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Bako National Park ~ Sarawak, Borneo

| Day Tours ...

It's been a while since the last visit and butterflies were beginning to flutter in my tummy. 7 years can be a long time in the tropics. lifecycles seem to be shorter and longer at the same time.

It was a 5.30 morning call, we had to get to Bako village for an early check in at the park. Having arrived in Kuching the day before, we had not been able to get to the Visitor's Information Centre in time to make bookings for a place to stay at the park. Had our quick toast, jam and coffee at Singgahsana Lodge (breakfast included) where we stayed the night before and carrying with us only our overnighters, rushed off to catch the 7.00am bus.

Travelling to Bako

There are a number of ways of getting to Bako. One is to take a tour Or by taxi (RM30 per way) or by mini van. We decided on the bus. This public bus, Petrajaya Transport Co leaves from Bus Stop no. 1 at Jln Market, opposite Elektra House for Bako Village (Kampung Bako) every hour from 7am till 6pm and costs a nominal fee of only RM2.50. Be prepared to wait though. It's not always on time.

The white mini vans take travellers into the outskirts of Kuching, charge at least double the price of public buses and waits to be filled before leaving. If need be, you can also catch one of these at the car park area opposite Electra House.

About 30 minutes later, we arrived at the bus stop at Kampung Bako. The Bako National Park office (more like a booth really) is by the jetty and manned by very helpful officers. Before entering the park, all visitors are to acquire permits which means just filling up a form and submitting to the officer there. Upon finding out that we hadn't booked a room at the park he promptly called the park to enquire on availability. The park is now a must see for anyone visiting Kuching and surroundings. Looking at the visitor chart, numbers have certainly jumped from several thousand in the early 90's to about several 10s of thousands in 2000s. Busy periods are especially on weekends. But on taking a closer look at the visitor chart, the peak seems to coincide with summer and winter holidays in Europe. However, the dormitories are difficult to book some days as tour agents bring in large tour groups. Unfortunate for us, we happened to visit on one of these booked out days.

Rooms at the Park

The officer at the jetty finally got a reply from the park and. there were no dorm bed left but there was a room available for RM105 per room per night. Ouch! 

Okay, not to scare anyone away from staying overnight. Bako National Park has so much to offer nature wise. The only grouse we had was the housing condition. We had no choice but to stay at a RM105 per night room, with shared bathroom facilities but we had expected a little more of the cleanliness and upkeep of the place ...

Boat ride to Bako

Having been to Bako 3 times in my life, one of the highlights is the boat ride. The first two trips, we were totally drenched. The winds were strong, the rain was pelting on us and there was absolutely no cover from the direct bombardment; the boats were open-tops. Lesson no 1. make sure you bring along waterproof luggage. The recent trip in September was of fine weather, the water was still, the winds down and no rain. I'm not sure if the weather has anything to do with boat schedules but when the tide is low, boats have some difficulty getting to the jetty at the park and visitors may have to wade out to sea to the moored boat or enter and leave the park at tide related times ie earlier than expected sometimes.

The officer stationed at the Kampung Bako jetty usually arranges the boats for visitors. The local boatmen are licensed with the park and standard rate is RM40 per person per way and these boats can seat 4 - 6 persons comfortably. The ride takes some 45min, hugging the coastline, passing kelongs and fishermen out on their sampans pulling in their nets left out the night before. Finally, we arrived at the Bako National Park jetty.

precious mangrove forests are depleting as fishing farms and resorts are fast claiming coastlines

Let the boatman know when to expect you for your return trip and don't forget to ask for his name, just in case you have a change of plans and may need to get in touch with him. Normally, these boatmen will wait for visitors at the canteen so if you do have to change your plans, meet him there or pass on your message to the ranger or any of the other boatmen sitting around and they will be able to help you locate your boatman.

