Taman Negeri Perlis State Park, Malaysia

The small state park in the northwest of Perlis runs for 36km along the Thai border. It comprises the Nakawan Range of limestone hills and the Mata Ayer and Wang Mu Forest Reserves, but the main draw for visitors is the vast system of caves. To visit them you must hire a guide (RM50), which can be arranged at the park visitor centre. There is no public transport to the park and a taxi from Kangar costs RM50.

This is a remote, wild-feeling place. A winding mountain road leads from Kaki Bukit to the tiny border village of Wang Kelian, 3km from the park visitor centre. There is very rustic, basic accommodation available, booked through the visitor centre, in the form of wooden chalets (RM50) and dorm beds (RM10) – there is no restaurant but staff can prepare food.

The park is the country’s only semideciduous forest and is rich in wildlife; this is the only habitat in Malaysia for the stump-tailed macaque. White-handed gibbons and a rich array of birds can also be found here. In the evening, as the sky glows orange with the setting sun, the forest’s residents make their presence know with a crescendo of squawks and rustling leaves.

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