Central Malaysia: Jerantut Stop-over

Escape the heavily worn tourist track in central Malaysia and indulge in an authentic experience with welcoming locals in Jerantut – you will love the laid-back pace of this town.

Jerantut, Malaysia, SE Asia

After an amazing five days of trekking and experiencing the gorgeous Taman Negara’s dense rainforest – together with mosquitoes, leeches, and salt – sadly, it is time to head south to Jerantut.

Getting there

The bus trip from Taman Negara to Jerantut through central Malaysia takes around three hours, so just a quick jaunt really.

Taman Negara, Jerantut, Malaysia, SE Asia

The bus drops us off about two kilometres from the outskirts of Jerantut and off the highway.

From this point, it isn’t long before another minibus collects and takes us to our hotel’s door – amazing!

This is quite a strange set-up though as on purchasing the tickets, this second part of the journey was not mentioned. Expecting a straight-through trip on only one bus and to be dropped off at the bus station in Jerantut, Asia is always a surprise and there is always a new experience around the corner.

What to see

Typically, many travellers pass through Jerantut to get to the Taman Negara National Park or only stay overnight to catch their next connection elsewhere, as Jerantut offers a good train and bus infrastructure. Catching a bus back to Kuala Lumpur from Jerantut is also easy.

Taman Negara, Jerantut, Malaysia, SE Asia
The only political graffiti I have seen in Malaysia

I may be wrong, but this town seems to be heavily Chinese-influenced with many Chinese restaurants also gracing the main drag. People are super friendly here, which makes visiting a pleasant experience. This town doesn’t see many tourists staying for any length of time.

Accommodation on offer is great value, service is very good, and the delicious authentic food in this town is excellent value…what more does a traveller need?

Jerantut is a place to rest, recuperate, and enjoy great inexpensive food.

Where to sleep

The Wau Hotel is clean and comfortable and at RM90 for a double with air-conditioning (vital), private bathroom, toiletries, and a basic breakfast – great value.

The owner is extremely hospitable and friendly, even arranged for his friend to take us to the train station at no cost. This hotel is in China Town, which is a great location as this is only a fifteen-minute walk to the bus station and a twenty-minute walk to the train station, so nice and central.

Taman Negara, Jerantut, Malaysia, SE Asia
Great name for a hotel

I much prefer this area of Jerantut as this has a more ‘local’ feel than around the bus station area, which is also quite busy. The people in Jerantut are amongst the friendliest and accommodating in Malaysia so far…

Taman Negara, Jerantut, Malaysia, SE Asia
Jerantut Railway Station

It’s a shame that this town is used as a one-night stopover only and everyone is in a hurry to get to the jungle.

My thought is that the guide books and reviews don’t really do Jerantut justice, as it is the sincerity and friendliness of the locals that really make this town. This makes up for not many sights in the town. It isn’t always about what you when travelling. More often than not, it’s about the people you meet and the wonderful experiences you share, regardless of the country in which you travel.

Where to eat

The Blue Sky Food & Beverage (24 Jalan Sungai) is an excellent place to eat (no alcohol served) and very inexpensive. The chicken Mee soup is delicious.

The restaurant’s owners Steve and his wife hand-make amazing Mee (noodles) before your eyes – so you know what you are eating is very fresh – then cook the noodles in a wonderful chicken soup.

Blue Sky Food & Beverage, Jerantut, Malaysia, SE Asia
Photo: Steve Tan, Blue Sky Food & Beverage

This is the only restaurant around that makes Bak Kut Teah (“meat bone tea”), which basically is meaty pork ribs simmered for hours in a complex broth of herbs and spices. Simply scrumptious and not expensive at the Blue Sky.

The owners go out of their way to be hospitable. As an example, small local treats are served up for free so that we can try something new on each visit – very kind.

Blue Sky Food & Beverage, Jerantut, Malaysia, SE Asia
Mee Fan Gou (Photo credit: Steve Tan, Blue Sky Food & Beverage)

Also very kind is whilst we waited at the train station for the train to leave Jerantut, Steve arrives with a couple of parting gifts. Definitely not expected and very humbling.

Jerantut hosts many good and cheap Chinese restaurants and roadside stalls…

Taman Negara, Jerantut, Malaysia, SE Asia
Local stall with lashings of pork

…offering Malay and Chinese cuisine along the same road as the Wau Hotel. Try a couple of these, you won’t be disappointed.

Taman Negara, Jerantut, Malaysia, SE Asia
Friendly chefs

Tips: When ordering a coffee or tea in Malaysia, ask for the hot drink without sugar as typically, the drink is made with sweetened condensed milk plus lots of added sugar. If ordering a fresh juice, a lot of sugar is also added – a couple of generous tablespoons but sometimes more – so you may also want to hold off on the sugar for juices.