From the jetty, it's a bit of a walk to the ranger station. At the ranger station, visitors are required to pay RM10 for the entrance fee. For any room bookings, either pay there or present the voucher for the prepaid room. If you're early and roomkeeping has not completed their cleaning yet, then visitors can leave their baggage in the baggage room at the ranger station - hang around at the canteen or go on the treks.

more on bako story... 

 

Accommodation and Packages to Kuching, Damai Beach, Bako National Park and Batang Ai National Park

Accommodation:

Kuching

5 star & 4 star | Four Points by Sheraton | Grand Continental Hotel | Grand Margherita Kuching | Hilton Kuching | Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suite | Riverside Majestic | Pullman Kuching | 360 Hotel |

3 star & 2 star | Abell Hotel | Batik Boutique Hotel | Borneo Hotel | Dormani Hotel | De Palma Waterfront Hotel | Harbour View Hotel | Kingwood Inn | Kuching Park Hotel | The LimeTree Hotel | Regal Court Hotel | Regency Rajah Court Hotel | Telang Usan Hotel | Penrissen Inn |

Budget Hotels | Mandarin Lodging Lodge | Kuok Pin Hotel | Fata Hotel | Laila Inn |

Guesthouses | Basaga Holiday Residences | B & B Inn | Borneo Bed & Breakfast | Pinnacles Kuching | Singgahsana Lodge | The Fairview | The Kuching Waterfront Lodge |

Serviced Apartments | Grand Apartment Services | Ariva Gateway | Natol Motel Green Height |

Outskirts of Kuching

Homestays | Kura Kura Jungle Homestay |

Damai Beach, Santubong

| Damai Beach Resort | Damai Puri Resort & Spa | Permai Rainforest Resort | One Hotel Santubong | Nanga Damai Homestay |

Bako National Park

| Park Accommodation |

Batang Ai National Park

| Batang Ai Hilton | Nanga Sumpa Iban Tribal Longhouse Stay |

Trips and Packages:

Day Adventure Trips

| Caving in Kuching | Kayakking in Kuching | River Cruise with Irrawaddy Dolphins | Borneo Highlands Kayaking and Semengoh Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre Adventure Trip Borneo Highlands Kayaking,Semengoh Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre & Annah Rais Longhouse Adventure Trip | The Kuching Tringgus Trail (4WD Adventure) | The Bau Gold Mining History Trail |

Kuching, Semengoh Orangutan Centre and Surroundings

| 3 Days 2 Nights Kuching Holiday Package | 4 Days 3 Nights Kuching Holiday Package | 3 Days 2 Nights Jungle Homestay Package |

Kuching and Outskirts

| 3 Days 2 Nights Jungle Homestay Package | 3 Days 2 Nights Kuching Holiday Package | 3 Days 2 Nights Kuching Free & Easy Package | 3 Days 2 Nights Kuching, Longhouse & Hot Spring Package | 4 Days 3 Nights Kuching Holiday Package | 4 Days 3 Nights Kuching & Damai Beach Holiday Package | 3 Days 2 Nights Kuching City & Bako National Park Package | 4 Days 3 Nights Kuching & Batang Ai Longhouse Safari Package | 5 Days 4 Nights Kuching, Batang Ai and Bako National Park Holiday Package | 5 Days 4 Nights Kuching City & Iban Longhouse Back to Nature Package | 5 Days 4 Nights Kuching & Damai Beach Holiday Package | 5 Days 4 Nights Kuching City & Senah Rayang Village Longhouse Padawan Package | 7 Days 6 Nights Kota Kinabalu & Kuching Trip |

Volunteer Programmes

| 12 Days Work with Orangutans & Borneo Tribal Living Experiences |

Other Parts of Sarawak

Miri Town | Half Day Miri Town Tour |

Niah National Park | Niah National Park & Caves Day Trip |

Lambir Hills National Park | Lambir Hills National Park & Iban Longhouse Tour | Lambir Hills National Park Day Trip |

