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 thoughts on “Central Malaysia: Jerantut Stop-over

Add yours

  1. 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

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 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


    1. 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…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. 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!☺️

      Liked by 1 person

    3. 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!

      Liked by 1 person

    4. 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…

      Liked by 1 person

    5. 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.

      Liked by 2 people

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