Exploring Wild Borneo-Bako National Park, Sarawak

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5398758/height/450/width/450/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/88AA3C/” height=”450″ width=”450″]Bako National Park on the island of Borneo is Sarawak, Malaysia’s oldest park established in 1957. It packs in a huge variety of landscape, vegetation and wildlife for it’s small size of 27 sq/km. Only accessible by boat, if you’re based in Kuching you’ll just need to make arrangements to get to Bako Bazaar and the boat launch dock. There’s a public bus, or you can hire a taxi or Uber.

By the way, although I did have to wait 18 minutes I was very lucky to get an Uber ride back to Kuching.

Unless you want to pay a premium boats don’t leave the dock unless there are 5 passengers, so as long as you arrive not too late in the morning, it shouldn’t be long before you’re on your way, especially if you’re by yourself.

The boat ride out to Bako, which takes about 20 minutes is an adventure itself, passing by fishermen and remote beaches and seeing the Satubong Peninsula. Once you reach Teluk Assam beach that leads to park headquarters you disembark from the boat and wade into shore.

You could easily spend a half day just here, looking at the peninsula in the distance and checking out the wildlife that hangs out around the beach, including proboscis monkeys we caught a glimpse of right in the trees as we approached headquarters.

You must check in at park headquarters when you arrive and present your park pass you purchased at the boat launch. It’s also a good idea to register which trail you will be on at the desk. Once you’ve completed that then you’re off to enjoy the beauty of Bako National Park.

One of the guides that I met at the boat launch suggested I walk the Pandan Besar trail which gives you wonderful views, a chance to see unique vegetation, like the carniverous pitcher plants, and should allow enough time to do some wildlife viewing around the beach before the last boat leaves for the day at 3pm.

Once you’re out of the lower trail and the jungle canopy you are in the scrub like padang vegetation and exposed to the sun, so it’s a good idea to bring a hat and use sunscreen.

It would have been really easy to miss these pitcher plants that I saw close to the ground while walking the trail. They are abundant in this area. You will dip back into Kerangas forest, kerangas is an Iban word, Iban are the indigenous people of Sarawak. It means “land which cannot grow rice”-you’ll come out of the kerangas in the final stretch of the Pandan Besar trail.

This is the prize at the end of the trail. Lovely views looking out at this beach, which is unfortunately inaccessible by foot. Another beach close by Pandan Kecil can be hiked from here.

One thing you need to be mindful of when hiking here is the possibility of tropical downpours, Bako is part rainforest and on my way back I headed right into a huge rainstorm, which pretty much finished my hiking and exploring for the day. But it was a truly amazing taste of wild Borneo.

Thanks to:http://www.purple-planet.com for their awesome soundtrack music!

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About the Author John Saboe

I am a broadcaster, photographer, writer and videographer with a passion for travel throughout Asia. I love making connections and engaging with people. I am spiritual and seek adventure wherever I go.

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