If you like nature, hiking, and rare animals, you should definitely consider going to Bako National Park and hike one of the many trails. The park is one of Borenos oldest national parks, covers 27 sq km, is home to about 280 proboscis monkeys and the perfect introduction to Sarawak’s forests and wildlife. In the park, you find an extensive trail system with 16 color-coded jungle trails that will accommodate the “newbie-hiker” as well as the seasoned hiker.
Since we were on the go with our two kids (4 and 7) we chose a short, manageable trail called Telok Paku. The trail is 1,5 miles and is estimated to take about two hours. Let’s just say hiking Telok Paku is nothing like taking a walk in a nice Danish beech forest. The trail starts at the park HQ where everybody has to register and from there you set out into the jungle and all it has to offer. You go/climb through swamp forest, scrub-like padang vegetation and mangrove forest before reaching the most beautiful beach with a view of the South China Sea. On this beach, we also met a very angry monkey. He seemed nice at first but there was murder in his eyes when I took out a couple of snacks for the boys. This monkey was going to stop at nothing to get the snacks, so I flung them as far away from us as I could.
That was our first real animal-encounter in Bako National Park, but on the way back we got to see some proboscis monkeys, a wild boar, a Ruddy Kingfisher and silver leaf monkeys.
Bako National Park trails
As mentioned before there are 16 different trails in Bako National Park. The shortest one is Tanjung Sapi and has a trail length of 0,3 miles. The longest one is Telok Limau with a trail length of 3,5 miles and estimated to take seven hours to walk. One way, that is. If you want to do more trails you can spend the night on the island but make sure to book it in good time. We didn’t know we could spend the night which we definitely would have, had we known. Check this website for information about the trails and accommodation on the Island: Bako National Park.
How to get to Bako National Park
Most people stay in Kuching when in the area of the national park, and from here you take a bus to Bako Village. The bus leaves from the bus station near the Open Air Market. You can also take a taxi from Kuching to Bako Village. We did that – it seemed a bit of a daunting task to go by bus with two children in the sweltering heat. The fare set us back about RM45 (10 €) which is more than fair for a taxi ride that takes more than half an hour. On the way home, we jumped on a bus from Bako Village to Kuching. We paid RM14 (3 € for two adults and two children). When you arrive at Bako Village you have to go by boat for about half an hour to get to Bako National Park. The ride costs RM20 (4 €) p/person – each way. It is a good thing to go early in the morning/day as the last boat from the park to Bako Village leaves in the late afternoon to my recollection.
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