Treks around Bako ~ Bako National Park: Sarawak Borneo
1. Teluk Paku (1.2km distance starting from Teluk Assam) - this is the trail to take if you really want to find the proboscis monkeys and didn't quite catch a glimpse of them down at the mangrove flats. Trekkers can sometimes find them high up in the treetops. But be quiet when trekking, the jungle in these parts are silent and any noise down below travels quickly into the canopy. Travel time : 1hour per way. Moderate trek.
2. Teluk Pandan Kecil (2.5km distance starting from Teluk Assam) - this trail takes trekkers onto the kerangas forest and along the sandstone plateau. According to educational boards located at a small museum along the way to the jetty, kerangas is an Iban word referring to land that is unable to sustain rice crop. This trek is not difficult and for a lot of the way, there is a plankwalk to help trekkers along.
Just follow the signs to teluk pandan kecil and you will get to a fork in the path. Take the left fork. The right fork takes you to teluk pandan besar. The kerangas forest looks parched, but a lot of life exists here apparently, we just couldn't see any apart from scraggly trees, a variety of pitcher plants and some symbiosis going on with a plant and ants. One thing trekkers may want bring along on this trek : sunblock . You can get pretty sunburnt walking on top of the headland with no tree cover. Water . Lots of drinking water.Swimwear . There's a beautiful beach at the end of the trek and pretty secluded. Great place for a dip! One last thing you may want to consider: to book a boat to pick you up from the beach, rather than take a walk back after a relaxing swim on a nice hot day. You can book a boat at the ranger station at least a night before. Travel time: 1.5hrs per way. Moderate trek
3. Teluk Pandan Besar (1.75km distance starting from Teluk Assam) - same way as you would trek to teluk pandan kecil but at the fork, take the right path. It's a little difficult to get down to the beach at the bottom of this side of the headland. The path is steep and should not really be attempted.Travel time: 1hr per way. Moderate trek but path leading down to beach almost inaccessible
4. Tanjong Sapi (0.8km distance starting from Teluk Assam) - if you're thinking of taking a photo of the bay and you have a bit of time before evening sets, then this trek is the best. It's a short way from the rangers station although the climb can be a little steep. One you get to a lookout point, there's a wooden bench where you can sit and wait for the best light for a great evening pic. Travel time: 30min. Steep climb
5. There are a number of trails. However we didn't manage to make the trek. ie. Serait, Ulu Serait, Tajor, Tanjong Rhu, Bukit Gondol, Paya Jelutong, Bukit Keruing, Telok Sibur.
A combination of these various trails will just about take you through seven complete eco-systems, with 25 distinct types of vegetation ie mangrove forest, beach vegetation, cliff vegetation, the kerangas or heath forest, dipterocarp forest, peat swamp forest and grassland.
So really, were the butterflies in my tummy uncalled for? Yes, yes!! Bako National Park has hardly changed since the first visit in 1996. Ok, maybe the caterer has changed. Its mainly buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner now. Mainly rice as staple diet and if you're not used to that.there's always the provision shop where they sell bottled water, snacks, plasters for blisters and lots of other necessities.
Best Time To Go
Between March and October when the season is drier. Make sure to book ahead for your accommodation
By Air - point of entry is Kuching airport, Sarawak. If you're coming over from Kuala Lumpur, then there are 2 choices, Malaysia Airlines ; www.malaysia-airlines.com and Air Asia ;www.airasia.com . For Malaysians travelling to Sarawak, don't forget to bring your I.C. (identity cards with you.) and to fill in the disembarkation form. For domestic travel within Sarawak or Sabah, please refer to Mas Wings airline webpage
By Taxi - from Kuching town it should take RM40+ per way to Kampung Bako
By Bus - Rapid Kuching 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 RM3.50. Be prepared to wait though. It's not always on time. On returning to Kuching, the bus runs from 8.00am to 5.00pm
By Minivan - The white mini vans take travellers into outskirts of Kuching and charges 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. Be prepared to bargain the price with them and also look for the van that goes to Bako. The destinations are usually written on the side of the van door
By Boat - Get a boat from the jetty. The officer at the Bako National Park booth will help you arrange it. It's always better to get more people to share the cost of the boat. For 1 - 4persons in the boat, it'll cost RM50 per person.