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The Land Before Time

Living tale of nature.

The Belum Temenggor forest reserve forms the last and largest contiguous block of natural forest in Peninsular Malaysia. It covers an area of over 300,000 hectares. It is located in the Malaysian state of Perak and crosses into Southern Thailand.

The tropical rainforest of Belum Temenggor is believed to exist for over 130 million years. Thus, making it one of the world’s oldest rainforests, older than both the Amazon and the Congo.

In the heart of the forest lies a lake : the Tasik Temenggor. It covers 15,200 Hectares, with hundreds of tiny islands. In addition, the forest is home to a vast number of species of animals and plants. Many of them cannot be found anywhere else on Earth.

Elephants spotted in Belum Temenggor
Elephants spotted in Belum Temenggor

Cradle of thousands of unique living species.

The unspoiled magic of Belum, which literally means “land before time”, makes it the perfect habitat for some of the world’s most threatened mammals. Indeed, they are : the Malaysian Tiger, the Malaysian Sunbear, the nearly extinct Sumatran Rhinoceros, the White-handed Gibbon, the Asiatic Elephant, and the Malayan Tapir.

The stunning landscape of the rainforest houses over three thousand species of flowering plants. It includes three species of Rafflesia, the iconic giant flower. It is also the natural habitat of unique species of ferns and mosses.

The lake Tasik Temenggor is home to over twenty species of freshwater fish and five species of turtles. There is as well, wild boars, deers, pythons and countless species of small reptiles and insects roam free in the jungle.

Over three hundred avian species fly over its skies; it’s common to spot eagles catching fishes. Belum Temenggor is the only place in the planet where all the ten species of hornbills that inhabit Malaysia can be spotted at once.

Orang asli settlement in Belum Temenggor

An enchanted place that people call home.

Belum Temenggor is home not only to an astonishing number of plants and animals, but to many orang asli or “aboriginal people” who having been living in the forest for millennia. The orang asli were the first inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula of Australo-Melanesian origins, with many of their earliest burial grounds dating back 10,000 years ago.

The orang asli that settled in along the area of Belum Temenggor were traditionally nomadic or semi-nomadic, mostly hunter-gatherers, sustaining their communities with fishing, small farming and trading of medicinal herbs, spices and handicrafts. Semi-nomadic orang asli villages can be found today on some of the islands of Temenggor; they still live in their traditional way in bamboo huts, hunting small mammals using blowpipes, fishing and gathering plants and honey from the forest.

Chilling in waterfalls at Belum Temenggor
Chilling in waterfalls at Belum Temenggor

Be part of it.

Belum Temenggor forest reserve is open all the year through to both foreign and national visitors. The reserve hosts research facilities too.

You can visit the forest reserve of Belum Temenggor and hike in the rainforest, visit orang asli villages, bathe in waterfalls, spot wild animals, camp in the jungle and much more.
Find more about eco-sustainable and responsible tourism activities and experiences in Belum Temenggor.

Belum Temenggor can be reached from Kuala Lumpur or George Town, Penang, by car or public transportation.
Read more on how to reach Belum Temenggor.