Bako National Park
Bako National Park is the oldest and one of the smallest national parks in Sarawak. The park is located at approximately 37km from the city of Kuching; which makes it one of the easiest national parks to reach. One of the highlights of the park are the proboscis monkeys. Another unique characteristic of Bako NP are the seven complete eco-systems that can be found within the national park; beach vegetation, cliff vegetation, heath forest, mangrove forest, mixed dipterocarp forest, grasslands vegetation and peat swamp forest. Every night they will head over to the river banks to forage for food and to prepare for the night (they usually sleep high in the trees along the river banks). The way towards the park is already an attraction; as the only way to reach park headquarters is by boat along the scenic Santubong River (last part through the South China Sea). You might even spot saltwater crocodiles as these live in the rivers and mangroves. Best time to visit Bako National Park is between March and October. You might experience more rainfall and rough seas during November to February because of the monsoon season at the South China Sea.
"Bako National Park is known for extraordinary variety in its natural scenery, habitats, plant life and wildlife."
On this page:
- Activities at Bako National Park
- Map of Bako National Park
- How to get to Bako National Park
- Other things to do
Activities at Bako National Park
There are 16 clearly marked trails in total at Bako National Park; ranging in distance and difficulty. Most trails don't take more than 3,5 hours to complete, though 3 trails take more time; Bukit Gondol (4,5 hours), Telok Limau (7 hours) and Telok Kruin (7,5 hours). Most trails take you along wonderful and diverse vegetation. Often you will pass beautiful waterfalls and beaches. Some of the trails finish at secluded beaches; in these cases you could consider arranging a boat pickup beforehand. If you are thinking about walking the longer trails, then you might want to consider sleeping overnight at one of the lodges. Available accommodation ranges from very basic (RM20 per night dorm room bed) to a 2 person private chalet (RM157.50); all non-airconditioned. Sometimes the long distance trails are temporarily closed to visitors to make sure the area is conserved properly. Best beaches can be found along Pulau Lakei; a small island north of Bako NP. You can arrange a boat for a return trip to the island. As wildlife is mostly active in the evenings and at night; you can arrange a guided night walk at park headquarters.
If you want to make reservations at Bako National Park to stay overnight; you need to call the following number: (+6) 082 248088. You will be asked what type of accommodation you want to reserve, what dates you want to stay at Bako NP and how many rooms you would like to reserve. The total amount due will be quoted; but you will pay only upon arrival in Kuching at the Visitors Information Centre (located in the Old Courthouse Complex, opposite the Kuching Waterfront). You can also do an online booking at the eBooking System of Sarawak National Parks.
Checklist trip to Bako National Park
- First aid travel kit with personal medicine
- Tripod for your camera (to make pictures in low light conditions)
- Sun screen lotion
- Mosquito repellent
- Walking shoes or hiking shoes
- Rain coat, poncho or umbrella
- Zip lock bags to keep your spare clothing dry
- Towel (in dry bag)
- Bottle of water
If you are planning to stay overnight at Bako National Park, make sure bring along a torch light or headlight, mosquito netting, sleeping bag (though not necessary) and gas cooker.
Map of Bako National Park
Below you can see a map of Bako National Park (center of the map). You can simply scroll through the map with your mouse. Use the markers on the left to zoom in or out of the map.
How to get to Bako National Park
Bako National Park lies 37km north of the city of Kuching; the biggest city in the state of Sarawak. There are many daily flights from numerous cities within (and outside) Malaysia. From Kuching you can easily travel to Bako NP. The trip to the park consists of two parts. First you travel to Bako village; from there you will take a boat to park headquarters. There are three options available to travel from Kuching to Bako village; a private taxi, public busses or a minibus. The taxi is by far the easiest and fastest way, but also the most expensive method to travel to Bako NP (make sure to buy a taxi coupon at the taxi counter at Kuching airport; RM35 one way). The public bus is the cheapest solution; but it also takes the most time to reach Bako village (RM3 one-way; Petra Jaya Transport bus no. 6). Another option is a shared minibus; faster than the regular public bus and only a little bit more expensive. At Bako village you have to pay the National Park entrance fee of RM10. After that you head over to the National Park boat ticketing counter for your boat ticket; RM47 per boat each way, max 5 passengers per boat. The trip from the jetty to Bako National Park HQ takes about 30 minutes.
Below a list with some hotels in and directly around the city of Kuching.
- Pullman Hotel *****
- Damai Beach Resort *****
- Riverside Majestic Hotel *****
- Merdeka Palace Hotel *****
- Grand Margherita Hotel ****
- Hilton Hotel ****
- Somerset Gateway Kuching ****
- Batik Boutique Hotel ****
- Batang Al Longhouse Hilton Resort ***
- Grand Continental Kuching Hotel ***
- Basaga Holiday Residences ***
- Tune Hotels Kuching Hotel **
Things to do on Sarawak
Things to do on Sabah
- Danum Valley
- Kinabatangan River
- Kota Kinabalu
- Layang Layang
- Mount Kinabalu
- Gomantong Caves
- Turtle Island