Laundry chores

Often when on the road, it’s hard to find somewhere to drop off laundry. Guide books no longer mention this necessity for travellers on the move more than a week or two, or for long-term travellers. Perhaps travellers no longer need to wash their clothes?

Pusat Dobi Pelanggi (PT7578, Jalan Kuantan) is reasonable for washing and drying your clothes. The charge is by the kilo weight.

I’m not sure if this is the cheapest in town but when it’s sweltering outside, the desire to hunt for the best price wanes, replaced with the desire to sit in air-conditioning and sip on an ice-cold beverage.

Our laundry is returned in good condition and smelling very fresh, especially from the foul scent after treks in the sultry Taman Negara jungle, so no complaints.

Leaving Jerantut

After a short stint of a couple of nights in Jerantut and meeting very friendly locals, decide to keep moving and head north-east on the 8-hour journey by train to Wakaf Bharu, followed by more travel to Kota Bharu.

Visit my Nilla’s Photography Malaysia Gallery for more images. More blogs on Malaysia.

Train, Taman Negara, Jerantut, Malaysia, SE Asia
Would love a ride in this…

32 responses to “Central Malaysia: Jerantut Stop-over”

  1. gillmorris Avatar

    What a fab trip. I really must see more of Malaysia, it looks beautiful. I remember getting my laundry done while travelling around SE Asia, you’re right – it’s so fresh and smells lovely and they used to put a little coloured tag so they know whose is whose, in Thailand anyway! Hope you are well Nilla xx

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thanks for the feedback and yes, I remember the tag. Can you believe I still have a tiny piece of pink wool threaded to the tag of one of my favourite T-Shirt from volunteering in Thailand back in 2014…
      All is well here in Brisbane and working hard in a full time job and renovating our house on weekends – must of been bad in a past life. 😉 xx

  2. equinoxio21 Avatar

    Another nice trip. Terima kasih.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you! It was a very pleasant trip. 🙂

      1. equinoxio21 Avatar

        It did feel so.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Love meeting locals, especially away from the tourist traps and in quieter areas… 😉

      3. equinoxio21 Avatar

        I know, I know. One of favourite tricks is to move away 2-3 streets in parallel to the major attractions… All of a sudden, the tourists are gone, and the real stuff is there…

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        So true and about any country that you’re travelling in – a much richer experience. ☺️

      5. equinoxio21 Avatar

        First did that in Venice 25 years ago. Just took the next street and the next. Miracle. All gone! 😉

      6. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Time dissolves into the past too quickly! When you say 25 years ago…
        Venice is a wonderful city to throw away the map and take each street as it comes – you haven’t experienced Venice if you haven’t been lost!☺️

      7. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Very true. We might actually have got lost a coupla times…

      8. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ha, ha, only a couple of times! Venice is a labyrinth of wonderful cobbled alleyways waiting to lose and entrap everyone to stay longer!
        I’ve visited several times now but the best time is during carnivale-spectacular!
        Sadly, off to work now and dreaming of Venice!

      9. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Only. We didn’t stay long. I hope to go back some day, after the pandemic is better controled. One my close cousins rents a house in Venice every summer. He is in love!.
        There are worst dreams than Venice…

      10. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Sounds fabulous! In love with Venice or someone in Venice? 😉
        Would love to return…

      11. equinoxio21 Avatar

        In love with Venice. He takes his wife along. 😉
        We will. Maybe by then mass tourism will have been curbed?

      12. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ah right… 🙂
        It can only get better…I hear that Venice used to receive around 30 million tourists each year (pre-COVID).
        Not sure if you’ve read my Venice during carnivale post?
        Oh and had to rescue this comment from my Trash folder – lucky I checked!

      13. equinoxio21 Avatar

        I might have. Hopping over said the Frog.

      14. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thanks! Love the parading with incredible costumes during carnivale but the crowds are also incredibly huge!

      15. equinoxio21 Avatar

        I can imagine. If venice was swamped in “normal” times, the carnival must have been worse.

      16. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Certainly is and the last day we took the train to Trieste. Apart from my mother’s family living there before coming to Australia in the early 1950s, just needed to escape the crowds. Trieste is a beautiful city and so clean.

      17. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Trieste was Austrian, right? (Well, Italy was Austrian!) Hopping over.

      18. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Think it was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire up until the end of WW1. 😉

      19. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Something like that.

      20. equinoxio21 Avatar

        (So selfish of me, right?)

  3. Bon Repos Gites Avatar

    Another great read!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you! Hope you’re well. 🙂

      1. Bon Repos Gites Avatar

        You are very welcome!!
        Yes, thank you, all good 🙂

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Great to hear and hope you stay safe! 🙂

  4. ข้อสอบข้อเขียนbas Avatar

    Very soon this web page will be famous among all blogging users,
    due to it’s pleasant posts

    1. Image Earth Blog Avatar

      Hi, very kind of you to provide this feedback for me and happy you’re enjoying my site!

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