While I was reading this story about Jacob Boehm who had gone missing in Malaysia my first thought was that the guy wound up on that awful jungle train from Jerantut: the A/C gave out and he was lost forever in the jungle on a futile quest for H2O (see here). Fortunately not, but it is a curious story.
It is hard to imagine how Jacob managed to slip into Taman Negara park without registering. My experience was that the paperwork was inescapable. It’s about an hour’s drive from Jerantut to the Tembeling River in Taman Negara and you do need wheels. Hiking it would be unimaginable. If you take a bus or minibus, you are presented with papers upon arrival in your lodging. You most certainly need to fill out plenty of forms in order to see or do anything in the park.
I stayed in Kuala Tahan, where Boehm was eventually tracked down. Although I don’t know his specific hotel, the Tembeling Riverview Chalet, I do remember that anything “river view” was pretty basic, to say the least. The “good” hotels were inland from the river by at least a kilometer. As the article points out, there is no internet and maybe no cell service in the park but there are telephones; it’s not that cut off! People live there and run businesses so it’s hard to understand how he could have completely dropped off the grid.
“It’s a long story”, said Boehm. Can’t wait to hear it.