I’ve just returned from a 3 day trip to Bako National Park in Sarawak and still can’t quite believe how breathtaking the scenery is there.
The journey into Bako starts with a scenic boat ride up the estuary, past small villages on the water’s edge and into a wide expanse before landing on the beach.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when we reached the beach. I wasn’t expecting such a grand entrance, in fact I had absolutely no idea what to expect, but it definitely delivered the wow factor.
The area around Park HQ was teeming with long-tailed macaques when I arrived. They’re quite cheeky and not shy at all which makes for some entertaining viewing.
Proboscis monkeys (with the big floppy noses) also hang around HQ but they’re much more shy so I wasn’t able to get a photo sadly. I was often in their company on my walks; they watched me from high up in the trees.
In two and a half days I managed to do almost all of the trails that are accessible from HQ, so here’s a little summary of each one.
Tajor Waterfall and Beach
Not so much a waterfall, more like a pool with trickling water at this time of year (May). A beautiful clearing nonetheless, almost like a mirage after the trek through the trees and twisting tree root covered paths.
A little further on is a steep climb down to the beach. A little challenging but the rocky beach is a retreat and a nice spot for lunch.
T. Rhu Trail
On the way to or from Tajor Waterfall is T.Rhu, a trail leading to the North coast with a rewarding view at the end.
There’s no obvious way to get down to sea level but it can be enjoyed from a platform of flat rock, or a purpose-built viewing platform a little higher up.
T.Pandan Kecil to Kecil Beach
It’s one of many trails here with steep ups and downs but it leads to the best sunbathing beach here, and a pretty amazing viewpoint along the way.
T.Paku to Paku Beach
I liked Paku beach more than Kecil beach – it felt like a film set; the sort of beach someone might find themselves shipwrecked on in the movies. It was alive with Proboscis monkeys when I arrived and rather cute hermit crabs which scuttle around all over the park.
The Lingtang trail is a loop inland and takes you past huge boulders and mysterious caves, but if you’re pushed for time this isn’t the best trail, though I’d already been trekking for 5 hours in the blazing sunshine by the time I reached this trail so the exhaustion may be clouding my judgement. The views from certain parts are pretty special.
Tanjung Sapi Trail
This is one of the shortest trails and goes steeply up to a viewpoint of the landing beach.
Teluk Delima Trail
Another short trail, this shares some of the Lintang but then splits off towards the mangroves and the beach.
It’s fun climbing over the mangled roots and trudging through the wet sand.
Bako is a really fantastic area of Sarawak to explore. The routes are very well marked so you can’t get lost, and even though many visitors come for a day or two you rarely see anyone once you get past the beginning of all the trails. On a seven hour trek taking in three trails I only saw two people in the whole day, so you get the sense that you’re exploring but knowing that you’re safe.
How to get to Bako National Park: Take the red number 1 ‘rapid kuching’ bus from the centre of Kuching or by the waterfront. It’s 3.50RM and takes around an hour to reach the park entrance. You then have to take a boat – find someone to share with otherwise it’s 94RM return if you’re on your own. I found two other people to share with and paid 65RM, the max per boat is 5 people.
Will you be adding Bako to your itinerary?