Malaysia, also known as the “land of evergreen” has an abundance of national parks, both on land and underwater.
If one flies over Malaysia, and then regardless of flying over the Malaysian Peninsular, Sabah, or Sarawak, or even over the abundance of small and larger islands, one will see the abundance of natural greens. Ancient forest, and endless green landscapes covering the horizon in all directions.
Malaysia took the decision in the last century to protect some of these areas from major developments and turned these vast landmasses into National Parks.
Malaysia has more than thirty national parks including underwater parks scattered all over the nation.
For this article, we will stay above water and look at three of the most well-known National Parks in Malaysia.
If there is one National Park to mention, it is the Taman Negara (Garden of the Nation). The Taman Negara covers a vast landmass and covers areas in the States of Kelantan, Terengganu, and the majority lays in the State of Pahang.
The Taman Negara is a truly protected reserve, where only real access is offered through the State of Pahang. A trip upriver, starting at a jetty in the Jerantut area takes guests to Kuala Tahan, where accommodations can be found in the jungle, and from where hikes with local guides can be made. Some of these hikes can be multiple days.
Some of the longer trails will bring travelers, along with spectacular views, and enticing streams, rivers, and waterfalls. In the northwest corner of the Taman Negara, Malaysia’s highest peak on the Peninsular can be found, Gunung Tahan.
A trip to the Taman Negara really brings visitors close to the best flora and fauna Malaysia has to offer. All the larger wildlife can be found here, and large snakes, tigers, various species of monkeys, tapirs, and elephants roam around the Taman Negara.
But often overlooked is all the micro-life crawling, hopping, and jumping around this patch of ancient rainforest. Thousands of ants taking over a fallen log is a spectacle in itself.
For the local flora, it’s exactly the same. The massive hardwood trees are everywhere, and can’t be missed, but the tiny micro-ferns, mosses, flowers, and other flora can be as impressive too.
Accommodation At Taman Negara
There are a variety of accommodations in the Taman Negara from semi jungle luxury, to campsites. One of the best-established facilities is the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort which offers a range of room types. Their Bungalows, suites, chalets, hotel rooms and unique campsite offers everything an avid traveler might need.
Kinabalu National Park
The heart of the Kinabalu National Park is Mount Kinabalu, with its impressive mountain range peaking at 4,095 meters.
The local population of Sabah, a tribe called the Kadazan Dusun people, have regarded Mount Kinabalu as their sacred place for many centuries.
The Kinabalu National Parks is among the largest National Parks of Malaysia and has incredible flora and fauna to offer. Visitors to this park can encounter more than 6,000 different plants, flowers, and trees. The diversity in this area is enormous. What is unique is that many plants carry flowers throughout the year, which makes this park a truly unique experience.
These flowering plants, but also the flowers in general, attract a very large variety of birdlife, which feed on the small wildlife enjoying the sweet nectars.
Sabah offers large wildlife too, the Sumatran Rhino, and divers wild cattle colonies roam the landscape. Seldomly seen, but the wild pygmy elephant is indigenous in this part of the world.
An abundance of primates, like the slow loris, gibbons, langurs, and orangutans can be found swinging from tree to tree.
Kinabalu National Park will keep visitors in amazement till the moment they exit the park.
Accommodation Kinabalu National Park
There are four different areas within the confinements of the park where lodging can be found. Bookings can be done through the Kinabalu Park Headquarters, which offers lodges, villas, chalets, and a hostel for more than 220 guests.
Gunung Mulu National Park
The stunning limestone caves from the Gunung Mulu National Park are among the finest in the region. Say “Mulu” and people all over er Malaysia will say “caves”.
The Gunung Mulu National Park can be found in Sarawak, not too far away from the city Miri, which is one of the larger cities in Sarawak.
Surrounded by dense rainforests, and far-stretching landscapes where more than 100 species of palm trees thrive. The park has an incredible biodiverse flora and fauna, in which 3,500 types of vegetation, grow, crawl, climb, and blossom.
There is hardly a tarmac road to be found, and the main form of transport within the park is by boat. There are rivers and streams everywhere around the park.
Gunung Mulu, 2,377 meters above sea level, the highest peak and mountain range of the area, hosts an incredible 295 kilometers of limestone caves.
The park is well maintained by the Mulu Rangers, who have fulfilled an incredible task, providing access to some of the more daring and remote accesses into the cave system. Stunning cathedrals and tiny squeeze-through-tunnels have given access to spectacular cave interiors.
Accommodation Gunung Mulu National Park
At the main entry point of the park, the Melinau River, the park’s headquarters allows for up to 80 guests to be accommodated. There is a small variety of simple rooms available. For guests seeking a bit more luxury, the longhouse allows for ensuite rooms with aircon or just fans. For larger groups, there is a dormitory available.
The Malaysian National Parks are a must-visit for travelers to Malaysia.