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Kuching in Sarawak

Kuching; gateway to Sarawak

Kuching is the biggest Malaysian city on Borneo and also the capital city of the state of Sarawak. Kuching is a very popular tourist destination as it serves as entry point to numerous great attractions within the heart of Sarawak. The city has enough to offer to keep tourists occupied for at least a couple of days. Popular attractions around Kuching are among others Semenggoh Rehabilitation Centre and Bako National Park. There are daily flights to Kuching from Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bharu.

Mulu National Park

Mulu National Park

Mulu National Park is the biggest national park in Sarawak. The park is best known for the amazing caves. The Sarawak Chamber is the world's biggest cave chamber. It is said that 40 Boeing 747 aircraft's fit in the cave. Clearwater Cave is one of the top ten longest caves in the world with a length of over 189km. The caves aren't the only highlights at Mulu NP. The amazing pinnacles at Mount Api are absolutely stunning to witness. A visit to Mulu NP will bring your holiday in Malaysia to new heights!

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

TAR Marine Park is the perfect place to enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling and light jungle treks. The marine park is made up of five small islands: Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Sulug and Mamutik. The best beaches and probably also the best corals can be found around Gaya island; the biggest of the five islands. The marine park is only a 20 minute boat trip away from the city of Kota Kinabalu.

Mount Kinabalu Summit Trail

A 4095 meter tall mountain

Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in Malaysia and the 20th tallest in the World. Mainly because of the biological diversity the mountain is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Climbing the mountain is not an easy feat for the untrained; though it will absolutely be one of the best experiences ever. Watching the sun rise in the early morning will definitely make you forget all the hardships you had to endure during the hike up.

Kinabatangan river cruise

Kinabatangan river cruise

One of the most popular destinations in Sabah is the Kinabatangan River. This river has a length of 560 kilometers and stretches through half of Eastern Sabah. Alongside the riverbanks there is an abundance of wildlife. During a river cruise you will have a chance to spot the rare orangutan, the pygmy elephant, proboscis monkeys and saltwater crocodiles. During night cruises you might spot the leopard cat, numerous sleeping birds, wild boards, snakes and many crocodiles.

Bako National Park

Map 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."

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Activities at Bako National Park

Proboscis Monkey in tree at Bako NP

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.

Book your organized trip to Bako

Book your organized trip to Bako

Bako National Park is an ideal day trip for nature lovers and eco-minded adventurers! Bako National Park known for its extraordinary variety and contrast in its natural scenery, habitats, plant life, and its wildlife. Be thrilled at the wide range of vegetation including the varieties of pitcher plants and wild orchids. See Bako's famous resident, the Proboscis monkeys, wild boar, monitor lizards and hundreds of bird species. Book your trip to Bako at Viator.com.

 

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 Village jetty

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.

 

Things to do on Sarawak

Things to do on Sabah

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Bako NP Day Trip