BAKO NATIONAL PARK FACTSHEET

CLIMATE

Tajor Waterfall

Tajor Waterfall

Bako National Park enjoys sunny weather much of the year. Temperature is constant throughout the year, ranging in the lowland from a cool 23C in the evening and early morning to 33C under the shade during the day. Fom late November to late January, the monsoon rain may spoil your outing. The hottest months are from June to late August, when the tribal farmers do their slash-and-burn land clearing before planting the rice.

GETTING THERE

Local life while cruising to Bako National Park

Reaching the National Park along the river

Bako National Park is reachable by a 30 minutes drive from Kuching combined with a 20-minute longboat ride from Kampung Bako. You can take the Red public bus number 1, originating from the Kuching fresh market, leaving to/from Bako about once every hour starting from about 7AM from Kuching and finishing about 6PM from Bako, but the schedule is not firm.

The other travel option is by minivan, departing from the same spot as the above bus throughout the day. Minivans depart when full or when waiting passengers offer the driver enough money; they seat 5 to 7 people, are twice as fast as the bus and can be chartered for around RM30.

Bako National Park Registration Building

Bako National Park Registration Building

When you arrive at the Bako Village, register at the visitor center near the main jetty, purchase your National Park entrance ticket, and buy your boat ticket (approx RM100 round trip per boat, max. 5 passengers). Depending on tides, you may either be deposited at a small jetty on the northern end of the headquarters’ beach or on the beach opposite them – take your shoes off and prepare to wade if this is the case.

Tell your boatman when you plan to return and he’ll wait for you at the dock. Note that the boatmen are a small, close-knit community and so other boatmen are likely to refuse to take your group if you are waiting for a previously agreed pickup, even if he is late. Departure times might depend on the tides – boats do get stuck at low tide – and the weather, as the small speedboats are ill-suited to stormy conditions.

ACCOMMODATION

Bako Sea Stack

Bako Sea Stack

A stay of a night or two is highly recommended to experience the full diversity of Bako National Park. The park can accommodate people in wooden chalet and bungalows for rent at the park headquarters.  You need to book early as they are limited and quite popular. There are no cooking facilities within the lodges, but the canteen there is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

There is a designated campsite behind the park headquarters that rents spaces for RM5 per person; bring your own equipment. Tough the area is walled up, beware of macaque monkeys, though, as they have been known to rip into tents to take food and belongings.

Accommodation at the Bako National Park includes Hostel Dormitories at RM15.90 per bed or RM 42.40 per room; 2-rooms Lodges, each room 2 single beds, at RM53.00 per room or RM 79.50 per lodge; 2-rooms Chalets, each room 3 single beds, at RM106 per room or RM159.00 per chalet. Contact Bako National Park at +60 (0)82248088, or

ENTRANCE FEE

Foreigners pay entrance RM20fees, RM7kids and senior citizens.

TREKKING ROUTES

Trekking trails covered in white sand

Trekking trails covered in white sand

There are 16 well-marked all the way, color-coded jungle treks divided into two choices of trekking: the wildlife watch and the longer treks leading to rugged jungle-covered hilltops and secluded beaches and providing access

A Bako National Park guest

Proboscis monkey on a poster in the NP office

to the habitats of the wide range of animal, bird and plant life in the park.. Walks start from the HQ and offer a variety of difficulties. Some of the hikes are over some pretty rugged terrain, with tree roots and vegetation sometimes blocking trails that are less frequented. Ask the park rangers before venturing there.

Visitors are advised to stick to the marked trails, and visitors attempting the longer trails are required to register their arrival and itinerary at park headquarters and to read the estimated times the park suggests you allow for each trail and ensure that you allow enough time to return to park headquarters

There are no hiking facilities for people suffering from limited mobility, and some of the trails are negotiable only by wooden ladders and rickety bridges and boardwarks.

Night-time sightseeing hikes are sometimes led by park staff. For maps and full details of the trails in Bako National Park, browse http://www.trekkingsarawak.com

To get more information on Bako National Park, browse   http://www.sarawakforestry.com/htm/snp-np-bako.html

NOTES

The green forest

The green forest

Visitors to the park should ensure they carry large quantities of water with them; trekking in subtropical rainforest is thirsty work.

The small island of Pulau Lakei has a superb white sand beach. The National Parks Department has a small guard house located on the island. Trips to the island can be arranged with your boatman. There are some mysterious rock paintings just a short walk from the beach.

READ ASIAN ITINERARY JUNGLE TREKKING TO BAKO AT http://asianitinerary.com/jungle-trekking-at-bako-national-park/

READ ASIAN ITINERARY TOUR TO BAKO AT http://asianitinerary.com/bako-national-park/ 

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About the author

Thomas has a university background in the UK and in Latin America, with studies in Languages and Humanities, Culture, Literature and Economics. He started his Asian experience as a publisher in Krabi in 2005. Thomas has been editing local newspapers and magazines in England, Spain and Thailand for more then fifteen years. He is currently working on several projects in Thailand and abroad. Apart from Thailand, Thomas has lived in Italy, England, Venezuela, Cuba, Spain and Bali. He spends most of his time in Asia. During the years Thomas has developed a great understanding of several Asian cultures and people. He is also working freelance, writing short travel stories and articles for travel magazines. Follow Thomas on www.asianitinerary.com

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