Company : Inspired Escapes
Location : Taman Negara Rainforest, Malaysia
Duration: 1 week to 2 weeks
Approx Costs: 750 to 1000 £ Pound (UK)
Learning hands-on about Batek lifestyle.
Learning hands-on about Batek lifestyle.
Become an honorary member of a tribe on this immersive trip into the Malaysian jungle. Join the Batek tribe, who reside on the edge of the Taman Negara rainforest, for a few days of life in its simplest form. With the Batek you will be exploring the jungle, foraging for food and tracking the local wildlife on poacher surveillance patrol.
This trip will truly encapsulate you as you are taught how the Batek successfully live as a hunter-gatherer community. The Batek are a wonderful people, one of the few tribes that still practice this traditional and humble lifestyle in Malaysia. This trip will immerse you within their culture, as they teach you how to eat, sleep and live in the world’s oldest rainforest.
You will be staying in a small village called Merapoh, a thirty minute drive from Gua Musang. Merapoh is famous for its limestone rock formations and for caving. However the area is not often visited by tourists, so you will catch a glimpse of an untouched, traditional Malaysian village. The first two nights you will be staying at our eco house in Merapoh. Here you will share an A/C room with choice of a double or single bed. The third night you will be camping in the jungle, alongside the Batek people. Wifi is available at our eco house. There is no safe box available, but a laundry service is available.
Day 1: Welcome to Malaysia!
Selamat Datang, Welcome to Malaysia. Today you will arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport where our local guides will pick you up and drive you to your hotel. Roam around this buzzing capital, explore KL’s highlights and eat lots of delicious food at the hawker stalls. Make sure you take a good night rest, because tomorrow is the start of a busy week at Merapoh’s Community & Conservation Project.
Journey Time: 7-8 Hours
Day 2: Arrive in Merapoh
Today you will witness the beauty of the Taman Negara Rainforest, guided by the Batek ladies. The Batek tribal people are one of the aboriginal groups in the Malay Peninsular or “Orang asli” - meaning original people in the Malay language. Although living in villages for the last decade, they still maintain a hunter-gatherer culture, continuing an unwavering bond with the surrounding jungle through the generations. When it gets too hot to stay in their government-built brick houses they reside in the jungle for up to a month. The lovely Batek ladies will guide you into the forest on a 4-5 hour hike, off the beaten track and into the wild. Be ready to be decorated with flowers in your hair and natural paint on your face. Don’t be surprised when you’ll be asked to carry roots, leaves or fish back to the village: if you’re going to live with the Batek, you must work like a Batek! Finish a hard-days adventuring in style: dinner overlooking a beautiful rainforest sunset.
Day 3: Jungle Trek - Meet the Batek Tribe
Wake up early for your very first real jungle trek. Today you will witness the beauty of the Taman Negara Rainforest, guided by a Batek guide. The Batek tribal people are one of the aboriginal groups in the Malay Peninsular or “Orang asli” - meaning original people in the Malay language. Although living in villages for the last decade, they still maintain a hunter-gatherer culture, continuing an unwavering bond with the surrounding jungle through the generations.
The trek will take 3-5 hours, depending on the heat, your health and the trek chosen. Your presence in the jungle will keep poachers at a distance and help our team collect location data of sun bears, leopards, elephants and perhaps even the Malayan Tiger. In the meantime, you will enjoy one of the world’s oldest rainforests. Enjoy your packed lunch along one of the rivers you’ll cross.
In the afternoon you will time to rest before you head back to the Batek village. Here all kids play football every day and you are about to join them. Your physical intense day will be rewarded with a stroll at Merapoh’s weekly night market where you will find all kinds of local meals and snacks. Enjoy!
Journey time: 5 hours
Day 4: Jungle School
Today is a special day, called Jungle School. The Batek’s elderly take the younger generation into the rainforest to teach them their native skills: hunting with a blow pipe, fishing with a bubu trap, recognizing medicinal plants and digging edible roots. Keep your eyes and ears open, because this knowledge might come in handy one day. Your lunch will be in the forest, but at night you will either help the make a home-made dinner or go out for some Malay rice or noodles.
Journey Time: 8 hours
Day 5: Cave exploration
Merapoh is famous for its limestone caves, and for a good reason. Explore wet and dry caves, climb up waterfalls and abseil down, or crawl through little tunnels. The team decides on which cave to go to, depending on your preferences.
Enjoy your free afternoon, go for another swim in the river, read a book or simply relax on the rooftop and enjoy the good view.
Finish your adventure in style: Malay Dinner at one of the villagers’ houses. Wear a traditional sarong and eat with your hands. So tasty!
Journey Time: 8 hours
Day 6: Off the beaten track with Batek ladies
The lovely Batek ladies will guide you into the forest on a 4 to 5-hour hike, off the beaten track and into the wild. Be ready to be decorated with flowers in your hair and natural paint on your face. Don’t be surprised when you’ll be asked to carry roots, leaves or fish back to the village: if you’re going to live with the Batek, you must work like a Batek!
After your first taste of Malaysian night markets on Monday, you will visit a much bigger one today: GuaMusang. Insiders tip: stroll around first before you stuff your bags with all the good looking food, because every corner offers a new dish you don’t want to miss.
Day 7: Set up your camp
The rainforest is calling for you again, so today you will be hiking into a different part of the jungle. The Batek will show you the way again. Pay attention to the path you’re walking on to find the pugmarks of the rainforests wildlife.
In the afternoon you will set up camp. This will include: building your own shelter out of branches and leaves, collecting bamboo, cutting a bamboo cup for yourself, fishing and cooking your catch on a fire. After another day of tribal life, you will be rewarded with a simple but stunning dinner. Feel free to bath in the river, gaze at the fire, listen to the birds and fall asleep on a bed of leaves. Tonight is one never to be forgotten.
Day 8: Trek back to Merapoh
After waking to the gentle sounds of nature it is time to break camp. Back at Fuze Ecoteer House you can wash the mud from your feet and take a “real” shower.
Take your time to share pictures, watch a movie or documentary, go out for your final dinner, pack and have a good night sleep. Because tonight is your last night in Merapoh.
Day 9: Departure
After a very adventurous week in and around nature, it is time to go back to the big city. Our guides will drive you to Kuala Lumpur, either to the airport or to a hotel of choice.
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