Merapoh is home to Taman Negara's western entrance, known as the Sungai Relau entry. It is much quieter than the park's main Kuala Tahan entrance and less visited by foreign tourists, though local visitors may visit the town during the school holidays. It is about 75km north of Kuala Lipis, and on the way to Gua Musang, Kelantan.
The park's Sungai Relau entrance was initially developed as a base for a second route up Gunung Tahan (Tahan Mountain), the highest mouintain in Peninsular Malaysia. A return trip to the mountain takes about four days from here, compared to seven days from Kuala Tahan.
Flora and fauna
A number of express bus services stop here on the way to Gua Musang, and further that, to Kota Bahru. Just buy a ticket from either Kuala Lumpur, Bentong or Raub and ask if the bus will stop by Merapoh.
There are no official bus stations in the town, but buses will stop south of it (about 700m south of the train station) for tea or lunch breaks.
The town can be reached by KTMB's East Coast Line, also known as the Jungle Railway. However, much of the Line's tracks have been destroyed or damaged by floods in December 2014. As such, regular train services to here have been disrupted, and will be like this for the next two years (2017). You might want to ask KTMB if the town can be reached before coming here.
Park entry permits can be bought upon arrival at the Sungai Relau park entry. Admission is RM1, while a camera permit is RM5. Permits can be bought at the local park office, about 5km or 6km off the right-hand side of Kuala Lipis-Gua Musang main road, near the town.
There aren't any local buses or taxis in the area. Most travellers coming here might have to get around by foot, or have their own transport.
There are a few Malay restaurants by the side of the main road offering local fare. A local favourite is a shop known as Kedai Buluh, which is about 1km north of the bridge that crosses over the train tracks. It will be on the left-hand side of the road, Gua Musang-bound.
A quiet town, Merapoh doesn't have many hostel options.
Alternatively, you can also camp on the grounds near the park's Sungai Relau entrance, which is about 5km to 6km off the main road.