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bako national park

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 65
reviews: 15
bako national park

hi there, my family (husband and kids - aged 12 and 8) are visiting Kuching in July and I have been reading about Bako National Park but have mixed feelings as there have been mixed reviews. We are only in Kuching for 3 days and will be backpacking and travelling very light so will not have hiking shoes, only thongs. First question is; are there trails suitable for wearing thongs, we are interested a big hikes, just to see the flora, fauna and hopefully wildlife which leads me to my 2nd question; quite a few reviews state wildlife is mainly seen at sunrise and sunset ...some reviews have even stated that they did not see anything! At the moment, I am tossing up between this park and a river cruise along the Santabong? river which I believe wildlife can also be spotted. Any advice will be very much appreciated. Thanks, Michelle

24 replies to this topic
Conwy, United...
Destination Expert
for Penang Island, Sarawak, George Town
posts: 4,354
reviews: 56
1. Re: bako national park

River cruise is very hit and miss - most often, people are dissapointed.

Bako has loads of wildlife and whilst it is more active at dawn & dusk, I have seen Probo Monkeys feeding at low tide in the middle of the afternoon. Bearded pigs are often around. Other monkeys are easy to see.

I cannot see how any visitor could miss seeing wildlife - even if they spent the whole time in the cafe !!!

Thongs (flip flops to us in europe - as thongs are skimpy bikini bottoms) are not suitable. If you have trekking sandels, they will be OK. The trails are mostly very good, but in some sections they are very steep and slippery. You do need something that can grip.

With only 3 days in Kuching, you will not see to much of Bako NP - some of the trails take 8 hours ++ in one direction. Other trails are short ones taking just a couple of hours.

Edinburgh, United...
Destination Expert
for Kuching
posts: 1,850
reviews: 218
2. Re: bako national park

Would be amazed if you saw no wildlife!

Even the shorter walks would provide you with a good chance of spotting something (quite likely monkeys)

Here's a map of the NP, giving a rough indication of times and distances, and the HQ will provide you with a similar map on arrival.

…sarawak.gov.my/forweb/…bakotrail.htm

Another thing to mention, which you might already have considered, is to bring a hat. Despite it predominantly being a jungle area, there are open exposed places, such as the mangroves where you might spot Proboscis, and the sun can be unrelenting and dangerous.

Many of the boats that will take you to the HQ from Bako village are also open top, and this is a 1/2 hour trip so another reason to protect yourself from the sun.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 65
reviews: 15
3. Re: bako national park

thank you ... always remember to slip, slop, slap living in Australia :)

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 65
reviews: 15
4. Re: bako national park

Hi there, thanks for your prompt reply. I actually meant to write "we are not interested in big hikes" but inadvertently left out the "NOT". As a result, is it worth the trip just to enjoy the boat ride, take one of the smaller walks (eg Telok Paku), maybe a boat ride to the sea stacks and also the beach at Pulau Lakei? --- again wearing only flip flops. Mind you, I actually climbed Krakautau? in Indonesia wearing flip flops --- If this park is as amazing as most people state, I would like to possibly see some of it, even though we will not be hiking. Thanks again for your time. Michelle

Edinburgh, United...
Destination Expert
for Kuching
posts: 1,850
reviews: 218
5. Re: bako national park

Taking the boat and some short walks would still make for a good visit in my opinion.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 65
reviews: 15
6. Re: bako national park

Thanks everyone for your responses, much appreciated. We are also visiting KK in Sabah for a few days and ahve been reading about Kinabalu NP ... again we are not interested in climbing the peak but have read reviews about the park itself and the gardens ... is it as good as Bako or is it a completely different experience? Is it worth it and what is there to see? Again, thanks :)

Kuching, Malaysia
posts: 407
reviews: 8
7. Re: bako national park

Bako NP vs Santubong river cruise.

Bako is better for watching wildlife than the river cruise.

As for wearing flip-flops for Bako's jungle trekking, I would not advise this as the trails, even the short Paku and Pasir Pandan Kecil trails require clambering over rocks and knarled tree roots, thus chances of broken straps is there and you may end up limping on one bare foot:) Solution: get a pair of really sturdy flip-flops.

OR take the limited Lintang trail on raised level plankwalk, and hire a boat from Park HQ out to see the famed sea stack and the beach with practically no trekking to do. Boat trip to Lakei island may be expensive as it is quite far and depends on sea condition.

Enjoy!

Edinburgh, United...
Destination Expert
for Kuching
posts: 1,850
reviews: 218
8. Re: bako national park

Kinabalu park is very different to Bako. Not much wildlife at Kinabalu, more flora and fauna. The best aspect of Kinabalu for me, is climbing to the top of the mountain. I have also gone on some of the botanical trails but if you are interested in seeing wildlife, Bako is better.

Kuching, Malaysia
posts: 8
9. Re: bako national park

I have been to both places, and they are completely 2 different things. At Bako, it's all about wildlife watching, we even saw vipers, and quite a few of them. Lots of monkey, and the bearded pig is like, you will even smell them if you can't see. :) One thing I like most was the night jungle trekking, guided by the park ranger. We ended our night trekking trip at the mangrove area near to the jetty, with lots of... lots of... fireflies. I have never see so many fireflies in my life...

Kinabalu park is basically nothing much to offer you if you do not going to climb the peak. I did not either, and just stayed at Kinabalu Pine Resort, where you will get the best view of the peak in the morning, if the sky is clear. It's quite stunning indeed, and it's a highest peak in S.E. Asia.

Cheers,

Lester

blog.longhouseadventure.com

Edited: 12:43 pm, May 13, 2011
Brisbane, Australia
posts: 2
10. Re: bako national park

If you want full details of the trails at Bako, see the trail guides on the TrekkingSarawak website: www.trekkingsarawak.com

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