Up at 5am and into the guesthouse managers car to take us to our 'Jungle' train which set off at 06:25am from Wakaf Bharu station. We wanted to take in the daytime sights of the train journey so we bought our 3rd class seats (only ones available) and waited patiently for the train to arrive on time, noting that we were the only westerners on the platform. This was definately a locals train, very basic but comfy seats and no air con and some seats didn't have windows! As the train came in at daybreak it was still pitch black with no sunlight or artificial lighting. We managed to get on the train quickly and find two seats with good views of the chaos that ensued outside, just before everyone else started loading onto the trains their worldly possessions and market goods for trading further up the line. Every carriage seemed to have a lady taking up 4 seats with lots of fruit, vegetables and the best bit, lots of fish making the carriage absolutely stink but she turned out to be the 'buffet cart' where you could buy fruit, dried fish and lots of other unknown stuff that the locals seemed to love.
The train trundled along into the mountains and we stopped at every single one of the 58 ramshackled stations along the way, where some stations didn't even have a platform just a shack alongside the track so the person had to jump off the train to get off. The train would come to life when all the school children came onboard for a stop or two laughing and then going shy when you walked past them, and the local muslin women would cover their faces.
Besides the humidity, constant stares and old rickety train our 10hr journey was actually good fun and not too bad and as we went through the jungle the scenery was beautiful.
On arrival at 4:30pm into Jerantut, which is a tiny town mainly used as a stepping stone to Taman Negara, our tour operator collected us and literally drove around the corner to their hostel. Being on a full board package we thought we would be put in a dorm room but surprising were given an en-suite room with TV, air-con and a duvet...sounds pretty standard but you have no idea how luxurious it was snuggling up in a duvet with air-con after 2 months sleeping in a bed lining!