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T a m a n N e g a r a. Two words in Bahasa Melayu, the national language of Malaysia, which conjure images of giant green garden filled with exotic flowers and creatures. The word 'taman' means both 'park' and 'garden' in malay while 'negara' means 'nations'-together they translate simply as 'National Park'.

Even though there are certainly many other national parks elsewhere in Malaysia, Taman Negara remains the patriarch of them all, with the pedigree to back it up.

T a m a n N e g a r a is indeed one the oldest rainforests in the entire world, estimated at 130 million years old. The abundance and diversity of nature is phenomenal in Taman Negara, one of the world's most complex and rich ecosystems. A veritable treasure of the planet.

Taman Negara is the oldest protected area in the country. Originated from the legislation of Pahang in 1925, which set aside 130,000ha of land designated as Gunung Tahan Game Reserve. Then declared as King George V National Park in 1938 by the Sultans of 3 states Pahang, Trengganu and Kelantan. To preserve the land's indigenous nature in perpetuity, it was gazette separately by each state's Enactments in 1938-1939. The park was renamed Taman Negara after the nation gain independence in 1957.No commercial exploitations is permitted, except for subsistence hunting by the aboriginals (the Orang Asli people).

Dark history of Taman Negara was almost happened in 1971 by the proposal of Malaysian National Electricity Board to build a dam on the Sungei Tembeling. The idea was abandoned in 1978, but was revived again in 1982, only to be discarded in 1983 through the effort of Malaysian Nature Society, who lobbied the federal government. The dam would have flooded some 13,00ha, and would meant the excision  of 32,600ha from the park.

Taman Negara is the largest and the oldest protected area in the country. It covers 4,343 sq km; the central coordinates are 04°30' North latitude and 102°59' East longitude. The altitude ranges from 60m to 2187m at the summit of Gunung Tahan. This huge area shared among three states: Pahang 2,477 sq km (57%), Kelantan 1,043 sq km (24%) and Trengganu 853 sq km (19%).In spite of being so far from the coast, most of the area (57%) lies below 305m above sea level. The Kuala Tahan  park headquarters is one of the the lowest point at 120m above sea level. There are several hills in the park above 1,000m elevation, including the highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia, Gunung Tahan at 2,187m, but there are no impressive high-altitude granite formations


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