Taman Negara Tour Specialist

Orang Asli




“Orang Asli” simply means “original people” in the Malay language, and refers to the aboriginal tribes who were the first human occupants of the Malay Peninsular. The Orang Asli who continue to live a nomadic, hunting-and-gathering lifestyle in Taman Negara call themselves Batek.
The Batek is a gentle race of people, short in stature, dark-skinned, and with tight curly hair. (The Semokberi have wavy hair). Their habitations are simple, palm-thatched shelters, one for each family group, with several families usually staying together. You may see some of the shelters alongside the trails. Overall Batek population in Taman Negara area is estimated at 2,000 people but you may encounter less than 500 people only along Tembeling River.
The Batek depend largely on forest produce for their food supply- fruits, yams, and small animal life such as monkeys and squirrels which are hunted with a blowpipe.
The Batek have their own language, but also speak Malay. A visit to Orang Asli Settlement is possible as long as a recognised guide accompany you.

It is a rewarding trip as the Batek youths are willing to share with you their intimate knowledge of the rainforest survival skills which have been preserved for generations. Besides that, they will share their beliefs and customs that form the basis of their way of life.  
The Malays
The population of local Malays from Kuala Tahan upstream to border of Pahang and Trengganu is approximately 8,000 people. They are living in few villages along Tembeling River – the border of Taman Negara.

In Kuala Tahan - the centre of the park, the population is approximately 2,000 people and they depend on tourism activities whilst those in northern parts mainly involved in agriculture. In the afternoon, you can see some of them spend their free time by fishing and net casting.
You may be lucky to see one of the rare event nowadays when these locals from remote villages bring along buffalos and other agriculture products for trading on their long boat during their 4 hours to 5 hours boat journey towards Jerantut town. Make sure your camera is ready to capture some of these rare moments.