Malaysia’s most famous national park, Taman Negara is just a few hours from Kuala Lumpur by bus and/or boat and while there’s only one place to stay within the park, there are a bunch of places to stay across the river in Kuala Tahan. But which is the best for you?

STAY IN THE PARK

If your prime goal is to be as close to nature as possible, staying at Mutiara Taman Negara Resort is your only real option. You can stay in one of their various bungalow/chalet-style rooms, their dormitory or camp on the periphery of the site. The only other option is to stay at one of the nature-spotting hides, but you’ll need to lug in your water, food and bedding and the one hide we visited was downright grotty and looked like it hadn’t been stayed in for a very long time.

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STAY IN KUALA TAHAN

Kuala Tahan has a range of accommodation options and overall area standards have improved enough for most traveller types to enjoy a hefty dose of Malaysia’s nature without actually roughing it too much. This is even true at the lower end of the market where the accommodation has previously verged on flat out dire.

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GO CHEAP YET COZY

Moving upmarket slightly, cute and colorful Tahan Guest House has clean and cute and very brightly colored fan-cooled rooms with private squat bathroom for 50 ringgit a night. There’s also a bit of a lawn garden which makes this one of the family-friendly selection of the bunch. Note it is next door to the mosque.

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EXCLUSIVE IN EXTREME

If you’re preferred to spend more, you could opt for the Xcape Resort, a 10-minute walk back from the river, especially if you fancy a swimming pool. Or Han’s Rainforest Resort, with an onsite spa service in addition to cold beer.

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