Bako National Park
Bako Travel Blog› entry 9 of 32 › view all entries
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.
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.
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).
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).
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!