Malaysia is a unique Southeast Asian country with two regions consisting of the Peninsular, which is also called West Malaysia and East Malaysia, located on the island of Borneo. Not only is Malaysia known for its multi-ethnic, multicultural and multilingual society living in harmony, it is also famous for its biodiversity of flora and fauna.
Malaysia is a great place to be if you’re looking to explore ecotourism destinations. Home to beautiful beaches and tropical rainforests, travellers must not miss out on its breath-taking nature from the 30 different national parks located here. With that said, which one should you visit? We’ll give you a list of some national parks from different states in Malaysia that is not only Instagram worthy, but also very worthy of your visit!
1. Taman Negara National Park @ Kuala Tahan, Pahang
Taman Negara is known as the largest and oldest national park in Malaysia. This park was established in 1983 under the name ‘King George V National Park’ before it changed to Taman Negara. The main attraction here is the rainforest which is more than 130 million years old. This park is a great place to be if you love rainforests and outdoor activities.
Some activities you can go for here are trekking, fishing, camping, observing wildlife, visiting the natives’ village and walking along the longest canopy walkway. If you pay close attention, you can also spot native species of primates, slow loris, gaurs, birds and the occasional flying fox.
If you’re wondering how to get there, there are bus shuttle services available from Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands and Perhentian Islands to Taman Negara National Park. You can also find accommodation here, although it is more limited compared to other tourist destinations. To book your bus shuttle ticket and room, click here to find out more.
Address: 27000 Kuala Tahan, Pahang
Operation Hours: 9 am to 5:30 pm (Mon to Sat), 9:30 am to 5:30 pm (Sun)
2. Mulu Caves National Park @ Marudi District, Miri Division, Sarawak
The Mulu Caves National Park is named after Mount Mulu, the second-highest mountain in Sarawak. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site which consists of caves and karst formations in a mountainous rainforest setting. Mulu Caves Park is home to some of the oldest pristine rainforests in the world.
The exciting thing about your visit to Mulu Caves Park is that the only mode of transportation inside this rainforest is a longboat and your own two feet. Here, you can start your adventure by exploring their show caves, which consists of the Clearwater Cave and the Deer Cave where you can catch the iconic bat exodus. Besides that, adventure caving is also an activity you can consider if you want to explore more of Mulu’s cave system. However, it would be best if you were fit, healthy and at least 12 years old and older to try this. You can climb Mount Mulu and the iconic Pinnacles as well.
Travellers can get to Mulu Caves National Park by flight only as this is a remote wilderness area. ‘MASWings’, a subsidiary of Malaysian Airlines has daily flights to Mulu from Miri, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. For West Malaysians, you can fly to the island of Borneo, and through these ports before landing yourself in Mulu.
For more information on their fees, bookings and brochures, check out their website here.
Address: No 11, Mulu National Park, Pekan Mulu, 98070, Miri
Operation Hours: Daily
3. Kinabalu Park @ Ranau, Sabah
Kinabalu Park was known as one of the first national parks of Malaysia in 1964. This park is also Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO in December of 2000. The main attraction of the park is none other than Mount Kinabalu. However, their tropical flora and fauna are also worth exploring because there are more than 4,500 species of them here, including around 300 bird species and 100 mammal species.
If you don’t plan on conquering Mount Kinabalu on your first visit, you could check out the park’s diverse flora at the Botanical Garden. Not only that, but you could also go for a walk at the many nature trails, pay a visit to the hot springs at Poring Hot Springs, walk along the canopy walkway, visit their butterfly farm, and trek into the jungle to reach the nearest waterfalls!
Kinabalu Park is not hard to get by as you can travel by car, minibus or minivan from the town of Kota Kinabalu. The journey usually takes about 1.5 to 2 hours.
If you’d like to find out more about what you can do at Kinabalu Park, or make a booking for your next trip, you can click here for their website.
Address: Mt Kinabalu National Park, Kinabalu Park, 89300 Ranau, Sabah
Operation Hours: 9 am to 4 pm (daily)
4. Endau-Rompin National Park @ Taman Negara, Johor
Endau-Rompin National Park is a protected tropical rainforest at the south of the state of Pahang and northeast of Johor. It is the second-largest national park in Peninsular Malaysia after Taman Negara. The park takes its name from the Endau and Rompin rivers that flow through the park and makes for some delightful trekking. As you trek along this rainforest, you can explore the rivers, pools and waterfalls along the way.
Not only that, but the beautiful scenery and enormous trees surrounding you on either side as you trek will also surely give you a sense of calmness and peace. What else can you do here? Travellers should not miss out on the waterfalls there, as well as the blue water lake, water tubing, night safari and a visit to the aboriginals’ village.
You can reach Endau-Rompin by a four-wheel-drive vehicle as the roads to the park are rugged. Pick up points are available in Peta, Selai and Kuala Rompin. Don’t fret about your accommodation too because you can choose to go camping, or stay at the national park dorms and chalets.
For more information, head on to this link here for further clarification on how to better plan your trip!
Address: Taman Negara, Johor
Operation Hours: 8 m to 5 pm (daily)
5. Penang National Park @ Georgetown, Penang
Penang National Park is one of the smallest and newest national parks in Malaysia. It was established to preserve flora and fauna as well as objects with geographical, historical, scientific and scenic interests. Travellers here can witness wildlife in the rainforests and beautiful beaches! This protected area also has decent-length hiking trails. It’s an excellent place for travellers who enjoy not only flora and fauna found in rainforests, but also the breeze and sea at the deserted beaches.
The beaches that travellers could pay a visit to are the Monkey Beach, Teluk Kampi, and Kerachut Beach. Not only that, if you plan to visit Penang National Park, there are also loads of activities in store for you. For example, travellers can enjoy camping at Kerachut Beach and Teluk Kampi. Besides that, events like wildlife observation, canopy walkway, boat cruises, fishing, jungle trekking, hiking, and a visit to the turtle conservation centre. Also, travellers can pay a visit to the meromictic lake at Kerachut Beach. The lake consists of two layers of water with different temperatures and density. The first layer is freshwater, whereas the second layer is seawater.
You can travel to Penang National Park by ferry, bus or taxi. Lodging services are also available at famous tourist spots such as Batu Feringghi and Teluk Bahang.
If you’re still curious about Penang National Park, take a look at this travel blog about this place here.
Address: Pejabat Taman Negara P. Pinang, jalan Hassan Abbas, 11050 George Town, Penang
Operation Hours: 8 am to 5 pm (daily)
Well, that’s the end of the list for today! We understand that there are many more national parks worth visiting such as the Bako National Park, Gunung Ledang National Park, Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park and so on. There are just too many to choose from, but we hope this shortlist of only five national parks will give you an idea of where to go for your next amazing trip.
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