Last year Joyce and I bought MilkADeal vouchers for a 3D2N stay at Taman Negara. As usual la Malaysians being Malaysians, we booked the trip at the last possible week before the vouchers were due to expire. What, plan things in advance and nurture our organising skills? Nevaaarrrrrr….!
The day before the trip, I worked for 14 hours straight so we had a bit of a late start the following morning. Thought we’d check out Pan Heong at Batu Caves for its famed flat noodles in egg gravy (wa tan hor). Never been there before so locating the restaurant was a stroke of luck – exactly the same turning I take to get to Batu Caves (the actual caves). Foursquare helped too, technology is awesome!
The wa tan hor was delicious and beautifully done (egg gravy was art) but I suspect a fair amount of MSG went into it as my tongue was a bit dry and salty after.
Went on Karak highway, took our time driving along the scenic route. Journeying East and North from Central is always a visual treat as the Titiwangsa Range offers gorgeous views. Took our time, rolled down the window for photos without the dirty windscreen effect, sometimes pulled by the roadside to take in more of the view aka take photos.
Decided to have our lunch in Jerantut. The municipal council of Jerantut has… trippy taste. For example, shop lots were splashed in bright purple as to look like radioactive yam. Hey, whatever floats their boats…
Found a ‘nasi kukus’ corner stall opposite a Petronas petrol station. Quite good, best part was the chilli z0mg so pedas but so syiok.
There are 2 ways to get to Taman Negara. 1st way is to go on a 3-hour boat ride from a jetty near Jerantut. 3 hours. Three. Tiga. San. SIAO AR? Actually later we realised it’s an integral part of the whole Taman Negara journey but the boats’ departure timing was way off for us.
So we decided to use the 2nd way, that is to driveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee all the way to Kuala Tahan. The drive is less than 2 hours on a well-paved road which I found out later was only properly build 2 years ago. So previously it would have been a shitty road to drive on. The road took us up and down hills with palm oil on both sides and most gorgeous views of clouds and mountains!
And cows, of course. What road trip would it be if we didn’t stop to take photos of random cows? It’s just something (eat full nothing to do) people do. Plus it’s not like we’d never seen cows before, I even eat them and they are delicious.
So yeah, I can’t explain why. But it was a lovely, calming drive and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
We reached Kuala Tahan at about 3+ pm. Our package was for Rainforest Resort which at first glance looked a bit rundown. Then we realised that it’s the 2nd best dig in Kuala Tahan, the first being Mutiara Taman Negara which would have been way pricier.
Really basic room but everything worked. Not the most comfortable bed but 2 nights only what, and I’m no princess ;)
Hopped on the hotel shuttle to the heart of Kuala Tahan:
A few floating restaurants by the edge of the river. Opposite the river was the more expensive Mutiara Resort and gateway into the forest. We decided to have an early dinner and chose a restaurant that had some people in it. Always a good indicator of quality of food, right? Wrong, never use white people as indicators of food quality in Malaysia. But the view was okay and we got to know a young couple from Belgium. They’d just arrived at Kuala Tahan having taken the 3-hour boat ride. As it was raining, it wasn’t a very pleasant trip and their backpacks were mostly wet.
Walked back to the resort to try rid our minds of a very bad rendition of meehoon tomyam. Also had to sleep early for jungle activities the following day.