Mulu National Park | Royal Mulu Resort | 2 Days 1 Night Mulu Caves Package | 3 Days 2 Nights Mulu Caves Package | 3 Days 2 Nights Miri + Mulu Caves Package | 4 Days 3 Nights Package Mulu and Pinnacles Climbing Package | 4 Days 3 3Nights Miri City + Niah Caves + Mulu National Park Package | 4 Days 3 Nights Mulu Caves + Headhunter's Trail | 5 Days 4 Nights Mulu Pinnacles & Headhunters' Trail |

Combination Trips

| 7 Days 6 Nights Kota Kinabalu & Kuching Trip |

 

Malaysia Rainforests, Sanctuaries and Parks

Peninsula Malaysia - Rainforests, Sanctuaries and Parks

Perak

| Bota Kanan River Terrapin Wildlife Conservation Centre | Royal Belum State Park | Sungkai Sambar Deer and Pheasant Wildlife Reserve | Temenggor Forest Reserve |

Johor

| Endau-Rompin National Park |

Pahang

| Taman Negara - Kuala Tahan | Jenderak Seladang Sanctuary | Kenong Rimba Reserve | Kuala Gandah Elephant Centre | Taman Negara - Merapoh | Tasik Chini Trek |

Selangor

| Kuala Selangor Fireflies | Kuala Selangor Nature Park | Sungai Dusun Rhino Sanctuary |

Kedah

| Langkawi Mangrove Swamps | The Datai, Langkawi | Ulu Muda Reserve |

Negri Sembilan

| Ulu Bendol Reserve | Berembun Forest Reserve | Gua Batu Maloi Forest Reserve |

Sabah and Sarawak - Borneo Rainforest, Sanctuaries and Parks

Sarawak

| Semengoh Wildlife/Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre | Bako National Park | Niah National Park | Kayakking in Kuching | Kayakking with Dolphins | Borneo Highlands Kayaking and Semengoh Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre Adventure Trip | Mulu National Park | Tenyok Rimba |

Sabah

| Tabin Wildlife Reserve | Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre | Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary & Sukau | Gomantong Cave |

 

Short Adventure & Nature Trips

Peninsular Malaysia

Water Activities

Perak

| White Water Rafting at Gopeng and Caving at Gua Tempurung |

Selangor

| White Water Rafting at Sungai Selangor | Abseiling and Tubing at Sungai Selangor |

Camping Trips

Pahang

| Taman Negara Inner Jungle Trip (Trekking) | Kenong Rimba Camping |

Johor

| Endau National Park Camping |

Perak

| Trans Gopeng - Cameron Highlands Camping & Trekking | Ulu Geroh Rafflesia Trek & Rafting Trip |

Trekking Trips

Kedah

| Jungle Trekking in Langkawi's Treasured Rainforest | Trekking For Families with Kids in Langkawi |

Nature & Countryside Trips

Selangor

| Kuala Selangor Fireflies | Kuala Gandah Elephant Centre |

Birdwatching Trips

Kedah

| Birdwatching in Langkawi |

Nature Photography Trips

Kedah

| Escorted Nature & Wildlife Photography Trip in Langkawi |

River Kayakking Courses

Selangor

| River Kayakking Basic Course at Sungai Selangor |

Combination Trips

Nature/ Highland/ Island

| 7 Days 6 Nights Malaysia Nature & Island Trip | 9 Days 8 Nights Malaysia Highland, Nature & Island Trip |

Borneo ~ Sabah & Sarawak

Water Activities

Sabah

| White Water Rafting Day Trips |

Sarawak

| Kayakking in Kuching | River Cruise with Dolphins | Borneo Highlands Kayaking and Semengoh Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre Adventure Trip | Kuching Caving Adventure | The Kuching Tringgus Trail (Landrover Adventure) | The Bau Gold Mining History Trail |

Mountain Climbing

Sabah

| Mount Kinabalu Climb |

Sarawak

| Mulu Pinnacles Climb | Mount Trusmadi Climb |

Birdwatching Trips

Sabah

| Birding in Sabah,Borneo |

Nature & Countryside Trips

Sabah

| Garama Wetland Cruise |


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