Hidden away in Kedah’s northeastern corner, up against a remote section of the Thai border, Ulu Muda Eco Park is thick with salt licks, old-growth rainforest and wildlife. As well as birds and reptiles galore, it offers a reasonable chance of encountering elephants and tapir, though sightings of the resident tigers and sun bears are far less likely. The park also encloses a man-made lake, Tasik Muda, and the only way in is by boat from Gubir, not much more than a jetty and resort 75km east of Alor Star; a two-hour sampan ride from here lands you deep inside the park at the Earth Lodge Field Research Centre. Hiking tracks link the lodge to limestone caves, hot springs (which many animals visit early in the morning or at night, when the temperatures drop), and wildlife hides.

Despite the threat of logging that hangs over the area, Ulu Muda remains genuinely remote, so getting here is both time-consuming and expensive. The only practical way to see the park is on a tour, but if you want to experience less touristed jungle than that at Taman Negara, this might be the place to come. Note that August to December can see heavy rainfall, but the park is still accessible; in the dry season, you might have to push your boat over a few sandbanks to reach the lodge.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Malaysia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 places to get off the tourist trail in Malaysia

7 places to get off the tourist trail in Malaysia

Already gaped at the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, lazed on a white beach in the Perhentians, met orangutans at Sepilok and filled a whole SD card with…

31 Aug 2017 • Marco Ferrarese insert_drive_file Article
9 tips for backpacking Malaysia

9 tips for backpacking Malaysia

Despite having turquoise-ringed tropical islands, misty rainforests, cosmopolitan and arty cities, colourful festivals and one of the world's most interesting e…

08 Jun 2017 • Marco Ferrarese insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook