Friday, July 10, 2009

Daytripping and Nature Appreciation at Bako

Today was spent at Bako National Park, which is about an hour's bus ride from Kuching.

My day started early when the alarm went off at 6:30 am. Groggily continued to drift in and out of sleep till 7:00 am since I slept late the night before. Got up and got ready, walked to the bus stand to take the 8:00 am No. 6 Petra Jaya bus to Bako.

The bus ride was memorable indeed - a klickety-klank, rickety, bone-rattling experience. It is an old bus, surprisingly with a print-out ticket.

Reached Bako around 9:00 am, then shared a boat to the park which took about 25 minutes. The guest jetty is in a mangrove swamp area, so there are boardwalks till 'mainland' where you had to proceed to the registration office.

Cruising with a view. What's that mountain called?

On the boat.

Approaching the guest jetty.

The boardwalk.

At the counter, you can get a trail map from which you can choose the trail(s) you wish to cover. There's 16 altogether, ranging from 30 mins to a full 8.5 hours full day trek to the other end of the park.

My encounters with nature in pictures:

Bornean Bearded Pig. Reminded me of Pumba.

Long tailed macaques. Extremely daring and cheeky creatures.

I saw a family of 6 proboscis monkeys, jumping from tree to tree.
Quite up close, about 15-2o feet. I was startled at first when I heard the trees rustling. I swear one of them was looking at me in the eye.

A silver leaf monkey ('langur') feeding its baby.

Part of the 5.8km Lintang trail, boardwalk.

The beginning of Teluk Paku trail.

Near Tanjung Sapi trail.


Another welcome signboard.

It was a hot humid day, I was happy I decided not to trek since I was not wearing proper footwear - only flip flops :).

Had lunch at the Kerangas Cafe around noon and later walked around some more while waiting for our boat to pick us up at 3 pm. Twice I was mistaken as a guide and park staff, probably because I was wearing a Bako Park wide brimmed hat I bought at the park shop. Haha. I should stop wearing clothes in khaki and grey.

I noticed there was this family wearing colour coordinated clothes - very fashionable yet tasteful - white, and green khaki pants for the mum, jungle fatigues for the son, white and khaki cargos for the dad, each person complete with designer looking bags, hats and shades. Wow, I was impressed. And somehow they didn't look out of place.

While walking and feeling excited about seeing the proboscis monkeys up close, I was daydreaming about how nice it is to be around beautiful nature all the time like this and to share your knowledge; the best thing was to become a tour guide. Can't be that difficult, no?

Then, suddenly, I saw something moving in the grass - a small brown, stripey snake slithered in front of me. I suppressed a shriek (came out like a squeak) and literally jumped back a few steps.

My daydream of becoming a tour guide vapourised instantly along with all the feel-good feeling of being in one with nature.

Alas, maybe I am not meant to be.


  1. The mountain is Santubong.

    I've been to Kuching more than 5 times but yet to visit Bako. Looks like this calls for another trip. =D

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  3. One of the advantages of living in East Malaysia is that you have lots of superb nature destination that's only a couple of hours drive from home :-)

    Lucky you!

  4. Nice...will check out Bako some day

  5. Hi Dee,

    Thanks - it is Santubong :) I was just told it's supposedly a Bukit and not a Gunung. Put Bako in your list next time you're in Kuching, and you must take the bus! :P

  6. Hi Julie

    Yes, there's so many other places to go for my backyard travels :) Lucky? YES, definitely, to be born here in Borneo. When I think of it, it's an awesome place, sometimes we just stop noticing and appreciating.

  7. Hi LT@Jason :P

    Yes, you should do Bako one day. They are in midst of upgrading the facilities (current ones are kinda run down and not in good shape) so by early next year, you can even stay overnight there in comfort.