Sarawak

Bako National Park

This National Park is perfect, if you want to see the natural beauty of Borneo. The area is covered by dense jungles, mountaneous terrain, beautiful beaches and mangroves. It is home to a variety of wildlife, including the long-nosed proboscis monkeys.

How to get there

Chances are, you will land at Kuching airport. From there you can walk 20 minutes to the bus station. Opposite the entrance there is a bus stop. There you can take any train that goes to Kuching Central. The bus to Bako National Park leaves every hour from the Elektra House, the ride takes 40 minutes. Alternatively you can use Grab. At the pier you have to pay 20 RM (5 USD) entrance fee to the National Park, plus 40 RM (10 USD) for the boat that takes you three.

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Accommodation

At arrival you have to register at the Tourist Office. You will have the choice to either go back the same day, in which case you have to be back at the boat at 3 pm, or to stay at the park. There are different options, the cheapest one being the 4 bed dorm for 15 RM (4 USD). I was lucky and did not have to share the dorm with anybody. However, this was May, the beginning of the Rainy Season. During peak times you might not be so lucky.

I was surprised how many animals swarm around the lodges and the restaurant. Not only the mean looking, bearded boars come here, you will also see macacs and, if you are lucky, the rare proboscis monkeys. Hiking through the jungle, you are more likely to hear them than see them, but once a day they march to the beach to feed.

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Hiking in Baku Nationalpark

The park offers a variety of hiking trails through diverse landscapes. At times you will cross dense rain forest on wooden planks, before hiking through mangroves or along cliffsides with majestic views. Farther up the terrain is rocky and the vegetation sparse. The trails are all in good order, although not all of them were open (May 2018). Orientation is easy as there are signposts everywhere. If you plan to visit in Summer, like me, expect high temperatures and an almost unbearable humidity and the occasional showers of rain.

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A must-do if you stay overnight is the night hike, which you can book for 10 RM (2,5 USD). Most animals only come out after sun down. The guides are equipped with torches and point with admirable precision to animals in the dark – mostly frogs, centipedes and snakes, but also birds of paradise and small mammals called mouse deer. If you are lucky you will see flying lemurs in the tree tops.

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Semenggoh Nature Reserve

If you want to see Borneo´s Urang Utangs, you should visit Semenggoh Nature Reserve, a sanctuary for orphaned apes. You cannot roam around on your own, but you can watch the Urang Utans feeding from 09.00 to 10.00 am and from 03.00 to 04.00 am. Entrance fee is inly 10 RM (2,5 USD). At 5.30 pm you have to leave to get your last bus to Kuching.

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