Endau Rompin National Park

Romping around Taman Negara Endau-Rompin
July 2009


Endau Rompin National Park caters to visitors who want to experience the jungle in its natural form. the chalets are basic and simple, the food is simple and cooked by the local native community for guests. For a little bit more personal comfort , you may have to bring with you mosquito netting (travel type) - the jungle is rich in all kinds of flora and fauna; and insects + other not so adorable creatures are a part of that habitat - which means that if you are not too keen on sharing your space with them, best to keep them away from your sleeping quarters ; your own bed sheets or sleeping bags ; snacks in case you get hungry whilst trekking or in the middle of the night as there are no convenience stores around ; slippers ; own medication ; insect repellant ; swim clothes ; leech socks if you have ; toiletries ; towel ; toilet roll ; and light clothing with 1 sweater in case it gets cold at night ; water bottle ; trekking shoes ; rain poncho . Any other valuable personal items should be kept in a small day pack with you when you leave your campsite or chalet and at any time The beauty of parks such as Endau Rompin is that it is in its natural state and is best kept this way. This is the reason why this park has no resort nor chefs. It is for visitors who value the experience of the jungle in its truest form.

When we decided that we were going camping in Taman Negara Endau-Rompin, we were very worried that our lack of camping experience/expertise would become a disadvantage during this trip. Elliot had greater concerns about lions, tigers and bears than an illusion to the Wizard of Oz adventure - coming from a country (New Zealand) where the only poisonous creature they have is a spider which is endangered. However, after much thought, we decided to go ahead anyways as we were up for an adventure in the rainforest.

The night before...

Sleepy Kluang Town on a Saturday morningâ?¦
If you are like us, who prefer not to sleep on the bus and arrive all grumpy and groggy in the wee hours of the morning, we decided to stay a night in Kluang so we could be ready and fresh for our trip the next day. There are a few choices of accommodation in Kluang but we decided to stay at Ailang Hotel which was in town and was a reasonable price of RM60 per room/per night.

Day 1

Well rested and raring to go, we made our first (breakfast) pitstop at the Kluang Railway Canteen @ Kluang Rail Coffee. Even though it was a Saturday, we were pleasantly surprised that we could easily get a place to sit as it is a local hotspot and widely known as one of the best places to eat in Kluang. As it was going to be our â??last mealâ? in the civilised world, we decided to try everything we could get our hands on.

After our hearty breakfast, we were picked up by a 4WD and started our journey to Endau Rompin National Park. Throughout the 2-hour ride, we went through the main trunk road, lined with palm oil plantations - it is good to see that the palm oil companies are doing their bit to promote biodiversity.

kluang rail coffee - the real deal! pick your breakfast
kopi kluang nasi lemak kaya on toast Our hearty breakfast of Mee Siam, Nasi Lemak, Kaya Toast and half-boiled egg completed with the renowned Kluang Coffee

Be warned, there is no proper road into the National Park, hence, the ride would end up feeling like a roller-coaster ride â?? hang on tight! Whilst we felt like we were getting a full body deep tissue massage as we were being thrown around the 4WD; it was amazing to see one of our host having a sleep in the back seat; We donâ??t know if there is enough opium in Afghanistan to put to sleep on that ride. It was still good fun though!

through oil palm plantations driving through forest

Finally, arrived in Kampung Peta, Mersing, which is one of the two entry points into Taman Negara Endau Rompin - the other being Kampung Selai, Segamat. We were greeted by our guide and were served a simple but tasty lunch before heading into the jungle.

kampung peta kampung peta
kampung peta lunch (Top) A typical Orang Asli home @ Kampung Peta
(bottom) Lunch prepared by the Orang Asli

After lunch we made our way to the jetty to take a boat into the heart of the forest. The 30-min boat ride took us through the magical,picturesque landscape â?? with the smooth ride and the gentle wind fanning us it was truly a relaxing and refreshing experience. A great way to start the trip and unwind after the afore mentioned 4WD adventure!

river ride jasin river

elephant dung so fresh it was steaming like bread just out of the oven
Once we arrived at our destination, we trekked to our first campsite which is at the Kuala Marong Campsite. Along the way, there were many fresh elephant tracks and a mountain of elephant dung. Not long into the trek, we met with an elephant grazing on bamboo. Shuk being Shuk, and for fear of getting trampled, was the first one to sight it and started running! Hence, others only got to see the shadows of the elephant as Shuk was making a dramatic dash!

The forest is a bit cooler due to the canopy cover but it was still hot especially when trekking, it was nice to cross rivers and get a cool dip into the waters. On one occasion, Elliot had the pleasure of an unexpected full body dip. The rivers are pretty calm and shallow â?? however, do watch out for those slippery rocks! And make sure all your electronics are in a seal waterproof bag.

We were grateful that we didnâ??t carry so much stuff and our Guide carried most of the heavy items anyways â?? like the portable stove, food for the next 3 days, etc.

river crossing river crossing

When we arrived at the Kuala Marong Campsite, we were pleasantly surprised by the available amenities â?? running water (from the mountain), bathroom and toilet (very basic), dining area, camp area as well as a cool rest area/gazebo! Here, Shuk was thinking that she would have to pee in the bush!

k.marong campsite k.marong campsite
k.marong campsite k.marong campsite
campsite gazebo

The campsite is located at the convergence of two rivers and it was simply amazing. The sound of the river rushing below, the clear and clean water, lush greenery - we couldnâ??t have asked for a better spot to spend the next two nights.

kuala marong outdoor bath
fishes in the river
kuala marongView from the Kuala Marong campsite

After setting our tent, we decided to head to the Blue Lake / Tasik Air Biru to take a dip and cool off. The water was clear and blue and it was good enough for us to take our bath there! The experience was pretty amazing and we were very happy with what would be our bath for the next few days!

air biru
As dusk fell, we got ready for dinner and our Guide prepared us a simple meal with rice, vegetables and sardines. As our meals are taken care of by the Guide, everything is super simple and prepared with ease, Elliotâ??s number one food tip is to take a can of terrine de boeuf (corned beef) as one of the best things to eat when your trekking - all that protein and fat. *yum* Plus your guide will normally serve you canned fish and chicken, so you may need a fix.

There is not much nighttime activity, except chatting with other fellow campers, preparing for your hike the next day and getting as much rest as possible. If you are the type that gets bored easily bring a book of bring a deck of cards. We decided to turn in at about 11pm as the electricity was turned off that time.

A frog hopping around our campsite to wish us good night!