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Bako National Park Hostel
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Reviews (304)
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Reviewed June 19, 2011

This is the only overnight accommodation in Bako National Park; the park is a 20 min boat ride from Bako Village which is a 40 min cab ride from Kuching. So your choice is either to stay here overnight, or only visit the park for a daytrip. It's definitely worth it, from an experience point of view, to stay over night. And it's not *that* bad.

There are 3 types of accomodations. A hostel, with 4 beds to a room and a shared bathroom. And lodge rooms in the bungalows, with 3 beds to a room and private bathroom or shared between 2 rooms in each hut. The website describes them accurately. We stayed in a "Category 5 bungalow". Room is very basic, rather down at heel, not very clean but not filthy either. Ditto for the bathroom. But beds were clean, not too lumpy, and nothing was really wrong beyond feeling that if you stayed for too long you would yourself become mouldy and bits would start falling off, just like the rooms. There is electricity.

The canteen has just been rebuilt completely. The food is buffet/canteen style (with rather random pricing), but if you don't mind somewhat erratic Malaysian-style cuisine, it's OK as nourishment. You can buy cold softdrinks, etc. The dishes get put out at noon and for dinner and just sit there until they're gone, so we were worried a bit about if they would go bad. But no-one there seemed to be having any digestive upsets. If you're worried, make sure to come right after the food is cooked. If you can't stand food with dried fish in it as spice, you should bring your own victuals.

A few hints
a) No need to bring mosquito nets - there are some in the windows. But they have holes in them. Do bring toilet paper to plug in the holes, as well as for more conventional purposes
b) Good to bring mosquito coils, as well as insect repellent of course. You can buy some at a markup if you forget.
c) There's a lot of construction and at least one of the bungalows is brand new - try to snag it or similar and the overall air of decay should be better
d) Yes, as all the websites say, watch out for the monkeys who will raid the canteen as well as the rooms
e) OK to go swimming at the main beach but a bit muddy - definitely worth it to charter a boat (fixed rates, no need to bargain) to get taken to one of the other small beaches for a half-day for a really *great* swim - a nice break from the hiking
f) No need to pay big $$$ to book an overnight tour through a travel agent. You can reserve a room on the Sarawak Forestry website. They will answer by email. They will say that you should pay in person in Kuching one week before arrival, but when we wrote back saying we would not be in Kuching by then, they cheerfully held it for us and we paid the day before coming to Bako at the booking site (in downtown Kuching).
g) Some of the best wildlife sightings are in the camp area, so you don't need to rush off on long hikes if you don't like hiking (though it is great hiking if you do...). We saw 3 types of monkeys (including proboscis), bearded pig, snakes, otters... all in the general camp area.
h) Bring some waterproof sandals. You may need to wade to get out of the boat if the tide is low. And they don't hurt in the shower if you find in grimy...
i) Finally, there is cellphone coverage on the main beach, but not in the camp area

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank Montrealais
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2010

Good location but very basic room.
Room smelled like monkeys had been using it as a toilet, mosquito screens were broken and I'm pretty sure there were bedbugs too.
So room a bit grotty but it was VERY cheap and perfectly located for the trails, the park HQ and the canteen (though avoid the canteen if you can - food was cheap but dire!)
Given the choice, opt for one of the lodges if available. However don't miss out on spending a night here -even if that means hostel accommodation - it's a fantastic national park.

  • Stayed: September 2010
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Thank Sarah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2010

Pretty squalid. The hostel rooms are 4 beds, nothing else, in a bare room, a bottom sheet and no blanket or duvet, with ghastly shared loos and filthy basin outside. The better chalet room had a (noisy) rat in it in the night. The food is dire. OK, we saw bearded pigs and silver langurs there, but all other sightings (e.g. proboscis monkeys) we also saw elsewhere and we did similar treks elsewhere. If you are going to Tabin, Kinabatangan, etc, what you see at Bako is not worth the discomfort. Even if you are not, I should limit it to a day trip.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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6  Thank Camdenuser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile
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Stayed: May 2018, traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2018 via mobile
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Stayed: March 2018, traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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