Asia, however campers and hikers tend to avoid the monsoon season early November to late Jan where it rains heavily almost the whole day/night everyday, sometimes flooding occurs.
It rains throughout the year as well, but not as heavily as these months and rain duration is usually short-lived.
Lightning and thunderstorms are also common around these months. Ground is very slippery and unlike snowy landscapes, you can fall quite painfully on hard ground. Though being struck by lightning is rare in the town areas, it does happen from time to time in the wilderness (from evidence of many fallen trees obstructing pathways) and there are no rain shelters deep inside the rainforest.
Some resorts are closed during the Monsoon season, so that should give you a clue ;)
Plants with thorns are common in Southeast Asian rainforests, and typically in Taman Negara where there are several species and are commonly sighted in most parts.
Due to the rain and high humidity, the ground is often slippery and the natural thing is to grab foliage for support.
BEWARE of spiny plants!!! It always pays to be alert and look before you grab. Rattan is found in most rainforests (even secondary ones) and it typically grows along beaten mudtracks. Thin straight trunks and smooth surface if not for very large thorns for its size, it will leave nasty bleeding wounds in polka-dot formation in your hands.
I found another plant species that snagged me badly along several parts of the canopy walkway. Probably an epiphyte or climber of some sort, with sharp serrated-edged leaves, thorny tendrils and stems. The thorns on this plant resemble hooks. Quite troublesome to unhook thorns from bare skin.
Taman Negara leeches can be anywhere and not necessarily restricted to the ground and near water areas contrary to public perception. Leeches feed on plant sap during human-drought so they can be found on trees and overhanging branches. There are leeches on the floorboards of canopy walks and the supporting towers. In the jungle thicket, my friends got bitten on the neck, back and shoulders and not just the legs! I also got bitten when indoors at a run-down chalet's common dining area.
If you're the type who's terrified and covers up you might best be mummified head to toe. Otherwise forget about covering up and pre-empting those leeches' moves, but wear sandals, short-sleeve tee and shorts. Periodically stop and check for leeches and this way you can flick them off before they start feeding. I won't recommend using a lighter cos you can accidentally burn yourself/victim - those suckers wiggle about sometimes! Repellent isn't 100% effective if sprayed before your walk. However I found them effective when sprayed directly onto the leech - they fall off at once. But your wound might smart if it's a big one.
The first time I got bitten was when I was covered up in leech socks, thick socks, proper hiking boots, long pants etc, but somehow those intelligent suckers managed to squeeze into clothing and bit where the leech sock stopped covering! I'd a nasty-looking blood stain on my pants at the back of the knee cos I didn't realise I got bitten (no pain, no feeling). Subsequent times I just went in shorts and trekking sandals, and checked every few minutes.