Bako National Park

Bako Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 32 › view all entries
Boats on the river outside Bako Village.

Had one of the most strenuous days of our lives today - did a bit of hiking in Bako National Park!  We have never huffed, puffed and sweated so much as we did today.  Not only are the climbs quite difficult (even on the "easy" paths), but the heat and humidity really take it out of you.  Maybe we're not particularly fit, but we would probably be average, so not sure how some of the older tourists we saw there coped with it all.  Most glad we did it, though.

We caught a local bus from Kuching to Bako Townand then got the river boat from there to the national park itself.  The boat pilot takes you flying over the waves and up along the mangroves in the hope of spotting some crocodile, but none appeared today.

Fishing bases on the way to Bako National Park.
  You get a wonderful view of the mountains around the area as you go, and looking out to the South China Sea.  They even make you put on a lifejacket, just in case you fall in and try to drown before the crocs eat you!  Luckily, we managed the trip quite safely.

We started our hiking on the easiest path, Teluk Paku, which takes you about 800 metres to a small beach.  Notwithstanding that, it takes nearly an hour to do the 800 metres, as you clamber over massive tree roots and look up into the forest canopy to try and spot proboscis monkeys.  We saw one big male munching away in the top of a tree, plus a couple of younger ones fighting their way up and down the branches.  Once we got to the beach, there were loads of little monkeys running around everywhere - you don't put your bag down, because they'll be over in a flash rummaging through them if they get the chance.

Walking trial at Bako National Park.
  They are not shy at all, and can become quite threatening if they think you've got food that you're not letting them have.  Mind you, they were cowards really because a few sharp hisses and pretending to throw something at them generally got them to back off.

After a quick trip back to the ranger station for a drink and toilet stop, we headed off on the 2.5km walk to Teluk Pandan Kecil.  This one was much steeper and more difficult, although there were sections at the top of the mountain that flattened off more.  This was where we saw the majority of the pitcher plants, so that was an interesting diversion.  Also saw a small squirrel skoot up a tree.  It took us 1 1/2 hours to get to the beach where we expected to see boats that could take us back to the main area (as the ranger had told us when we were signing in).

Proboscis Monkey, Bako National Park.
  What she didn't tell us was that you were supposed to pre-book these boats, so a moment of panic followed, thinking that we might have to walk back the way we'd come in!  Luckily, a boat went passed which we managed to wave down and share back with another group who were already at the beach.  We missed our swim, though, which was unfortunate because we really needed it by then!

We had alittle bit of time to fill in once we got back to the main area, so got some noodles at hte canteen - the worst meal we've had on this trip, and probably in a very long time.  They charged twice what was on the board for the stalest, chewiest noodles we've ever eaten, coming out of one of the dirtiest facilities seen so far (on what has been a trip where we've been most impressed with the cleanliness of the places we've been too).

A very apt warning - Bako National Park.
  Unfortunately, the canteen is the only place at the park you can get food and drink, so they know you're a captive audience.  It is a pity, though, because they're really letting the local good name down.  We did think it was justice, though, when a naughty monkey stole the waiters packet of chips and scoffed them before he noticed and threw a chair at it!  Another redeeming feature was the massive bearded pigs ambling around outside, added a bit of local interest!

After a return boat and bus ride, we went to the little open-air restaurant near our hotel for dinner and to enjoy the most refreshing beer we've had in a while - amazing how a bit of exertion makes it taste so much better!

StupidGuy says:
Going to Bako National Park this weekend. Thank you for the lovely blog. I hope I would have a great time as u did. Happy travelling.
Posted on: Oct 14, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Boats on the river outside Bako Vi…
Boats on the river outside Bako V…
Fishing bases on the way to Bako N…
Fishing bases on the way to Bako …
Walking trial at Bako National Par…
Walking trial at Bako National Pa…
Proboscis Monkey, Bako National Pa…
Proboscis Monkey, Bako National P…
A very apt warning - Bako National…
A very apt warning - Bako Nationa…
Wave Rock near Bako National Park.
Wave Rock near Bako National Park.
Bearded pig, Bako National Park.
Bearded pig, Bako National Park.
photo by: sissanoel