Mount Palung National Park or TNGP ("Taman Nasional Gunung Palung") is one of the most diverse National Parks in Indonesia. TNGP located between Ketapang City and Nort Kanyong City, West Borneo Provice. The national park is located at an altitude of 900 - 1116 meters above sea level and was inaugurated on March 24, 1990.
TNGP has an area of approximately 90,000 hectares with a enormous amount of biodiversity. At TNGP you can find:
- Ecosystem : swamp forest, peat swamp, freshwater swamp forests, tropical Mapah forest, mangrove forest, mountain range forest.
- Flora: Jelutung (tree that produces milky sap from which a rubber substitute can be made), Ramin (basket making), Damar (resin of certain trees collected as an article of trade), Pulai (tree whose bark is medicinal and with corklike wood), Rengas (Varnish), Kayu Ulin (Iron Wood), Mangrove, Kendeka, and various medicinal plants. An unique flower grows here, the Black orchid, this flower can be seen near the Matan river in February to April each year. Youneed to be lucjy as the flower only blooms for five or six days
- Fauna: several primates live here, the Orang Utan, Bekantan or Proboscis monkey (of Borneo), Beruk (Short- tailed Macaque, often trained to pick coconuts), Owa, Kelasi (kind of Proboscis monkey). Besides the primates there are over 200 species: birds, bears, lemurs, deer, kancil or mouse deer, four-striped ground squirrel, partridge, rangkok badak or rhinoceros hornbill (kind of bird), enggang gading (kind of bird) or ivory hornbills, ivory turtle, loggerhead sea turtles, Siamese crocodiles and walnuts squirrels.
The National Park is also one of the few conservation areas for Orang Utans in Indonesia and a habitat for an estimated 10% of orang utans living in the world now. (about 2.200 Orang Utans live in the park).
Best time to visit the TNGP is in the dry season between June until September. Besides a great place for the Orang Utans there are several things you can do here too.
Palung mountain with an altitude of 1116 meters and Pantai mountain with an altitude of 1,050 where you can go hiking, explore a few waterfalls, flora and fauna observation and camping.
Cabang Panti : a research center located on the west side of Palung Mountain. The station was established in 1985 and it provides a research center, living quarters and library.
Kampung Baru : an observation area for Proboscis monkees.
Matan river and Simpang river : You can walk along the rivers, studying archaeological sites and observing wildlife.
You should not get worried getting lost in the Park as you can get a guide to accompany you.
First choice: from Pontianak you go to Ketapang, by airplane, taking 2.5 houts or by express boat, taking 6 hours. From Ketapang continue your trip to Melano bay by minibus for about 2 hours. From Melano bay you can use a Long Boat for the 6 hour boat ride to the Park
Second choice: use Express Boat from Pontianak to go to Batang bay, taking 4 hours. From Batang bay continue to Melano bay by minibus for about an 1 hour. After that also a Long Boat to reach TNGP taking 6 hours.
To get into TNGP you need to pay the entree fee, only Rp. 1.000/person for domestic and Rp. 10.000/person for foreigners. Bringing a camera is expensive though as thy charge Rp. 25.000 per photo camera and up to Rp. 100.000 per video camera.