Bako National Park in Sarawak

Bako National Park – You Should Visit This Place Once In A Lifetime

I’m honoured to be given an opportunity here at Malaysia Asia’s blog to introduce you to the splendor of Bako National Park, the oldest rainforest land in Sarawak. Leaving the hot and busy city of Kuching behind you, the world grows quiet as waves gently lap the sides of your boat. Within twenty minutes, in the distance, you see the majestic rock formations that frame the beach at Teluk Assam at the threshold of Bako National Park. As your feet touch the mud-coloured sands, I invite you to gaze at the rocks and allow your mind to wander; you might make out a shape that resembles an iguana’s head. Delight in the vibrant and rugged work of nature and remember that you are truly in Borneo, on the fringe of rainforests that have been here for hundreds of millions of years.

When you are in the Bako National Park, you will almost certainly want to experience one of the Park’s exhilarating jungle treks, preferably with a knowledgeable guide (check with the park’s ranger for available guide). After an afternoon clambering over rocks and alongside rushing waterfalls and meandering jungle streams, you will understand that Bako National Park is not for the faint-hearted, though with plenty of boardwalks and ladders it is still an ideal way to introduce yourself to the jungle. 

 A green viper seen at the park

If you want a more gentle introduction, I suggest you take the Paku trail: this is comparatively short and flat, ending on a beautiful beach. Then you might be tempted to take on the testing Limau trail but be warned, some travelers have become too exhausted to complete the walk and the boat pick-up from Limau beach is not necessarily reliable, especially during rough weather.

 Proboscis Monkey at Bako

Delightfully compact, I think of Bako National Park as a place where nature has delicately interwoven a variety of different ecosystems for you to enjoy and marvel at. Where else on Earth could you weave through the eerie twisted roots of Mangrove forests, perhaps catching a glimpse of the iconic proboscis monkey, at one moment while, in the next, you are hiking through the scrub-like padang or along the beach.

In fact, every type of vegetation to be found in Borneo can be experienced somewhere in this 27 square kilometers of park, including some varieties of carnivorous plants, such as the deadly pitcher which can be seen along the Lintang trail.

Wildlife abounds here; if you’re attentive you might see the monitor lizard up on its hind legs, surveying its domain. You are almost certain to see squirrels scurrying amongst the branches and Bako National Park is also home to the rare bearded pig. I would highly recommend staying overnight, since it at dusk that the wildlife really seems to come out. Do not forget to opt for the night jungle trekking too which is offered by the park itself. 

Snakes at Bako

If you would like to explore some of the more distant beaches, I would recommend booking, or looking out for, one of the many boat around that provide services during busy periods.

Before leaving this ancient wonder behind you, I suggest taking in the sunset over Teluk Assam, delighting in the sight of hundreds of hovering swifts, while contemplating the impressive backdrop of nearby Mount Santubong.

Lastly, if you have ever heard that Sarawak is the land of mysteries, Bako National Park will reveal half of its mysteries, and the remaining second half is waiting for you to explore at Annah Rais Longhouse

Stay tune for more write-up about Annah Rais Longhouse soon. Meanwhile, I invite you to visit Annah RaisLonghouse Adventure’s Facebook Page to connect with people from around the world who are going to reveal the mysteries of Bidayuh’s culture at Annah Rais longhouse.

Getting to Bako National Park:

Take Petra Jaya Bus No. 6 from Bus Stop No. 1 at Jln Market (next to open air market, opposite Electra House) to Kampung Bako. Bus departs every hour from 7am in the morning. Bus fare is at RM3 per person, and the journey will take approximately 40 minutes to arrive at Bako Market at Kampung Bako. You can also charter a taxi that will cost you around RM30/RM40 for a one way transfer from Kuching to Kampung Bako.

At the Bako National Park Jetty, purchase the park entrance ticket (cost RM10 per person) there, and the personnel there will help you to get the boat. You will expect to pay RM47 to the boatman for one way transfer to the park HQ. Max load for the boat is 5 person. Remember to ask the boatman to come back to the park again to pick you up on your last day of your trip.

This guest post was written by Lester Sim of Anna Rais Longhouse in Sarawak, Borneo.