Penang National Park

Nature lovers will love the Penang National Park, the latest addition to the country’s family of national parks.

You will be impressed by its list of attractions – 417 flora and 143 fauna species, 1,000 plant species and a lighthouse that was built in 1883.

Habitats found here include the rare meromictic lake, mangroves, mudflats and a hill dipterocarp forest. Diverse trails will take you through the lush rainforest, leading to romantic bays with lovely sunsets and secluded beaches favoured by the Green and Olive Ridley turtles. You can also get to these beachside attractions by sea.

Must do:

  • Go jungle trekking, bird watching, fishing and camping in the park
  • Visit the turtle conservation centre
  • Try the Canopy Walk and experience

Mulu National Park (A UNESCO World Heritage Site)

One of the most outstanding attractions in Sarawak, Gunung Mulu National Park is a treasure trove of vertical cliffs, jagged limestone pinnacles and intricate cave networks. The area is a paradise for researchers with some 20,000 animals and 3,500 plant species.

Tours and caving expeditions are available from the park office. Visitors can choose from introductory, intermediate or advanced tours depending on their experience and fitness levels. Tours are accompanied by World Heritage Guides. To truly appreciate the beauty of Mulu, visitors are advised to allocate at least several days for their trip here. Accommodation ranges from camp sites, forest huts to the exclusive Mulu Marriott Resort nestled amidst the rainforest. Mulu is accessible by air from Miri.

Must do:

  • Visit the four show caves – Deer, Lang, Clearwater and Wind Caves
  • Watch millions of bats from the Bat Observatory
  • Make your way to The Pinnacles
  • Trek along the Headhunters Trail to Limbang
  • Go up the 480m Mulu Canopy Skywalk
  • Explore the Medicine Plants Trail

Rainforest Discovery Centre

Situated just 20 miles from the Sandakan Airport, the Rainforest Discovery Centre offers a chance for visitors to enjoy nature without leaving the comforts of civilisation and modernity. It gives an excellent overview of the state’s rainforest with sprawling gardens, walking trails and a 147m-long steel canopy walkway. This centre is situated in the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. It is only ten minutes away from the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre.

Must do:

  • Walk along the Rainforest Discovery Trail to see towering dipterocarp trees
  • Observe nearly 250 species of birds from the canopy walkway
  • visit the exhibition centre
  • See more than 250 species of orchids as well as pitcher plants and aquatic plants at the Plant Discovery Garden

Opening hours: 8.00am – .00pm daily

Taman Negara (National Park)

Discover the wonders of an ancient forest at Taman Negara. Pitch tent or check-into this forest reserve and bask in the natural surroundings of the Taman Negara park.

A virgin jungle expanse covering 4,343 square kilometres, Taman Negara was established in 1939 and is the largest park in peninsular Malaysia reputed to be The Best Kept Tropical Rainforest, thanks to its protected status.

Visitors will wake to the drone of cicadas, the chirping of bird species new to them and a myriad of other unfamiliar sounds that form a consistent cacophony unique to rainforests.

The ancient life forms that blanket Taman Negara are impressive and during each visit, Taman Negara gives its visitors the opportunity to glimpse at the flora and fauna species estimated at 10,000 plants, 150,000 insects, 25,000 invertebrates, 675 birds, 270 reptiles, 250 freshwater fish and 200 mammals. Some of the flora and fauna found in Taman Negara are rare or indigenous to this country.

Things to do at Taman Negara include river cruises, guided walks, bird watching, fishing, swimming by waterfalls and night safaris.

The world’s longest suspended canopy walk is the most popular activity in this rainforest and you have to be prepared to queue for a while. Secured 40 metres above the forest floor, visitors have a good vantage point from here and if lucky, you can sight some curious animals. The only people who are allowed to hunt and forage are its original inhabitants, the Orang Asli people who still live a nomadic lifestyle. They farm, fish and hunt in the park and nowadays play host to curious visitors armed with flashy cameras. The women may shy away but the men folk can put on a show with some advance notice.

Travelling to Taman Negara, guests can either do the four hour scenic drive down or board a coach from a designated location in Kuala Lumpur for a 3 hour drive down followed by a 3 hour boat trip down river.