So how’s the Teaser Mutiara Taman Negara pictures from the earlier post?
Suffice to say that it was not my first trip to Taman Negara Pahang via Kuala Tahan. I had been there 4 years ago with my friends but we stayed at one of the cheaper guesthouses across the river from Taman Negara Pahang entrance. But the recent trip was different. It was a media familiarization trip to Mutiara Taman Negara Resort, in courtesy of Mutiara Taman Negara.
We gathered at a mamak stall next to Hotel Istana, Kuala Lumpur before leaving for Mutiara Taman Negara by bus coach.
We headed to Kuala Tahan where Taman Negara Pahang Headquarters is located. It is about one hour drive from Jerantut town or 3 and a half hours to Kuala Tahan Village. There are various types of accomodation available ranging from budget hotels and dorms to luxury chalets and resorts. The best resort in Taman Negara Pahang is Mutiara Taman Negara.
After our bus stopped in the main road near the shophouses, we had to walk for less than 10 minutes to the boat jetty. From there, we took a boat to the main jetty of Mutiara Taman Negara. It only costs RM1 for the boat transfer to transfer the visitors to the other side of the river. I heaved a relief when our bags were pulled up by a pulley.
Everyone who wishes to visit Taman Negara Pahang, regardless which hotels/guesthouses you stay, must register yourself here for entrance fee. You will be given a pass for which you have to keep to evince permission into Taman Negara Pahang. When I summitted Gunung Tahan (less difficult route from Merapoh) years ago, we were subjected to inventory where we had to declare every single plastic, cloth, can, toileteries and even undergarments before hiking. This is to make sure we bring back what we bring up to the mountain. I was informed by the guide, it is still being practiced until today.
A traditional performance welcomed us at Mutiara Taman Negara. As I sipped the welcoming drink and cleaned our face with wet towel, I knew this trip was going to be awesome. We were then brought to Mutiara Restaurant for lunch buffet. And boy, the food was delicious! It was here that I noticed most of the visitors at Mutiara Taman Negara were foreigners. Malaysians were nowhere in sight.
And it boils down to one pertinent question:-
Aren’t Malaysian interested in nature?
So, I am now going to narrate my experience here so you can do away with your bustling city life and experience the nature at its best in Taman Negara Pahang especially with a stay in Mutiara Taman Negara.
When we were done with our lunch, we were given a room to share. My room was a chalet convertible to a family chalet, which I shared with Libur magazine representative, Husna. Just when I was checking the flat screen television, the huge bathroom, the comfort of the bed and pillows and the plates of fruit on the desk as a welcoming gesture, it rained outside. It rained heavily that it was best in such weather to be under the duvet dozing off to another world. Further, we had 3 hours more before our scheduled room inspection.
This is where we took shelter for 2 days! Seronok I tell you.
My room (No. 70) is located at the far end of Mutiara Taman Negara, so it was a bit of a walk from my room to the reception and restaurant area. Though sweat spread on my temple, the walk in itself was eventful. It was for the first time in my life I had a wild boar passing me like a domestic cat. Yes, in the compound of the Mutiara Taman Negara. It did not cause harm and it was a clean wild boar. We all watched in awe, a girl rushed towards the wild boar intending to pet it like a cat. Fortunately, she was stopped by her family member.
The rooms in Mutiara Taman Negara were fully booked, we were told. So, room inspection was not possible that evening. We were then taken to the video room to watch video on Taman Negara to give an overview of what to expect during our 3D2N stay.
We were taken to the camping ground. Camping in the wild – only for the adventure seekers! With the wild boars around, you know what to expect. In its past, Mutiara Taman Negara had been visited by other guests like the tapirs and elephants.
It was really a refreshing environment after being in a concrete jungle for a long time. What more with the after-rain effect of the jungle. On the background, there was the drone of cicadas, the chirping of birds. Our guide was very helpful in identifying the species of the birds and insects we happened to bump into during the evening walk.
The view of Mutiara Restaurant at night:-
Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak is a dish that originates from Temerloh, Pahang. Little did I expect to be able to eat Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak in Taman Negara. The fish fat definitely adds up to the taste of tempoyak. A sensational feeling eating ikan patin masak tempoyak is an acquired taste that silenced our table for minutes. Even the pajeri nenas was finger licking good.
Dinner kampung style!
Ikan patin masak tempoyak
Condiments – tempoyak, sambal belacan dan the famous sambal hitam belimbing asam of Pahang
Night jungle walk took us on the boardwalk to spot nocturnal plants, insects and many others. Our guide, En. Sabri was very quick to spot and tell where to find the insects. Often, they camouflaged as sticks and leaves. We were lucky to spot few species of spiders (and one big hairy spider whose leg sticked out from a trunk), a scorpion, glow-in-dark plants, a species of bees. That night, there was a huge crowd going through the boardwalk at the same time. Our steps were too loud that the insects shy away. I too was guilty of tapping the umbrella I was holding everything I stepped forward.
I was not equipped to shoot insects in macro, thus I was not in the mood of capturing the photos of the insects. I did try but they were too far to even zoom with my standard lense.
There was one time when the guide asked us to close our eyes and open to a pitch dark night. This was the trick to be able to see the glow-in-dark leaves.
Later, we called our day as early as 10.30pm.